One-And-Done? Ongoing? Later?

If I were to ask five different Christians to give me a definition of sanctification, I just might get five different definitions!

Part of this comes from incorrect either-or thinking. However, Jesus seems to tell us that sanctification requires a both-and thinking.

In Christ’s prayer for His followers in John 17, He uses the word sanctified three times (see verses 17-19). Although He is using the same Greek word each time, He uses a different “flavor” of the word to make it really clear what He means.

First of all, the Greek word for sanctified means the process of being made into a saint. So sometimes I like to say the word this way: SAINT-ified.

Check out Christ’s prayer. First He says, “I sanctify Myself,” and then He says, “that they too may be truly sanctified.” Same Greek word, but each time is slightly tweaked.

Jesus uses a “flavor” of Greek which means sanctification is something that He has done completely and totally on His own once and for all. In other words, Christians are completely and totally sanctified at the very moment they surrender their life to Him.

But when He talks about His followers, the “flavor” of Greek means sanctification is something that is an ongoing process. In other words, we are being SAINT-ified.

So which is it? Sanctified once, or sanctified through an ongoing process?

It’s not either-or. It’s both-and!

Think about a married couple. From the moment the pastor says, “I now pronounce you husband and wife” they are married. It is done; fully completed. There is nothing the bride or groom can do to become more married.

However, the groom can begin to look at the marriage through his bride’s eyes. Then he can serve her in a way that helps her feel more joy, more satisfaction, and more fulfillment within the marriage. Neither of them becomes more married, but they can get more enjoyment within the marriage.

The same thing for Christians. At the moment we ask Jesus to be our Lord and Savior we are saved from the penalty of our sins. We can’t be more saved. But through the process of SANIT-ificiation we can experience more joy, more satisfaction, and more fulfillment within our relationship with Jesus.

My paraphrase of 1 Peter 1:15-16—But just as He who called you has paid for your once-for-all saint-ification, so keep on being saint-ified in all you do; for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.”

What about you? Are you satisfied with just being saved, or are you striving for a joy-filled, more fulfilling, increasingly satisfied relationship with Jesus Christ? It can truly be a wonderful both-and relationship!

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9 Quotes From “Chase The Lion”

chase-the-lionI loved Chase The Lion by Mark Batterson! Before even reading the first chapter, I was already captured by the Lion Chaser’s Manifesto, and the book only got better from there. Please check out my review of this amazing book, and then check out the first batch of quotes below.

“At the end of our lives, our greatest regrets will be the God-ordained opportunities we left on the table, the God-given passions we didn’t pursue, and the God-sized dreams we didn’t go after because we let fear dictate our decisions.”

“It’s not just our sin that we need to repent of. It’s our small dreams. The size of your dream may be the most accurate measure of the size of your God. Is He bigger than your biggest problem, your worst failure, your greatest mistake? Is He able to do immeasurably more than all you can ask or imagine? A God-sized dream will always be beyond your ability, beyond your resources. Unless God does it, it cannot be done! But that’s how God gets the glory. If your dream doesn’t scare you, it’s too small. It also falls short of God’s glory by not giving Him an opportunity to show up and show off His power.”

“We don’t die when our hearts stop beating. We die when our hearts stop skipping a beat in pursuit of our dreams. We die when our hearts stop breaking for the things that break the heart of God.”

“Impossible odds set the stage for God’s greatest miracles! And apparently God loves long shots. Isn’t that why He removed 9,700 soldiers from Gideon’s army? Isn’t that why He let the fiery furnace be heated seven times hotter? Isn’t that why He didn’t show up until Lazarus was four days dead? … We tend to avoid situation where the odds are against us, but when we do, we rob God of the opportunity to do something supernatural.”

“Get into God’s Word, and God’s dream will get into you.”

“When we fail to take action, we forfeit the future. Make no mistake: just as inaction is an action, indecision is a decision.”

“One misstep can end a dream journey. That doesn’t mean you operate in a spirit of fear. It does mean you operate in a spirit of focus!”

“In my humble opinion, no one is a natural. Sure, some people are more naturally gifted than others. But unless that giftedness is coupled with a complementary work ethic, it’ll only result in wasted potential.”

“I don’t believe our greatest shortcoming is not feeling bad enough about what we’ve done wrong. I think our greatest shortcoming is not feeling good enough about what God has done right. When we undercelebrate, we fall short of the glory of God!”

In the very near future I will be sharing more quotes from this book. To make sure you see them, put your email address in the box to the right and click “Sign me up.” I’ll make sure you’re the first to know when new content is posted.

