by: Douglas M. Williams, Sr.
“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God” (Matthew 5:8).
“Keep yourself pure: (1 Timothy 5:22).
“Whatsoever things are true, noble, just, pure, lovely, and of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things” (Philippians 4:8).
“Let everyone who names the name of Christ depart from iniquity” (2 Timothy 2:19).
“Depart from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it” (Psalm 34:14). Continue reading
“In my heart I store up your words,
so I might not sin against you.”
This psalm focuses on God’s word. The second section begins by asking how a young person can remain pure, v. 9. Purity is preserved through following God’s instructions. This is accomplished by storing up his words in the heart.
What has replaced the memorization of Scripture in most people’s lives? How can storing up God’s words be done today?
#sin #purity #VOTD
“But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy.” (James 3:17 NKJV)
The source of pure wisdom is above us. It’s not beyond us, but it doesn’t originate with us. It’s given to those who ask for it with the right intention (James 1:5-8).
The source of wisdom reminds us about the importance of meekness and humility. If it doesn’t originate with us, the right to claim ownership disappears. In other words – a spoon-full of wisdom’s source keeps a pound of arrogance away!
Knowledge alone has the ability to puff-up one’s ego (1 Corinthians 8:1), and such a mindset leads to the very things James’ warned about: a heart filled with bitter envy, self-seeking interests, confusion, and many evil works (James 3:14-16). After considering these warnings and the solution, it’s no wonder why James talks the way he does in “James 4:1-6“.
Wisdom from above is first pure (even in relation to the remaining characteristics of verse 17) … because if it doesn’t start pure, it didn’t come from God.
“The words of the Lord are pure words, like silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times.” (Psalm 12:6 NKJV)
“The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes;” (Psalm 19:8 NKJV)
“I maintain a pure lifestyle, so I can appear before your altar, O LORD, to give you thanks, and to tell about all your amazing deeds.”
The psalm declares the conditions of entering and remaining in the presence of the Lord. This negative confession humbly presents itself as a holy people pleading with the holy God.
What is involved in a pure lifestyle?
#purity #Psalms #VOTD
I am looking at an eight ounce bottle of hand sanitizer. The kind you pump into your palm and then feel the cool sensation and smell the alcohol-like smell as it presumably kills millions of potentially life-threatening germs and bacteria living on your skin! The brand-name is “germ-X hand sanitizer.” In bold red letters at the bottom of the bottle are these words: “Kills 99.99% of germs.” The prevalence of such products reminds me we live in a dirty world. Several years ago a news report in Nashville revealed that bacteria was found on 50 of 51 public places and things examined, including telephones, computer keyboards, restaurant salad bars, etc. Believe it or not, one of the cleanest places found were commode seat lids! The news segment was entitled, “IT’S A DIRTY WORLD!” In our hyper-health-conscious age, Americans are more concerned about dirt than ever. We use cleaners, disinfectants, and antiseptics. Soap is big business. We scrub, clean, deodorize, sanitize, and sterilize because we know dirt can be dangerous and even deadly to physical life. So we wash and clean our clothes, cars, hands, heads, houses, bodies, and buildings. We filter our water and air and demand the food supply be kept pure. We wouldn’t want impurities in our lungs or livers. Or cholesterol in our veins, lead in the pipes and paint, asbestos in the walls, second-hand smoke in the room, or smog in the atmosphere. We even insist landfills be “sanitary,” and spend billions to insure waste is disposed of in a way that doesn’t pollute the water table or land!
