If anyone asks me what my favorite book of the Bible is, I will most likely say the gospel of John. As much as I enjoy writing from time to time, I love reading even more. Whenever I read the gospel of John, I feel like I am reading a journal, but the thing I LOVE is that when Jesus speaks I feel like I am right in the room as He speaks. When I hear Him, I feel like a small child and cannot help but just be still and listen. I love His words.
In particular, I love chapter 17 in the gospel of John. This is right before Christ’s death and resurrection, and Jesus takes the time to pray to the Father for His followers and future believers. When you have a chance, I really implore you to read that passage. Every time I read it, I feel incredibly dumbstruck because my Savior prayed for you and me knowing that he was imminently about to suffer by taking on all our sin and God’s entire wrath that was meant for us! So much good stuff!
I am not going to talk about the whole chapter, but I do want to focus on one particular thing. (It was really hard to pick just one thing from the chapter. You have no idea.)
Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth. As You sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. And for their sake I consecrate myself, that they also may be sanctified in truth. | John 17:17-19
Jesus is praying for the sanctification of believers. Now what exactly is sanctification? It means to set apart or to make holy. When a sinner believes on Jesus and surrenders his or her life to Christ, the sinner is made new and clothed in the righteousness of Christ. When God looks at you, He doesn’t see your sin. Instead, He sees the righteousness of Christ. Where does that leave us? Are we suddenly perfect forever? Nope, not even close. This is where walking with God on a daily and regular basis comes into factor.
When we have a real relationship with God, He is like a potter, and we are the clay. He shapes us, cuts out the blemishes, and keeps working on us until we are perfect. This is the sanctification process. It begins at conversion and ends when we leave this flesh and meet Him in heaven.
Now what role do we personally play in this sanctification process? If you read John 17, Jesus talks about God’s word and truth repeatedly. We are called to not just read God’s Word but to live it out as truth! Don’t just read and walk away. When you read God’s Word, you are reading His message to you personally. He is speaking to you! He is speaking truth to you. What will your response be? Will you just sit there with a blank face and go on with the status quo of your life, or will you really apply God’s truth into your life, spread that truth to others, and live it out for the world to see?
Christ paid it all. He descended to take on our form, kept Himself holy by living the perfect life on earth, and then He took on our sin by dying on the cross. I still remember a quote that was in our classroom in junior high: “The most He did was die for you. The least you can do is live for Him.” Praise God that death and the grave could not keep our Savior. He is risen and sitting at the right hand of God preparing a place for us. I will be the first one to admit that I constantly fail, and I get wrapped up in my own circumstances. I want that to change in my life. I want that to change in whoever reads this. Let’s live in truth by heeding to God’s Word! Let’s meet Him in glory one day and be able to say that we truly lived for Him. Let’s encourage each other, brothers and sisters. This is a marathon, and we have a prize to look forward to!