Now may the God of peace make you holy in every way, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless until our Lord Jesus Christ comes again. (1 Thessalonians 5:23 NLT)

I absolutely love this verse; I love the hope of my entire being made pure by the Spirit of God.

I realize that holiness is a word with a lot of baggage for many people, but we can get past all that if we look at the gorgeous life and character of Jesus—he was simply good through and through. His character is so alluring, so win- some, and whenever you see him relating to people you are watching true holiness in action. Women who everyone had used and abused came to Jesus, threw themselves at his feet, and he was only loving toward them. Sometimes the crowds loved him, other times they shouted for his head, but he didn’t let it faze him. Jesus’ goodness in the Gospels is captivating.

When his own time of severe testing came, that goodness was his shield. Just before the secret police came for him, before the grisly scenes that follow, Jesus told his disciples, “I will no longer talk much with you, for the ruler of this world is coming, and he has nothing in Me” (John 14:30 NKJV).

The enemy tried every angle he could find on Jesus— seduction, rejection, threat, the fear of not having enough, even torture. Nothing worked, because Satan had nothing “in” Jesus to use as his hook. Imagine the sheer relief of it.

It probably feels like obtaining even a fraction of that goodness is beyond you, but the promise of the Christian faith is that God will reproduce Jesus’ goodness in you: “I feel as if I’m going through labor pains for you again, and they will continue until Christ is fully developed in your lives” (Galatians 4:19 NLT).

The goal of God’s work in us is Jesus taking up residence in every part of us. Nothing left out. No little pockets of resistance. (And did you notice? Paul, with the Holy Spirit through him, is “mothering” these dear followers of Christ toward the beautiful goal. He is “in labor” with them, for them!)

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