from Lynda Lindsey
Now may our God and Father himself and our Lord Jesus, direct our way to you, and may the Lord make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all, as we do for you, so that He may establish your hearts blameless in holiness before our God and Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all His saints. I Thessalonians 3:11-13
Finally, then, brothers, we ask and urge you in the Lord Jesus, that as you received from us how you ought to walk and to please God, just as you are doing, that you do so more and more. I Thessalonians 4:1
For God has not called us for impurity, but in holiness. Therefore whoever disregards this, disregards not man but God, who gives His Holy Spirit to you. I Thessalonians 4:7
Holy God called us from darkness into His marvelous light and set us apart as a people for His own possession for a purpose: that we might proclaim His excellencies. Set apart for the purpose of spreading His light into a dark world, we can no longer live to please ourselves; we live to please God who not only calls us to be holy and to love others, He calls us to increase and abound in love and holiness. To live otherwise is to compromise our credibility as reliable witnesses. God gives us the Helper, the Holy Spirit, to enable us to do what we are powerless to do on our own.
Holiness involves being simultaneously connected and separated; we’re connected to God, our holiness source, and at the same time we’re separated from a way of life God declares impure and unholy. Paul, reiterating God’s command, demands we conform to God’s standard of holy living in order to please God and to be found pure and blameless when Christ returns. Paul assures us that it is the Lord who establishes the work in our hearts that begins the transforming process. God begins the work; as we cooperate with Him, our actions reveal the transformation He is working within us.
The work-in-progress that conforms us to Christ is ongoing. Adopted into God’s family, our minds renewed and transformed, we no longer mindlessly accept our culture’s beliefs; we submit ourselves to God and allow Him to conform us to His higher standards. To disregard God’s call to holiness by satisfying our worldly appetites is to reject and turn our back on the One who gave His life to atone for our sin, the One who gave us His Holy Spirit to help us. Live into your purpose. Don’t just embrace love and holiness; increase and abound more and more in love and holiness.