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Summary: In the message we will talk about how we are to chase after holiness

Swimming Upstream

Chasing After A Life Of Holiness

TODAY – is week 4 in our message series, ‘The Chase, Going After The Life We Were Created To Live.’ A message series where many of us have declared that we are done!

DONE -with pursuing.

DONE - with chasing after.

THINGS - that NEVER have and never will (no matter how hard we run) give us what we are thirsting for. True and lasting – fulfillment, satisfaction, contentment and fulfillment.

UNDERSTAND…

Chasing after, relationships, possessions, accomplishments and pleasure… thinking that they will give us what we want and always fill our cup, is like pouring water into a cup with multiple holes and trying to take a drink from it.

LIKE – God said through His prophet in Isaiah 55:1-3… why keep working for (why keep chasing after) things that do not satisfy?

Why spend your money on something that is not real food?

Why work for something that doesn’t really satisfy you?

Listen closely to me, and you will eat what is good; your soul will enjoy the rich food that satisfies. 3 “Come to me with your ears wide open. Listen, and you will find life. - Isaiah 55:1-3

REMEMBER - as we have said since we began The Chase…

Living the life we were created to live doesn’t actually begin with chasing after the right things. Instead, it begins when we consider our present chase worthless.

NOW – this week… we are going to talk about ‘Pursuing Holiness’ in a message I am calling…

Swimming Upstream

Hash tag - setapartforChrist

QUESTION – what thoughts immediately come into your mind when you think of someone pursuing holiness?

WHAT THOUGHTS – do you think would come into the minds the average person in the world?

I MEAN – if you told the non-believers in your life (or for that matter) if you told your Christian friends, that you were going to ‘really’ get serious about pursuing holiness…

WHAT - would they think you were getting ready to do?

THEY – would probably think that you were getting ready to kick all the fun out of your life… and become a very ‘not fun’ person to be around.

I MEAN – pursuing holiness has too often become nothing more than a bunch of ‘nots.’

NOT – drinking, smoking, dancing, playing cards, going to parties, watching certain movies, wearing jewelry, getting a tattoo, looking at porn, having sex before we are married…

BUT LISTEN – the truth is we can be very good, proficient at all of the NOTS… AND STILL – not be holy…

AND PERHAPS – God would say, ‘Yes, I am glad that you are not getting drunk and looking at porn… BUT – let me ask you, do you forgive those who hurt? ARE YOU - humble, gentle and kind… do you love your enemies? Are you patient with those who frustrate you.

UNDERSTAND - I think that when it comes to pursuing holiness in the church. One of two things has happened.

WE HAVE – either pursued it the wrong way and have become legalistic, self-righteous (you know that holiness by the things ‘I do and don’t do’ checklist)…

OR – we don’t really think about it or pursue at all.

I MEAN…

It’s like we believe… that because we are saved by grace… THAT - pursuing holiness no longer applies.

THAT – obedience to the Word and Commands of God no longer really matter.

SURE – we know that the bible says we should live our lives a certain way… but we will never be able to be perfect…

AND - besides it doesn’t really matter, because Jesus died for our sins.

MAPLE GROVE – this morning I want to talk about swimming upstream… about chasing after a life of holiness.

Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord. – Hebrews 12:14

Make every effort… to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord. – Hebrews 12:14

NOW – the word holy basically means… ‘separated, set a part, God-likeness, Christ-likeness…’

AND – we find it used throughout the Old and the New Testament over 600 times…

SO UNDERSTAND – this is not a trivial or minor issue.

NOW – to be honest, when I was planning this series (The Chase) several months back… asking God what I should talk about and encourage us as His people to chase after, I had no idea how HUGE this topic of holiness was going to be!

I MEAN – there is no way that I can say all I want to say this morning, BUT… Let me tell you what I hope to accomplish in our time together

#1 – to get us to think about personal holiness (and that goal is already being accomplished, right?).

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