Be holy in every aspect of your life
(John Angell James, "The
Church in Earnest")
"As the One who called you is holy, you also are to be
holy in every aspect of your life; for it is written--
Be holy, because I
am holy." (1 Peter 1:15-16)
Let him turn away from all the 'conventional piety' of the
day, and study with devout attention what the Scriptures
teach of the true nature of genuine piety.
Let him, in a season of closet devotion, examine his own
piety, and compare it with the Scriptural standard.
Let him, upon discovering his great and numerous
shortcomings, humble and abase himself before God,
in a spirit of true contrition.
Let him reject all excuses which his own deceitful heart,
and lukewarm, worldly-minded Christians will be ever
ready to suggest. He must be thoroughly convinced
that nothing can, or will, be admitted by God as an
apology for a low state of personal piety.
Let him intensely desire to be raised from his low state
into a more exalted state of spirituality, devoted zeal and
heavenly-mindedness. Let him set himself most vigorously
to the work of mortifying sin, and crucifying the flesh.
Let him redouble his diligence in attending the means of
grace, and especially let him give himself to reading the
Scriptures, meditation and prayer.
Let him add a season of humiliation and supplication,
to obtain a new and copious effusion of the Holy Spirit.
Without the influence of the Spirit, we are only building
a Babel to proclaim our folly, or a mausoleum to entomb
our fleshly endeavors.
Let him cultivate a new and more delicate sensibility of
conscience, in reference to all matters of offense, both
towards God and man.
Let him give himself to Christian vigilance, watching
always against sin.
Let him, in short, intelligently, resolutely, and unalterably,
make up his mind to enter upon a new course of personal
godliness; so new that his past attainments shall seem as
if they were nothing. There is such a thing as starting
afresh, as forgetting the things that are behind--and so
must it be with him who would be really in earnest. He
will wake up from his slumbering, dreamy profession,
saying, "I have slept too long and too much! I must now
throw off the spirit of sloth, and give all diligence to make
my calling and election sure."