If you’re like me, you’ve probably already started about 20 books this year because you just can’t pick one. I’m the type of reader that reads multiple books at the same time. (Check out my Goodreads list!) Now, I was trying to decide on a topic to work on and I happened upon this book last night – Pure by Rebecca St James. It was definitely the Holy Spirit helping me choose because I wouldn’t have looked at it left to my own devices!
It’s a 90-day devotion-challenge for pursuing purity. And not just purity in relation to sex, but purity of heart, mind, and spirit. I love it so far. It’s an easy read, and she offers simple actions you can perform throughout the day to keep in line with the lesson. Most importantly, meditating on the devotions is an easy transition to prayer-time.
Today’s thought was about self-worth. In spite of the knowledge that you are worth more than many sparrows to God, I tend to live in a way that assumes my own responsibility for making myself worthy before the Lord. And you can’t blame us; we live in a world that revolves around money, power, and status. I speak to the experience of my middle-class American peers, but I don’t doubt this is the norm in every place. We are necessarily driven by economics; it all has to balance out. “Ok, you can pay this time but next time I’m going to pick up the tab” or “Why should I do all the work? He sits around and does nothing!” Probably the greatest example is Jesus’ story of the Prodigal Son. The jealous older brother is angry at his father for throwing a huge party for his unworthy brother who “squandered your property with prostitutes!”
But the father in the story, and indeed our Father in Heaven, is able to reach out and stop short our struggle over worthiness. He does this by sending Jesus, essentially saying, “Alright, NONE of you are worthy… so I’m deciding to save you out of your vicious cycle of death. Just believe in my Son and you will be saved.”
You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly.Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. ~Romans 5:6-8
One think I know about myself: I’m good at studying but not so talented at application. In Attitudes of a Transformed Heart, Martha Peace makes the distinction between “head knowledge” and “heart knowledge”:
[A person] may have knowledge about the Scriptures, but does not apply it to her life or have affections for the Lord. Some people, on the other hand, seek to gain a “heart knowledge” solely through emotional experiences…No one can become more personally pure without first reading the Scriptures” (p. 89).
Dear God, you said that the pure in heart will see You. Thank you for giving us a desire to come closer and seek you. Thank you for allowing me to come back to you time after time again when I stumble. I pray for my sisters and brothers that they will be able to stop struggling for your acceptance and realize that they already have it through Jesus! If we can truly apply that thought, I think everything else will come naturally.