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Seeds of the Kingdom

Are You Wearing Old Clothes?

by Jill Southern

But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness.
1 Timothy 6:11, NIV

Holiness is separating ourselves from the world, the flesh and the devil, and putting off ‘the old self’ (our old sinful ways), and then putting on ‘the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness’ (Ephesians 4:22-23). It means separating ourselves to the Lord. We must throw out the old dirty carpet tiles before we can lay the new carpet tiles. We have to put something old off before we can put something new on.

The apostle Paul writes to Timothy and tells him to pursue ‘righteousness, godliness, faith, love endurance and gentleness’. To do this we need to deal with ‘unholiness’. When all known ‘unholiness’ has been washed away we can focus on pursuing holiness. We begin with repentance and cleansing and then we find we have a greater desire to spend time with God and develop a closer intimacy with Him.

In his book called ‘Set Apart – Discovering Personal Victory through Holiness’ Bruce Wilkinson quotes two shocking statistics. The first one is that the average born-again believer prays for less than two minutes a day, not counting prayers at meals or at Christian functions. Secondly, the average born-again believer reads the Bible for less than three minutes a day, discounting corporate Bible readings. Do these statistics surprise or shock you? Or instead do they make you feel uncomfortable because they describe you?

I believe we need to start breaking free from spiritual shallowness and move out in radical, biblical Christianity. We need to sow the seeds of holiness now if we are to reap a harvest of holiness later on. ‘For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight’ (Ephesians 1:4). Jesus Christ is going to return for ‘a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless’ (Ephesians 5:27). Are we preparing ourselves now, to be ready for when He returns?

In order to be holy we have to flee from everything ‘unholy’ and pursue righteousness as our verse today tells us. This is a person-to-person call placed by God on you and me. He is beckoning us to come out from all ungodliness and all conduct we know is inappropriate and to be separated unto Him, to depart from everything that isn’t Him and to devote ourselves fully to Him.

Pursuing righteousness is not optional for us. Our hearts need to discover the incredible power of God which is released when we’re obedient to this Scripture verse. We need to flee from all that is ungodly and pursue righteousness. Today is a good day to start.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, help me to be obedient to You in this and to get rid of everything that displeases You in my life, and to have a passion for righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness. Please release the power of the Holy Spirit to enable me to embark on this today. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Jill Southern is the founder of Ellel Ministries Pierrepont and directed the work for 21 years. She has recently stood down from that role but still teaches on the NETS programme and has the passion to train and equip God`s people to fully walk in their destiny and calling. She is the Regional Director for Ellel Ministries International in South East Asia and China and is also on the Executive Leadership of the ministry.

 

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