Webster’s Dictionary defines sanctification as set apart to a sacred purpose. In 1 Thessalonians 3: 10-13 Paul told the church he continued to pray for them that God would direct his way unto them and the Lord make them to increase and abound in love one toward another, and toward all men, even as he did toward them: so God could establish their hearts unblameable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints.
Our father wants us to be just like him.
Leviticus 19:2 records the Lord’s emphasis on being holy. The word for holy in Hebrew is “qadash,” which means to sanctify, consecrate, and dedicate or to be separated from the world and worldliness.
1 Thessalonians 5:21-23 Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. Abstain from all appearance of evil. And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
In John 15:1–5 Jesus told them they had been cleaned through the word that Jesus spoke to them. He told them to abide in him and he would abide in them. He wanted them to bear good fruit. Jesus explained that the only way to bear good fruit was to abide in him and his word.
Ephesians 4:21–24 If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus: That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.
Paul said now that we are created in righteousness and true holiness, we can be renewed in the spirit of our mind and put on the righteous and holy nature of God.
Have you ever heard the expression “A chip off the old block”? The statement means the person is just like their parents. We get a sense of accomplishment when our children display admirable characteristics they have learned from us. So much more our heavenly father wants us to do well by practicing his good habits.
Psalms 145:I-5 I will extol thee, my God, O king; and I will bless thy name for ever and ever. Every day will I bless thee; and I will praise thy name for ever and ever. Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised; and his greatness is unsearchable. One generation shall praise thy works to another, and shall declare thy mighty acts. I will speak of the glorious honour of thy majesty, and of thy wondrous works.
One generation should be proclaiming God’s goodness to the next. Let’s praise him not only in words of worship but also by behaving ourselves in a way that brings glory to God for the life we live.

Born Again

by Emily Wooten

2 Corinthians 5:16-19 Know no human after the flesh: we did witness and knew Christ after the flesh. Now if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature (that is his or her spirit is a new creature): old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. And all things are of God, who has reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ.
Believing in the son of God and submitting to Jesus as Lord of all is the only way humans can be restored to a relationship as children of God.
When any human believes in Jesus Christ as the only begotten son of God, who died for our sins, was raised from the grave, and confesses Jesus as Lord, that human’s spirit is born again.
John 3:3 Jesus told Nicodemus, “Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Jesus was speaking about the human spirit becoming a new creature in Christ Jesus. He continued in verse 14-17 “As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
1 John 1:7-9 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
1 Peter 2:24 tells us that Jesus bore our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness.
It wasn’t enough that Jesus died for our sins. He was raised on the third day victorious over the forces of evil. Death, hell and the grave could not hold him.
1 Corinthians 15:21-22 tells us, by man (speaking of Adam) came death, by man (speaking of Jesus) came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.
Through Adam’s sin, separation from life and light brought weakness, sickness, and lack to all humans. With Jesus’ sacrifice, access to God was established for all humans who will believe in Jesus Christ.

Growing Up Spiritually-Part 4

The Fruit of A Born Again Spirit By Emily Wooten
Galatians 5:22-23 …The Fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance…
What do we mean when we talk about fruit? One might say that fruit refers to the product of a newborn spirit. We can be ruled by these forces of a newborn spirit.
Romans 5:5 … because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.
God’s love, for God is love, produces forces that help us manage our behavior. Jesus walked in love with patience.
1 John 2: 5 But who keeps his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him. He that saith he abides in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.
Jesus managed his behavior as a human in this earth. We can too. (The word perfected in 1John 2:5 means to make complete, to accomplish, brought to its end.)
Ephesians 4: 13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:
The work perfect here also means to be brought to its end, finished, wanting nothing, mature. We see that we are working toward and end. That end will produce in us peace.
Philippians 4:6-7 Be careful for nothing (Don’t be anxious); but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
We are instructed to keep ourselves from being anxious. The same way love is in our spirit, so is all the fruit of a newborn spirit there. We must use these forces of love to overcome every undisciplined thought. Before we produce fruit that is inappropriate: hate, anger, boasting, impatience, we have thoughts that suggest we should behave that way. That is the place where the fruit of the spirit is produced or the works of flesh. We choose.
Galatians 6:1 Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.
If we see a brother or sister who has allowed themselves to be overtaken by ungodly behavior, this is a good time to speak the truth in love. Paul would not have suggested that we can have a spirit of meekness if it were not possible. We can choose to operate in humility, walking in love with patience. The Holy Spirit can give us the right words to say to love and help someone. If we choose works of the flesh we might be accusative, abrupt and without compassion. Notice the scripture says to consider yourself so you aren’t tempted. Walking in love produces faith and patience.
James 1:3-5 Knowing this, that the trying of your faith works patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing. If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that gives to all men liberally, and does not criticize; and it shall be given him.
Confession: I operate in love, joy and peace and God calls me perfect, entire, and wanting nothing.

