Friday, March 3, 2017

"Sanctified in Me"??

During an online class in Scripture Memorization, we were asked to talk about choosing verses:*

Ezekiel 36:23 ("And I will sanctify my great name, which was profaned among the heathen, which ye have profaned in the midst of them; and the heathen shall know that I am the LORD, saith the Lord GOD, when I shall be sanctified in you before their eyes.")  has been the "foundation" of my Scripture memorization over the years. I first "discovered" it when I looked up the more familiar Ezekiel 36:26 ("A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.") for another purpose, and noticed that verse 23 was underlined in my Bible. I have no idea how it got underlined -- I don't ever remember seeing it before in my life.

To me, verse 23 is THE "secret key" to sharing the truth of God's love to the whole world. If Christ is not sanctified in me (to the point it is obvious to everyone I interact with in any way), all the "preaching in the world" is going to fall flatter than flat in the eyes of whoever I'm "witnessing" to.

It's also interesting to note that this verse does not say that "the heathen shall know that I am the Lord" "when Kathy (or any one else) has been on 'x' number of mission trips or preached 'y' number of sermons or had 'z' number of baptisms." No, it says, ". . . and the heathen shall know that I am the Lord, saith the Lord God, when I shall be sanctified in you before their eyes." In other words, only when the world can see that Christ has made a difference in my life will they be open to hearing what He can do for them.

Ezra 7:10 ("For Ezra had prepared his heart to seek the law of the LORD, and to do it, and to teach in Israel statutes and judgments.") takes this from the "theoretical" to the "practical." Notice the steps Ezra went through, and the order he went through them in:

  1. Heart preparation
  2. Diligent searching to know God's law
  3. Obedience to God's law
  4. Teaching God's law, statutes, and judgments.

This brings to mind a song, Sermon in Shoes,  I learned as a child:
       Do you know, Oh Christian, you’re a sermon in shoes?
       Do you know, Oh Christian, you’re a sermon in shoes?
       Jesus calls upon you, to spread the gospel news,
       So walk it, and talk it. 
       Live it, and give it.
       Teach it, and preach it. 
       Know it, and show it.
       A Sermon in Shoes.
              (Ruth Harms CalkinCopyright 1952 Nuggets of Truth)

By implication, if God is not "sanctified in me" (if I know of any aspect of my life that is out of harmony with His will as revealed in His Word, and I refuse to surrender that part of my life, and bring it into harmony with God's word by His grace and through His strength), then, instead of drawing others to Him, I am among those who are profaning His name among the heathen, which is a sobering, even scary, thought . . . especially in the light of all the (negative) things God has to say about those who are "stumbling blocks"!!

*The above is based on what I wrote, but has been expanded on a bit for the purpose of this blog post.

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