Topic: Keeping yourself clean
Focus: Purpose in purity
Ephesians 5:3-4 (NIV) But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people. Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving…
It’s really hard to avoid obscenity these days. It seems like everywhere we turn, we are bombarded with sexual nuances—especially in advertising and fashion. As you’re walking through a mall or browsing media channels, things will hit you in the face that you weren’t necessarily looking for…like it, or not.
It’s one thing to accidentally observe an image or person who is displaying unholy attire or behavior, but it’s quite another, if you make the decision to intentionally search for impure materials, channels, or people who are definitely going to take your attention away from Godliness and recovery.
The Bible tells us clearly to run in the opposite direction of those kinds of temptation (2 Timothy 2:22).
The way we dress and talk says a lot about who we are on the inside. If we are truly trying to live a clean and transformed life, then the way we have done everything in the past should be reconsidered.
Because man looks on the outward appearance, we should think twice about the message we are communicating through the things we wear and what kind of conversations we participate in.
If this topic makes you feel uncomfortable or defensive, you might want to pray about why.
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Ephesians 5:8 (NKJV) says, “For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord.” The writer of Ephesians goes on to express that we should walk as though we are full of light. He further advises that we make it a business to find out what is acceptable and pleasing to God, since the results of being filled with the Holy Spirit should be goodness, righteousness, and truth.
When we are trying to live a clean life, how can we want to hang out with people who are involved in dark things that are offensive to God? We should have nothing to do with deeds of darkness that don’t produce any good results, but rather expose them.
Ephesians 5:12-13 says (paraphrased), it is shameful to even speak of the secretive things that are done by people who walk in darkness. But all things that are exposed are made known because of the light, and anything that reveals darkness is light.
God says, “Awake, you who sleep, arise from the dead, and Christ will give you light.” (Ephesians 5:14 NKJV) In other words, if we don’t see anything wrong with things that would be considered ‘darkness’ to God, we must be spiritually ‘asleep’ or ‘dead’…and God wants us to wake up.
It may be hard having to realize that we just can’t continue to do everything the same way we’ve done in the past, but these words were written for a reason. There is a purpose in purity and it will be worth it in the long run.
When all we look at are the things we can’t do, it seems like God doesn’t want us to have any fun and that He’s just trying to spoil everything. But it’s really just the opposite. In John 10:10, Jesus is speaking. He tells us, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that you may have life, and that you would have it more abundantly.”
Darkness leads to death. Light leads to life. It all seems pretty clear when you look at it that way. Choose the light. Choose life.
If you lack the will to choose the right things that you know you should choose, ask God to give you the desire to put aside your pride and step up to a higher level of faithfulness to Him. Trust Him to change the feelings you’ve had in the past and give you a new attitude that embraces things that please Him.
It’s really a small thing to lay down our ways and follow after righteousness when we consider all Jesus laid down for us. We may not understand everything He asks of us, but whether we understand or not, having His approval is better.
Declaration: I will find new strength by choosing a higher and better standard of purity.
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