Philippians 2:15 so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.” Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky .
Well, here we are, 2016. I am expecting and believing God for a great year. We are living in some amazing times and it will no doubt be an eventful year. In spite of the crazy times in which we find ourselves living, I truly believe God has great plans for His people in the midst of a troubled world.
I love the start of a new year because it offers great opportunities to reflect on the previous year and to make needed changes in our lives. Many of us use this time to make New Years resolutions. But sadly, although our enthusiasm may be high and our commitment real, we often fail. Trust me I have known the “agony of defeat.”
As I pondered my newest list of resolutions this year it struck me that perhaps we so often fail because we start at the wrong place. Invariably, we make commitments to change outward actions when maybe we should start on the inside. Matthew gives us a good hint as to where we might start.
Matt.6:33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
As I prayed about the new year the word that kept rolling around in my spirit was the word pure. The word pure means “without any extraneous and unnecessary elements.” What if in 2016 we got rid of all the unnecessary things in our lives? Things that aren’t making life better or drawing us closer to God. Unnecessary attitudes, habits, desires, thoughts.
Pure also means “free of any contamination.”
What if we got real honest with ourselves and admitted that some things we are doing are just wrong and we need to quit doing them. Now!
Hebrews 12:1 tell us to “lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.”
Another definition of pure is be “perfectly in tune.” What if we just decided to get “in tune with God. What if we simply let Him be God and we just followed him and obeyed His word. What if we turned loose of the reins and let God lead us? What if we just committed ourselves to being pure? Pure in body. Pure in mind. Pure in heart. Pure in spirit.
To be pure in body we must take control of what our body is doing. It seems that under the guise of modernism, tolerance and a misunderstanding of grace that people are allowing themselves to do things that God has said we are not to do. The Apostle Paul tells us in I Cor. 6:12 You say, “I am allowed to do anything”—but not everything is good for you.” What he is basically saying it that just because you can doesn’t mean you should. Just because God doesn’t strike us down every time we sin does not mean that he approves and he certainly will not bless sinful behavior.
I Thessalonians 4:4 tells us “that each of you should learn to control your own body in a way that is holy and honorable.” Friends, it matters what we do, where we go and how we act. God has called us to be pure in body.
To be pure in mind we must take control of how we think and what we think about. What we fill our minds with affect our thinking. Ask yourself what do you think about. There is a powerful quote that says:
“Watch your thoughts, they become words;
watch your words, they become actions;
watch your actions, they become habits;
watch your habits, they become character;
watch your character, for it becomes your destiny.”
What we fill our minds with will determine what we become. We must renew our minds daily with God’s word and take every thought captive and make it obedient to Christ. We must take control of our thought life instead of letting our thoughts control us.
Jesus said in Matthew 5:8 “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God” What does it mean to be pure in heart?”The heart is where thoughts, desires, will, understanding, and character reside. So, to be pure in heart means to be blameless in who we actually are. A pure heart has no hypocrisy, no guile, no hidden motives. A pure heart is transparent and has a desire to please God in all things. It is more than a purity of behavior; it is a purity of soul.
The spirit is where things like unforgiveness, regret, jealousy, selfishness, anger, and malice can reside. To be pure in spirit we must allow the Spirit of Christ in us to set us free from these thing, to renew that childlike innocence and belief in our spirits.
Let’s be honest, we live in a very crude and vulgar culture and as we walk through this world on a daily basis some of that dirt inevitably sticks to us. Just like the great King David who God Himself described as a man after His own heart failed at times, we too sometimes fail. But, when we do, let us also be like David and humbly cry out to a merciful God. The only way we can be truly pure in heart is to give our lives to Jesus and ask Him cleanse and empower us to walk in newness and purity.
Psalm 51….2 Wash me clean from my guilt.
Purify me from my sin.
10 Create in me a clean heart, O God.
Renew a loyal spirit within me.
What could God do in us and through us this year if God imputed and God created purity in our lives was our resolution and our desire?