The Difference

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Daily Reformation, 2 Peter 3:11-18

From the Reformer

May Your name be holy. (Matthew 6:9)

Q. What does this mean?

A. Of course, God’s name is holy in and of itself, but by this request, we pray that He will make it holy among us, too.

Q. How does this take place?

A. It happens when God’s Word is taught clearly and purely, and when we live holy lives as God’s children based upon it. Help us, Heavenly Father, to do this! But anyone who teaches and lives by something other than God’s Word defiles God’s name among us. Protect us from this, Heavenly Father!

—Martin Luther, Small Catechism

Pulling It Together

“He’s different.” Most people hate to hear those words when spoken about themselves. “Different” infers ridicule and rejection. Yet being different is what the Christian disciple’s life must be, for “difference” is what holiness is: being unlike those who care not for the things of God. Indeed, a person is holy because God has made them so and considers them different—even when they do not act differently.

Too often, Christians consider holiness as simply acts of morality. Instead, Christian holiness is a state given by God that affects all of life, including morality. Christians are even holy and different when they have acted wrongly. They still regard God as holy and desire to be different than they had been. More importantly, God still regards them as holy because he very simply, has made them so, no matter how blemished they may be.

That is the real difference: how God insists on regarding sinful people like us. Because of this, we “are His very own,” and must strive to “live under Him in His kingdom and serve Him righteously, innocently and blessedly forever.” (Small Catechism) Knowing this difference about God, what sort of people ought we strive to be in lives of holiness and godliness?

© Mark E. Ryman, Daily Reformation: Devotions with the Reformers

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