I love the clarity of the Scriptures. For instance, in John 17:17, we get to read of Jesus praying for you and I. For His future believers, and so we get to clearly hear one thing the Lord wants to do in every believer, no matter their age or how long they have followed Him.
Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth.
So what does ‘sanctify’ mean? It means believers in Christ have been set apart.
Jesus was set apart for a specific mission and purpose, and in the same way, because He is who we follow, we are set apart for a specific mission and purpose. As followers of Jesus, He as our teacher, His way of life is what we are seeking to reflect, and His Word is what we are reordering our lives around. So as a result, as His students, the teacher’s prayer, is that our lives would look like His more and more. That our words and our way of life would reflect more of our new creation in Christ and less of our old creation in sin and self.
So for instance, we are to be set apart in our conduct. How we live our lives should look differently than how the world says to live life. As a result, how we handle money, marriage, relationships, crisis, suffering, work…it should look different than what culture around us says.
And Jesus prays in John 17, that we would be sanctified by the truth. And what is that truth? The truth is the Word.
Paul writes this to the Thessalonian believers, chapter 2, verse 13…
This is why we constantly thank God, because when you received the word of God that you heard from us, you welcomed it not as a human message, but as it truly is, the word of God, which also works effectively in you who believe.
Today and in the coming days, as we open our Bibles both personally and alongside other brothers and sisters, may we gladly welcome and receive its truth. For we know that by its truth, the Lord is patiently and lovingly shaping our hearts and lives into greater Christlikeness and equipping us for the mission and purpose that we’ve been called to.