Wednesday, October 10, 2007
Devotional #12 (part 8 of 1 Timothy 4:12 study)
I can't believe that we have now come to the last part of this verse!! This series has gone by very quickly! I pray with all of my heart that this devotional series has been a blessing to you and has been used by the Lord in mighty ways. If you have not been able to read the first 7 parts of this devotional series on 1 Timothy 4:12(which says, "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"), then please click here to read those before continuing with this one. And, ladies, I just want to let you know now that this devotional on us being an exaple in purity is going to be part 1 of 2! There is just so much to cover that I can't possibly hope to cover everything in one devotional. :) I'm sorry for any inconvenience this may cause, but part 2 of this devotional will be on Friday. Please return then!
Clearly, today's devotional is on us being an example to the believers in purity. How desperately needed this godly example is! As I touched on just briefly in my first devotional on us being an example in love, in our sin-saturated culture of today, we have a horribly wrong notion of love and what love truly is. We are confronted daily by a culture drenched in pre-marital sexual relationships, all done in the name of "love". However, if you truly and Biblically love someone, then you will not be partaking in sin and debauchery, depriving that someone of their beautiful and treasured gift of whole and complete purity-purity of body, mind, soul, spirit, and heart. If you had Biblical love for someone (please refer to my devotionals on love), you would not be depriving their future spouse of receiving that blessed and beloved gift. Not only are we sinning against our future spouses when we partake in such sinful and impure actions, but we are also sinning against Almighty God when we engage in such unlawful practices! There are numerous passages throughout the whole of Scripture that command us to be pure and to keep the marriage bed holy. But, so often, we don't see the huge importance of this. Why is it so very important that we be pure, holy and blameless, and that we keep the marriage bed holy? Because marriage on earth, between one man and one woman, reflects the marriage of God with His bride-the church. When the Lord comes back for His people, there will be a marriage supper, for the Bridegroom and His bride will finally be together. Ephesians 5:25-33 says, "Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish. So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church. For we are members of His body, of His flesh, and of His bones. 'For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.' This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church. Nevertheless, let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband." Throughout this passage, it is crysal clear that earthly marriage (between a man and a woman) reflects the marriage between Christ and His bride-the church. This is why it is so important to God that we be pure, and this is why He takes our purity and preservation of it so very seriously! Verses 25-27 clearly show the importance of purity and why the Lord demands it of us,"Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish." These verses answer the popular question, "Well, how far is too far?" First of all, this should not be our concern!! Our desire, as Christians, should be for complete, total, and whole purity and nothing less. We should desire to honor Christ by staying wholly pure and waiting for our future husband. We should not be wondering how far we can go, how much we can get away with, and how much we can do before we get into trouble-in other words, how close we can get to the fire without getting burned. Our mission, passion, and desire should be to live a life honoring and glorifying to Christ, and we should find great joy and happiness in saving ourselves-our whole selves (heart, body, mind, etc.) for our future husband. This verse answers this question when it says "that He may present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish." Here it is, ladies! This is to be our standard of purity. This is what we are to strive for and work towards. This is the standard of purity that we are to desire of ourselves. This purity is what we should desire to give to our future husbands-nothing less. Yes, we are sinful humans and will still sin, and there is forgiveness for that. But if the Lord takes our purity this seriously, and if our purity is supposed to reflect the bride's purity to Christ, then we sure better take our purity this seriously as well! Christ's bride must be holy and without blemish, and our purity is directly reflecting this bride. Therefore we ought to be pure as Christ's bride is. The Lord, being holy, without blemish, perfect, and completely pure Himself, cannot and will not have a bride who is anything less. That is why Christ came to die for the church, in order to sanctify her, and make her holy through His blood. Knowing that we are reflecting the purity of Christ's bride (who is to be completely perfect-through the Lord's sanctification), should cause us to take our purity oh so seriously! I can't even begin to stress this enough!! Our desire should be to be pure in all of our actions, thoughts, deeds and words. We should abhor and abstain from anything that is impure and sinful, as the Lord Himself does. He would not accept a bride who has any blemish, spot or impurity, for He cannot tolerate sin, or be in the presence of it. Therefore, we are to strive for complete purity. Because not only are we reflecting Christ's bride, but we are Christ's bride if we're Christians! This is our standard of purity, and this is our duty-to preserve our blessed purity and abstain from and abhor anything that would seek to destroy it.
Ladies, I truly hate to do this to you, but I'm must end this where I am. It, to my surprise, has already reached devotional length (if not surpassed it.=]), and I must attend to today's schoolwork. :) I'm sorry to cut this devotional off so abruptly, but it's something I must do. As I see how long this devotional already is and that I've only coverd a small amount of what I would like to, I'm beginning to think this section on purity may contain 3 or 4 devotionals! :) We'll just see how the Lord leads, and how long He wants this series to go. It's in His hands. :) For now, please return on Friday for the continuation in this series! I pray that it will be an encouragement and strength to all of you dear ladies! I will also probably be ending the purity section of our 1 Timothy 4:12 study (however far in the future that is ;)) with a devotional for you ladies who may have already compromised in some area of your purity. There is forgiveness to be found and you can start again, no matter what your old life may have been like. I pray that that devotional as well will be an encouragement. So, please continue to come back on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays for the devotionals, that I hope will be a blessing to you!
All for His glory,