April 7     
     
Today's Bible Readings
     Leviticus 10
     Psalms 11, 12
     Proverbs 25
     I Thessalonians 4
 
MEMORIZE TODAY
''This is the will of God, your sanctification ..." (I Thessalonians 4:3a)
 
SIMPLY SANCTIFICATION
            Perhaps the greatest area of confusion among believers is the issue of sanctification. Many see it as an event that takes place once and for all. Actually, sanctification is the process of the Christian life.
                        Justification is salvation past tense indicating that I have been saved from the penalty of sin.
                        Glorification is salvation future tense that I will someday be saved from the very presence of sin.
            The present tense of my salvation is sanctification. It means that right now I am being saved from the power of sin. Sanctification is not a question of whether God is willing to sanctify me. The question is, “Is it my will for Him to sanctify me?” Am I willing to let God do in me and through me everything that has been made possible through the cross? Our memory verse takes us to the bottom line - this is the will of God for me.
            Sanctification means that everything Jesus made possible may become mine through the free and loving gift of God. He has completed everything for my salvation and sanctification. The only question left is, ''Am I willing to receive it?'' The result expressed in my life will be humble holiness. This is a holiness based on agonizing repentance, a sense of expressible shame and degradation, and the realization that God loves me in spite of my sin. Sanctification makes me one with Jesus Christ and, in Him, one with God. The effect in me will be holiness, obedience, service and prayer.
            There seems to be several steps involved in the believer’s process of sanctification:
Desperation - the process of sanctification begins with a desperate dissatisfaction with self and a desire for more of the power of God.
Demands - As we realize His demands upon our life, it is obvious that we are incapable of meeting those conditions and requirements.
Dependence - If the power of God is to be upon our lives, we must come to the place of realizing that we are totally helpless and completely dependent upon Him.
Death - Sanctification requires that we come to the place of dying to self. In the process of sanctification, the Spirit of God was putting me down until there was nothing left but myself, and that is the place of death. In Luke 14, Jesus describes true discipleship. He wants us to know that even family will fail us. We must come to the place of having only Him.
Deliverance - When we have come to the end of our self and have died to self, it is then that the perfect qualities of Jesus will exhibit themselves in our human flesh. Sanctification is simply ''Christ in you . . ." (Colossians 1:27) It is His wonderful life that is imported to me in sanctification - imported by faith as a sovereign gift of God's grace.
Delight - The most delightful life is the life yielded in submission to the life of the Lord Jesus Christ. Sanctification is impartation, not an imitation; we are not trying to imitate the life of Jesus. It is the importation of His life in and through me.
God's will for you today is for your sanctification.
 
PRAY FOR THE WORLD
            As evangelical believers, we should remember the Vatican City State in our prayers. With a majority of nominal Christianity in the world, under the influence of Catholicism, it is essential that we focus our prayers today on this small but influential part of the world.
            The area of the Holy See covers only 0.5 acres. It is the world's smallest state, an enclave in the heart of the city of Rome, the last remaining vestige of the once considerable papal domains in Central Italy. Pray for spiritual renewal. The only hope for the Catholic Church and its millions of adherents is that there be a spiritual awakening within this huge religion.
 
A WORD FOR YOUR WORLD TODAY
''Oh, that God would give me more practical faith in Him. Where is now the Lord God of Elijah? He is waiting for Elijah to call on Him and respond to Him."
James Gilmour of Mongolia