Also be sure to follow me on Twitter and Tumblr, where daily I share quotes from Mark Batterson and other inspirational authors.

12 More Quotes From “Intentional Living”

Intentional LivingThere’s always tons of great content in a John Maxwell book, and Intentional Living was no exception. Here’s the second set of quotes from Dr. Maxwell from this book.

“Self-centeredness and fulfillment cannot peacefully coexist. They’re incompatible.”

“As you start your day, are you wondering what you will reap, or are you wondering what you will sow? Are you waiting for others to do something for you, or are you busy looking for something to do for others?”

“If you only place a small value upon yourself, rest assured that the rest of the world will not raise the price. And as a result of your own low self-esteem and poor sense of self-worth, you will fail to make a positive difference in the lives of others because you’ll think you have little to offer.”

“History tells us that in every age there comes a time when leaders must come forth to meet the needs of the hour. Therefore, there is no potential leader who does not have an opportunity to better mankind.”

“Once you taste significance, success will never again satisfy you.”

“I know without a doubt that every day since I started asking God to bring me people who desired significance, He has been sending them into my life so that we could make a difference together. And God continues to send them.”

“Almost everything you and I want is on the other side of fear. How do you handle that? … I don’t believe God gives me a dream to frustrate me. He gives me a dream to be fulfilled. … Fear is the most prevalent reason why people stop. Faith is what makes people start. Fear is the key that locks the door to the resources. Faith is the key that opens that door. When your dream of significance is right, it should increase your faith. … Faith should help you see the invisible and do the impossible.”

“There are no great men or women. There are just great challenges that ordinary people like you and me are willing to tackle. … Nothing separates passionate people from passive people like a call to step up.”

“Dreams often come one size too big so that we can grow into them.”

“Most people miss opportunities in life, not because the opportunity wasn’t there, but because they didn’t have a clue what it looked like when it arrived. They never took the time to figure out what they were looking for. It’s all about intentionality. You have to know what you’re looking for if you want to find it.”

“When partnering with people, don’t choose based on what they say they can do, or based on what they did once. Choose based on their regular behaviors. That’s what tells you what their values are. Too often our choices are made by what we could or think we should do rather than what we usually do. We are all human, so we should give everyone the benefit of the doubt. But we also need to be realistic.”

“Plans rarely stay the same, and are scrapped or adjusted as needed. Vision is only refined by failure. It’s important to remain stubborn about your vision, but flexible with your plan.”

To read the first set of Maxwell quotes from Intentional Living, please click here.

To read some of the quotes that John Maxwell used in his book, please click here.

To read my review of Intentional Living, please click here.

Links & Quotes

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“Most men are not satisfied with the permanent output of their lives. Nothing can wholly satisfy the life of Christ within His followers except the adoption of Christ’s purpose toward the world He came to redeem. Fame, pleasure and riches are but husks and ashes in contrast with the boundless and abiding joy of working with God for the fulfillment of His eternal plans. The men who are putting everything into Christ’s undertaking are getting out of life its sweetest and most priceless rewards.” —J. Campbell White

“When we are confronted with temptation, we need to remember that others are looking at us, taking their cues from us. If we take sin into our souls it will affect not only us, but them as well. The demands of neighbor-love should help us to resist temptation and, thus, continue our pursuit of the righteousness of God’s Kingdom in our lives.” —T.M. Moore

“The great thing to remember is that, though our feelings come and go, God’s love for us does not. It is not wearied by our sins, or our indifference; and, therefore, it is quite relentless in its determination that we shall be cured of those sins, at whatever cost to us, at whatever cost to Him.” —C.S. Lewis

“Do little things as if they were great, because of the majesty of the Lord Jesus Christ who dwells in thee: and do great things as if they were little and easy, because of His omnipotence.” —Blaise Pascal

“In light of Revelation 1-3, every believer must ask himself: ‘Have my good works—my Bible studies and my service—robbed me of time with Jesus? Do I still hunger for Him as I once did? Or have I lost something?’” —David Wilkerson

Can you feel the heartache? “Watching porn with my husband did the complete opposite of ‘spice things up.’”

[VIDEO] How does the Bible get passed down?

Keep Your Love On! (book review)

Keep Your Love OnJust when I thought I’d heard almost every relationship-building concept, Danny Silk comes along with a totally innovative approach in Keep Your Love On!

Danny points out that most people try to develop a safe distance between other people, to keep themselves from getting hurt. As a result they have become powerless in their relationships—powerless to make any changes that would move them closer to one another.

