Are you motivated to set and pursue goals because of the rewards they offer?
The apostle Paul pursued a holy life. In Philippians 3:14, he explained his daily motivation to follow Christ: he kept his eyes on “the prize”. Paul was inspired by the hope that one day he would see His Savior face-to-face, and would live with Him forever.
In 1 Peter 1:16, God commands His children, “Be holy, for I am holy.” If you have turned from sin and accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, you are God’s child, and this command is for you.
The word ‘holy’ means separated and set apart. God is love, God is purity, God is goodness, and God is holiness. They are not merely His attributes but He defines them. This separates Him from any other being. No one can compare to Him.
If you are God’s child, He has set you apart for Himself. He has made it possible for you to possess His attributes. He has called you to live a pure and holy life that will bring Him honor. He has called you to be His ambassador and to represent the love and mercy of Christ to the world.
God gives every one of His children His Holy Spirit and the power to live a pure and holy life (2 Peter 1:3). The Holy Spirit will help you understand, remember, and apply Scripture. Your part is to submit to His leadership, and this will allow you to turn away from following the sinful influences of the world.
God is our Creator. He understands our psychological makeup. He knows that love, rewards, and “the fear of the Lord” will motivate us to live a holy life.
Love: “We love [God], because He first loved us” (1 John 4:19). Our love for God will develop as we begin to understand who He is and what He has done for us in Christ. We will appreciate the rewards He offers. We will desire to please Him with our thoughts, words, and actions.
Rewards: God’s nature is to reward. He rewards those who seek Him (Hebrews 11:6). He knows that the promise of a reward will strengthen us to persevere, even when we are faced with obstacles and opposition.
Fear of the Lord: This is an abiding respect and a reverential awe for God. The Bible has many warnings about what will happen to those who do not pursue holiness. Paying attention to these warnings can be a great motivator for us to obey God.
Let’s look at the rewards. In Psalm 19:11, God promises us that living a holy life has “great rewards”. These rewards are not only for this present life, but also for the one to come. For this reason, Paul exhorted Timothy to “discipline [himself] for the purpose of godliness” (1 Timothy 4:7,8).
1 Timothy 4:7,8
“…discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness; for bodily discipline is only of little profit, but godliness is profitable for all things, since it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.”
Here is a sampling of the many wonderful promises God makes to those who know Him and pursue a holy life:
1 John 1:6-9. You will have intimacy with God, and receive forgiveness and continual cleansing from sin through the blood of Christ. Your conscience will be clean – free from guilt, shame, regret, condemnation, and torment.
John 14:23. You will know you are loved by God and in His care. Jesus said, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him.”
Psalm 119:165; Isaiah 26:3. You will have great peace, perfect peace. Your heart and mind will be free from anxiety and fear.
2 Corinthians 3:18; Galatians 5:22-23. Your character will be transformed to become more like Jesus. This is a work of the Holy Spirit as you allow Him to guide you.
2 Timothy 2:19-21. Your life will be purposeful, useful, fruitful, and satisfying. You will be “a vessel for honor, sanctified, useful to the Master, prepared for every good work.”
Titus 2; 1 Peter 2:9-12. You will be an effective witness to unbelievers. Your lifestyle will make the good news about God as Savior attractive in every respect.
1 Peter 1:2-4. You will live your life with “a living hope”. Biblical hope is a confident expectation of good. God, “according to His great mercy, has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for [us]”.
Matthew 5:8. You will see God. You will see Him working in your present life. You will also see Him face-to-face in the next life.
1 John 2:28. You will have confidence to stand before Jesus when He returns.
Revelation 21 and 22. You will live with God forever on a beautiful, new earth where there is no sin, death, night, sickness, sorrow, or tears.
Be encouraged! Fix your hope on God’s promises. Let them motivate you to live a holy life that brings Him glory.
1 John 3:2,3
“Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is. And everyone who has this hope fixed on Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.”
What Do You Think?
Is living a holy life truly possible? Is it about following rules?
What motivates a holy lifestyle?
What does holiness look like?
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