New Start 15Two years ago, when I learned how popular the book “Fifty Shades of Grey” was among Christian women, I felt heartsick. I was shocked that believers could rationalize the reading of a novel categorized as “erotica.”

But “Fifty Shades” is not the problem. It’s merely a symptom of a greater issue. The church has forgotten what it means to be holy, to be “in the world, but not of it.” While I may not read ‘mommy porn,” I can’t say my life is completely holy. My “shades of grey” simply pop up in other areas.

So, while God has given me a burden to call Christian women back to holiness, He has also reminded me that He’s not done with me. He still has work to do in my life. He wants to clean up and wash away my areas of grey. Although I’m one of the leaders of New Start 15, I will also be a full participant. (In case you missed the New Start 15 invite, here it is!)

God Is the Standard for Holiness

New start 15Where I get tripped up is that I tend to compare myself to other Christians. I think I’m okay because I’m not as unholy as this person or that person. But then God reminds me – again – that His holiness is the standard.

God calls His people to be holy in all we do. To be holy as He is holy.

As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance.  But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy. 1 Peter 1:13-16, NIV

God Himself is our pattern, our example. In Him there is no grey, no darkness. He is the epitome of holiness.

God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. 1 John 1:5, NIV

That may sound like a tall order, but God has provided “everything we need for life and godliness” (2 Peter 1:3) through the presence and power of His Holy Spirit residing within us.

In 2015, I will be asking God to continue to grow me in Christ-likeness, to show me areas of my life that need His cleansing power. My prayer now is that He will help me to obey. That He will give me the desire to take off the old and put on the new. To be holy, as He is holy.

Some friends are joining me in this journey toward holiness and you’re invited too! We’re calling this January emphasis New Start 15. If you’d like a New Start too, here’s some ways you can join in:

  • “Like” the New Start 15 Facebook page for daily updates and encouragement.
  • Download the New Start 15 Bible Reading Plan and use it through the month of January. (It starts Monday, January 5th.)
  • Check out the New Start 15 Suggested Resources for more help and encouragement. (Download PDF)
  • Follow the New Start 15 Blog series on the contributors’ blogs. These blogs will align with the Bible Reading Plan and help us along the journey! Tomorrow, my friend Julie Sanders will share about her own journey toward holiness.

My prayer for you – and myself – is that God will fill us with a desire to live a life that pleases Him and points others to Jesus. And as we live this holy life, that our relationship with Him will deepen and grow.

What about you? Would you describe yourself as “holy?” Will you join me on the New Start 15 journey toward holiness? You can keep up with everything by “liking” the New Start 15 Facebook page!

 

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