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    PURITY

    We can supplement our accountability to others by reading slowly through literature designed to challenge our Christian maturity. Consider, as an example, these questions related to sexual purity that I had to read carefully as I read Kent Hughes' Liberating Ministry from the Success Syndrome:

    1. Are we being desensitized by the present evil world? Do things that once shocked us now pass us by with little notice? Have our sexual ethics slackened?

    2. Where do our minds wander when we have no duties to perform?

    3. What are we reading? Are there books or magazines or files in our libraries that we want no one else to see?

    4. What are we renting at the local video stores? How many hours do we spend watching TV? How many adulteries did we watch last week? How many murders? How many did we watch with our children?

    5. How many chapters of the Bible did we read last week?

    Paul Borthwick, Leading the Way, Navpress, 1989, pp. 120-121.


    Robert Murray McCheyne wrote to Dan Edwards after the latter's ordination as a missionary, "In great measure, according to the purity and perfections of the instrument, will be the success. It is not great talents God blesses so much as great likeness to Jesus. A holy minister is an awful weapon in the hand of God".

    Paul Borthwick, Leading the Way, Navpress, 1989, pp. 65.


    Two theological students were walking along a street in the Whitechapel district of London, a section where old and used clothing is sold. "What a fitting illustration all this makes!" said one of the students as he pointed to a suit of clothes hanging on a rack by a window. A sign on it read: SLIGHTLY SOILED -- GREATLY REDUCED IN PRICE. 

    "That's it exactly," he continued. "We get soiled by gazing at a vulgar picture, reading a course book, or allowing ourselves a little indulgence in dishonest or lustful thoughts; and so when the time comes for our character to be appraised, we are greatly reduced in value. Our purity, our strength is gone. We are just part and parcel of the general, shopworn stock of the world." Yes, continual slight deviations from the path of right may greatly reduce our usefulness to God and to our fellowman. In fact, these little secret sins can weaken our character so that when we face a moral crisis, we cannot stand the test. As a result, we go down in spiritual defeat because we have been careless about little sins.

    Source Unknown.


    After a violent storm one night, a large tree, which over the years had become a stately giant, was found lying across the pathway in a park. Nothing but a splintered stump was left. Closer examination showed that is was rotten at the core because thousands of tiny insects had eaten away at its heart. The weakness of that tree was not brought on by the sudden storm; it began the very moment the first insect nested within its bark. With the Holy Spirit's help, let's be very careful to guard our purity. 

    Our Daily Bread.


    A farmer went each week to the Farmers' Market to sell, among other things, the cottage cheese and apple butter made on his farm. He carried these in two large tubs, from which he ladled the cottage cheese or apple butter into smaller containers the customer brought.

    One day he got to market and discovered he's forgotten one ladle. He felt he had no choice but to use the one he had for both products.

    Before long he couldn't tell which was which.

    That's the way it is when we try to dispense the good news of Christ using hearts, minds, and tongues too recently immersed in the coarseness and one-up-manship of the world. Nobody gets any nourishment.

     

    Beth Landers.