Sanctification


September 19, 2014: 4:38 am: Sanctification

Ephesians 4:17-24

17 With the Lord’s authority let me say this: Live no longer as the ungodly do, for they are hopelessly confused. 18 Their closed minds are full of darkness; they are far away from the life of God because they have shut their minds and hardened their hearts against him. 19 They don’t care anymore about right and wrong, and they have given themselves over to immoral ways. Their lives are filled with all kinds of impurity and greed. 20 But that isn’t what you were taught when you learned about Christ. 21 Since you have heard all about him and have learned the truth that is in Jesus, 22 throw off your old evil nature and your former way of life, which is rotten through and through, full of lust and deception. 23 Instead, there must be a spiritual renewal of your thoughts and attitudes. 24 You must display a new nature because you are a new person, created in God’s likeness-righteous, holy, and true.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

As Christians, we all have the desire to surrender to the will of God, sometimes a very strong desire. But what does it really mean to throw off the “old nature” and put on the new nature of Christ that is now within you? How do we do this? It starts with a heart that has been restored. We come to Christ with many past events that have happened to us. We all have “baggage.” Most of it is not good and from these events we have learned how to deal with life. And most of what we have learned is contrary to the Word of God. We do this to protect ourselves from further pain. We have learned how to think and have learned different attitudes and patterns of behavior from these events. All of this is not done consciously and most starts in childhood. Someone said something to us and now we think this is who we are. Everyone has set patterns of thinking and behaving when they come to Christ from past experiences. He has to come in and restore your unresolved pain and unmet needs that come from your way of dealing with life. Your way of thinking, behaving and reacting has to be stripped away and Christ be allowed to come in and place within you His way of thinking, His way of behaving and His way of reacting. Most Christians are not willing to be stripped naked of their “old nature” in order for Christ to do this. There is no room for Him to work because we hold onto what we know. If you can relate to this scripture, God is talking to you about letting Him come in to renew your mind to the mind of Christ. Start by going before Him and telling Him you do not know how to do this, but are willing to let Him show you. Then bind your mind to the mind of Jesus Christ daily and loose your old way of thinking, behaving and reacting. Ask God to come in and make Himself at home in your heart and your mind, as you submit to taking on His nature.

Have a God Day!

 

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September 17, 2014: 8:22 pm: Sanctification

1 Thessalonians 5:14-25

14 Now we exhort you, brethren, warn those who are unruly, comfort the fainthearted, uphold the weak, be patient with all. 15 See that no one renders evil for evil to anyone, but always pursue what is good both for yourselves and for all. 16 Rejoice always. 17 pray without ceasing, 18 in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 19 Do not quench the Spirit. 20 Do not despise prophecies. 21 Test all things; hold fast what is good. 22 Abstain from every form of evil. 23 Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 24 He who calls you is faithful, who also will do it. 25 Brethren, pray for us.
The Holy Bible, New King James Version, {Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

Prayer is one the greatest gifts the Father has given us and one of the most under used. James 5:16 tells us, “The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and wonderful results.” Are you spending time every day talking with the Creator of the universe? When you pray, do you get results? If not, you have a weak prayer muscle. Prayer takes time and practice just like the muscles of your body. Taking a healthy adult and immobilizing him in bed, his muscles will eventually not function and become useless. The same is true of your prayer muscle. Commit to pray to God who sent His Son to save you from your sins. When you pray, pray in the name of Jesus Christ and pray according to the Word of God. Remind God of His promises. Use simple words and begin by thanking God for all that He has done for you. Just spend time worshipping Him and consciously be aware that you are now in the presence of God. Take the attitude of putting everything in God’s hands. Agree with another believer for the answers you need. And finally pray in faith, believing. It doesn’t take great faith to believe in a God who never fails. If Jesus needed to spend time in pray, how much more do we? He never made a move without direction from the Father. He lived in perfection and yet needed to pray. While you are here in this world make it a habit to pray.

Have a God Day!

