I Peter 3:15
“But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear.”
Here we find the word sanctify again, but with a different meaning. We have no need to try and purify the Lord God, for He is already pure! The word sanctify has a few different definitions.
Sanctify: to render or acknowledge; to separate from profane things and dedicate to God; to consecrate things to God; to purify.
God wants us to separate our hearts to Him so that we are ready to be a witness for Him when we are asked. Have you ever had someone ask, “Hey, you’re a Christian, can I ask you a Biblical question?” Maybe you knew the answer, but maybe you were caught off guard, not sure what to say. Christ wants us to be ready to give an answer!
We have a reason of hope that this world does not have. This makes us a peculiar people. God wants us to be different!
When we have a close relationship with our Lord, we will stick out like a sore thumb in this dark and wicked world. The Light within us should shine for others to see without us having to tell people how we shine. D.L. Moody had a great way of putting this truth, he said: “We are told to let our light shine, and if it does, we won’t need to tell anybody it does. Lighthouses don’t fire cannons to call attention to their shining – they just shine.”
The Lord wants us to be ready to answer, but not to be belligerent and unruly about our knowledge. At the end of our text today we see that we should be filled with “meekness and fear”. A mild and gentle disposition coupled with a godly fear is pleasing to the Lord.
Be ready, Christian, for you know not when someone will ask you of the reason for your hope in the Lord. It could be today. It could be tomorrow. Ask the Lord to help you be ready to give an answer that would be pleasing to Him.
Deuteronomy 25-26 | Acts 2 | Psalm 60
“Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.”
Jesus Christ and His disciples had recently had the Passover meal where He set taught them what we know now as the Lord’s Supper, a memorial of what Christ did for us on Calvary. After instructing them about the meal, He served them by washing their feet. What an example Christ sets for us as a servant to others. Their Master, their Lord, was on His hands and knees taking a towel to wash the dirt off their feet. Jesus was the Ultimate Servant.
Afterwards He spent some time instructing the disciples about the days to follow. Many of the disciples were confused and posed questions to Christ about what He was saying. Here in we find such great passages written in red in our Bibles…
“Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.” John 14:1
“I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” John 14:6
“If ye ask any thing in my name, I will do it.” John 14:14
“I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.” John 15:5
“Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.” John 15:16
“These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
Jesus Christ spoke these words to His disciples, and under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, the Apostle John pinned them into Scripture. However in chapter 17, Christ shifts His words from His earthly followers to His Father in Heaven. He is praying not for Himself, but for His followers…His disciples then, and now. He prayed for us!
“I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine.” John 17:9
As He continues to pray to the Father, we find our text verse today in verse 17, “Sanctify them through thy truth:”. Christ asks God the Father to purify us and consecrate us by the truth. What is the truth? The verse goes one to tell us, “thy word is truth.” He has given us the Truth for us to read and live by each day. He asked the Father to use His Word to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. We are purified by the Truth!
When we as Christians sin, the Truth of God’s Word tells us what to we can do to restore our fellowship with God the Father.
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” I John 1:9
Allow the Truth of God’s Word to cleanse you. Confess your sin to Him. Cast your care upon Him. Comfort yourself through His Word today.
Deuteronomy 23-24 | Acts 1 | Psalm 59
“In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.”
The first verse in the Bible is very well known, even by those that do not profess to be Christians.
There are no coincidences within God’s Word, so it was not by chance that the very first four words are “In the beginning God”. It all starts with Him!
In his book “Delighting In God”, A.W. Tozer writes, “We must begin with God.” What great advice that is!
Everything we do must begin with God, and until we ask for His permission and His help, we have not truly begun.
Have you ever set out to do something, yet failed to ask God for permission first, much less for His help to accomplish the task? If we are honest, we’ve all been guilty of it. Maybe we finished the job, maybe we were unable to, but how much better would it have been if we had the Creator of the universe to support us in our endeavor? He is willing and waiting, yet so often we forget or do not even bother to ask.
Our creative process is in vain if we do not yield ourselves to Him Who created us. Seek God’s face for His direction before putting thought into action. The results are sure to be far better than if we were to do it on our own.
For without Him, we are nothing.
Deuteronomy 21-22 | Mark 16 | Psalm 58
“And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.”
The 7 Sectors of the Great Commission:
A verb. A verb requires action to take place. Go simply means to move from one place to another, to leave, to travel. Who should go?
Who was He talking to? His followers. Are you a follower of Christ today? Do you profess to be a Christian – a follower of Christ? Then this applies to you just as much as it did to those who heard the words from the very lips of the Risen Saviour. How are you involved in the Great Commission?
A preposition, meaning to express movement or action with the result that someone or something becomes enclosed or surrounded by something else. What or where does Christ tell us to go into?
All the world.
He wants us to go into all the world. Not only in your Jerusalem; not just in your Judaea; not just in your Samaria, but also unto the uttermost part of the earth. We are to go out into the highways and the hedges and compel them! Where do you share what Christ has done for you?
