Tag Archives: purity

Numbers 30; Psalm 74; Isaiah 22; 2 Peter 3

Sometimes I try not to look too far ahead because the course can seem so long. I can feel discouraged at how far I have to go. I can also procrastinate thinking there’s time enough. Perspective influences.

A group I’m part of shares this perspective, “Run the mile you’re in.” There have been many runs where I self-negotiate before I even establish my pace, as if the finish line is adjustable. But some finish lines aren’t well defined.

When will this conflict be resolved? When will I be healed from this trauma? When will things get back to normal? When will I get my thoughts together? When will I get these things completed? When will I reach my goal? When will I die? When will the Lord return?

My husband got me a watch that tracks my mileage and course. Instead of being hyperfocused on the finish line, I can bliss out where I am, losing myself to the rhythm of the cadence and the sound of my breathing. My watch gives me a zap at every mile marker, and all I have to do is glance to see where I am. I run the mile I’m in, fully present. But for situations without a (known) fixed finish, these words give me the perspective to reset in The Wait.

But you must not forget this one thing, dear friends: A day is like a thousand years to the Lord, and a thousand years is like a day. The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent. 10 But the day of the Lord will come as unexpectedly as a thief. Then the heavens will pass away with a terrible noise, and the very elements themselves will disappear in fire, and the earth and everything on it will be found to deserve judgment.

11 Since everything around us is going to be destroyed like this, what holy and godly lives you should live, 12 looking forward to the day of God and hurrying it along. On that day, he will set the heavens on fire, and the elements will melt away in the flames. 13 But we are looking forward to the new heavens and new earth he has promised, a world filled with God’s righteousness.

14 And so, dear friends, while you are waiting for these things to happen, make every effort to be found living peaceful lives that are pure and blameless in his sight. (2 Peter 3:8-14, NLT, emphasis added)

When I don’t know where I am in the journey through The Wait (of resolution, healing, achievement, my life, the Lord’s return), I am reminded and encouraged. I can take action–to make every effort. I have a vision–a peaceful life that is pure and blameless in my Lord’s sight.

Lord, help me in the wait to keep your perspective–to make every effort to be found living a peaceful life that is pure and blameless in your sight. Help me to run the mile I’m in. Help me to run well. The finish line will come.

Courtney (66books365)

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Filed under 66 Books, Bible in a year reading plan, M'Cheyne Bible reading plan

Jeremiah 14, 15, 16; 1 Timothy 5

Do not rebuke an older man but encourage him as you would a father, younger men as brothers, older women as mothers, younger women as sisters, in all purity. 1Timothy 5:1-2

Paul’s first letter to Timothy is full of instruction in how Timothy should be conducting himself in ministry and as a believer; and it continues today to promote the same behavior for me. The verses above stand out to me as an extension of what Jesus referred to as the second most important commandment…to love my neighbor as myself.

Paul reminds me to ‘not rebuke but to encourage’. To rebuke means to find fault with or reprimand severely; and interestingly the origins of the word stem from the French word that means ‘to hack down.’ I think of times that I have been rebuked, more often in an unloving way, and I remember feeling like I had been hacked to pieces with the tongue. It has torn me down, and made my heart harden. It has caused me to build up walls of defense, and even, at times, turn my eyes away from God. Often, when I have done something that may warrant rebuke, I know it and am already chastising myself; I don’t want or need someone else to highlight my wrongs.

What I desire instead is encouragement. I want to be treated in a way that helps me make better choices, that reassures me that I am still valuable, still worthy. I want to be honored as a child of God. I want to be loved back into life.

Paul tells me to treat each person, according to their age, as family – older men as fathers, younger men as brothers, older women as mothers, and younger women as sisters. I am to honor them and respect them, and encourage them in life and in their journey with the Lord. I am to love them the way that I also want to be loved.

He also stresses the importance of purity. I believe that this purity relates to being chaste, morally pure in regards to the opposite gender and innocence; but I don’t think that’s all it means. ‘Purity’ also relates to truthfulness, authenticity, and freedom from anything that debases, contaminates, or pollutes, in this case, the relationship.

