Wednesday April 27, 2022
Today is Wednesday, April 27 and we are exploring what the bible says about the work of the Holy Spirit in sanctification.
As I begin this time of prayer, I pause and become still. I breathe slowly and deeply and center myself upon the triune God – Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Pause and Pray
Father God, open my heart and enlighten my mind as I search your holy word. Lord Jesus, open the scriptures to me and reveal your truth. Come, Holy Spirit, be my helper and guide as I seek to grow in Christian maturity. Amen.
I seek God’s message for me this morning and praise him with the words of Psalm 143.
Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I entrust my life. Rescue me from my enemies, Lord, for I hide myself in you. Teach me to do your will, for you are my God; may your good Spirit lead me on level ground. Psalm 143:8-10
Pause and Pray
The eighteenth century founder of Methodism, John Wesley, reminded the Christian church about sanctification. Sanctification is a state of holiness and the process of becoming holy that takes place over our lifetime. Sanctification is a work of the Holy Spirit and is achieved by God’s grace, not our good deeds or efforts. According to the Methodist Articles of Religion, sanctification is a renewal of our fallen nature where we are not only pardoned from sin but saved from its power and enabled to love God with all our hearts and walk blameless in his commandments. We are cleansed from sin in our thoughts, words and actions and enabled to live according to God’s will. This gift can be received in this lifetime both gradually and instantaneously and should be sought earnestly by every child of God. (The Articles of Religion of the Methodist Church). Jesus concludes his farewell message to his disciples by praying for them and all future generations of believers in John chapter seventeen.
I am coming to you now, but I say these things while I am still in the world, so that they may have the full measure of my joy within them. I have given them your word and the world has hated them, for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world. My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. They are not of the world, even as I am not of it. Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth. As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world. For them I sanctify myself, that they too may be truly sanctified. John 17:13-19
Jesus prayed this prayer for the disciples gathered in the upper room as well as for all believers stretched out into the future for all time. His final words to his followers are words I also receive. Jesus wants me to have a full measure of his joy within me. I am to live a life filled with supernatural joy despite my challenges and circumstances. I can claim that joy every moment of every day. I also claim God’s protection from evil and comfort in times of persecution. Jesus says, as a believer I am in the world but I am not of the world just as he was not. I desire the sanctification that Jesus wants for me and I endeavor to find the sacred truth in God’s holy word. I long to be truly sanctified and made holy in this lifetime as only God’s Spirit can accomplish in me. Spirit-filled, I am sent into the world to share the good news and love and serve others.
Ask: Even though I live “in” the world, when are the instances I recognize I am not “of” the world? How can I better cooperate with the sanctifying grace God wants to work in my life?
Pause and Pray
Blessed Lord Jesus, thank you for loving me and acting as my mediator and intercessor. I long for the good things you desire for me to attain in this lifetime – scripture, protection, truth, joy, sanctification and commission in service. Reveal my next steps into sanctifying grace and spiritual maturity, so I can earnestly seek holiness of heart and life. I read your words from John again and listen for the message you have for me.
I am coming to you now, but I say these things while I am still in the world, so that they may have the full measure of my joy within them. I have given them your word and the world has hated them, for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world. My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. They are not of the world, even as I am not of it. Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth. As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world. For them I sanctify myself, that they too may be truly sanctified. John 17:13-19g>
Ask: What image, word or phrase stands out to me when I slowly read this passage? What is God trying to say to me through these words of scripture?
Pause and Pray
God wants to teach me something today about the Holy Spirit and my state of sanctification. What might today’s scripture reveal to me about my past? How might it inform my present? What word does God share for my future? Jesus prayed this prayer for the body of believers spread out into history. What part of Christ’s prayer resonates the most with the current benefits and deficits of my soul? Perhaps God wants me to see that he desires to provide whatever I am lacking if only I am ready to receive it. Maybe Jesus wants me to give me a “full measure of his joy” or true sanctification. What would that mean for my life?
Pause and Pray
Blessed Lord Jesus, I invite you into my heart, soul and mind. Open the scriptures to me and give me a fresh understanding of God’s holy word and the work of the Holy Spirit sanctifying me through grace. Reveal the places of my resistance and reluctance and remove my hesitation to cooperate fully with your loving promises. Amen.
The disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit. Acts 13:52
As I leave this time of prayer, I go carrying a full measure of Christ’s joy, sent into the world to love and serve others.
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