How are we supposed to relay the Message? We are to preach…to publicly proclaim or teach; to earnestly advocate our belief. This is not limited to those called men of God who are preachers. This is to every Christian. How are you proclaiming what Christ has done?
What are we to preach? The Gospel. The death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ…plus nothing, minus nothing. We cannot earn our way to Heaven. It is only by our belief and acceptance of how Jesus paid the price for our sin and rose victoriously from the grave on the third day. What are you doing with the Gospel today?
To every creature.
He did not exclude anyone. There is not a person on the planet that does not need the Gospel. We have the Good News and yet we routinely keep it to ourselves. Who can you tell? Who is waiting for you to tell them?
“The Gospel is only good news if It gets there in time.” Carl Henry
Deuteronomy 19-20 | Mark 15 | Psalm 57
“He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.”
Outside the city walls of Jerusalem, near a hill called Calvary, there is a garden. In the depths of that garden there is a tomb. This tomb was hewn out in a rock, and never has a body ever decayed within its walls.
Joseph of Arimathaea had begged Pilate for the body of Jesus, and wrapped it in linen clothes before placing Him within his new tomb. Joseph rolled a great stone over the opening of the grave, and departed. We do not have record of his thoughts that day. Did he believe that Jesus would rise again as He said He would? He was a disciple of Jesus, but the Scripture is silent of his thoughts about Jesus after he placed His body in the tomb.
Christ Himself told how He would be placed in the tomb for three days:
“For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.”
Not only did Jesus foretell of His death and burial, He prophesied of His resurrection:
“And Jesus going up to Jerusalem took the twelve disciples apart in the way, and said unto them, Behold, we go up to Jerusalem; and the Son of man shall be betrayed unto the chief priests and unto the scribes, and they shall condemn him to death, And shall deliver him to the Gentiles to mock, and to scourge, and to crucify him: and the third day he shall rise again.” Matthew 20:17-19
Praise God that Jesus was Who He said He was! He died for our sins, spent three days and three nights in the tomb, and then raised victoriously on the third day defeating death, hell, and the grave.
His resurrection made the Gospel possible! Without the resurrection, our faith would be in vain. His resurrection provided us the free gift of salvation, if we would only believe.
“That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” Romans 10:9
Crowds of people gather daily at the Garden Tomb outside of Jerusalem longing to see the fact that Christ is not in that grave. Some come searching for answers to believe, but many come already knowing the answer…”He is not here: for he is risen”.
We set aside a weekend every year to celebrate His sacrifice and resurrection, and we should. But the truth is…the Monday after Easter He is STILL our Risen Saviour!
Every day is Easter. Hallelujah for our Risen Saviour!
Deuteronomy 17-18 | Mark 14 | Psalm 56
“And the napkin, that was about his head, not lying with the linen clothes, but wrapped together in a place by itself.”
This napkin was placed upon the face of the Lord Jesus Christ after He had given up the ghost on the cross, and His body was placed in the new tomb of Joseph of Arimathaea.
When Mary Magdalene, Peter, and John each arrived at the sepulchre, they each saw the empty grave where Jesus had been for three days. The men ran toward the tomb, and before going in, John stooped down outside the grave. Can you imagine how overwhelmed he was? Known as the disciple whom Jesus loved, John had a very close relationship with Christ. He was the one the Lord trusted enough to give the responsibility of caring for His mother, Mary.
Peter ran in and saw the linen clothes; the ones that had been wrapped around Jesus’ body, both at His birth and His death. The swaddling clothes He was wrapped in as a baby signified the purpose for which He came…to give His life as a ransom for many.
Set apart from the linen clothes lied a napkin folded nice and neat. What did this signify? He was not finished!
The price paid for the sin of the world was finished; Jesus had completed His purpose that God had ordained before the foundation of the world. He had given His life, and raised victoriously three days later defeating death, hell and the grave! But He left His napkin folded neatly in His tomb to show that He is coming back! Very soon He will return and meet His bride, the church, in the air…”and so shall we ever be with the Lord.”
He is coming back… are you ready?
Deuteronomy 15-16 | Mark 13 | Psalm 55
“When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.”
It was done. Jesus Christ the Lamb of God had given His life for the sins of the world. They did not take His life; He gave it. It is important to remember that. He was the Word made flesh, with a free will just like us. He made the choice to be born to die.
He took our place.
II Corinthians 5:21
“For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.”
I Peter 3:18
“For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit:”
Christ’s death on the cross was the substitutionary atonement for our sin. He paid the price that we can only pay ourselves by spending eternity in Hell, separated from Him forever. Either we accept Christ’s payment, and believe in what He did for us, or we accept our punishment in the Lake of Fire. It’s a choice that every person must make – to receive Him or reject Him.
Have you made that choice?
If not, please read about Free Gift that is waiting for you.
If you have received the Free Gift of salvation… take a moment today and every day to thank the Lord Jesus Christ for dying on the cross for our sins. Thank God for the sending His Son to take our place.
I was guilty with nothing to say,
And they were coming to take me away.
But then a voice from heaven was heard, which said,
“Let him go, take Me instead!”
I should have been crucified,
I should have suffered and died.
I should have hung on the cross in disgrace,
But Jesus, God’s Son, took my place.
Gordon Jensen – “I Should Have Been Crucified”
Deuteronomy 13-14 | Mark 12 | Psalm 54
“And when they were come to the place, which is called Calvary, there they crucified him, and the malefactors, one on the right hand, and the other on the left. Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots.”
We read in Genesis that God created the earth in six days. God created every ocean, every river, every mountain, and every hill.
Just outside the gate of Jerusalem there is a hillside. On the side of that hill, even today, there is a visible face of a skull. God created that hill, just like any other hill across the entire earth. Yet God, in His foreknowledge, must have known that that hill, Golgotha, was unlike any other hill He ever created. This was Calvary, the hill that He would see His only begotten Son give His life on. Jesus Christ freely gave His life on the cross of Calvary so that we could receive the free gift of salvation through faith in His blood.
The Cross that Jesus was lifted up on stood between two thieves. Of the three men on Calvary that day, only two were guilty. Each of the guilty malefactors went in separate directions after their death on their crosses. The world today is full of guilty sinners that have to make the same choice those two thieves made… whether to believe in Who Jesus was and what Jesus did, or pay the debt themselves.
Jesus looked down on those that surrounded His cross, and He did not condemn them… He prayed for them. “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.” Jesus had compassion even on those who took part in His crucifixion. However the acts of the chief priests, Pharisees, and soldiers that were there that day did not place Jesus on the cross. Our sin placed Him there. Our sin was placed upon Him, and because our sin was purged that day through His blood, we can have peace with God if we will only believe.
Take a moment today and reflect on Calvary, the Cross, and the Crucified Saviour that took our place. Thank Him for His sacrifice and for making it possible for us to spend eternity in Heaven with Him.
Deuteronomy 11-12 | Mark 11 | Psalm 53
“Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done. And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him. And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.”
Have you ever asked God to remove something? Most likely we all have. Did you ask Him to do so only if it was His will? When we are in pain, whether physical, emotional, or spiritual, our flesh wants it to end.
The Lord Jesus Christ felt the same way.
He asked God the Father, if He was willing; to remove Him from the suffering He was and was about to endure. He could have stopped there. He could have decided not to go any further in His mission… but He did not. Look at the next word… “nevertheless”.
What an example the Saviour sets for us… Jesus dismissed His own will.
“nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.”
It’s interesting to see that after the Saviour once again submits to the will of the Father, an angel comes to strengthen Him. God gave Him the strength to fulfill the Will of God. When we submit our own will to God’s will, He will strengthen us!
Christ then proceeded to pray earnestly in the Garden of Gethsemane. He prayed and agonized so much so that He began to sweat drops of blood. This is a very rare medical condition called, hematohidrosis. The capillary blood vessels that fed Jesus’ sweat glands ruptured. This caused His blood to exude out of His pores. This condition only occurs under conditions of extreme physical or emotional stress.
That is how fervently and earnestly Jesus Christ prayed for us before He gave His life for our sins on the Cross of Calvary. Most likely none of us have ever prayed so hard that we sweat blood. But Jesus loved us so much that He prayed to His Father, and Our Father, with extreme focus.
How much better could our prayer lives be?
No matter what you are facing today, Jesus shows us that it is to submit to the will of God.
Ask the Lord today to remove and resolve your situation IF it is His will to do so. Then follow Jesus Christ’s example…“nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.”
Deuteronomy 9-10 | Mark 10 | Psalm 52
“But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.”
His wounds, His bruises, His stripes… they were because of our transgressions, our iniquities. Our sin made the crown of thorns. Our sin caused the scourging. Our sin drove the nails in His hands and feet. Our sin caused the spear to pierce His side.
But because of His stripes we are healed. His suffering was sacrificial and substitutionary. He gave Himself as the sacrifice. He took our place.
The reason we can have peace today is because the penalty of our sin was purged that day on cross of Calvary. The weight of our sin was upon Jesus Christ. He bore our judgment. He paid our debt. We can be healed from our sin by believing in the payment He made on the cross outside the gate of Jerusalem at the Place of the Skull. If you travel to Jerusalem today, you can still see the skull face within that hillside.
Reflect today on His wounds, His bruises, and His stripes that He endured because of our iniquity. We put Him there, but the amazing thing about all of it is that He willingly took our place. He did not have to die for us, but He knew it was the only way to save us.
If you are a sheep that has gone astray, come back to Him today. He is waiting for you with His arms wide open just like they were when He died on Calvary. Run to Him today.
Deuteronomy 7-8 | Mark 9 | Psalm 51
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