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     Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it1 Thess. 5:23-24

Dear heavenly Father, as I continue to meditate and pray my way through Lent, it’s portions of your Word like this one that make me want to weep and dance at the same time. I feel like weeping over the years I spent in gospel-ignorance—a stranger to the ways of grace. I suffered much under the hands of bad theologies, man-centered remedies, and Christ-less formulas, for maturing as a believer.

But this one passage, alone, affirms that you didn’t just justify us, you’re also the One who’s sanctifying us. You called us to life in Jesus; you’re thoroughly transforming us to be like Jesus; and you’re keeping our whole being blameless, until the Day you send Jesus back to finish making all things new. No wonder Paul calls you the “God of peace.” Where else can such peace, joy, and assurance be found?

How did I miss the really good news of the gospel for so long? Why was I such an easy target for performance-based spirituality? Why wasn’t I able to recognize corruptions of the gospel sooner?

I lament the years I spent in seeing Jesus more as my perfect model than as my perfect Righteousness; rededicating my life to Jesus, over and over; earnestly trying to make Jesus “Lord of all things” (as though he’s not Lord until I consent); holding out for a second and third and ninth and seventeenth baptism in the Spirit; all of this instead of savoring a life of union and communion with Jesus. How did I miss so much of the gospel for so very long?

Enough of looking back in sadness, I choose to look up in gladness, for you’ve turned my mourning into dancing, Father. You’ve removed the sackcloth of my self-righteousness, having clothed me with the perfect righteousness of Jesus.

With the music of our great Wedding Day (Rev. 19) emanating from heaven, my prayer is simply this, dear Father, more and more, and through and through, make me like Jesus. You are faithful and you will do it. So very Amen I pray, in Jesus’ triumphant and loving name.


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2 thoughts on “A Prayer in Praise of the God Who Sanctifies Us”

  1. Love your prayers, Scotty. They always flow directly from your heart to God. Indeed, you are a very honest and humble man before the Lord!

    Be blessed – with every spiritual blessing imaginable.



  2. a. says:

    earnestly trying to make Jesus “Lord of all things” (as though he’s not Lord until I consent)…please then,don’t let others ‘suffer under the hands of bad theologies’ in any way either – since one day, willingly or not…

    10 at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Phil 2

    8 “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart”—that is, the word of faith which we are preaching, 9 that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; 10 for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation. Rom 10

    2 You know that when you were pagans, you were led astray to the mute idols, however you were led. 3 Therefore I make known to you that no one speaking by the Spirit of God says, “Jesus is accursed”; and no one can say, “Jesus is Lord,” except by the Holy Spirit. 1 Cor 12

    12 So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling; 13 for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure. Phil 2

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Scotty Smith

Scotty Smith is the founding pastor of Christ Community Church in Franklin, Tennessee. You can follow him on Twitter.

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