Thursday, April 1, 2010

Pure in Heart

Good Evening to All!

I haven't done a devotional like this recently, so I thought I would bring it back every once in a while.

Today's Seed: "Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God--this is your spiritual act of worship." Romans 12:1

When it comes to the Christian life, there is much confusion. We may ask, "Can I be a Christian and do this? Why shouldn't I do that? Other believers participate, why not me?" Sometimes we are truly confused; yet there are other times when in our hearts we know the right answer, but don't want to face it.

In these times what we are really asking is this: "How close to the edge of
the cliff can I stand without falling over? How much of the world can I taste without losing my heavenly meals?" We are often tempted to leave the safety of the solid rock and begin to creep toward the cliff. Cliff-standing, or participating in "little" sins of this world, is tempting. We want to have the best of both worlds.

God's answer is always the same: "Holiness comes first--purity of the heart, purity of the soul, purity of the mind, and purity of the body. Do not engage in any activity that threatens your holiness. My way is worth the struggle."

We must change our thinking about the cliff. Instead of asking "How near to the cliff can I be?" we must ask , "How near to the Lord can I be? How much can I imitate His life? What can I do to strengthen my faith?" Then we can present our lives to the Lord, holy and pleasing to God.

Cliff-standing is risky business. Let us cling to the solid Rock instead.

Dig Deeper: The Greek word translated as "to offer" or "present" is paristemi, which means to give presently, bring before, stand aside, and yield completely. (Personally, I like the last one best).

Background Bulb: In contrast to the Old Testament's sacrificial system, we are urged to be living sacrifices. As our bodies are a temple for the Holy Spirit, everything we do is to be an expression of the work Christ has done in our lives. The offering of our lives is a sacred service and a beneficial one!

Weed & Water: Offering our lives to God may sound simple, but in practice, it is very difficult ( I totally disagree) [when you receive the Holy Spirit, it helps you to live for God. Not that I'm say we won't falter, but having the Holy Spirit to guide us nudges us toward the right direction.] The spirit may be willing, but the flesh is weak. (This is where the Holy Spirit nudges us). Set limits for yourself in areas that are hard for you and then ask someone to keep you accountable. This is a good idea, but remember also that God is always watching and remembering what He did for us is a good way to be accountable. Since He gave His life for us, our sacrifices and things we give up and go through are trivial in comparison.

Think about it: In what areas do you act like the world?

Instead of asking, "how much can I get away with," what should you be asking?

Prayer Pot: Lord, help me to steer clear of the cliffs in my life such as ... (Insert your own stumbling blocks.

Take-Away Idea: "Rock of Ages, cleft for me...Let me hide myself in Thee."

Good Night to All and May God Bless!


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