August 4, 2010 § 4 Comments
On Monday, August 2nd, we began a new six-week study called Pursuing Purity: A Bible Study for Women. This lesson includes a list of questions to stir thinking on all topics included in the Study. Below are notes from the class.
I was surprised to hear a member say that one benefit from pursuing a pure life was living without fear. This was a new perspective. I hadn’t considered the fear factor. Pursuing a life of purity does indeed remove fear.
Lesson Two: Purity in Order
(Power, Protection and Peace)
One member mentioned that if we pray the blood of Jesus our prayers are powerful and this is true. But, is it true if we are not pursuing purity in our lives? Can this limit the power of our prayers?
Another member mentioned that genuine, heartfelt prayers are powerful and this is also true. But, is sincerity enough to fortify our prayers?
We discussed protection and how pursuing a pure life will protect us. If we live unrestrained lives with no attention to purity, doesn’t that limit our protection? Sometimes God lifts protection in order for us to reap what we have sown.
Lesson Three: Purity in the Obvious
(Flirting, Flattery, and Foolishness)
As you can imagine, we all had comments on these topics. One member stated “I don’t know about that because I don’t do that.” which begged the response that came by another member “But you know it when you see it.”
We took a close look at flirting and flattery and discussed the distinction between them. Flirting always has a sexual component, whereas flattery may or may not. Flirting is basically sexual amusement which is sexual immorality. Flattery is deception hidden within excessive, insincere praise.
Lesson Four: Purity in the Obscure
(Meandering, Modesty, and Meekness)
There was much discussion on this topic. We considered the definition of meandering being the state of wandering aimlessly from thing to thing or idea to idea. A pursuit of purity in this area would prevent a woman from becoming like those found in II Timothy 3:6-7.
Concerning meekness, this discussion carried great encouragement for the class. We spoke of I Peter 3:4 and why God considered a ‘meek and quiet spirit‘ of ‘great price.’ It is because God knows what it takes to be meek, to rule our tongues, calm our anger, and so forth.
Of modesty, we all laughed when one member recounted a visiting preacher’s comment of “Best thing to do it keep your privates private.”
Lesson Five: Purity in the Oblivious
(Authority, Appearance, and Appetite)
Because class time ran short, we briefly touched on this topic. We did speak briefly on appearance and appetite. How does a woman pursuing purity seem to others? In her demeanor, in her body language, in her clothing, does she appear to others as a daughter of the King?
When we discussed appetite, the discussion centered on fantasizing. Do our appetites and desires allow fantasizing that pollute our hearts?
Lesson Six: Purity in the Obedient
(Status, Satisfaction, and Substance)
Checking the pulse of the group, I made mention of the voicemail I’d received from a popular Christian Musician, and then asked “Did my status just jump up in your mind?”
Pursuing purity will refocus what impresses us. When we realize that every other person’s heart is as wicked as our own, we can honor another only when their efforts or achievements matter to God. Otherwise, we will fall into idol worship.
Finally, we one question in the ‘Into the Word’ section spoke volumes to us. II Samuel 22:27, Psalm 18:26, and Titus 1:15 all revealed to us a great truth. How we react or see God reveals the condition of our hearts. Those who see God as hostile have unsavory or hostile hearts. Those who see God as loving and just have loving and just hearts.
August 3, 2010 § 1 Comment
“To the pure you show yourself pure,
but to the wicked you show yourself hostile.”
– II Samuel 22:27 (NLT) –
It is attributed to the Greek Philosopher, Plato, the idea of beauty being in the eye of the beholder. The concept is that what we see is largely based on what our reality is.
“Remember how in that communion only, beholding beauty with the eye of the mind, he will be enabled to bring forth, not images of beauty, but realities (for he has hold not of an image but of a reality), and bringing forth and nourishing true virtue to become the friend of God and be immortal, if mortal man may.”
– Plato, Symposium
Have you ever heard someone make a comment in disagreement (or agreement) and follow it with a “That is how I was raised” or “I wasn’t raised that way” as if to give reason for their opinion? Have you ever done this?
What is happening here is that the person making the comment is telling us that this is all they know on the subject and since that is how they were raised, it must be the truth.
We cannot describe what an apple looks or taste like if we have never seen or eaten an apple. We can only offer what we know as our reality.
To some, God is hostile and angry. To others, He is kind, merciful, generous and sovereign. A person’s view of God is based on what they know of Him. “To the pure you show yourself pure, but to the wicked you show yourself hostile” tells us more about ourselves than it tells us about God.
If we are to know the truth about God, we must get our information directly from the source, God’s word. Then our reality shifts and we see God clearly as we pursue purity.