 

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September 4, 2014: 10:18 pm: Sanctification

Galatians 5:16-25

16 So I advise you to live according to your new life in the Holy Spirit. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves. 17 The old sinful nature loves to do evil, which is just opposite from what the Holy Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us desires that are opposite from what the sinful nature desires. These two forces are constantly fighting each other, and your choices are never free from this conflict. 18 But when you are directed by the Holy Spirit, you are no longer subject to the law. 19 When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, your lives will produce these evil results: sexual immorality, impure thoughts, eagerness for lustful pleasure, 20 idolatry, participation in demonic activities, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, divisions, the feeling that everyone is wrong except those in your own little group, 21 envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other kinds of sin. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God. 22 But when the Holy Spirit controls our lives, he will produce this kind of fruit in us: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. Here there is no conflict with the law. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there. 25 If we are living now by the Holy Spirit, let us follow the Holy Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

Paul describes the two forces fighting within those who belong to Christ Jesus. We have the Holy Spirit living in us, directing us to be like Christ and we have our sinful nature pulling us into sin. These forces are not equal; the Holy Spirit is God and has all power. But He will not override our own desire, so if we desire to sin, we can and many times do. We all have evil desires, we can’t ignore them. In order for us to be directed by the Holy Spirit, we must deal with them. They must be crucified with Christ. The Holy Spirit will transform us into His image as we trust Him more and more. We take our desires before Him and nail them to the cross and ask Christ for help and guidance. The Spirit produces His fruit in us and we depend on Him. When we join our life to Christ, the fruit of the Spirit becomes a byproduct of Christ in us. As a result, we fulfill His intentions for us and that is to love God and our neighbor as we love ourselves. If you want more fruit of God in your life, then nail your evil desires to the cross of Christ and seek to become more like Him.

Have a God Day!

 

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September 3, 2014: 7:55 pm: Sanctification

Psalm 119:4-13

4 You have charged us to keep your commandments carefully.
5 Oh, that my actions would consistently reflect your principles!
6 Then I will not be disgraced when I compare my life with your commands.
7 When I learn your righteous laws, I will thank you by living as I should!
8 I will obey your principles. Please don’t give up on me!
9 How can a young person stay pure? By obeying your word and following its rules.
10 I have tried my best to find you- don’t let me wander from your commands.
11 I have hidden your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.
12 Blessed are you, O LORD; teach me your principles.
13 I have recited aloud all the laws you have given us.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

Hiding God’s Word in our hearts is a deterrent to sin. Memorize the Word of God to keep Him in your mind. And as we allow the Word to work in our lives, it is planted deeper into our hearts. It is our plea for God not to give up on us. God has given us a map and directions to follow. He has told us if you do this, then this will happen. We are not saved from the consequences of our sins but we are saved from the judgment. God has forgiven all of our sin past, present and future. We can be secure in this, but it does not give a license to sin. It gives us the freedom not to as we know Him more. At the moment of salvation, 1 John 1:9 tells us, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” Even though we are not saved by works, we are saved for works. Which means once we understand salvation, God expects us to keep His commands. We are to work at understanding His map and live the way that Christ Jesus did when He was here on earth. Because we will never live without sin is not an excuse to not even try. God expects us to know Him and to become more like Him. This is our mission, this is our goal. If you are not working at becoming more like God, you are becoming less like Him. Hide the Word of God in your heart and make the effort to be more like Him every day of your life.

Have a God Day!

 

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August 28, 2014: 9:16 pm: Sanctification

Hosea 10:12

12 I said, ‘Plant the good seeds of righteousness, and you will harvest a crop of my love. Plow up the hard ground of your hearts, for now is the time to seek the LORD, that he may come and shower righteousness upon you.’
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

Hosea repeatedly used illustrations about fields and crops. Here he is comparing a stony field to our stony hearts. But this field has been plowed and is no longer hard. And this is what happens to our heart when we submit to the Lord. The hardness of our hearts can be broken by acknowledging our sin and receiving God’s gift of forgiveness. The Holy Spirit comes in and plows the hardness of our heart. This process happens layer by layer and the work will not be done until we are with Him. It is not a once and for all process. We allow sin back into our lives and our hearts will become hardened again. We will need the continued work of the Holy Spirit as long as we live on this earth. But as a mature Christian, we understand this and we keep seeking God to expose those areas of our life that are not completely submitted to Him. God will gently work with us to impart His righteousness to us. This helps us to understand Philippians 1:6 more, “And I am sure that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on that day when Christ Jesus comes back again.” Repent from your sins and let the Holy Spirit continue the work of sanctification in your life.

