Tag Archives: purity of life

They Shall See God

 

Dear Father, Jesus said in Matthew 5:8 (New King James), “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” I want to be pure in heart like the disciple Nathaniel in whom there was no deceit. (John 1:47)
However, I remember that silver and gold are purified with fire, and for You to make me pure in heart might take considerable fire in the form of struggles and adversity. I used to think that when I prayed about things, You would sort of “zap” me, and the problem would be fixed. For example, I wanted You to just miraculously smooth out my turbulent emotions.
But now I don’t think that You’re much into zapping. I heart flower wreathsuppose if You did just “fix” me, I’d keep on defaulting to self-pity and anger when my will was crossed, when I made a mistake, or when I was criticized or thought I’d been misunderstood.
So instead of taking care of what I see as the problem, You want to expose my sinful attitudes and the lies I believe. They form the support structures of the emotional roller coaster I ride on. As these things are brought to light, they can be broken down  so I can have the pure heart I desire. My stability will come as I draw close to You.
Please help me remember when the fires burn that You are purifying me. Amen.

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Link to Loving The World…

Loving The World…. Good post by Robin at Christian Coffee Shop. Take a look.

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One of the Wise Ones

“Yes, dear friends, we are already God’s children, and we can’t even imagine what we will be like when Christ returns. But we do know that when he comes we will be like him, for we will see him as he really is. And all who believe this will keep themselves pure, just as Christ is pure.” [1 John 3:2-3 New Living Translation (NLT)]

Thinking of keeping myself pure and Christ’s return made me think of the five wise and the five foolish virgins in Matthew 25:1-13. I want to be one of the wise ones of course. They were ready with extra oil when the bridegroom came. So how do I prepare as a “wise virgin”? Here’s something from Proverbs about wisdom: “[Wisdom shouts] “Come here and listen to me! I’ll pour out the spirit of wisdom upon you and make you wise.” (Proverbs 1:23 NLT) The 2nd Edition NLT reads, “Come and listen to my counsel. I’ll share my heart with you and make you wise.” If I listen to wisdom, I’ll become wise.
antique brass lamp

And what is that “spare oil”? Maybe it’s letting the Holy Spirit keep me abiding in Christ, showing His love, confessing sin and receiving forgiveness and cleansing, resisting the devil, turning away from lies, pleasing my Father, and walking in the Spirit.
(See John 15:4, John 13:34, 1 John 1:9, James 4:7, Ephesians 4:25, John 8:29, 1 Thessalonians 4:1, and Galatians 5:16.)

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Prepare the Way–Then Focus on Jesus

Luke 3:4, 8—“Prepare a pathway for the Lord’s coming! Make a straight road for him! Prove by the way you live that you have really turned from your sins and turned to God.”

Romans 12:1—“…I plead with you to give your bodies to God. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice….”

Proverbs 4:25-27—“Look straight ahead, and fix your eyes on what lies before you. Mark out a straight path for your feet; then stick to the path and stay safe. Don’t get sidetracked; keep your feet from following evil.”

1 Peter 3:11—“Turn away from evil and do good….”

Let’s prepare the way for Jesus in every area of our lives by repenting of any sin His Holy Spirit points out and turning to God. His path will be made straight as we sanctify, purify, and devote ourselves entirely to Him. So let’s present ourselves as living sacrifices—holy, entirely His.

And then, “…Let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily hinders our progress. And let us run with endurance the race that God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, on whom our faith depends from start to finish….” – Hebrews 12:1-2 (All quotes New Living Translation)

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Unite for the Light

The way my eyes function gives me a picture of my efforts to focus on God. My left (physical) eye is very weak and contributes little to my vision. My right (physical) eye is stronger and contributes much to my visual perception, but alone it sees less than what the two eyes focused together can see. This picture makes me desire that the weaker parts of my spirit would focus on Jesus, together with the stronger parts, instead of looking around for what might look good to human understanding. Then I’ll have that “single eye” that Jesus talked about which will fill me with light. “The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light.” (Matthew 6:22) “…unite my heart to fear thy name.” (Psalm 86:11) (both King James Version)

This picture also shows me how the body of Christ should work, as the apostle Paul wrote in Romans 12 and 1 Corinthians 12. Those who feel weaker in faith need to work united in focus on Christ, together with those who seem stronger, so we can fulfill the purposes which God has planned for Jesus’ body.

O what mighty things the Lord can accomplish through His body as we all learn to unite in Him!

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Me Be Holy? You’re Kidding!

In Leviticus 11:45, God told the Israelites, “Be holy as I am holy.” Peter applies that to New Testament believers in 1 Peter 1:16. So what does it mean to be holy? One thing it does NOT mean is “self-righteous.” Neither does “without sin” define “holy.” After all, my kitchen table is without sin, but it isn’t holy.

Zondervan’s Pictorial Bible Dictionary says that the basic meaning of the Hebrew word for holy is “separateness, withdrawal.” It describes holiness as “the pure, loving nature of God, separate from evil….” That dictionary also says that “holy” has long been associated with the ideas of purity and righteousness. Then perhaps being holy means being entirely devoted to God, a living sacrifice as Paul teaches in Romans 12.

The context of 1 Peter 1:16 talks about obeying God in everything and not slipping back into our old habits we had before knowing Christ. James 1:27 speaks of the Christian’s need to remain “unspotted from the world.” Oh Father! Please make me pure and holy, completely Yours! Teach me to separate myself from evil. Amen.

Copyright Tricia Opitz 9/26/10

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Purity

Matthew 7:13-14 says that the narrow way leads to life and that the broad way leads to destruction.  Matt. 6:22 and Luke 11:34 (in the New Living Translation) say that a “pure eye” lets sunshine into the soul. Oh Lord, please purify me so that You can pour sunshine into my soul!

Saturate me with Your Word

And fill me freshly with Your Spirit, Lord.

Let me reflect Your grace

As I earnestly seek Your face.

Teach me to love and pray

And walk in Truth—Your narrow way.

You lead where it’s best.

In Your wise counsel I rest.

I used to seek the easy things, or comfortable, or what seemed “happy” to me.  I tried to please others so they would approve of and appreciate me.  Today I decide to quit seeking those things.  Instead, I want to take up my cross and follow Jesus.  I can only do that with the grace and power of the Holy Spirit working in me.  Without His help, I’ll be like the rubber band that snaps right back to the old shape when the pressure’s off.

Heavenly Father, let these phrases from an old chorus be true of me:  I’ve “decided to follow Jesus, no turning back.  Though none go with me, still… follow.”  With Your help, I’ll keep my eyes on Jesus, the faithful and true One, Who begins and completes my faith.  I’ll ignore the distractions of the easy and comfortable, or what seems to please my flesh or other people.  If I wander off into my own way, please bring me back into the path of discipleship to Jesus Christ.  Amen.

Jer 2:13 NLT “For my people have done two evil things: They have forsaken me — the fountain of living water. And they have dug for themselves cracked cisterns that can hold no water at all!”

Heavenly Father, so often I’ve ignored You and acted foolishly, seeking to “dig my own cisterns” (find happiness and fulfillment my way).  How often You’ve spoken, and I didn’t heed!  Or I’ve started in the path of righteousness and let myself be pulled away.  Please forgive and purify me. Keep me thinking about You, listening for Your voice.  Amen.

Listen to Jesus

Jesus, please help me listen to You and quickly obey

And keep eternity in view and walk in Your way.

Your sheep hear Your voice.  Speak Lord, and open my ears.

Lead and guide me by Your Word.  I will follow as I hear.

Copyright by Tricia Opitz 5/24/10

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