Saturday, April 05, 2008

Being Intentional About Purity

Purity is not something most of us seek to have. Most people, Christian included, want to know what they can get away with or how close to the line they can be without stepping over. By doing this we have trained our hearts to desire the rotten ways of this world rather than the glorious way of God. In short we have to get serious about purity. Jesus in Matthew 5:8 tells us: “How blessed are those who are pure in heart, for it is they who will see God!” (ISV) How important is purity in your life?

Purity is not only the absence of evil in our lives, but it is also the commitment to do good with our lives. Having a desire for purity means we are committed to Jesus and that we will go wherever He leads and that we will do whatever He says. Jesus will lead us to a life of purity if we are truly following Him. If we are unwilling to follow Jesus, if we are not willing to live a life of purity, the presence of sin in our lives will eat away at our hearts.

We can hide sin from each other, at least for awhile, but we can’t keep it from corrupting our lives. Our hidden sin will bring our lives tumbling down. Like rot eating way at the inside of a tree, sin eats away at our hearts. The tree may look solid, but the wind storm will eventually reveal what has been happening. We may have a good religious exterior, but the storms of this life will eventually reveal what has been happening all along.

When we are not committed to purity put up roadblocks that hinder our spiritual growth. Instead of being able to mature in our relationship with God we find that we are constantly fighting the same battles of sin, fear, and uncertainty. Rather than experiencing the power of the Holy Spirit we continually feel weak and ineffective. Only when we decide to take a stand against sin will we be able to become the people God has created us to be.

According to Jesus the Pharisees and other religious teachers of His day were more concerned with their religious exterior than having a pure heart. This is what Jesus said to them:
27 “How terrible it will be for you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs that look beautiful on the outside but inside are full of dead people's bones and every kind of impurity. 28 In the same way, on the outside you look righteous to people, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.” (Matthew 23:27-28; ISV)

We can do all the religious deeds that we want to do but they will not matter if our hearts are not pure. Our thoughts and desires are just as important as what we do. Why? Because eventually our lives will reflect the desires of our hearts.

Purity in our hearts begins with what we think about. Jesus taught:
“It is what comes out of a person that makes a person unclean. 21 For it is from within, from the human heart, that evil thoughts come, as well as sexual immorality, stealing, murder, 22 adultery, greed, wickedness, cheating, shameless lust, envy, slander, arrogance, and foolishness. 23 All these things come from within and make a person unclean.” (Mark 7:20-23; ISV)

How do we this? It begins by what we choose to think about. The apostle Paul tells us:
8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is fair, whatever is pure, whatever is acceptable, whatever is commendable, if there is anything of excellence and if there is anything praiseworthy—keep thinking about these things. 9 Likewise, keep practicing these things: what you have learned, received, heard, and seen in me. Then the God of peace will be with you. (Philippians 4:8-9; NLT)

Purity is something we must value. It is only through purity that we are able to experience all that God has in store for us. Purity is the result of not only avoiding evil, but also doing the right things. If we want purity in our lives it begins with thinking about the right things. This requires getting rid of the things that help us focus on the wrong and start putting into our minds the things that help us focus on the right. Purity never happens by accident; it is always the result of an intentional effort to make things clean.

  • Point to Ponder: Purity is not only the absence of evil in our lives, but it is also the commitment to do good with our lives.
  • Passage to Remember: Matthew 5:8
  • Question to Consider: How important is purity to you?

No comments:

Accept the Differences

Most of us understand that people are different and those differences are a good thing. The world would be a boring place if everyone beli...