Summary: As a believer in CHRIST JESUS, having been sealed by HIS SPIRIT within us, we know our future. So, we should live our lives with expectation, as ready to meet and greet HIM, ready and together as one BODY. But we must see the difference, know the difference of what it is to “be holy”.
2020.05.24.SERMON.LIVING UP TO GOD’S STANDARD OF HOLINESS PART 2
William Akehurst, HSWC
Thursday, 5/21/20 was Ascension Day.
Acts 1:6-12 6 Then they gathered around him and asked him, “Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?” 7 He said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. 8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” 9 After he said this, he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight. 10 They were looking intently up into the sky as he was going, when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them. 11 “Men of Galilee,” they said, “why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.”
Ascension Day. 40 days after the resurrection of JESUS, when the disciples gathered and watch as JESUS ascended up into the clouds. Acts 1.11 KJV “Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven.”
I can’t help but think back to Passover when I celebrated it in my home with family. For the 1st time in 3000 years everyone worldwide was huddled in their homes while a deadly plague was raging outside. I believe that this year, 2020 is not only the year our eyes are enlightened and opened to better see the things of GOD, but also the year we will EXPERIENCE more of HIS POWER and PRESENCE. As these disciples were staring and gazing in wonderment (Acts 1:11), I am excited with anticipation as to WHAT the LORD is doing in our world at this time.
My mind is racing, I can’t help but wonder…
• What will happen on Ascension Day 2020?
• What will happen on Pentecost Sunday May 31, 2020?
• Will we see and experience another HOLY SPIRIT ENCOUNTER?
• Will it be a specific fulfillment of “In the last days I will pour out MY SPIRIT?”
We must wake each day, holding on to JESUS, waiting, searching and seeking HIM with our WHOLE heart.
This is a new day.
Today is different.
In the CHOSEN.TV series Season One released at the end of 2019, the coined catchphrase has become “Get used to different”. How prophetic these words ring out as we see the world turned upside down and knocked out of normal, as we “get used to different”.
But isn’t that what a life in CHRIST is all about? It should be “different”. HE has called us to be different.
GOD is looking for people who are consecrated or set apart for HIS use. Different. HE has called us, chosen us, to be HOLY, different, for HIS Purpose.
Ephesians 1:4 “According as he has chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:”
For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight.
2 Timothy 1:8 “Who has saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,”
He has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace.
The King James Version of 1 Peter 1:15 uses the word “conversation.” The word translated “conversation” means behavior. The verse is saying our manner of life or behavior, should reflect holiness because God is holy.
G391 anastrophe (a-na-stro-fee') n. behavior. [from G390] KJV: conversation Root(s): G390
Christians should be - different.
In our conversation and behavior, we should stick or stand out. The way we as believers live should be different, distinguishable from unbelievers. The way we live should different from the way of the world and it should match our profession of faith.
But it’s not easy, is it? In a time when anything and everything goes, we as Christians are bombarded with temptations to live in a manner which isn’t pleasing to GOD. Ungodly living is encouraged, embraced and even expected in today’s world, but we must understand, that it is the authority of GOD’s WORD that stands as a beacon of hope and of life, and instruction for every believer.