The Bible has many commandments.
There are the Ten Commandments from Moses (Ex. 20). There are the two on which Christ said hang all the Law and Prophets – love God and love your neighbor (Matt. 22:36-40).
So why focus on holiness?
…present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. Rom 12:1-2
I don't know about you, but I want to be in the perfect will of God.
That phrase, “which is your reasonable service” strikes me. Christ gave everything for us. He descended from heaven and became man for our sake. He suffered under Pontius Pilate and was crucified for our sake. And He rose again on the third day for our sake. Is it not reasonable then, that He asks us to sacrifice everything we have and follow Him?
The world tells us that this call to be holy is a burden, that we are sacrificing our joy and happiness for a God that doesn't always seem to stop the suffering we see all around us. The suffering of living in a fallen world, of being strangers in a strange land.
But Jesus tells us that His yoke is easy and His burden light.
I think too often we seek the world's version of joy and happiness, which is really just a depraved culture of instant gratification and selfishness. The world tells us that morality is relative and the only commandment is to fulfill our own desires. That is a quest of emptiness. If we fill ourselves with the things of the world, we will always need more.
God is calling His people to be set apart. To lay down the yoke of the world and let Him fill us with Himself. How can we as Christians break the world's perception, that as a whole, we are just a bunch of judgmental hypocrites? We have to become holy and acceptable and living sacrifices. It's time to practice what He preached and daily take up our cross and follow Him whatever the cost.
If we do that, He will fill us with Himself. And He is the living water that eternally quenches our thirst. He will satisfy you. Trust that promise.
Today, I leave you with this quote:
Personal holiness is the answer to every problem. In every situation in my life, in every problem, in every difficulty, I know that if I allow the values and principles of the Gospel to guide me, it will turn out for the best. It will not always turn out as I wish, but I will be a better person for having lived the Gospel in that situation, and because of that, my future will be richer. –Matthew Kelly