The Matter of Sanctification

I wish to encourage you in the matter of sanctification. A big word which is uncommon in today’s vocabulary. It’s a wonderful word, rich in meaning and application. For today, I wish to leave you with the sweetness of the relational side of sanctification. The word “sanctify” in the Greek New Testament simply means to make holy. In its various biblical forms and applications, it always refers to setting people aside from the unholy standards of this sinful world to the holiness of God. The Lord wants us to grow in our ability to accurately express His holiness through our lives for His glory.

Spiritual cleansing and acquittal of sins guilt through faith in Christ is the Holy Spirit’s work which began at the moment of salvation. Paul encouraged the Corinthian believers with this truth, you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God (1Co 6:11).

Sanctification is at the heart of every facet of being a genuine Christian. God’s intention, as Jesus explained at Paul’s conversion, was for we Gentiles to turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, that they (we) may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me (Act 26:18). Faith in Jesus Christ placed us in the group of people that God has set aside as being holy in Christ, so that we can grow in the expression of Christ’s holiness.

God has given us His Word, the Bible, as the tool, the instrument, that fuels our development in holiness. Jesus prayed that the disciples would be sanctified in the truth, and that God’s Word is truth (Jn 17:17-19).  God intends you to grow in sanctification as you immerse yourself in the Word of God and as you are energised by the Holy Spirit to fulfil His perfect will for your life.

Realise, if you are a born again child of God, He wants to sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ (1Th 5:23). Realise also, that He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ (Php 1:6). The Lord will not abandon His mission for sanctification in your life.

Let’s together yield to God’s design for our lives, recognising and embracing His workings of sanctification in us, so that He will get the pleasure and the glory from our living.

Together for Christ:  Lincoln Forlong

Dependant Walk of Faith

I wish to encourage you today, in your dependant walk of faith with Jesus Christ as Lord.

It’s an ironic part of life, that when we get tired, or overwhelmed by the busyness of life, we easily become spiritually lethargic or forgetful.

It’s a God honouring discipline in the Christian life to form daily routines that are not easily forgotten. As the Psalmist reminds us, “I will never forget your precepts, for by them you have given me life(Psa 119:93). It is critical to our spiritual wellbeing that we keep ourselves in God’s Word. The Word of God is His primary, tangible tool, for revealing Himself to us, for invigorating spiritual vitality in us, for igniting genuine love for the life giving Gospel of Jesus Christ, and for equipping us to do His work of ministry in the lives of others.

Paul, wanting to equip Timothy for a life of faithful service to Jesus Christ as Lord, instructed him, “Remember Jesus Christ, risen from the dead, the offspring of David, as preached in my gospel(2Ti 2:8). Deliberate, disciplined, routine thinking of the person of Jesus Christ is foundational to the Christian faith. We use what we learn from the Word of God to trigger and develop growing thoughts of Jesus Christ. This is who we are in Christ beloved, we are Jesus Christ’s regenerated people to live as His Ambassadors (2Co 5:20).

Let’s today, follow Paul’s instruction to the Philippian believers, consciously applying our minds to whatever is true, whatever is honourable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things (Php 4:8).

I will meditate on your precepts and fix my eyes on your ways (Psa 119:15).

Together for Christ:  Lincoln Forlong

The Love of Christ

I wish to encourage you to consciously think of the love of Christ today. The love that first loved us (1Jn 4:19) and pursued us. It’s the love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God (1Jn 3:11).

Ephesians 1:4-10 In love He predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of His will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved.  In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight making known to us the mystery of His will, according to His purpose, which He set forth in Christ  as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in Him, things in heaven and things on earth.

There are so many levels and facets of His eternal love, that we struggle to grasp the enormity of it. Although the enemy constantly tries to distract us from God’s love, we are assured by Scripture that we are NEVER outside of our Father’s predetermining love, we are never outside of His conscious awareness and purpose, never outside of His personal involvement accomplishing His will in the events of our lives, and never outside of His perpetual provision and planning for the eternal future He is preparing for us.

The love of God that is expressed to us through Jesus Christ by His Holy Spirit secures us, affirms our faith, and brightens our hope for glory – Come Lord Jesus!

Today, lets verbally express our appreciation of His love, and communicate His love to someone else. Let’s speak well of our Saviour for His pleasure and glory.

Together for Christ:  Lincoln Forlong

Lessons From King Nebuchadnezzar

I’ve just been reading and thinking upon the many lessons found in Daniel 4, about King Nebuchadnezzar. While we may not like to admit it, there seems to be a bit of the fleshly Nebuchadnezzar heart attitude in us all to some degree. A few quick observations from Daniel 4 which I hope encourage you:

  • Life’s circumstances and direction can change very quickly, yet the Lord is overseeing and governing it all, even though we may not recognise or feel His presence
  • The Lord is gracious with us, even when we are not responding to Him as He wants. He preserves our lives so that we can change for His glory
  • The Lord has a time-table for us, which He keeps perfectly synchronised with His will and plans for us (Eph 1). His plans never fail.
  • Every period of difficulty, even suffering, has an end.
  • No circumstance in life, good or painful, is without a God directed purpose which is to redirect us and grow us into being more God focused and God honouring. So our character and words will better express His character.
  • When the times of refreshment come, and they will come, and they do come, enjoy the wonder and joy of speaking well of the Lord (Praise) and being able to express His glory in ways you could not do had you not gone through the painful periods
  • Finally, realise you are not alone! As well as having the presence of the Lord, we have one another.

Daniel 4:37         Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and extol and honour the King of heaven, for all his works are right and his ways are just; and those who walk in pride he is able to humble.

Be encouraged to persevere and grow in your faith beloved. Recognise God in everything and appreciate the fellowship of each other. Pray for and actively encourage one another in some way today.

Together in Christ:  Lincoln Forlong

Freedom in Christ

I wish to encourage you today in living the freedom we have in Christ. Freedom to choose Christ as Lord in place of sin, freedom to choose the truth of God’s Words in place of personal opinion or worldly thinking, freedom to persevere in your growing relationship with Christ in place of living for self.

John 8:31-32, 34-37         So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, 32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” …Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who practices sin is a slave to sin. 35 The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son remains forever. 36 So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. 37 I know that you are offspring of Abraham; yet you seek to kill me because my word finds no place in you.

Notice that the Jews who had so-called belief in Jesus spoken of in verse 31, are the same people who were ready to kill Jesus in verse 37. This exposes a possible “false belief” that our lying human hearts can deceive us with.

  • True belief surrenders all to the control of Jesus as Lord, and does not change it’s mind when life gets difficult, or when Jesus doesn’t do what you want Him to.
  • True belief surrenders it’s way of thinking and values to the controlling truth of God’s Word with no intention of taking back control of our values.
  • True belief surrenders in obedience to the Lord Jesus Christ
  • True belief surrenders to persevering in faith in Christ, and does not give up

I pray that God will be honoured in each of our lives today as we live out the freedom we have in Christ through our surrendered belief in Christ as Lord.

Together for Jesus as Lord:  Lincoln Forlong