Advent Devotional

Day 17

Advent Winterscape
By Erik Segalini | December 17

O Holy Night

The word “holy” occurs in various forms more than 600 times in the Bible according to Christian author Jerry Bridges. What does holy mean? The answer is important when we read in 1 Peter 1:13-16 that God commands us to be holy.

In his book The Pursuit of Holiness, Bridges defines holiness as “morally blameless. It is to be separated from sin and, therefore, consecrated to God.”

The problem is, if you’re anything like me, you want to be separated from sin but inevitably surrender to it again and again. In another book called The Discipline of Grace, Bridges wrote: “When you set yourself to seriously pursue holiness, you will begin to realize what an awful sinner you are. And if you are not firmly rooted in the gospel and have not learned to preach it to yourself every day, you will soon become discouraged and will slack off in your pursuit of holiness.”

Since Bridges prescribes preaching the gospel to ourselves every day, here it is in a nutshell: God loves us, but our sin separates us from Him. Our sin is so grievous, in fact, that God demands a death penalty for it. However, His sacrifice on the cross bought salvation to those of us, undeserving yet repentant, who accept God's gift. We receive that gift by grace through faith, so we can never take credit for what He has done.

Remind yourself today of the amazing grace that saved you and of God’s deep love for you. And then pursue holiness with all your might.

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