I applaud our commitment to physical cleanness and purity. But our hands are not the only things that need sanitizing. On any given day in America, we are exposed to thousands of spiritual germs and bacteria. Spiritual toxins and impurities constantly seek to enter and pollute our spiritual hearts! Our culture is saturated with dirty words and images and sights and sounds. Dirt and germs seek entry into our hearts through our eyes and ears. These days TV could easily be taken to stand for “trashy values.” It’s getting harder and harder to find decent TV programming during prime-time viewing hours. Dirt also comes packaged in much of the music that fills the air and millions of iPods. Doug Stone released a song in 1992 that warned, “They ought to put warning labels on those sad country songs.” We might add on those sexually suggestive country songs, too. And not just country — also rock and pop and hip-hop! I could go on but don’t need to. You know I am telling you the truth. We live in sinful and morally dirty world that seeks to pollute our hearts. That’s why Jesus’ words in Matthew 5:8 are so critical — “Blessed are, the pure in heart, For they shall see God.” We don’t just need a hand sanitizer. Because of contact with sin, we need a heart sanitizer. Thank God we have one! “If we walk in the light as He is the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin” (1 John 1:7). We apply that sanitizer to our souls when we respond to Christ’s call to “arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord” (Acts 22:16). It is truly a dirty world, but the blood of Christ is powerful enough to sanitize our souls and make our hearts pure. Do you have a pure heart?
Dan Gulley – Smithville church of Christ
Proverbs 6 is all about obligations; the ones we have and the ones we don’t. Watch and see, but you’re under no obligation.
Verses 1-5 – Obligations to others. Solomon tells his children to think long and hard before signing your name to something. This applies to co-signers, hand shakers and promise makers. It’s all serious stuff! The reason? Because if it’s you on the line, then your “buddy” might just cut bait and run! That’s never happened before, has it?
Verses 6-11 – God understands the necessity of rest, but He also understands our obligation to work. Not only does Exodus 20:9 speak to this, but so does 2 Thessalonians 3:8-13. Solomon isn’t trying to take a stick to those who aren’t capable of working. He’s lighting a fire under those who can, but won’t!
Verses 12-19 – Here we have a person’s obligation to God. The wicked man and the wickedness of man go hand in hand. Verse 15 reminds us that we can’t out plan the One who sees all plans. Backroom deals, secret alliances, lies, cheating and back stabbing are fruitless in the eyes of God. Verses 16-19 are a very popular section of Proverbs for a very good reason – they preach as powerfully today as the day they were written. Pride, lying, murder, wicked hearts, evil intentions, trouble makers – none of that still happens…right? From head to toe, mankind has an obligation to God; one that He’s not soon to forget.
Verses 20-29 – Obligation to purity is the name of the game here. Play with fire, and we will get burned. Not only is this advice from a father, but also from a mother (vs. 20-21). The tools of the “trade” haven’t changed for an adulterer/adulteress, and neither has the result. They never build anything; they just tear down! Solomon guarantees that the eye is bigger than the belly, and the cost is higher than advertised. It destroys the soul (vs. 32). It destroys reputations (vs. 33). It can literally destroy a life (vs. 34). If we allow our sexual appetite to take us to someone else’s table, then mercy won’t be an easy helping to find.
Obligation is an interesting, powerful, heavy and even dangerous word.
Today, I violate the code and open the door on something Christian men have tried to keep quiet. Why? Because women need to know what Christian men REALLY think about modesty and immodesty in women so they can have more empathy and compassion. I hope you will read the article and share your thoughts on what I consider an important issue.
Scripture speaks often and favorably about sex. God loves humanity and provides sexual fulfillment as a rewarding way to bring marriages closer together and to produce offspring. In the proper context, it is a powerful and beautiful thing.
We will briefly consider the proper role of sex in our lives. God’s plan is simple and wholesome. However, the world ridicules it as being old-fashioned, outdated and repressive. These false charges are proof of how sexually depraved the world has become.
Where is our confidence in the day of judgment? (1 John 4:17). If we pattern our lives after Christ (1 John 2:3-6), we should have confidence in the day of judgment. The previous verse (1 John 4:16), tells us that we must continually “dwell” in God’s love in order to maintain that confidence.
That successful “dwelling” is also contingent upon our confessing Christ as God’s Son (1 John 4:15), and the keeping of God’s commands (1 John 3:24). Another criteria for our having confidence in the day of judgment is for us to maintain God’s standard of moral purity in ourselves and in our everyday living (1 John 3:2-3; cf. 2 Corinthians 7:1; 1 Peter 1:13-16).
All of the above can only be achieved “through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13).