You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming. 2 Peter 3:11-12
Some 239,000 miles in space lies the amorphous chunk of rocks and minerals we call the moon. Unlike the sun which is a boiling mass of gases and fire, the moon is cold and dark. It's lifeless, yet who would be convinced of that fact on a night when the full radiance of the sun is reflected from it to our world? But the light of the moon is only a reflection which comes from a far more powerful source, the sun.
In a very real sense, what I have just described is a picture of how God's children reflect the nature and character of their Heavenly Father, but it is an imperfect picture. A mirror reflects a true image--nothing more, nothing less. But God's children are more like a hunk of phosphorescence which has absorbed something of the original radiance and then illuminates its own corner of darkness.
God is love, and when the mark of the Divine has touched your life, you become more loving as well. But there is a characteristic of the Father which is often overlooked, one which far surpasses love in its Biblical order of importance: the holiness of God. "Like father, like son" we say of the baby who resembles the image of his birthing father, and in the scope of God's order, the same things should be true of His real children.
More than 525 times in the Bible you'll find the words "holy," or, "holiness," expressions usually found in references to God, but seldom do you hear sermons or messages explaining the importance of holiness in our lives or showing us how to incorporate this into our lives today. To the contrary, we think of people who are "holy" as weird or strange, and we determine to be nothing like that at all.
First, understand that holy describes God as someone who is neither corrupted nor defiled by sin. Holiness describes what He is--pure, loving, just and kind, all knowing, all powerful. It's all wrapped up in that word.
How is this imparted to our lives today? The New Testament explains it pretty clearly as it says, "We have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ, once for all" (Hebrews 10:10). In simple terms, the connection between God and our lives is Jesus Christ. When He touches our lives, we become like the Father. But beyond that, we are to separate ourselves from that which is contrary to what God is. "Put on the new self," writes Paul, "created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness" (Ephesians 4:24). He also instructed that we are to "purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God" (2 Corinthians 7:1).
If you want to know what holiness is, take a look at the life of Jesus Christ. In simple terms, give yourself to Him and say, "Lord Jesus, live your life through me!" When you walk away from wrongdoing, you're putting into practice this very concept. That is why Peter says so plainly, "You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming" (2 Peter 3:11-12).
Remember, the Bible says, "Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord" (Hebrews 12:14). And with that thought in your mind, turn your back on the mentality which is so prevalent today, the mind-set that puts happiness above holiness, and pleasure above duty, and having fun above what is right.
In doing that, you have embarked on the quest for true holiness.
Resource reading: 2 Peter 3:11-12