The US Army sent a young soldier for a yearlong tour of duty in Ireland . Before he boarded the plane, his fiancé gave him a harmonica. She said, “I want you to learn to play this. It will help to keep your mind off those Irish girls.”[1]

Every time he writes, the soldier would assure her that he was practicing and playing his harmonica every night. After a year, she met him at the airport. He immediately grabbed her to kiss her. But she pushed him back.

When the man asked why, she looked at him straight in the eyes and said, “Before you kiss me, I want to hear you play the harmonica.”[1]

The Bible made it clear: “God wants you to be holy… God has called us to be holy, not to live impure lives.” (1 Thessalonians 4:3a, 7, NLT) In fact, “without holiness no one will see the Lord.” (Hebrews 12:14b, NIV) That’s how important holiness is. Thus, God will take it personally if we fail to live up to His standards. “Therefore, he who rejects this instruction does not reject man but God, who gives you his Holy Spirit.” (1 Thessalonians 4:8).

To be holy means to be set apart for someone or something. Your toothbrush belongs to you and only you for obvious hygienic reasons. In a sense, it is “holy” for you. That’s what we mean when we say we are holy unto the Lord.

On our own we can’t be holy. But, God called us to be holy and He made us holy.
We “have been called by God to be his own holy people. He made you holy by means of Christ Jesus, just as he did all Christians everywhere—whoever calls upon the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord and theirs.” (1 Corinthians 1:2, NLT) We can live a holy life because God made us holy when we accepted our Lord Jesus as our Savior.

Brethren, if God gives us a harmonica, would we be able to play it?

[1] Adapted from the illustration database of Sermon Central.


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