Have a God Day!

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August 6, 2014: 9:15 pm: Sanctification

2 Corinthians 12:8-10

8 Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away. 9 Each time he said, “My gracious favor is all you need. My power works best in your weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may work through me. 10 Since I know it is all for Christ’s good, I am quite content with my weaknesses and with insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

We do not know what the thorn was to Paul, but we do know that it was a hindrance to his ministry. God told Paul no, He would not remove the thorn stating that, “My power works best in your weakness.” It kept Paul humble, reminded him of his need for constant contact with God, and benefited those around him as they saw God work in his life. When we are strong in abilities or resources, we are tempted to do God’s work on our own, and that can lead to pride. When we are weak, allowing God to fill us with His power, then we are stronger than we could ever be on our own. We need to know that even the abilities we have are God given and we can do nothing apart from Him. Only His power will make us effective for Him and will help us do work that has lasting value. Only those things done by His direction and through His power will last. Our weakness is His strength, if we will honor God as the source of everything we are and the power behind everything we do.

Have a God Day!

 

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August 5, 2014: 9:12 pm: Sanctification

Deuteronomy 10:12-16

12 “And now, Israel, what does the Lord your God require of you? He requires you to fear him, to live according to his will, to love and worship him with all your heart and soul, 13 and to obey the Lord’s commands and laws that I am giving you today for your own good. 14 The highest heavens and the earth and everything in it all belong to the Lord your God. 15 Yet the Lord chose your ancestors as the objects of his love. And he chose you, their descendants, above every other nation, as is evident today. 16 Therefore, cleanse your sinful hearts and stop being stubborn.”
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

Don’t we all want to know what the Lord requires of us? What makes this Old Testament scripture applicable today? Aren’t we under the blood of Christ and therefore do not have to follow Old Testament Law? The only change in the Law after Christ was the way to be cleansed from sin. The offering for sin has always been blood. This is God’s standard and it is not open to debate. When Christ died for our sin, He made the final sacrifice for us. He went to the altar in heaven and made the final blood sacrifice, His own, but this did not negate what God wants of us. God has always wanted our love and worship. He has always wanted us to obey Him and do His will. Many times in the Old Testament, God stated that He was sick of the sacrifices of the Jewish people because they were so deep into sin against Him. In Isaiah 1:11 He stated “‘I am sick of your sacrifices,’ says the Lord.” God has always wanted us to be connected to Him through love and obedience. It has not changed today. Yes, we are saved by faith and not by works, but there is much to do after salvation. It doesn’t end there. It is only the beginning. The work just begins. The process of sanctification will take us a lifetime. What does God require of you? The answer is simple, “He requires you to fear him, to live according to his will, to love and worship him with all your heart and soul, and to obey the Lord’s commands and laws that I am giving you today for your own good.”

Have a God Day!

 

 

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July 18, 2014: 8:39 pm: Sanctification

Ephesians 4: 20-25

20 But that isn’t what you were taught when you learned about Christ. 21 Since you have heard all about him and have learned the truth that is in Jesus, 22 throw off your old evil nature and your former way of life, which is rotten through and through, full of lust and deception. 23 Instead, there must be a spiritual renewal of your thoughts and attitudes. 24 You must display a new nature because you are a new person, created in God’s likeness-righteous, holy, and true. 25 So put away all falsehood and “tell your neighbor the truth” because we belong to each other. 26 And “don’t sin by letting anger gain control over you.” Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry, 27 for anger gives a mighty foothold to the Devil.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

A major aspect of holiness is living a life separated from the world. Jesus taught us to be in the world but not of the world. What used to be good is now bad and what used to bad is now good according to the world’s standards. But the Word of God does not change; sin is still sin, no matter what you call it or how you look at it. And it is God’s standards that we use to measure. He laid out the plan before the beginning of time and it has not changed. We need to shed the “old man” and stand in readiness for spiritual combat. We need to recognize that we have demonic enemies that are out to separate us from God or at least make us useless Christians. If we are too weak in our faith and relationship with God, we will not be an effective witness to those around us. Reject any evil attitudes and let God work His divine nature through you.

