Quotes Without Comment

“Holy people (saints) get into the dirt and sweat of real life, where light and darkness contend with real consequences. This is where God is at work. If the Word I hear on Sunday morning or during my private prayer has no bearing on the way I relate to family, friend, and foe, or how I make decisions, spend my resources and cast my vote, then my faith is fantasy.”
Marjorie H. Thompson
Soul Feast

“You called, you cried, you shattered my deafness. You sparkled, you blazed, you drove away my blindness. You shed your fragrance, and I drew in my breath, and I pant for you. I tasted and now I hunger and thirst. You touched me, and now I burn with longing for your peace.”
Saint Augustine
Confessions

Through and Through

“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 Thessalonians 5:23-24).

Jesus is coming again. Christians who truly believe Jesus is coming want to be prepared for Him even though they do not know exactly when His return will be. We want to be sanctified (set apart, holy) people.

How many of us have earnestly prayed the rich words of the old hymn written by Philip Bliss; “More holiness give me, More strivings within, More patience in suff’ring, More sorrow for sin, More faith in my Savior, More sense of His care, More joy in His service, More purpose in prayer.”

Some are satisfied with a skin-deep “holiness.” You know, the ability to look Christian when you find yourself in situations where it would be to your advantage. But we should not be satisfied with a “holiness” that can be turned off and then back on again at your discretion. Some are satisfied with a super-spiritual holiness that affects your “soul” but has little affect on your body while others equate spirituality with a harsh treatment of the body that has little influence on the “soul.”

But we should not settle for anything less than through and through holiness where we are set apart from God in every way – spirit, soul, and body. Christians wanting to be ready for Him (“kept blameless”) when He returns will yearn for this kind of complete holiness that Paul desires for the Thessalonians. But how do we get it? How does it happen? How do we get beyond this surface “holiness” to experience the genuine through and through holiness that makes us fit for the coming of the Master?

Paul answers our questions in the text.

God. God himself. The God of peace. The faithful one who calls you.

He will do it.

He will sanctify you, every part of you, not just a layer or two but “through and through.” He will keep you blameless.

He will do it!

Do we believe it?

God our Father, You are our faithful God of peace, able to reach deep within us. We honor You as the ultimate source of peace and holiness. Forgive us when we withhold any part of our being from you. Let us come to know You and submit to You. Sanctify us through and through. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

A Puritan Prayer for Holiness

LORD JESUS,
Give me a deeper repentance,
a horror of sin,
a dread of its approach;
Help me chastely to flee it,
and jealously to resolve that my heart shall be Thine alone.

Give me a deeper trust,
that I may lose myself to find myself in Thee,
the ground of my rest,
the spring of my being.

Give me a deeper knowledge of Thyself
as saviour, master, lord, and king.

Give me deeper power in private prayer,
more sweetness in Thy Word,
more steadfast grip on its truth.

Give me deeper holiness in speech, thought, action,
and let me not seek moral virtue apart from Thee.

Plough deep in me, great Lord, heavenly husbandman,
that my being may be a tilled field,
the roots of grace spreading far and wide,
until Thou alone art seen in me,
Thy beauty golden like summer harvest,
Thy fruitfulness as autumn plenty.

I have no master but Thee,
no law but Thy will,
no delight but Thyself,
no wealth but that Thou givest,
no good but that Thou blessest,
no peace but that Thou bestowest.

I am nothing but that Thou makest me.

I have nothing but that I receive from Thee.

I can be nothing but that grace adorns me.

Quarry me deep, dear Lord,
and then fill me to overflowing with living water.

How Right You Are

“Faith is more than beliefs to be learned; it is bonds to be lived. Faith is more than holding the “right” beliefs; it is holding the “right” (that is, the “least of these”) hands. We are judged by the world not on the basis of how “right” we’ve gotten what we believe but on how well we’re living it – on how we love God and people.”
–Leonard Sweet
Out of the Question…Into The Mystery, p. 21

So What’s New?

“We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life” (Romans 6:4).

“. . .having been buried with him in baptism and raised with him through your faith in the power of God, who raised him from the dead. When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your sinful nature, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the written code, with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us; he took it away, nailing it to the cross” (Colossians 2:12-14).

“Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God” (Colossians 3:1-3).

Paul makes it clear, we are buried with Christ, then raised so that we can live a new life with new hearts and new minds, with new passions and new pursuits.

So as I reflect on these passages I have to ask a simple question.

So what’s new?