Growing Up Spiritually-Part 3

By Emily Wooten
Ephesians 5:15-17 See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.
In Colossians 1:9-11, Paul prayed that the body of believers (new born Christians) at Colossae would be filled with the knowledge of God’s will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; so they could walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; which would cause them to be strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness…
This is a good example of how we can pray over ourselves and our loved ones. Without his Spirit teaching us, we can be a born again Christian and still not understand what is God’s will.
If a child did not grow as time passed, we would think something is wrong and we would be right. It is not God’s will for the human who has asked Jesus to forgive their sins and come into their heart to still be a baby Christian years later. Paul also prayed in
(Ephesians 3:16-19 That God would help you, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in your inner man; that Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend how expansive is God’s love; and to experience the love of Christ, which passes knowledge, that you might be filled with all the fullness of God.)
In this paraphrased copy of Ephesians 3 prayer, we can see that God’s love working in us fills us with the fullness of God as we are rooting and grounded by Christ’s word being planted in our spirit and we are strengthened with his might. It is available now to every Christian but it is up to every Christian to apply God’s word and instruction in love.
James 1:21-22 Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls. But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.
1 Corinthians 13:11 When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.
What we choose to say about God in us can over ride any thought that would prevent us from exercising God’s word in our lives. When thoughts come to make us week remember. 2 Corinthians 10:4-5 For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ…
1 Peter 2:2 As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby…
Confessions:Hearing & Speaking God’s Word Causes Me To Grow!

Growing Up Spiritually-Part 2

By Emily Wooten
John 3:3… Verily, verily, I say unto you, except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
Jesus told Nicodemus it was impossible to see the kingdom of God if you haven’t been born of the Spirit. When a human accepts Jesus as Lord, the Holy Spirit creates in that human a new spirit. That spirit is alive and connected by the Holy Spirit to God. There is no more separation from God. That human spirit is a baby in Christ. If the spirit is fed, it will develop and grow more mature. If the newborn is never fed the word of God, they can be a physically mature person but still have a baby spirit.
1 Corinthians 2:9-14 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. But God has revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searches all things, yea, the deep things of God. For what man knows the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? Even so the things of God knows no man, but the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teaches, but which the Holy Spirit teaches; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the natural man receives not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness to him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
Thank God! Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to teach us. As we study to show ourselves approved, a workman that needs not be ashamed (2 Timothy 2:15), we grow spiritually learning how to see (perceive and understand) the things of the kingdom of God.
Matthew 6:33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
It is God’s desire that we look to find his way of doing things so he can help us with all the things we need.
1 Corinthians 2:15 But he that is spiritual judges all things, yet he himself is judged of no man. For who has known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.
We have available to us the Holy Spirit. We are born of his spirit and God wants us to labor to enter in by studying and doing his word.
1 Corinthians 3:1-2 And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ. I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able.
Paul continued to tell them they were babies; unable to receive the mature words or doctrine. As we hear the word, lets receive it as doctrine to live by and apply it to our behavior as we do we grow!

Growing Up Spiritually-Part 1

By Emily Wooten
Read Ephesians 4:7-15
11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:
God gave ministry gifts so the body of Christ would be built up, edified and grow up.
13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:
Paul wrote we should no longer be children tossed by every wind of doctrine.
15 But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ…
Jesus is our example; the measure we aim for. Paul would not have written that we should grow up, if it was not possible. If it was not possible to be perfect or complete, (whole, lacking nothing) God would not have required that. But it is possible and he does require that.
Spiritual maturity has little to do with chronological growth or maturity.
A human isn’t born an adult physically. Neither is a newborn Christian mature spiritually the moment they receive Christ. Maturity involves learning, practicing and experiencing. We develop as we try to do what we have learned.
Psalms 8:1-2 O Lord, our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth! Who hast set thy glory above the heavens. Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings hast thou ordained strength because of thine enemies, that thou mightest still the enemy and the avenger.
Even babies can learn to speak the truth in love and as we do, we grow. Because we learn to understand how awesome our God is, we learn to accept how excellent he can be in and working through us.
1 Peter 3:10 For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile: Let him eschew (avoid) evil, and do good; let him seek peace, and ensue it. (ensue is to make it happen)
Ephesians 3:16-19 That God would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, that you be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.
Weekly Confession: Thank you Father! I am being filled with all the fulness of God. Every day I grow stronger, smarter and speak the truth in love.

What is your heart’s desire?

By Emily Wooten
People don’t often stop to think about God’s plans for them. They may not give it a second thought, but God has designed you with unique abilities, talents and skills. You have purpose. If someone were to ask you, “What do you want most from this life,” what would your answer be? Paul wrote encouraging the folks at Rome.
Romans 15:13 Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.
Paul is suggesting that they can through the power of the Holy Ghost learn how to abound in hope, being filled with all joy and peace in believing. Having confidence in God’s plan brings peace.
When Paul was on the ship when the storms appeared to be destroying the ship. He already knew God’s plan for him to bring the gospel to the Gentiles. He understood, had peace and was filled with joy, despite the circumstances. He said,
Acts 27:22 And now I exhort you to be of good cheer: for there shall be no loss of any man’s life among you, but of the ship.
An angel had appeared to him and gave him a plan. He guaranteed him no humans would loose their life. That wasn’t God’s best in this situation. Earlier Paul had warned them that trip would be met with great peril. He also told them it would be wise for them to go a different route. They did not give Paul’s words consideration.
Scripture tells us to acknowledge God (pay attention, do as we are told) in all our way and he will direct our path. The steps of a good human are ordered of the Lord. These are our promises from God’s heart to his children. (Proverbs 3:5-6, Psalm 37:23)
Jeremiah 17:7-8 Blessed is the man that trusts in the Lord, and whose hope the Lord is. For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreads out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful (fearful or anxious) in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit.
James 1: 2-6 My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith works patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing. If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraids not; and it shall be given him.
But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavers is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.
God’s waiting on you to come to him so you can have a conversation with him about his provision, plans and purpose in you.

The Strength of Love

By Emily Wooten

What did God say is important?
Matthew 22:37-40 Jesus replied: Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.
He said it in the Old Testament and in the New Testament.
Deuteronomy 6:5 And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.
The second most important thing is to love others.
Leviticus 19:18 Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself: I am the Lord.
If we have no other reason he completes the sentence with, “I am the Lord. Because I said so. But God tells us to love because he knows what loving others does in us.
Colossians 3:12-15 Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.
We see that our peace is hinged on our love.”…Above all these, put on love.” Paul tells us to let peace rule in our hearts being thankful. Grateful people are not moved by circumstances. Grateful people don’t seek their own first. Grateful, thankful people love God more than they love themselves.
Romans 12:10 Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honor preferring one another;
It is our good pleasure to submit our will to God’s. As children of the eternal creator, we relish in practicing to be like him.
Romans 5:8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
God didn’t wait until we were good enough, smart enough or pretty enough. He loved us and sent his son, who also loved us and preferred us by submitting his will to God’s.
Ephesians 5:2 And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet smelling savor.
1 Thessalonians 5:18 In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

Why Wait?

by Emily Wooten

After the death and resurrection of the son of God, the disciples were instructed to wait. They gathered in Jerusalem and prayed. Jesus promised them before he left, they would be given power.
Luke 24:49 And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.
52-53 And they worshiped him, and returned to
Jerusalem with great joy: And were continually in the temple, praising and blessing God.
The reason they were asked to wait is not because it was necessary to beg for the Holy Spirit to come. When Jesus left them, they were not distraught. They came together in one mind looking to receive.
Act 1:8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.
They were looking with anticipation for the gift prophesied by Joel.
Joel 2:28- And it shall come to pass afterward, that
I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions: also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit.
It had been fifty days since Jesus had been raised from the dead. Every day after he left they had been looking for the comforter.
Acts 2:1- 4 And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.
They were all filled. It wasn’t for some and not for others. The experience of being born again is for everyone who will receive it. That same Spirit, who creates the “born again” spirit when we are born again, is the Spirit of God. Scripture refers to him as Holy Ghost and sometimes Holy Sprit. He is here right now making himself available to you. Sanctification happens in an instant and we continue to develop as we grow in our soul and spirit. Don’t wait until you are good enough. That won’t happen. In fact, why wait one second to receive what Jesus sacrificed to give you more than 2,000 years ago? Be filled today!

If God says it’s possible, I do too!

2 Chronicles 7:14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.
Everyone wants to be heard. In order to be heard we have to obtain the hearer’s attention. In the scriptures we see God’s instructions which help us approach God in his love language. If we follow his instructions he promises he will hear us!
Romans 8:26-27 Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.
In addition to clear instructions, God also sent us a comforter. If we let him, he will lead us in prayer and teach us so we aren’t praying a miss or in unbelief.
Mark 9:23 Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.
Mark 11:22-24 And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God. Of a truth I say unto you, whoever shall say to this (obstacle, sickness, weakness) mountain, “Be removed, and be cast into the sea;” and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he says shall come to pass; he shall have whatever he says. Therefore I say unto you, What things you desire, when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you shall have them.
Jesus told us, in his instructions for us, we have what we say. I can’t, I don’t, and I’m afraid should not be our conversation when discussing what God has for us. Praise be to God, he has given us hope! We can say, “I am free from sickness and disease!” We can say, “My body is healed in Jesus name.” We can say, “I operate in strength and wisdom. God has given me health!” According to the scripture we just read in God’s instructions to us, we can speak to our body in Jesus name and command it to obey what God said. We can call our body, well.
Everyday people wake up and take medication from the pharmacy. They will take more at lunch time or evenings. Perhaps they even have bedtime meds that they will consume. God’s medicine is far more important. This week as you take your prescribed medicine, lay your hand on your body part as you confess, “I call my (name the body part) healed and whole. I am loosed from all infirmity in Jesus name!”
Every time you take your pharmaceutical medicine, take God’s medicine saying, “I’m free from every form of weakness, disease or malfunction. I thank God for restoration, correction and strength.”
Remember, all things are possible to him that believeth.