Have a God Day!

 

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July 16, 2014: 1:52 am: Sanctification

2 Timothy 4:3-5

3 For a time is coming when people will no longer listen to right teaching. They will follow their own desires and will look for teachers who will tell them whatever they want to hear. 4 They will reject the truth and follow strange myths. 5 But you should keep a clear mind in every situation. Don’t be afraid of suffering for the Lord. Work at bringing others to Christ. Complete the ministry God has given you.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

Over 2000 years ago the time had come when people would no longer listen to right teaching and it is still here today. Many follow their own desires looking for someone to tell them what they want to hear. Many do not want to hear about a God who can change their lives, they want to determine what is right and wrong regardless of who it may hurt. Satan is very busy today deceiving those who would be deceived. As a child of Christ and a part of His body, we need to keep our focus clear. Keeping the mind of Christ is our first priority. Everything else will fall into place with our mind focused on Him. When we know Him, we know the truth and everything else becomes clear. Remember this as you go out into the world. Remember that many people want to be deceived and choose not to believe in a God who can save them from their sin. They do not believe they have sin or simply do not care. Those that will listen will and those who are going to be deceived will. Continue to live for Christ and continue to let your life and actions show that you belong to Him. Never let an opportunity pass to let someone know the truth about Christ’ love because you never know the true heart of a person. Many will come to know of His love and accept it, but many more will not. This is simply a sign of the end of this age. Christ will return soon. Be ready to meet Him, by keeping Him your focus.

Have a God Day!

 

 

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July 15, 2014: 2:25 am: Sanctification

 

2 Timothy 1;1-5

You should also know this, Timothy, that in the last days there will be very difficult times. 2 For people will love only themselves and their money. They will be boastful and proud, scoffing at God, disobedient to their parents, and ungrateful. They will consider nothing sacred. 3 They will be unloving and unforgiving; they will slander others and have no self-control; they will be cruel and have no interest in what is good. 4 They will betray their friends, be reckless, be puffed up with pride, and love pleasure rather than God. 5 They will act as if they are religious, but they will reject the power that could make them godly. You must stay away from people like that.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

The “act” or appearance of being religious includes going to church, knowing Christian doctrine, using Christian cliches, and following Christian traditions. Such practices can make a person look good, but if their inner attitudes of belief, love and worship are lacking, the outer appearance is meaningless. Jesus said it twice in Matthew, “I want you to be merciful; I don’t want your sacrifices.” In other words, God does not want our outward actions unless our heart is turned toward Him and we are living His Word, His way. Those who “live” as if they belong to God, but do worship Him as Lord of their life are just going through the motions. Right now in our society this is quit common. In fact, Christ said it would happen in the days before His return. The hearts of this world are turning toward “spirituality” but are leaving Christ out of it. They want to look like they are religious, but it is of their own doing and really has nothing to do with God. That is why we are seeing homosexuals holding high positions in some churches. (Any sex outside of man-woman marriage is sin according to the Word of God.) They have the “appearance ” of living for God, but are really living their own agenda. God will have nothing to do with it. If the church you are in brings in sin and states that the Word of God is wrong on this sin, run! The Word of God cannot be amended to fit into what our society finds acceptable today. That is what happen in Sodom and Gomorrah and look what happened to them. It may be difficult to distinguish those who say they belong to God, from those that really do at first, but how they worship Him will tell in an instant. Do they call upon the name of Jesus Christ and do they say that all of the Word of God is without error? This is you clue. Look to what His Word says and do not pick out the parts that you like and say, “I will live this part, but not this.” To be a part of Christ, He makes the rules, we don’t. The Bible has already been written and it is from God and we are not in a position to change what He has already done!

Have a God Day!

 

 

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