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Jojo & Heather DeGuzman: Santification is a Life Process

When I started following Jesus, I thought He removed all my vices. At the age of 13, I was already a chain smoker, drank alcohol, and cussing was a way of life. Jesus cleansed me of all my "vices" and sins. I was born again (John 3:3). But as I walked with Jesus, I didn't realize that Jesus wanted to change me, my character, and my flaws, especially what's inside ofme. He wanted to put His character in my life and that I would walk with Him and imitate Him (I Corinthian 11:1).

Character formation is a life formation. DeYoung mentioned in her book (see below) that the implicit frame of the book is sanctification (viii). Sanctification is a life process. When vice prompts a self-examination and reflection, this is an invitation to be set free (viii).

In her book DeYoung defines a vice or a virtue as a habit or a character trait. We can cultivate or break habits down over time through repeated ac­ tions (p. 7). How she framed this helped me. And the vices gave me the words to diagnose what was happening to my heart. In a sense, vices mir­ rored the human condition. It's a way of getting a diagnosis. I knew some­ thing was wrong, but I often didn't know how to say what was happening to my heart.

She mentioned the term "grace disciplines," daily rhythms of discipleship that bridge a life held captive to vice and a life that shines with beautiful virtue (viii). The Holy Spirit gives strength to become more like Jesus. This transformation takes time and effort (spiritual disciplines) and can only happen gradually and within the context of a loving community.

Three years ago, I had the worst diagnosis in my life. Something was hap­pening in my body, and if l didn't change my lifestyle, the doctor would recommend drastic measures-a wake-up call. The bad news did not change my life instantly. But slowly, with God's help and my wife's prod­ ding and help, I started to exercise, replaced the food I was used to eating, and ate healthier food. I also let a friend help me. I can now say that I'm healthier, and I exercise consistently. This is the same with virtue or vice. If we want to grow in grace and character - through practice and repeated activity-we will gradually form our character (p.8). With the help of the Holy Spirit, attain Christ's fullness.

News & Prayer Requests

  1. Thank you for praying for the Debrief. 31 Adults and 16 chil­dren attended the Debrief and 16 countries were represented. One of the highlights of the Debrief was when families gathered and shared what they missed while in the mission field. They were able to grieve together. Please continue to pray for their adjustment to their new reality.

  2. Heather and I plan to visit our staff missionaries assigned to Thailand and Japan in January and February 2024. Pray for wisdom as we try to arrange our itinerary. We want to meet with our staff to pray with them and encourage them. Pray that God will provide the financial needs for this care trip, and as we prepare, God will continue to give us peace and strength.


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