Monday, March 23rd, 2015
Paul's Powerful Priorities (Part 6)
Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity.
1 Timothy 4:12 (NKJV)
How can a young man keep his way pure? By keeping it according to Your Word.
Psalm 119:9 (NASB)
In many cultures, purity is essential. For some Christians, purity is old-fashioned. To worldly stars, purity is laughable. Without Jesus, purity is impossible. 'As it is written, 'There is none righteous, no, not one' ' (Romans 3:10).
On the other hand, 'To him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin' (James 4:17). Therein, my brethren, we must try. We must try to raise God's standard. We must try to lead the way. We must try to bear the final fruit of the Holy Spirit, which is self-control.*
Purity in love? Yes. Purity in thought? Yes. Purity in words? Yes. Purity in heart? Double yes. 'Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God' (Matthew 5:8). But what if we've messed up? I have.
'If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness' (1 John 1:9). When we mess up, we fess up. With God's help, we try again. It worked for David: 'Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me' (Psalm 51:10).
It worked for Paul. 'In everything commending ourselves as servants of God, in much endurance, in afflictions, in hardships, in distresses, in beatings, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labors, in sleeplessness, in hunger, in purity, in knowledge, in patience, in kindness, in the Holy Spirit, in genuine love, in the Word of truth, in the power of God' (2 Corinthians 6:4-7).**
Actors, models and talent for Christ: Hollywood is hot. Sizzle sells. S_x is common. So be uncommon. Your heat comes from a much deeper Source: the fire of the Holy Spirit.
To Be Continued...
* The Fruit of the Holy Spirit: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=galatians+5%3A22-23&version=NASB
** The Apostle Paul seemed to live a pure and disciplined life. However, Romans 7 indicates he, too, faced battles of the flesh. https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=romans+7%3A13-25&version=NKJV. Even so, Romans 8 reveals Paul's triumph through God.
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Paul's Powerful Priorities series.