July 3 – Purify Yourself

“Since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God.” II Corinthians 7:1 (NIV)

In Shakespeare’s play Macbeth, a murderer keeps trying to remove the blood (guilt) from his hands by repeated washings. Pilate washed his hands in front of the Jews and announced he was then “innocent” of Jesus’ blood. (See Matthew 27:24.) In the Old Testament, there were ceremonial purifications by washing with water, as well as purifying by fire. (See Numbers 8:7 and 31:19-20.)

You can purify yourself SPIRITUALLY by simply choosing to obey the truth. (See I Peter 1:22.) It is YOUR CHOICE! God has given you His promises so that you might participate in the “divine nature.”

NOW give all diligence “and make every effort to ADD to your faith” GOOD FRUITS (II Peter 1:3-8).

What are these good fruits? “…goodness, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, brotherly kindness, and love.” Salvation is only the BEGINNING. NOW grow in holiness. PURIFY YOURSELF by choosing to put away sin and follow the truth of God’s Word unto holiness. Let the WATER of His Word and the FIRE of His Spirit bring about your SPIRITUAL purification.

PRAY: “Loving Father, my heart’s desire is to please You. Today, I choose to turn from every evil thought and activity and walk in the cleansing power of Your Word. Purify my heart. In Jesus Name, amen.”

July 2 – Christian Friendship

“Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” John 15:13

Friendship does not just automatically happen. Genuine friendship is an expression of love and godliness. It is groomed through servanthood. Lack of fellowship makes you spiritually drowsy. Remember how Jonah fell asleep in the bottom of the boat when he was running from the call of God? He did not think the people of Ninevah should have God’s blessing and forgiveness, so he isolated himself in the bottom of the boat and fell fast asleep. (See John 1:5.) Spiritual drowsiness is nothing less than apathy.

There are five qualities seen in Christian friendship:

1)  FAITHFULNESS.  SAYING it and BEING it are two different things (Proverbs 20:6).

2)  CONFIDENTIALITY.  Some things are better kept secret (Proverbs 11:13, 17:9).

3)  A GOOD REPORT.  Jonathan spoke well of David before Saul, his father (I Samuel 19:4). Jesus likened a BAD report about someone to murder (Matthew 5:21-22).

4)  HONESTY.  Through mercy (forgiveness) and truth (honesty) you CAN please both God and man (Proverbs 3:3, 4).

5)  COVENANT.  Repeat vows of friendship.  “…a threefold cord [you, your friend, and the Holy Spirit] is not quickly broken.” (Ecclesiastes 4:12b)

PRAY: “Father, develop these qualities of friendship in me today. Amen.”

July 1 – A Shining Face

“And it came to pass, when Moses came down from mount Sinai with the two tables of testimony in Moses’ hand, when he came down from the mount, that Moses wist not that the skin of his face shone while he talked with him.”  Exodus 34:29

Have you ever prayed for a shining face that would show forth God’s glory? A study of Acts 3:1-4:20 reveals eight “glowing” characteristics of one who has been with Jesus on the “mountaintop.”  He:

1)  PRAYS. Peter and John went together to the temple at the “hour of prayer.” (Acts 3:1)

2)  SHOWS LOVE AND COMPASSION. “Look on us,” they told the lame man. (Acts 3:4)

3)  GIVES. “… such as I have give I thee…” (Acts 3:6)

4)  SHARES THE FAITH.  Peter and John took the opportunity to explain God’s miraculous power.  (Acts 3:11-12)

5)  KNOWS THE BIBLE.  All testimony is based on the Word of God.  (Acts 3:13-26)

6)  GIVES GOD PRAISE. “… by the name of Jesus Christ…doth this man stand here before you whole.”  (Acts 4:10)

7)  HAS COURAGE IN WHAT AND WHOM HE BELIEVES. “Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John…” (Acts 4:13)

8)  IS CONSISTENT. “For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.” (Acts 4:20)

PRAY:  “Father, show me Your glory! Amen.”