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A Daily Process
But even if you should suffer for the sake of righteousness, you are blessed. And do not fear their intimidation, and do not be troubled, but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence;… 1 Peter 3:14-15

The resurrection and ascension of Jesus to the right hand of the throne of God forever established His Lordship over all creation (see Ephesians 1:18-23). The revelation of God’s love for me—the fact that Jesus came to earth and willingly died in my place to satisfy the penalty of my sin so that I am forgiven and cleansed of my sin, and freed to come into His presence and know Him—this love is what compelled me to give my life to Him and say, “Jesus, I want you to be Lord of my life!” When God helped me understand His love and redemption, and helped me surrender to Him in faith, I was born again by the Spirit of God. Even though God uses different circumstances to draw us to the revelation of His love, everyone who is born again has come to this place of surrender. When we do, He makes us into a totally new person. Although we still look the same, we begin to respond differently as we allow His love to increasingly capture and control our hearts. These changes demonstrate the truth of our sanctifying Christ as Lord in our hearts—acknowledging that He is Lord of our lives, and living for Him rather than for ourselves as we once did.

The sanctifying of Christ as Lord is a daily and life-long process that we enter into when we are born again. As we live to serve Jesus, the forces of darkness oppose us, trying to distract and separate us from the One who loves us. Our devotion to Christ will evoke opposition, but it also promotes opportunity to witness of His great love and redemption as others see the changes that occur in our lives. When others ask about the hope that is within us and our faith in Jesus, we are reminded to answer them gently and with reverence, remembering that it was nothing good about us that caused us to be born again, but God’s grace and mercy. This same grace and mercy are available to everyone who will personally receive Jesus as their Savior, and acknowledge that He is Lord. With that confession we can then say, as Paul did, “I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me, and delivered Himself up for me” (Galatians 2:20). May our passion and zeal for God fulfill His will for our lives, and bring Him glory and honor as we daily sanctify Christ as Lord in our hearts.