Day 2

A Call to Holy Living

from the 1 & 2 Peter reading plan


1 Peter 1:13-25, Isaiah 53:7-9, Ephesians 1:3-10

BY Erin Davis

The list of things I know for certain is short, but I know this: I am not holy.

I hear Peter’s charge to “be holy in all your conduct” (1 Peter 1:15) as he echoes the Lord’s words to “be holy, because I am holy” (Leviticus 11:44), and I feel the gravitational pull of defeat. Because it doesn’t seem to matter how much I want to be holy. (And trust me—I really, really want to be holy). There aren’t twelve steps I can take to become holy. There aren’t bootstraps big enough to pull me up toward the perfection of God. There’s no self-help guide to blamelessness. If personal holiness is up to me, it begins to feel like an impossible equation.

There are times when I get fed up with chronically missing the mark. I want to be holy because God is holy, but instead find myself broken because the world is broken. I was having one of these fed-up moments while driving down the highway recently. In my frustration I cried out to the Lord, praying, “How long, Lord, until I become like you?!”

This phrase came to mind; “In a moment.”

For a nanosecond I worried I was about to hit a semi head on, because I know I will not fully become like Christ this side of heaven. But no collision came. My heart was simply recalling the gospel hope I cling to. Scripture tells us that when Christ returns, we will be changed “in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye” (1 Corinthians 15:52).

Peter isn’t tasking us with a moral standard our broken selves can never attain. He’s preaching the gospel. We can’t hear it too often. He reminds us of what’s truest about us as Christ-followers:

For you know that you were redeemed from your empty way of life inherited from your fathers,
not with perishable things like silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ,
like that of an unblemished and spotless lamb (1 Peter 1:18–19).

Yes, I am broken as my parents were broken.
My children are broken, as I am broken.
You are broken, as all people are broken.

But that is not our story, and it’s not our identity.

Our brokenness and Christ’s holiness are two sides of the same gospel coin. And so we need to stop staring at our failed attempts at holiness. We need to flip the coin over, and instead gaze with wonder anew at the gospel of grace. Again, we cannot do it too often.

My power over sin rests not in me, but in the one who burst forth from the grave (v.21), the “holy, holy, holy” One (Revelation 4:8). I am holy, because Christ is holy, and I am hidden in Him (Colossians 3:3). Yes, my flesh is broken. But praise be to God, “All flesh is like grass and its glory like the flower of grass” (1 Peter 1:24).

But the holiness of God is mine forever.

Post Comments (65)

65 thoughts on "A Call to Holy Living"

  1. Tara Davis says:

    Knowing that God is so merciful, allows me to be remember that I am his child and he knows I sin— yet he loves me still

  2. Angela Lim says:

    We need God to be holy because He is holy. Not by our own strebgth nor by might, it’s our obedience to Him

  3. Linda Rae says:

    This body I live in is as a filthy rag, but my spirit reaches out to receive the covering of the shed blood of Jesus Christ my Lord and Savior.

  4. Jennifer Anapol says:

    Thank God that I don’t have to try and muster up my own holiness. I am so thankful that God is the one who makes me holy. Also, when I fall short, God’s grace is there.

  5. Candice drain says:

    My girls group just read through an amazing book about holiness. It’s a lofty concept to grasp when we’re inundated by the brokenness of the world. But we as women of God are called to be changed by the renewing of our mind to be more like Jesus through pursuing holiness in all we do! Check out the book “Pursuit of Holiness” by Jerry Bridges

  6. Kelsey Scott says:

    I would love any prayers you all could offer. I’ve been struggling with debilitating panic attacks for over a year now and can get no relief. I’ve done everything and nothing is working

    1. Kelly Gratz says:

      Praying for you! I have been seeing a wonderful Christian counselor and it has helped me.

    2. Shannon Boatright says:

      Kelsey you are so so loved ❤️ God has a plan for you through these attacks. God allows us to be tested so that our faith may be strengthened! We shall REJOICE in the midst of trials, we shall count them as JOY, for He is making us more like Him ❤️ May the Lord watch over you as you walk through these days! He will make your TEST your future TESTIMONY!

    3. Katie Campbell says:

      Kelsey, I too have struggled with debilitating panic attacks. I am still struggling and as I sit here today going through this devotional I am flooded with traumatic memories of horrible panic attacks and it makes me want to give up and not go anywhere or do anything. It has been an extremely hard fight and often I have wondered why God was letting me suffer like this. I know what it feels like to feel as though so much joy and happiness and almost a part of yourself has been stolen from you. I just want you to know that I get it and know how hard it is to keep and focus on your faith in this particular trial. After a rough counseling appointment one day I was sitting in the store parking lot and couldn’t breath and was bawling crying out to God and asking him why this was happening to me and if this was really going to be the story of my life. As I said that I heard a sweet but strong whisper “I’ve already won”. God had already won the battle. That means he has won the battle against our anxiety and panic attacks. If he can conquer death and save the world he can conquer our anxiety. Praying for you Kelsey❤️

  7. Ivy Mokua says:

    I just moved to a new city, new country to pursue my masters. And I have struggled for a long time to get back on the path of intentionally praising God, reading His word and spending time daily to know Him more. I was too engrossed in my school work and feeling sorry for myself as I adjusted to a new system that I didn’t look up to see what a blessing and gift He has given me to see His works in action
    I am grateful daily and pray to trust in Him fully

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