This is the will of God [concerning you], even your sanctification—1 Thes. 4: 3.
Coming to the Scriptures to ascertain God's will, we find that the great work which God asks of us is not work for others, but work in ourselves, subduing, conquering, ruling self. Everything else, therefore—our service to the household of faith, and our doing good unto all men, by home and foreign missions, etc.—is subservient to this most important work within. For, as the Apostle by inspiration declares, Though we should preach the gospel eloquently to others, and though we should give all our goods to feed the poor, or become martyrs for a good cause, without love, the Spirit of Christ and the Father, developed in us as the ruling principle of life, we would be nothing, from the Divine standpoint.
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Sanctification implies separation from self and the world, and the dedication of self to God's service. Its full operation will develop in us a character like that of our Heavenly Father. No less than the development of a God-like character is the will of God for His children, and he who during the time of the elective call has submitted himself to the will of God will ultimately be like God on the spirit plane of being, while in the Mediatorial Reign of Christ such submission will be rewarded with perfect human life.
Parallel passages: Lev. 20: 7, 8; Mic. 6: 8; John 17: 17; Acts 20: 32; 1Cor. 1: 2, 30; 6: 11; Eph. 5: 10, 26, 27; 1Thes. 5: 23; 2Thes. 2: 13; Titus 3: 5, 6; Heb. 2: 10; 10: 10, 14; 13: 12; 1Pet. 1: 22; Jude 1.
Questions: What sanctifying experiences were mine this week? How did I act amid them? What gains did I derive from them?
Change one letter, then I see
That the thwarting of my purpose
Is God's better choice for me.
His appointment must be blessing,
Tho' it may come in disguise,
For the end from the beginning
Open to His wisdom lies.
Whose? The Lord's who loves me best,
Understands and knows me fully,
Who my faith and love would test;
For, like loving earthly parent,
He rejoices when He knows
That his child accepts, Unquestioned,
All that from His wisdom flows.
"No good thing will He withhold,"
From denials oft we gather
Treasures of His love untold.
Well He knows each broken purpose
Leads to fuller, deeper trust,
And the end of all His dealings
Proves our God is wise and just.
Lord, I take it, then, as such.
Like the clay in hands of potter,
Yielding wholly to Thy touch.
All my life's plan is Thy moulding,
Not one single choice be mine;
Let me answer, unrepining—
Father, "Not my will, but Thine."
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