My walk with Christ is about relationship. Initially, my journey is connecting with Him, building relationship with the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Then from the fruit of my relationship with God, stems relationship with others – the opportunity to show a piece of God to other people, while also seeing a piece of Him through them in return.

Yesappa, Thank You for Your relationship with me. Thank You for loving me and reassuring me throughout my journey. Help me remember to be an encourager to others, rather than a fault finder. Help me use my words to build up, rather than hack down. Help me be pure toward everyone I meet, in regards to moral uprightness, and also authenticity. Help me offer freedom to others as You offer freedom to me. Help me to love. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

 

Blessings – Julie (writing from the U.S.A.)

 

Unless otherwise indicated, all scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Definitions and etymology found at www.dictionary.com.

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Filed under 1 Timothy, 66 Books, ESV Through the Bible in a Year, Jeremiah, New Testament, Old Testament

Ex. 18; Luke 21; Job 36; 2 Cor. 6

Job’s friend wants to paint a rosy picture for God followers–if you aren’t prosperous and your life isn’t pleasant, you must be doing it wrong. But today’s readings all point out that following God is no cake walk. Moses had a long, hard journey leading people out of slavery. Job, who was titled as God fearing and blameless, experienced heartache and loss magnified. Paul lists his hardships one after the other. And Jesus tells this,

“But before all this occurs, there will be a time of great persecution. You will be dragged into synagogues and prisons, and you will stand trial before kings and governors because you are my followers. 13 But this will be your opportunity to tell them about me. 14 So don’t worry in advance about how to answer the charges against you, 15 for I will give you the right words and such wisdom that none of your opponents will be able to reply or refute you! 16 Even those closest to you—your parents, brothers, relatives, and friends—will betray you. They will even kill some of you. 17 And everyone will hate you because you are my followers.” Luke 21:12-17 NLT, emphasis mine.

Job’s friend credits himself as knowledgeable. His observations reach for truth, but fall short. And this is something everyone is capable of. Well-meaning friends, however smart and sincere, can mix the truth into false concoctions. Who hasn’t thought their own advice sounded good and true?

I turn to the Bible.

I sit around the table with Moses’ father-in-law, Paul and Jesus. I write down what they say.

  • Lead by example: teach God’s decrees, give His instructions, show (them) how to conduct (their) lives.
  • We live in such a way that no one will stumble because of us, and no one will find fault with our ministry. In everything we do, we show that we are true ministers of God. We patiently endure troubles and hardships and calamities of every kind. We have been beaten, been put in prison, faced angry mobs, worked to exhaustion, endured sleepless nights, and gone without food. 6 We prove ourselves by our purity, our understanding, our patience, our kindness, by the Holy Spirit within us,and by our sincere love. We faithfully preach the truth. God’s power is working in us. We use the weapons of righteousness in the right hand for attack and the left hand for defense. We serve God whether people honor us or despise us, whether they slander us or praise us. We are honest, but they call us impostors. We are ignored, even though we are well known. We live close to death, but we are still alive. We have been beaten, but we have not been killed. 10 Our hearts ache, but we always have joy. We are poor, but we give spiritual riches to others. We own nothing, and yet we have everything. 2 Corinthians 6:3-10 NLT, emphasis mine.
  • 28 So when all these things begin to happen, stand and look up, for your salvation is near!” … 34 “Watch out! Don’t let your hearts be dulled by carousing and drunkenness, and by the worries of this life. Don’t let that day catch you unaware, 35 like a trap. For that day will come upon everyone living on the earth. 36 Keep alert at all times. And pray that you might be strong enough to escape these coming horrors and stand before the Son of Man.” Luke 21:28, 34-36 NLT, emphasis mine.

Thank you, God, for words I can trust. I pray for grace and strength “to live in such a way”, “in everything (I) do”, to serve you.

Courtney (66books365)

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Filed under 2 Corinthians, 66 Books, Bible in a year reading plan, Exodus, Job, Luke, M'Cheyne Bible reading plan, New Testament, Old Testament