But we ought always to thank God for you, brothers loved by the Lord, because from the beginning God chose you to be saved through the sanctifying work of the Spirit and through belief in the truth. 2 Thessalonians 2:13 (NIV)
What does that mean? What’s that? What does it mean for me to be sanctified? You do know that I chose you? Yes, I know that you chose me. You chose me long before I chose you. It was your choosing me that made me able to chose you. It was your love that made me able to love you. You pursued me when I was not pursuing you. You drew near to me long before I ever drew near to you. I now love you because you first loved me. You pulled me out of the darkness that was my life. You pulled me off the path that led away from you. You rescued me from a life without you. You caused me to come to you. I confessed my sin to you. You led me to turn my life over to you. You became my Savior and Lord. You adopted me into your family. You made me to be your child. You made me Holy in your sight. You gave me a completely new life to live. You have described one way in which you are sanctified. How so? You have been set apart and made Holy in my sight. That is one way in which you are sanctified.
In what other way I am sanctified? There is another way in which you are being sanctified. Let me ask you a few questions. Go ahead, I’m listening. Since you started following and serving me as your Savior and Lord have there been any changes in your life? Are you exactly the same person you once were? Well, when I first turned my life over to you and began to follow you as my Savior and Lord there were many immediate changes. Like what? Your Holy Spirit came to live and dwell inside me. I left my old life behind to live my new life with you. Many of my old patterns and practices were gone almost immediately, if not immediately. I noticed you used the word, “many”. Yes, I did not say, “all’, did I? No, you did not. Every day, since that very first day, you have continued to mold and shape my life. You have been using your word to change my heart and transform my mind. You have been giving me new thoughts to think, words to speak and deeds to do that are all a part of the new life I have in you. You have been helping me to put on the completely new life I have in you. The day by day work that I have been and will continue to do in you is how you are being sanctified. This work will continue right up until I come to live forever in heaven with you. Yes, it will. I welcome your ongoing work of sanctification in my life. That is very good.
Lord, I know I can’t change myself. Thank you that you have and are continuing to change me. On the cross you paid for my sin and made me holy in God’s sight. Holy Spirit, change my heart and transform my mind, so that I become more like Christ every day. Amen
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