Scripture: Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. (John 17:17)
To ‘sanctify’ means to set apart or distinguished for God’s purposes. In English, we associate that with moral uprightness. It’s a logical connection, for how can one serve God in this way without love of God and neighbor? In this short but packed verse, Jesus asks the Father to sanctify the disciples in the truth, that is, in God’s word. This gives us a key insight into how we grow in holiness—it is through the word of God, the truth of God as he is revealed in the Son and in his gospel. As Paul says in Romans, “For [the gospel] is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes” (1:16).
Prayer: Father, we know that we are set apart once for all because we have believed the truth about Jesus Christ. Please teach us day by day to attend to Jesus Christ as the revealed word of God so that we might be conformed in spirit to our calling to serve God—whether that’s in our home life or in our jobs or in church on Sunday or with our neighbors next door. Conform our minds and our hearts to the truth.