Set Apart

Read: John 17:17-19

Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. (v. 17)

When my kids were young, one of our favorite family games was Mario Kart. My kids always won, but I loved learning how to withstand the chaos of characters like Princess Peach tossing hazards in my way. I learned that by collecting “tokens,” I could be shielded from attacks.

The world Jesus has us in can be full of all kinds of chaos, obstacles tossed our way, temptations luring us, and the like. He knew what lay in store, so he prayed, “Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth” (v. 17).

To be “sanctified” is to be set apart, different from what surrounds us, both in our nature and in our mission. This means we are not to be “of the world” (v. 16). Sanctification is the lifelong process of separating from evil and delighting more and more in the love of God. This process isn’t meant to form Christians into a holy country club somewhere off by ourselves. We are “sent . . . into the world” (v. 18), the very world corrupted by the forces of evil.

How can we navigate this pilgrim road? What will protect us from evil and propel us in mission? God’s Word. When Jesus prayed, “Your word is truth” (v. 17), he didn’t use an adjective but a noun—God’s Word is itself the embodiment of truth. There is no teaching or authority greater than God’s Word. By meditating on it right now, you are growing in strength. No attack of the Prince of Darkness will stand against you. —Jon Opgenorth

As you pray, ask God to fill you with his Word.

About the Author

jon opgenorth

Rev. Jon Opgenorth serves as president of Words of Hope. Previously, he served for 18 years as senior pastor at Trinity Reformed Church in Orange City, Iowa. In preparation for ministry, he received a BA in Religion from Northwestern College, and an MDiv from Fuller Theological Seminary.

This entry is part 5 of 7 in the series Jesus' Last Prayer