SANCTIFICATION PERSONIFIED: EZRA & DANIEL

Posted: August 6, 2013 in Art, Books, Christianity, Education, Encouragement, Faith, Family, History, Hope, Inspiration, Life, Lifestyle, News, Parenting, Photography, Politics, Quotes, Success, Travel, Uncategorized

“But Daniel resolved not to defile himself with the royal food and wine.”

– Daniel 1:8 NIV

On the subject of consecration and sanctification, God is the source and His word the resource by which I experience the fulfillment of setting myself apart as one seeking sincerely to be seen by God as one ‘sacred’ to Him. According to what Jesus declared in John’s gospel, chapter 15:4-5, regarding the parable of the vine and the branches and abiding in Him and His word, both Daniel and Ezra come to mind (see Consecration:The Pursuit of Perfection).

“For Ezra had devoted himself to the study and observance of the law of the LORD, and to teaching its decrees and laws in Israel.” – Ezra 7:10 NIV The personification of Jesus Christ within and through me begins as I sincerely seek to demonstrate a disciplined, devoted lifestyle of worship and service to God inspired from the application of His word. Ezra’s lifestyle consisted of time spent reading, meditating on and applying God’s word and then sharing it with others. Ezra’s lifestyle is consistent with what Jesus taught His disciples before His ascension in what we know as the Great Commission: “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.” – Matthew 28:19-20a NIV Ezra’s life embodies what Jesus prayed about in John 17 when He petitioned to God that those who believe would be ‘sanctified by the truth of God’s word.’

Just as Ezra made a deliberate decision to emulate a lifestyle devoted to the word of God, Daniel made a deliberate decision to abide by what God commanded with regard to what was ‘unclean’ to eat. Daniel’s decision was not without consequence and sacrifice, because his act of devotion to God could have resulted in death. “But the official told Daniel, ‘I am afraid of my lord the king, who has assigned your food and drink. Why should he see you looking worse than the other young men your age? The king would then have my head because of you.'” – Daniel 1:10 NIV Daniel’s actions in the context of the challenges that surrounded his deliberate decision to honor God despite the consequences of his devotion is directly attributed to the ‘process of consecration and sanctification’ that speaks to the outcome, or fulfillment, of demonstrating such discipline and devotion to God’s word. Daniel was emboldened and empowered by God, through His word and by His Spirit, as he willingly sought to live in a manner that pleased God instead of resigning in fear of what was commanded by the foreign king.

Both Ezra and Daniel personify Christ by emulating what Jesus taught in the New Testament when He stated, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.” – Matthew 16:24 NIV God is the source and His word is the resource by which I am able to experience the process of consecration and sanctification. It is an ongoing process that I am required to embark upon as long as I live in the earth. To the one who strives to demonstrate such a disciplined, devoted lifestyle of worship and service there is an intimate encounter God promises that is not accessible to everyone.

May God bless you and help you to align your heart, mind and soul to the study, observance, and sharing of the word of God with others that you may be sanctified and experience the fullness of life Christ came for us to have.

 

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