Thursday, January 7, 2016

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Be Pure
Deuteronomy 7:1-11
Jasmine Yohannan
St.Andrews MTC, NY
6." For you are a people holy to the Lord your God;"

In the Old Testament, being “pure” was to be “emptied out” –meaning your sins were emptied out before God at the altar . Here, God is laying down the groundwork for the Israelites to be His empty vessels in the Promised Land. The confidence with which Moses tells the people how the Lord will work once they enter Canaan is a sign that his purity is not just about the rituals and rules. His faith has not just been reduced to a moral code. In fact, his purity comes from a desire to maintain his relationship with God.
           However, he goes on to give the Israelites all these rules and regulations right before they are about to enter the land they had travelled 40 years to reach. Moses knew that it is God, not the Israelites themselves that would defeat the seven nations; it would not be by their own strength or power – but by God’s power. God wanted the Israelites (and similarly, us) to be the light to the rest of the nations. And in order to truly be that light, they could not follow the rules of the pagan nations. The command was to utterly destroy them, "break down their altars, smash their pillars, hew down their sacred poles, and burn their idols with fire".(v5) In order to ensure that they did not worship other gods, they were forbidden to intermarry with people of other nations.

Being brought up in the church or a Christian home, it is very easy for us to equate the image of being a good Christian. We often forget that the way we actually live our lives is what makes us “set apart” or pure. So often we find ourselves cheating in schoolwork for the sake of getting a good grade, lying so that we don’t have to explain ourselves and pretending to be pious when we present ourselves in Church. The rules Moses laid out for the Israelites affected everything they had known and practiced previously. If they followed it properly, their lives would look entirely different. Regardless of the consequences, God wants them (and also us) to do  the right thing.

How different would our lives be today if we were to truly “be pure”?

PRAYER

Heavenly Father, help us to have the wisdom to live truly pure lives – not by our own moral standards, but by Yours. Help us to live with integrity and honesty, even when no one is watching. Amen
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY:
 
In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. – Matthew 5:16