But God designed us for connection: Connection with Him and with each other. These types of connections can only come from powerful people. Danny says that powerful people are not those who impose their will on others, but people who first of all take personal responsibility for who they are. Then powerful people can establish healthy boundaries that will help others move from powerlessness to power. Healthy, long-lasting, fulfilling relationships come when both people are powerful people.

All throughout the book, Danny Silk give sound, biblical direction, combined with his personal experiences counseling other people. He is even vulnerable enough to tell us how he learned these valuable lessons by moving away from powerlessness in his own marriage.

This is an outstanding book for anyone who want to strengthen or repair relationships in their lives, or for anyone who wants to be a catalyst for change in the lives of people close to them. Pastors and counselors should definitely add this book to their library.

“Quality love relationships do not happen by accident. Real love is built the old-fashioned way—through hard work. And if you learn to manage the very best of who you are, the all-elusive intimacy experience we crave will be well within your grasp.” —Danny Silk

I am a Red Arrow Media book reviewer.

Links & Quotes

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Some interesting reading and watching from today…

An open letter that needs to be read: What’s The Big Deal With Pornography?

All doubts are an attack of the enemy; the Holy Spirit never suggests them, never. He is the Comforter, not the accuser; and He never shows us our need without at the same time revealing the Divine supply.” —Hannah Whitall Smith

“The only way to have a fulfilling life is to stop relying on your own savvy and start relying on God to provide the necessary turn of affairs.” —John Piper

 

[VIDEO] Speaking of John Piper, I am so excited about his new project called Look At The Book! Check out this preview.

President Obama unleashes another assault on our religious liberties.

Dr. Tim Elmore gives parents and teachers Five Words Every Child Needs To Hear.

Better Sex

The Gospel invitationOur culture has a sexualized agenda. Just look at how Hollywood portrays us today:

  • Few happy marriages.
  • Lots of sex-crazed, inept husbands with strong wives who use or withhold sex as a reward or punishment.
  • Flawlessly beautiful actors (not a zit to be seen).
  • No consequences for sex—no pregnancy, STDs or AIDS.
  • No depression for broken relationships; no anxiety or eating disorders because of the psychological pain.
  • Sex outside of marriage is normal, and those who abstain are the weird ones.

We cannot stand on our soapboxes and rail against culture.

We cannot just tell them what we’re against, but we’ve got to tell them what we’re for.

We’ve got to give them the compelling truth for the beauty, joy, and fulfillment of sex God’s way.

The Gospel—the Good News—is an invitation, not an ultimatum. We’ve got to share with others what’s good about God’s counter culture way concerning sex! 

“I think our present outlook might be like that of a small boy who, on being told that the sexual act was the highest bodily pleasure should immediately ask whether you ate chocolates at the same time. On receiving the answer ‘No,’ he might regard absence of chocolates as the chief characteristic of sexuality. In vain would you tell him that the reason why lovers in their carnal raptures don’t bother about chocolates is that they have something better to think of. The boy knows chocolate: he does not know the positive thing that excludes it.” —C.S. Lewis

All Hollywood knows is the “chocolate” of people acting on their immediate feelings, with no understanding of long-term consequences.

Better sex comes from doing things God’s way = one man and one women married for life.

Proverbs 5 presents the advantages of being married and being intimate with just one person. I especially love this passage—

Drink water from your own well—share your love only with your wife. Why spill the water of your springs in the streets, having sex with just anyone? You should reserve it for yourselves. Never share it with strangers. Let your wife be a fountain of blessing for you. Rejoice in the wife of your youth. She is a loving deer, a graceful doe. Let her breasts satisfy you always. May you always be captivated by her love. Why be captivated, my son, by an immoral woman, or fondle the breasts of a promiscuous woman? (verses 15-20)

This is better sex because it’s pure:

  • No sharing sexually transmitted diseases from previous partners.
  • No comparison to how you are in bed compared to previous partners.
  • No psychological fall-out.
  • Intimacy without reservation.
  • A release of dopamine (the feel-good hormone) unlike you’ll ever get with “casual” sex.
  • And most importantly: A relationship God can—and does!—bless.

Hollywood knows nothing about real love and a truly satisfying, fulfilling sex life. But God does! That’s why the Apostle Paul tells us, “Therefore honor God with your body” (1 Corinthians 6:20), because God created your body and knows how it can get the highest, purest pleasure.

Better sex comes when you have sex God’s way!

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