Daily Devotional with Dr. Charles Stanley @ InTouch.org
Monday, March 5, 2012
God’s Grand Plan
Read | 1 Thessalonians 5:23-24
It’s amazing but true that God’s grand plan for your life is far greater than you can imagine. In fact, this earth-bound existence has us so preoccupied with the demands of life that most of us give little thought to what it will mean to be completely sanctified.
In the Christian life, sanctification is a three-stage process. At the moment of salvation, God sets us apart for Himself. Then throughout the rest of our earthly life, He works to transform us into the image of His Son. One day, however, there will be a glorious culmination to our sanctification. Presently, we all struggle with sin, but when we die, our spirits and souls will ascend to heaven and be completely sinless. Then we’ll see our Savior face to face and experience unimaginable joy. No longer will we struggle with the pride of life or the lusts of the flesh and the eyes (1 John 2:16).
However, as great as this will be, it’s not yet the final step. Some day in the future, Jesus will descend from heaven, bringing with Him the souls of those who have died in Christ. They will be united with their resurrected bodies, and believers who are still alive on the earth will be changed (1 Thess. 4:14-17; 1 Cor. 15:51-54). Then sanctification will be complete–spirit, soul, and body.
This is not a fairy tale, but the believer appointed destiny. God Himself promises to bring it to pass. We’ll walk in His presence, spotless and without blame, for all eternity. Knowing this, how will you live today? The promise of salvation isn’t meant just to give hope, but to spur us on to holy living.
1 Thessalonians 5 (NKJV)
The Day of the Lord
But concerning the times and the seasons, brethren, you have no need that I should write to you. 2 For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night. 3 For when they say, “Peace and safety!” then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape. 4 But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief. 5 You are all sons of light and sons of the day. We are not of the night nor of darkness. 6 Therefore let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober. 7 For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk are drunk at night. 8 But let us who are of the day be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet the hope of salvation. 9 For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, 10 who died for us, that whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him.
11 Therefore comfort each other and edify one another, just as you also are doing.
12 And we urge you, brethren, to recognize those who labor among you, and are over you in the Lord and admonish you, 13 and to esteem them very highly in love for their work’s sake. Be at peace among yourselves.
14 Now we exhort you, brethren, warn those who are unruly, comfort the fainthearted, uphold the weak, be patient with all. 15 See that no one renders evil for evil to anyone, but always pursue what is good both for yourselves and for all.
16 Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, 18 in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
19 Do not quench the Spirit. 20 Do not despise prophecies. 21 Test all things; hold fast what is good. 22 Abstain from every form of evil.
Blessing and Admonition
23 Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 24 He who calls you is faithful, who also will do it.
25 Brethren, pray for us.
26 Greet all the brethren with a holy kiss.
27 I charge you by the Lord that this epistle be read to all the holy brethren.
28 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen.