April 7th

Sanctified for a Special Purpose 

1Finally, brothers, we instructed you how to live in order to please God, as in fact you are living. Now we ask you and urge you in the Lord Jesus to do this more and more. 2For you know what instructions we gave you by the authority of the Lord Jesus.
3It is God's will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; 4that each of you should learn to control his own body in a way that is holy and honorable, 5not in passionate lust like the heathen, who do not know God; 6and that in this matter no one should wrong his brother or take advantage of him. The Lord will punish men for all such sins, as we have already told you and warned you. 7For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life. 8Therefore, he who rejects this instruction does not reject man but God, who gives you his Holy Spirit.
1 Thessalonians 4: 1-8 NIV 

God has a good and special purpose for each of us.  Unfortunately, not everyone realizes their special purpose in life.  Many take detours off God’s path and wind up in bondage to sin.   

God wants us to be “sanctified,” or “to set apart for a sacred purpose” (Webster’s).  One of the key ways that we set ourselves apart is by what we do with our bodies.  Paul wrote that pursuing holiness with our bodies is a spiritual sacrifice acceptable to God (Romans 12:1-2).  In fact, our bodies are literally temples of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:12-20).   

One of the key ways to set ourselves apart in holiness is to avoid sexual sin.  Interestingly enough, this was the first area Paul mentioned in the above passage (3).  Furthermore, we are to learn how to control our bodies in a way that is holy and honorable before God.  We cannot allow ourselves to be practicing passionate lust.  For example, looking at porn and masturbating are ways that we can practice passionate lust.  They fan the fires of lust in our minds, leaving images that will tempt us for years, maybe even a lifetime.  They also put us into slavery to our evil desires. 

God calls us to live a holy life (7) and our acceptance or rejection of a God-pleasing lifestyle reflects our ultimate acceptance or rejection of God.  If you are enslaved to masturbation and/or looking at porn, changing your lifestyle is something only Jesus Christ can empower you to do successfully.  If you call on him to help you, he will and you will begin to discover the sacred purpose God has for your life.  If you remain in your bondage to your sinful desires, you may never see the the good purpose and plan that God has for your life.   

Questions for further thought:

Prayer:

Lord Jesus, thank you for cleansing me from my sin and providing new life to me through the Holy Spirit.  I accept the call to set myself apart for you, Lord.  Please help me learn how to control my body and to expell lust from my life.  I invite you to accomplish your good purpose and plan for my life.  Thank you, Jesus!  In your name I pray, Amen.”