February 6

God's Grand Plan

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.

For more biblical teaching and resources from Dr. Charles Stanley, please visit www.intouch.org.

Used with permission from In Touch Ministries, Inc. © 2009 All Rights Reserved.