He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By His wounds you have been healed.
- 1 Peter 2:24
I’m fascinated by the Bible. One of the most beautiful mysteries of the Gospel is the idea of sanctification. But before I go any further, I want to ask you to think about that word for a moment. Does it put you off? Make you feel like you don’t quite measure up to God’s standard?
Webster defines sanctification as “the act or process of becoming made holy.” If you’re anything like me, you were born with a rebellious, independent spirit. You sometimes struggle with the idea that you can’t earn your way to heaven, or be your own personal savior.
But that is where the mystery comes in. We are not good enough, holy enough, or “sanctified” enough on our own, yet we serve a God who loves us enough to choose us, pursue us, and never leave us the way He found us. That is sanctification, by the grace of God.
I read a quote the other day that summed up this idea of sanctification beautifully:
I wondered if that was why God hated sin, because of the destruction it caused. For a moment I felt awe for a God who loved me enough to hate the things that hurt me without hating me for causing them. - Susan E. Isaacs
I’m captivated by that concept. That God sees me as I am - broken, messy, and headstrong as can be - yet, He also sees me as the daughter He sent His son to a cross for. But He also doesn’t view me as a project. He loves me as I am, and still will even if I never live up to my “potential” as a Christian.
So maybe you’re a new Christian, wondering what is next. Or maybe you’ve always loved the Lord, but are having a hard time giving up control and letting the Lord have His way in your life. I dare you to open up your Bible with a new perspective, read it as a love letter, and try to understand His heart for your life.
1. What does the word sanctify mean to you? What kind of connotation do you attach to it?
2. How does it make you feel to know that you alone cannot sanctify yourself?
3. How might your life change if you believed that the Lord loves you enough to not leave you the way He found you (sanctify you)?
Lord, thank You for loving us. Thank You for Your grace that allows us to come to You and be real with You. Help us to understand Your heart for us. Help us to realize that Your plans for us are good, that because You love us so much, You do not leave us dead in our sin. We love You, Jesus.