May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful and he will do it. 1 Thess. 5:23-24 (NIV)
Holy and loving Father, portions of your Word, like this one, make me want to weep and dance, simultaneously. I feel like weeping over the years I spent in gospel-ignorance—grateful that you brought me to Jesus, but a stranger to the ways of resting and growing in grace. I suffered much under the hands of do-it-yourself theologies, pragmatic remedies, and Christ-lite formulas.
This one passage, alone, tells us that you’re the God who called us to life in Jesus; you’re thoroughly transforming us to be like Jesus; and you’re keeping us blameless for Jesus. Indeed, you are “the God of peace,” for nowhere else can such peace, joy and assurance be found.
How did I miss the real “goodness” of the 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 the gospel-less gospel sooner? I lament the years spent in seeing Jesus more as my model to follow, than my righteousness to trust—more as my pattern than my portion. Why did I ever think I could “make Jesus Lord” of anything, when he’s already Lord of all things? It’s not our dedication to him, but Jesus’ dedication to us, that’s the point. Hallelujah!
Father, thank you, a gazillion times over, for showing me more of Jesus and for revealing more of the riches of the gospel. I trust you will continue to do so. As I seek to make more of Jesus, I trust you to make me more like Jesus. As Paul stated in this passage, you are faithful and you will do it. So very Amen, I pray in Jesus’ triumphant and tender name.