Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to God's elect, exiles scattered throughout the provinces of Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia, who have been chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to be obedient to Jesus Christ and sprinkled with his blood: Grace and peace be yours in abundance.
— 1 Peter 1:1-2 NIV
"Sanctifying work of the Spirit" sounds so formal and religious. Some translations put, "his Spirit has made you holy," but even that wording really doesn't capture the essence of the meaning for me. What I believe Peter is trying to tell us is that our souls were like an old stained rag we used to clean up messes in the garage. When the Spirit comes into our lives, he takes this stained rag, and he cleans it, makes it new, and gives it incredible value. Instead of being the rag for messes in the garage, it is now a beautiful, clean, white tablecloth normally used for special occasions, but to be shared in all its glory in daily life. The Holy Spirit of God takes our broken, stained, and battered souls and makes them clean, new, and valuable — not just for us, but for God. This concept is crucial, as evidenced by it being repeated several times in the Bible (Romans 15:16; 1 Corinthians 6:11; 1 Thessalonians 5:23; 2 Thessalonians 2:13; Hebrews 10:29; 1 Peter 1:2).
Make me new, Lord God. Make me new and holy and valuable to you through the work of your Holy Spirit. Forgive and cleanse me, and make my heart and my life pure so I can bring you glory and live for your honor. In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen.
About This Devotional
God's Holy Fire is a daily devotional about the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives.
The Thoughts and Prayer for God's Holy Fire are written by Phil Ware.
Scripture quotations marked (NIV) are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
Scripture quotations marked MESSAGE are taken from THE MESSAGE, copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson. Used by permission of NavPress. All rights reserved. Represented by Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.