Be Sanctified

What does it mean to be sanctified?  Sanctification is one of those big words mostly used in Christian circles.  What exactly does it mean?  Is it something we are given? Something we have to do? Do we obtain it when we receive salvation or is it a process?  This is a discussion that I have heard recently with conflicting answers so I thought I would look into it.  In the old testament, it is used to mean “to make holy or set apart.”  It usually was something God decided to do for His people, an individual or His temple.  It was something He declared.  So what does it mean for believers?

I looked up the Greek term using e-sword (www.e-sword.net) to learn what the Greek terms are and what they mean.  From what I gathered, there are a couple different words and different uses (I found a few in particular:  hagaismos,  hagios, and hagiazo).  I am no scholar or anything near to that, but they seem to be derivatives of the same word.  They basically mean “sanctification, consecration, purification.”  To purify, make holy, set apart (for God’s glory  or to do His work).  It is the process of making or becoming holy.  Clear as mud, right?  Let’s look at the New Testament scriptures to see how the word is used. Continue reading “Be Sanctified”

What are the Spiritual Gifts?

God gives each of us gifts of the Holy Spirit.  But, what are they?  Paul lists several of them.  I believe that this probably is not an exhaustive list, but let’s look at this list and what each of these gifts are.  This is what I have gathered from teachings (and, yes, Google).  Any comments would be appreciated.

Continue reading “What are the Spiritual Gifts?”

Christ at Christmas

One thing I have been thinking about lately is how we celebrate Christmas. Many say that Jesus wasn’t born in December, and by what I have read, it was probably in the fall, but that is another subject. But, are we celebrating the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ or is it a time of indulging in our own desires? Not that having desires is bad, but where is our heart? Where is our priorities and how do we treat those who are in need? Jesus says, “where your heart is there your treasure will be with you also” and “seek first the kingdom of heaven.” The world has made Christmas to be about getting presents and eating as much as possible for a couple days, which is fun, but I think we often forget the real reason. Often throughout the season we reflect on this, but when it really comes down to it, how often do we thank God for sending His Son on Christmas? How often do we meditate on His word during Christmas? I know I am guilty of this and not putting my focus on Him enough. It may be some in the morning, but what about the rest of the day? What about while we are opening presents with family? Continue reading “Christ at Christmas”

Great Gifts

God has blessed me throughout my life; a good family, a wonderful wife, great friends, and so may experiences and blessings that give me joy in my heart.  I am sure all of us have something to be grateful for in our lives.  God also gives us special gifts through the Holy Spirit to help others and strengthen the church, giving glory to God.  Using our gifts is a part of worship.  You may not know what your spiritual gift is.  My suggestion is to get involved in your church and serve.  If one thing doesn’t work or doesn’t seem to fit, try another.  God will lead you to the gifts He wants you to use when the time is right.  I believe He may give us different gifts at different times to fulfill a need of a ministry He has for you.  I have seen that in my life.  When I was young, I tried helping with the youth group, then became a youth leader.  That didn’t work out too well.  Later on several other ministries came up and God gave me the gifts needed for my particular ministries.  No matter what your gift is or if you know what it is, get involved with your church and serve. Let’s not be just a  pew sitter but be active for God’s Kingdom. Continue reading “Great Gifts”

I AM’s…The Vine

Jesus uses much about the pastoral and agricultural lifestyle of Israel in His parables and analogies.  Much of their wealth and well-being is based on their vineyards and olive gardens. Here, Jesus says, “I am the vine.”  The vine is the sustainer; without the vine there is no fruit.  The vine is the livelihood of the family business.  Jesus is described as the cornerstone.  It is the same principle.  He is the foundation of our faith, of our life. Continue reading “I AM’s…The Vine”