Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Thess. 5:23
Dear heavenly Father, this one verse is a source of major encouragement to me. I’m grateful to know that you are tenaciously at work in changing us—in making us more and more like Jesus (Rm. 8:28-30). You began and you will complete the good work you began in us, your children (Phil. 1:6). Indeed, “salvation is of the Lord.” There’s no other way it could happen.
Father, I’d despair if this wasn’t the case, for the disparity between Jesus’ beauty and my brokenness is often quite distinct. The thoughts I think, the things I feel, and the choices I make can be so unlike Jesus at times. I could never be my own savior, and only a great Savior like Jesus is sufficient for someone like me.
But as the “God of peace,” you are making us wholly holy—you’re changing us through and through. You’re healing and liberating every part of our being, from the effects and affects of sin—spirit, soul and body.
We will be wholly blameless and shameless at Jesus’ second coming, because he took our blame upon the cross and despised its shame for us. Even now, our lives are hidden safely in Christ (Col. 3:4)—who is our righteousness, holiness, and redemption (1 Cor. 1:31).
Father, I boast …
For if many died through one man’s trespass, much more have the grace of God and the free gift by the grace of that one man Jesus Christ abounded for many. And the free gift is not like the result of that one man’s sin. For the judgment following one trespass brought condemnation, but the free gift following many trespasses brought justification. If, because of one man’s trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ. Rom. 5:15-17
Most holy and gracious Father, today my heart is filled with praise for the hyper-abundance of grace which you’ve given us in Jesus. Through the failure of the first Adam, we were born spiritually dead—willing subjects, co-conspirators, members in good standing in the reign of sin and death. But now, through the work of Jesus—the second Adam, we’ve been made new and alive. We’re objects of your affection and subjects in Jesus’ kingdom; your beloved children and glad-to-be servants; fully known by you and thoroughly enjoyed by you. Hallelujah, for such a standing in grace!
As dead as we were in our sins and trespasses, we are much, much more alive in Jesus’ forgiveness and righteousness. As distant and disconnected as we were from you because of Adam’s sin and our own sin, we are much, much more at peace and intimate with you through …
Because Jesus lives forever, he has a permanent priesthood. Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them. Heb. 7:24-25
Dear Lord Jesus, during this particular season of Lent, I have come to realize, yet again, how much I need a great and gracious Savior. And that would be you. You live and love forever, you advocate and pray for us forever. You are the forever Savior who completely saves us, and my heart is stunned with gratitude as this day begins.
Jesus, I praise you for already completely justifying me. Though my justification will be more public one Day, it will never be more certain than it is right now. Because of your work for me, I am fully and eternally accepted by God, in you. I can live today with this life-liberating chorus reverberating in the corridors of my mind and the chambers of my heart, “There is now (and forever) no condemnation for those who are in Christ.” I am no longer under law. I am under, in and all about your grace!
Not only is there no condemnation, there is perfect peace, irrepressible delight and unparalleled rejoicing going on from God towards me, and all his children. It boggles my mind, exposes my unbelief and stretches the limits of my imagination, but God actually desires, enjoys and loves me; and it’s all because of you, my perfect and complete Savior.
Jesus, I praise you …
You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you. Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord God is an everlasting rock. Isa. 26:3-4
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. John 14:27
Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Romans 5:1
Most loving and trustworthy Father, you haven’t promised us a storm-less, hassle-free life. You offer us no formulas for decreasing the probability of discouraging things happening around us or disillusioning things happening to us. But you have promised something that transcends the chaos and uncertainty of life. You’ve promised to give us your peace and keep us in peace, no matter what happens. A thousand times over, we thank you.
Being kept by you… we treasure this promise more than all the gold in Fort Knox; all the chalets in Switzerland; all the oil in the Arab States, for we cannot keep ourselves. We don’t have strength to muster or enough boot straps to pull up. Thank you for being an engaged Father who will never forget or abandon your children; a sovereign Lord who names stars, feeds birds and controls our destiny; mighty Warrior, you defends and safeguards our passage home.
But your promise is even grander. You have promised to keep us in perfect peace—an unparalled …