Wednesday, February 22, 2012

The Purity Promise

Purity is not a popular subject when applied to our relationship with God. It does little to interest the public, sell books and tapes and draw crowds to seminars.

Popularity and purity just don’t seem to go together. What’s popular isn’t always right, and what’s right isn’t always popular.

Mahatma Gandhi proposed that there are 7 deadly sins that will ultimately lead to decay and destruction. They are all part and parcel of a culture that is driven by what’s popular rather than what’s right.

The 7 deadly sins are:

  • Wealth without work
  • Pleasure without conscience
  • Knowledge without character
  • Commerce or business without morality / ethics
  • Science without humanity
  • Religion without sacrifice
  • And politics without principle.

This note from God is given to us in Psalms 24:3-4. “Who shall ascend into the hill of the Lord? Or who shall stand in his holy place? He that has CLEAN hands, and a PURE heart; who has not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully.”

This is what the Word demands of us in I Timothy 5:22. “Keep thyself PURE.”

We talk about purified water and clean air, but God talks to us about clean hearts. That’s not what we are hearing because it does not pass the popularity contest. Promos and marques scream with glittering teasers of:

1. Success not surrender to God

2. Prosperity not purity

3. Self sufficiency not dependence upon God

4. Self confidence not God confidence

5. Capturing the American Dream but not capturing a vision of God.

A true vision of God will make us conscious of our sins and short coming in the sight of God. I am moved when I read Isaiah’s response of catching a vision of God. This is what he said. “Woe is me for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips….for my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts.”” (Isaiah 6:5)

Getting close to God and seeing God for who He is and where He is made him realize he needed to get his act right, and he did.

Purity has a promise. Jesus explained it best in Matthew 5:8 when he said, “Blessed are the PURE in heart for they SHALL SEE GOD.”

Study that word “PURE” carefully. It’s the key to seeing God show up in all His power and glory. It means: free from anything that adulterates, taints, etc. It means it is not dirtied by sin, sullied by animosity and contaminated by deceitful motives. It means your doctrine is not diluted, your convictions have not been compromised, your love is has not waxed cold and your character is above reproach.

The PLEDGE made to us from God for living a life of purity is fantastic. (Matthew 5:8 – “BLESSED are the pure in heart…”)

The word blessed is as big and boundless as God. It means to have sufficiency, satisfaction and security as a gift from God. In a true sense, it means that God has promised the pure in heart to prosper and have God like joy. Lloyd J. Ogilvie suggests that blessed means to belong to God, be loved by God and to have absolute trust in God. Or to be truly blessed is to be called, chosen, loved, forgiven, cherished by our God who is, who was and who will forever be.

I did a quick look to see how much we are blessed, and I made the following discoveries.

  1. Blessed is the man that walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful…He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he does will prosper.” (Psalms 1:1, 3)
  2. Blessed is he whose transgressions is forgiven, whose sin is covered. (Psalms 32:1)
  3. Blessed is the man who makes the Lord his trust… (Psalms 40:4)
  4. Blessed is the man that fears the Lord…wealth and riches shall be in his house…(Psalms 112:1,3)

Verbalize this to God even as you read these words….I am blessed!

The CONDITION for receiving this illimitable blessing from God is clearly explained. (Matthew 5:8 – “THE PURE IN HEART…”)

Purity must be foremost in our minds. The use of the word pure in the Old Testament takes on the following connotations. It describes liquids without admixtures, metals without alloys, armies without defectors and sacrificial animals that were to be offered up to God.

We want power, but God wants to see our purity before he gives us his power. My prayer is the prayer that David prayed in Psalms 51:3, 7, 11. “I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me…wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow….Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.” Purity is the hinge upon which the doors open into the vast resources of God.

The REWARD he offers to us for living a life of purity is breath taking. (Matthew 8:8 – “they shall SEE GOD.”

This is what we long for. We want to see God show up to prove His presence and existence to an unbelieving world, demonstrate his dominion over sin, sickness, disease and poverty. We want God to show up to reveal the reality of miracles and the actuality of his authority. The doors will only open to the pure in heart. I trust we will choose the pathway of purity. It will have its rewards. God promised.

Pure In Heart!

Pastor Jimmy & Bob