Saturday, April 14, 2012

April 14 - If a Man Cleanses Himself

Today's Reading:
Nehemiah 5:14-7:73a
2 Timothy 2:1-21
Psalm 119:105-112
Click on Text Link to Read Online

Focus Verses:
2 Timothy 2:20-22
20 In a large house there are articles not only of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay; some are for noble purposes and some for ignoble. 21 If a man cleanses himself from the latter, he will be an instrument for noble purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work. 22 Flee the evil desires of youth, and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.

The many objects in my house serve as a good illustration of what it means to be "set apart for a noble purpose." Some objects, like the couch in my living room, are for anybody to use. Others, like the scouring brush in the kitchen sink are for specifically dirty purposes. Others, like my pillow or my toothbrush, are set aside for me, and for me alone.

In the same way, God is calling us to his noble purposes. We can't be used by just anybody for anything and still be set apart for him. If I want to take hold of God's highest purposes for my life, I must pursue holiness.

Response & Action:
Because I want to be used by God for noble purposes, I will flee from evil desires and unrighteousness. I will pursue purity, faith, love, and peace, and do so in the company of others who are trying to do the same.

O God, help me to turn away from what is wrong and to do what is right. Help me to love you with all my heart, soul, mind and strength, and to love my neighbor as myself. Lead me away from temptation and deliver me from evil. Forgive, cleanse, and renew me so that I might serve your holy purposes. Make me an instrument of your love and peace. Amen.

Spiritual Formation Verses: Psalm 4:3-4
3 Know that the LORD has set apart the godly for himself; the LORD will hear when I call to him. 4 In your anger do not sin; when you are on your beds, search your hearts and be silent.

Following Jesus: Biblical Reflections on Discipleship
by N.T. Wright

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