The crepe myrtles in my backyard are trying their hardest to carpet my lawn in crimson. Soon they'll be spindled versions of their summer glory, biding the winter's fury until early April when they'll spring back to full-leaf. I'll watch them through the coming cold months without a doubt in my mind that they're anything other than alive and waiting to burst again into flower and stem, sap and vigor. They just will. Because living things live.
It's the same argument that the author of Hebrews is making in Hebrews 12:14 when he says, "strive... for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord." Living things live. Crepe myrtles produce leaves. And Christians strive for holiness. This striving for holiness is necessary for salvation, for one day seeing the Lord. But that holiness doesn't produce salvation any more than taping leaves on a dead tree makes it alive. For the Christian, holiness and the desire to be holier still bears witness to the fact that God has already begun a work that he's bringing, quite literally, to fruition (Heb. 10:14; Phil. 1:6).
Christians will go through seasons of winter and harvest, fruitfulness and apparent hibernation. But holiness and the desire for more of it are the constant sign of spiritual life. Without holiness, the Christian should doubt his salvation, turn to God in repentance, receive God's grace in Christ, and set about good works done for God's glory. Because those who have been made holy by God will pursue holiness in every area of their life. They just will.
- Christmas - Christmas is on a Sunday this year so make plans to attend worship with us (after all, we worship on Easter), celebrating the incarnation of our savior, Jesus.
- Orange Community Group - We're having an informational lunch on December 4th after the worship service for those interested in being a part of a new community group in Orange. Talk to me for more information.