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Sanctification is a marathon

Driving around town, I kept seeing car stickers with the number 26.2. I asked my wife what they meant, and she said, “26.2 miles. That’s the length of the marathon they completed.” 

In Phillipians 1, Paul calls the church of Phillipi “Partners in the Gospel.” In verse 6, Paul says, “God will complete a good work in them.” This work is called sanctification, and it’s a lot like running a marathon.

Sanctification is “the process of being set aside for sacred use.” When we ask Jesus into our hearts and He saves us from our sin, the sanctification process begins. The process starts immediately, but it’s completed over a lifetime. Little by little, we begin to look more like Jesus and less like ourselves.

During this process, people often compare themselves to others. We forget that the person with the “26.2” sticker didn’t wake up and run a marathon. They invested time into training for the race. Conditioning takes time, and so does sanctification. Instead of comparing yourself to someone else, remember that we’re all part of this ongoing change process.

Paul called His brothers and sister in Christ “partners in the Gospel.”  Be slow to criticize someone else’s progress and quick to encourage them toward the finish line.

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