“Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it. (1Thessalonians 5:23-24)
Sanctify…sanctification, to those in unbelief the words clang loudly in religiosity but for those in Christ, in sanctification, our blessed Savior did pray – ”Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth” (John 17:17) As children of the lamb we are in infantile growth, this teething in transformation, but it is not without whimpering we go. So we rip off the band aid of separation, in our world of superficial comfort, and we leave the womb once more.
To abide in the faith of the gospel is not enough; we must abound in the work of faith. The rule, according to which all ought to walk and act, is the commandments given by the Lord Jesus Christ. Sanctification, in the renewal of their souls under the influences of the Holy Spirit, and attention to appointed duties, constituted the will of God respecting them. In aspiring after this renewal of the soul unto holiness, strict restraint must be put upon the appetites and senses of the body, and on the thoughts and inclinations of the will, which lead to wrong uses of them. The Lord calls none into his family to live unholy lives, but that they may be taught and enabled to walk before him in holiness. Some make light of the precepts of holiness, because they hear them from men; but they are God’s commands, and to break them is to despise God. Commentary: Mathew Henry (1 Thessalonians 4:3)
Sovereign and most Holy Father, thank you for the gift of salvation and sanctification in Jesus Christ, our blessed Savior, and for our ongoing spiritual transformation from self-death to eternal life. Thank you for our sanctification in your truth, and our daily renewal through the Holy Spirit. ~Amen :Y
“One Way Bridge”
“After this many of his disciples turned back and no longer walked with him.”
“Many of these early disciples were not genuine disciples of Christ, for they turned back. Their initial “faith” was not genuine and they were perhaps following Jesus only because of the physical benefits he gave, such as healing and multiplying food.” ~ ESV
To a believer and true follower of Christ “666” is a chilling number, and the Gospel of John provides us with an equally chilling comparison in the number and the verse. How chilling would it be to engage in fellowship and following our Lord one day, and then the next day simply “turn away”. It seems incomprehensible, and leads one deeply mystified in understanding this truth. But it happens. It happened in the day of our Lord, it’s happening now, and for those who turn, as well as those betrayed, “the turning” creates the deepest of wounds.
Even in the day of Oswald Chambers there was a distinct and noticeable “turning away”, as he expressed in My Utmost for His Highest, “Many people today are pouring their lives out and working for Jesus Christ, but are not really walking with Him.” And Jesus explains why, “It is the Spirit who gives life, the flesh is not help at all. The words I have spoken to you are spirit and life. But there are some of you who do not believe”. (John 6:63, 64)
So then Jesus asked his disciples, the twelve, this question…
”Do you also want to go away”? (John 6:67)
Let our devotion and heart response be spontaneously and emphatically ~ NO…NEVER
“Keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life. And have mercy on those who doubt;” (Jude 23:21, 22)
~ Amen :Y
Conversations of the Heart
Often when I think and speak of my blessed Savior I cannot help but describe him in metaphors of “Heart” language, for that is where I sense him most. And I notice also throughout His word, that He too delights in the use of this metaphoric “Heart” language.
I was thinking how it was that he first pursued my heart ~ and now, all I desire to do is pursue His own. So delightful is this Sovereign Savior~ He makes me smile in his joy ~
So we first ask that he create in us a clean heart, a pure heart. (Psalm 51:10) Then we ask that he open the eyes of that heart, for it is our deepest desire to fully see Him. Our soul so longingly desires the fullness of his righteousness in the opening of our hearts to see His own.
So it is that we pray to know the mystery of his will…
“that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you……” (Ephesians 1:17-18)
God has laid up spiritual blessings for us in his Son the Lord Jesus; but requires us to draw them out and fetch them in by prayer. Even the best Christians need to be prayed for: and while we hear of the welfare of Christian friends, we should pray for them. Even true believers greatly want heavenly wisdom. Are not the best of us unwilling to come under God’s yoke, though there is no other way to find rest for the soul? Do we not for a little pleasure often part with our peace? And if we dispute less, and prayed more with and for each other, we should daily see more and more what is the hope of our calling, and the riches of the Divine glory in this inheritance. It is desirable to feel the mighty power of Divine grace, beginning and carrying on the work of faith in our souls. But it is difficult to bring a soul to believe fully in Christ, and to venture its all, and the hope of eternal life, upon his righteousness. Nothing less than Almighty power will work this in us. Here is signified that it is Christ the Savior, who supplies all the necessities of those who trust in him, and gives them all blessings in the richest abundance. And by being partakers of Christ himself, we come to be filled with the fullness of grace and glory in him. How then do those forget themselves who seek for righteousness out of him! This teaches us to come to Christ. And did we know what we are called to, and what we might find in him, surely we should come and be suitors to him. When feeling our weakness and the power of our enemies, we most perceive the greatness of that mighty power which effects the conversion of the believer, and is engaged to perfect his salvation. Surely this will constrain us by love to live to our Redeemer’s glory.
(Ephesians 1:15-23) Mathew Henry
Vessels of Wrath
God is by nature Love (1 John 4:16), however, in his righteous justice he must punish Sin. This punishment is called the Wrath of God and it will occur on the final Day of Judgment. (Romans 14:10). It is presently being released upon the ungodly (Romans 1:18-32) in the hardening of unrepentant hearts.
The believer’s deliverance from God’s Wrath is through the atonement.
The unbeliever’s deliverance is through repentance and belief.
(John 3:16 – 21, Acts 3:19)
“ For God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us so that whether we are awake or asleep we might live with him”. (1Thessalonians 5:9)
IF I COULD NEVER TALK TO GOD
I often wonder what I’d do if I could never pray,
If I could not depend on God to guide me every day,
And oh how dark the night would be if his light did not shine,
My Heart would never sing a song I’d feel so all alone,
If I could never talk to God and clam him for my own.
But all these things I need not fear, my burdens He doth share
I only have to whisper low, He heareth every prayer.
Thus He always walks beside me He never lets me fall,
He gently takes me by the hand My love the God of all.
And though the night around be dark His light will ever shine
Sleep in peace and need not fear since I know that He is mine.