God gives this command in 1 Peter 1:16: “Be holy, for I am holy.”
Who is God is speaking to? He is speaking to those who are His children. They have accepted Jesus as their Lord and Savior and have a personal relationship with God.
If you are God’s child, He is saying to you, “Be holy, for I am holy.”
The word “holy” means separated and set apart. God has set you apart for Himself and has called you to live a pure and holy life. Living a godly life will enable you to enjoy a close relationship with your Heavenly Father. You can represent His love and mercy to the World and bring Him glory.
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 turn away from following the sinful influences of the world. As you allow the Holy Spirit to guide you, your character will be transformed to become more like Jesus.
“Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world.”
The Bible makes it clear that holiness – keeping yourself “unstained by the world” – is a heart issue. As God’s child, you are responsible to guard your heart from ungodly influences.
“Watch over your heart with all diligence,
For from it flow the springs of life.”
How can you guard your heart? Proverbs 4:20-27 gives clear, step-by-step instructions. If you want to get the most from these instructions, take a few moments to practice “meditating” on them. Read a verse aloud. Reflect on it, and then read it again. Ask God to help you understand and apply it. Answer the questions.
Proverbs 4:20,21. “My son, give attention to my words; incline your ear to my sayings. Do not let them depart from your sight; keep them in the midst of your heart.”
Questions: What should you pay attention to? What does “incline your ear” mean? What should you “incline your ear” to?
Questions: What should you keep before your eyes? What should you keep in your heart? How can you do that? (hint: see verses 20,21)
Proverbs 4:22. “ For they are life to those who find them and health to all their body.”
Questions: How do you “find” God’s Word? (hint: see verses 20,21) What are the rewards?
Proverbs 4:23. “Watch over your heart with all diligence, for from it flow the springs of life.”
Questions: What does “with all diligence” mean? What should you do “with all diligence”? Why is your heart so important? What do you think “springs of life” means?
Proverbs 4:24. “Put away from you a deceitful mouth and put devious speech far from you.”
Questions: What are you to put far away from you? What does “deceitful” mean?
Proverbs 4:25. “Let your eyes look directly ahead and let your gaze be fixed straight in front of you.”
Questions: When you are on a path, why is it important to look directly ahead? When is the best time to decide to do this?
Proverbs 4:26. “Watch the path of your feet and all your ways will be established.”
Questions: When you are on a path, why is it important to watch where your feet go? What do you think “all your ways will be established” means?
Proverbs 4:27. “Do not turn to the right nor to the left; turn your foot from evil.”
Questions: What would cause a person to turn off a physical path? What tries to get you to turn off God’s path?
You can guard your heart and live a holy life that brings God honor. Reflect often on Proverbs 4:20-27. As you go through each day, be aware of the influences you are allowing into your heart. Turn away from those that would draw you away from God and His purpose for your life.
What Do You Think?
What are some practical things that you can do to guard your heart from ungodly influences?
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