Set Apart for the Journey
After a long flight or even an extended drive, there is no better feeling than pulling into your driveway at home. The crackling sound of rocks under my tires coming up the path to my home is melodic and even therapeutic.
The familiar comforts of your residence should never be taken for granted. Our homes should be warm and inviting places of great grace and joy. Even still, the place where you may enjoy and live life is only temporary.
Everything our eyes take in around us is here for only a season. Nothing we behold is eternal. The Apostle Paul understood that we will never fully arrive at our destination while we are on earth.
Perfection is out of reach, and much of life seems to be a struggle. We will always face temptation, and no one reaches the age where sin is no longer a problem.
The hope we have as believers is rooted in the knowledge that we must continue to faithfully strive to follow Christ each day.
Sanctification is a continual journey toward Christlikeness. (12–14)
Over the last few years, there has been a trend of public figures renouncing or denying their supposed Christian faith.
How terrible it is to have presented yourself as a Christian and then come to a point where you walk away from it all. Of course, this is nothing new.
Paul tells of Demas walking away from obedience to pursue the things of this world. It can be argued that those who abandon their belief in Jesus were not genuine believers to begin with. With the doctrine of sanctification, we are placed by God into His service and apart from the world. We realize it is God working in us and not our initiative. Sanctification begins at salvation and does not end until our last breath.
Spiritual maturity comes as we follow the example of mature believers. (15–19)
One of the joys I have as a pastor is helping lead parent/child dedication services. It is important to underscore the role parents have in raising children and teaching them about Christ and His life.
Even though most of a child’s life is not spent within the buildings on a church campus, the local fellowship of believers can make a huge impact on the spiritual development of younger people.
Many children and youth are lacking the Christlike examples needed for maturity at home and school, and the role of those more mature in the faith is to help in mentoring and discipleship.
Younger eyes are looking to us for guidance. What examples are we setting?
Spiritual growth is not complete until our glorious transformation in heaven. (20–21)
One day our time here will be complete. That day will be the best day of our lives. It is the day we will gain our citizenship in heaven. Each valley and pain we experienced on earth will be exchanged for peace and the transforming presence of Jesus.
I do not know when that day will come for you or me, but it is coming. God has loved you and set you apart to spend eternity with Him.
By Bobby McKay
Pastor of New Liberty Baptist Church in Morton, Mississippi