Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord.” Hebrews 12:14
This was today’s verse of the day on the YouVersion Bible App. This verse is one that sounds so simple, but as I was thinking about it today is also very difficult to live out. There are so many things that divide us in our current time, along with availability of information from anyone who wants to post (fact or opinion) makes living this verse out very difficult. Anyone can post anything they want for the world to see. It is way too easy to take sides on one issue or another today and there is very little tolerance for differing opinions or civil discourse.
I remember a day that we could disagree on many things and be civil and even be friends with each other. Today, it seems in many circles that you either must agree or be shunned, including in the church. This mindset, however, does not line up with what we find in Hebrews 12. When we are following Jesus and focused on the both/and nature of the Kingdom of God, meaning that God’s Kingdom is both now and also to come, our focus is not on what divides us in this world, but that we can live together in harmony and community regardless of our differences. In fact, we will not be able to reach people with the message of the Gospel without living this way, because our actions and our words will not line up. Living a holy life is to live a life in tune with and in obedience to God alone, which is counter-cultural than the world around us. These are challenging words, but if we study the life of Jesus closely, along with the parables he taught during his earthly ministry, we will find a way of living that looks drastically different than what is socially acceptable today.
I pray that we will all humble ourselves before God, surrendering everything for the sake of God’s Kingdom in our present day. I pray that we would live in ways that are counter-cultural and look different than those around us. I pray that God would work through our lives in ways we cannot even imagine to grow his Kingdom.
On the journey together,
~ Pastor Todd