April 20 "Sanctify them by your truth, your Word is truth." John 17:17 The word "sanctify" means to set apart. In the days of the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem there were utensils used by the priests in all of the functions they performed in the Temple, and those utensils were "holy," or sanctified. That means that a golden cup for example, could not be taken home with one of the priests to use privately. That cup was made for Temple use, so that cup was "holy." It was set apart for its purpose. So it is with the believer in the Lord Jesus Christ. Believers have been sanctified or set apart as the Lord's own possession. They have been sanctified by the Word of God because as Jesus said, the Word of God is truth. When the believer who has been set apart for the Lord Jesus Christ looks around at his surroundings in the world he is grieved, because those in the world are NOT sanctified, they are NOT set apart for Jesus Christ, they have not been sanctified by the Word of God which is truth. In fact, the believer will witness the very opposite in them. If one understands that Satan is "the god of this world," (2 Corinthians 4:4), then it should be no surprise that the world will act like Satan. And what has the Truth of God's Word told us about Satan? "He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, FOR HE IS A LIAR AND THE FATHER OF IT. John 8:44 So if the world is under the direction of Satan who is the god of this world, why would it surprise the believer that the world acts like the one under whom they live? We are born into Satan's kingdom by default - that's why Jesus said we MUST BE BORN AGAIN, (John 3:6-7). Satan is a murderer. As the last days approach nearer and nearer to the end of the age, the world has seen the explosion of violence and murder all across the globe. In fact, Satan's great masterpiece, the religion he has raised up to do his will in the last days - is by its very tenets taught to do just that, to murder. Its proponents are commanded by their "holy book" to kill those who refuse to submit to them. They are commanded ...TO KILL. And we're surprised? Why would we be? Jesus Christ said that Satan is a murderer. And he said that Satan is a liar. Not only is Satan a liar, but Jesus Christ said that Satan is the very father of lies. Look across the world. What you see is society steeped in lies. What you see everywhere is corruption to the very core. They know nothing else because the power within them is the spirit of the liar. They couldn't choose to be different if they tried, they are liars by very nature. It is not incumbent upon us to modify the behavior of the world, neither are we able to do so. Jesus Christ did not even go near that subject. What he did, and what we are called to do, is speak the truth. Not argue the truth, not try to ram the truth down people's throats, no, just to speak the truth, period. The rest is up to the Spirit of the living God who will touch hearts with the truth we speak, just as he has touched the hearts of the many who have accepted Jesus Christ. He did not ram it down people's throats, nor did he engage in argument with them. In fact, in a few settings we see Jesus allowing those to leave who could not accept what he had to say. He did not argue with them. He let them go. Jesus was even willing to let his chosen ones go away if they so desired! "From that time many of his disciples went back and walked with him no more. Then Jesus said to the twelve, 'Do you also want to go away?'” John 6:66-67 And that's the attitude we must take, as painful as it is. Heated arguments and debate will never win souls. It is not our responsibility to win men with arguments, but rather to follow Jesus who simply spoke the truth calmly, and let his words fall upon whoever had a heart to receive them. Brothers and sisters, let us follow our Lord, let us follow Jesus Christ and pay attention to the example he set. Let us speak the truth calmly, and not be touched by those who reject it, for this is what our Savior did when he came across those who refused his words. He moved on. Let us do so also.