Called To Be Saints

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There’s a story about two brothers who had terrorized the small town where they lived for decades. They were unfaithful to their wives, abusive to their children, and dishonest in business. They were loud, boisterous and just plain rude to nearly everyone. One day, out of the clear blue, the younger brother died. The older brother went to the preacher of the local church and said, “Preacher, I’d like you to conduct my brother’s funeral. And it’s important to me that during the service, you say my brother was a saint.”

The preacher said, “I can’t do that. We both know he was far from that.”

The older brother pulled out his checkbook and said, “Preacher, I’m prepared to give $100,000 to your church. All I’m asking is that you publicly state that my brother was a saint.”

On the day of the funeral, the preacher began his sermon this way.

“Everyone here knows that the deceased was a wicked man, a womanizer, and a drunk. He terrorized his employees and cheated on his taxes.” The preacher paused for a second and then continued, “But as evil and sinful as this man was, compared to his older brother, he was a saint!”

The word “saint” may have been Paul’s favorite word to describe a Christian. He used it about 60 times (which is especially significant when you realize that he never once used the word “Christian”). Those of us who are Christians are saints, which literally means “holy ones.”

But we don’t often think of ourselves in those terms. We have this mental image of a “holy” person as someone who wears a halo over their head all the time.

Allow me to redirect your thoughts to see that something or someone is “holy” because God is near. The ground where Moses stood was “holy ground” because God was there. Sinai was a “holy mountain” because God was there. The tabernacle and temple were holy buildings (containing two rooms — the holy place and most holy place) because that’s where God was.

And Christians are holy because God is as near as He can possibly get — He dwells within us.

Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s. (I Corinthians 6:19-20)

If that truth doesn’t make a difference in the way we live, nothing will. We are not “saints” because we always act in a holy manner (see the church at Corinth as an example). We are “saints” because God is near, and therein lies the motivation to live in a holy manner, to be holy; for I am holy. (I Peter 1:16).

May God’s blessings today be with all of you who are “called to be saints”!

Source: Alan Smith, Thought for the Day

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