September 02, 2016

Sanctification Is a Gift

John 7:37-39

Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink.

—  John 7:37

I met Ron while going door to door as a church planter, meeting people who lived in the area. Ron was wealthy. He had a luxury car, a big house, and a screened-in pool with a little waterfall.

Truth is, in the back of my mind, I thought that if God gave us a few generous people like Ron, our church would survive and grow. Then I could even get a paycheck. And Ron did help. Ron was generous and helpful in many ways.

Now, you may be thinking, “See? That’s how preachers are: always after people’s money.” I will admit this was in the back of my mind. But I was in this with Ron for a lot more than money. Money wasn’t why I showed up on Ron’s doorstep.

Trust this: sanctification is God’s free gift. It is not about God squeezing stuff out of you. It’s not about some preacher telling you how to live and then taking your money. It’s about God giving you eternal life. And he does this like a surgeon, digging around in your twisted, broken, bleeding life, sorting things out and setting them right. When I stood with Ron on his doorstep, I know God wasn’t thinking, “Great! I can get something out of that guy.” I’m sure God was thinking, “I love Ron. Ron is miserable, and I am going to heal Ron’s soul. I’m going to bless him.”

So let’s get that straight: sanctification is about God giving to you, not taking from you.

Lord, thank you for sanctification. Please, purely and simply, do this generous work in me. Amen.

About the author — Keith Mannes

Keith Mannes serves as pastor at Highland Christian Reformed Church in McBain, Michigan. Keith and his wife, Alicia, recently celebrated their 20th wedding anniversary,
and they are thankful for their three children—Eben, Charis, and Breanna.

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