building your house (november focus)
Do you ever have a desire to reinvent your life? Perhaps you want to change careers or location. Some people reinvent their lives through exercise, food choices and a change in fashion.
God expertly makes the way for a new life. Jesus said, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father, except through Me” (John 14:6). When the Father in heaven remakes a person, “he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come” (2 Corinthians 5:17)!
If you said, “yes” to God’s grace given in Jesus Christ, you are cleansed from all sin, brought near to Holy God, and on a great adventure of knowing Him and knowing how your life fits into His divine plan.
Jesus spoke thoroughly on the outcome of a life connected to Him. The principle is that He is the Vine, and we are the branches. Through our connection to Him, we produce much fruit- “fruit that will last” (John 15:16).
The Bible explains in detail the outcome of a transformed life. Jesus gives many directives on how we are to conduct ourselves in the lifestyle of grace. In other words, through our connection to the Vine, we will see these things happening within us as a result of His holy power at work to change us! That’s exciting!
Our September study of Jesus’ teaching on letting your light shine can be viewed here. The October focus was the mending of relationships. For November, we will look at the directive, “be pure in heart.” Each month we’ll study a new topic, because the goal is to firmly grasp everything that Jesus’ “therefore” encompasses. We want to know all the intricacies of the promised result- a house built upon a rock. The winds blew and the waves buffeted the house, but it did not fall!
“Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock” (Matthew 7:24).
November Focus: BE PURE IN HEART
You have heard that it was said, “Do not commit adultery.” But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut if off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell (Matthew 5:27-30).
Meditate on this: We judge sin according to action taken; God judges sin according to the heart’s inclination.
A mother described in detail the horrific discovery of her daughter playing on a mall playground that was contaminated with “poo.” She quickly stripped the little girl of the soiled shirt, dressed her in a borrowed sweatshirt, and realized that unless the mess is cleaned up, others will endure the same tragedy.
The mechanical ice cream truck housed the diaper mishap, and this mother was able to stop a young dad from making the mistake of putting a quarter in the machine and sending his daughter on a disastrous ride.
She related the scenario to our dealings with messes in life and said, “If he had known there was ‘poo’ in the ice cream truck, would he still have chosen for his daughter to ride in it? If we know that there’s a mess we’ll deal with in our sinful attitudes and behaviors, do we still step into them?”
She went on to say, “We think that we can take a ride in the contaminated truck but manage ourselves well to avoid the ‘poo.’ What we fail to realize is that once the truck begins its mechanical jumping and jostling about, everyone in proximity of the ‘poo’ gets soiled by it!”
Isn’t that what happens when we chose to satisfy the lust of our flesh with a little exposure to spiritual contaminates? Don’t we reason with ourselves saying we will keep it under control? We can handle being in the vicinity of “poo,” we say. We’re confident of our being able to come out on the other side just as clean as when we entered. So, we tolerate a little sin…
There’s a problem. Sin is the prostitute working for the Death and Destruction pimp, and this particular boss is never satisfied. Your intention of one little exposure does not agree with his plan to cover you in spiritual excrement. So while your self-perceived innocent ride in the proximity of sin appears harmless to you, know that there is a formidable foe who waits patiently for your unsuspecting ride into the pit of hell.
Be pure in heart. Stay clear of the tainted ice cream trucks, the bars, the boyfriend’s apartment, the gossip, the death-glorifying video games, the sexualized tv shows, and basically anything or any place where the Spirit of God warns you of contamination.
Lose friends if necessary. Cut cable if you can’t control the lust of your eyes. Get rid of your gaming system if the thrill of the digitalized manhunt has such a hold on you. Install blocking mechanisms on your internet search engines. When it comes down to it, “it is better for you to lose one part of your body,” one friend, or one lifestyle convenience, “than for your whole body to go into hell” (Matthew 5:30).
1. What does God expect of His children? See Leviticus 19:2.
2. The Holy Spirit speaking through the apostle Paul makes a plea for our purity. What is it? See 2 Corinthians 11:2-3.
3. Where do you obtain the self-control to say “no” to the temptation baiting you to jump into a metaphorical ice cream truck contaminated with “poo?” See Galatians 5:22-23.