The Verse of the Day for November 18, 2015 comes from John 17:17 in the New Living Translation:
Make them holy by your truth; teach them your word, which is truth.
The verse is rendered this way in the Amplified Bible:
Sanctify them [purify, consecrate, separate them for Yourself, make them holy] by the Truth; Your WoPrd is Truth.
The Psalmist confirms that the Word of God is the truth and that it endures forever:
Psalm 119:160 (AMP)
The sum of Your word is truth [the full meaning of all Your precepts], And every one of Your righteous ordinances endures forever.
John 17:17 is part of the final prayer that the Lord Jesus prays before his crucifixion and ultimate resurrection, as he notes, “I am praying not only for these disciples but also for all who will ever believe in me through their message”(John 17:20). The Lord refers to a group of people who are to be “sanctified, purified, consecrated, set apart for the purposes of God.”
In the Old Testament we find that the Children of Israel were such sanctified ones:
Exodus 31:13 (AMP)
Say to the Israelites, Truly you shall keep My Sabbaths, for it is a sign between Me and you throughout your generations, that you may know that I, the Lord, sanctify you [set you apart for Myself].
In the Book of Ephesians, we find a reference to the term sanctify in the often quoted passage heard during marriage ceremonies where the groom receives the following exhortation, as a parallel is drawn between the bride and the Church:
Ephesians 5: 25-27 (AMP)
Husbands, love your wives [seek the highest good for her and surround her with a caring, unselfish love], just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, 26 so that He might sanctify the church, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word [of God], 27 so that [in turn] He might present the church to Himself in glorious splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy [set apart for God] and blameless.
Here we find another group of individuals who are to be sanctified or set apart for the purposes of God.
Finally, there is also a reference to the Church of the Thessalonians with a similar application to the universal Church of Jesus Christ, of which all Christian believers today are a part.
1 Thessalonians 5:23 (AMP)
And may the God of peace Himself sanctify you through and through [separate you from profane things, make you pure and wholly consecrated to God]; and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved sound and complete [and found] blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah).
In reflecting on the being set apart for the purposes of God, I thought of this poem related to believers becoming “vessels of honor, sanctified and useful for the Master. . .
Therefore if anyone cleanses himself from the latter,
he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified
and useful for the Master, prepared for every good work.
II Timothy 2:21
We offer these yielded vessels, now sanctified,
Set apart and consecrated for God’s glory,
Transformed from faith to faith, from victory to victory.
Tested in the furnace of affliction and tried
Seven times as silver, as gold is purified,
We have been purged to be a vessels of honor,
Prepared and made suitable to serve even more,
Even as the Lord presents his beloved bride.
As miracles revealed, no longer to conform
And be poured into the molds of this present age
But beholding fullness of glory to transform
Our total being into His glorious image.
Set apart in a place where miracles abound,
Through these sanctified vessels God’s praises resound.
We conclude these comments with “Vessels of Honor” offered by the Maranatha Promise Band: