Isn’t that a nice word? It sure doesn't express the looks of my bedroom right now, but it is still a nice concept. Cleanliness is something that everyone wants, regardless of how messy everyone is. We've heard that God can cleanse us but how does that happen, how does that further our relationship with God as followers of Christ, and how do we keep ourselves clean? Those questions are answered in this devo (YAY)!
In 1 John 1:9 the bible says “if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness”. There is the answer to question number 1! God cleanses us when we confess and repent of our sins :) I love that, He is so so so forgiving and kind. But now what do we do, we are clean but how do we continue to keep clean after being cleansed?
In 2 Timothy 2:20-21, Paul writes “In a large house there are articles not only of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay; some are for special purposes and some for common use. Those who cleanse themselves from the latter will be instruments for special purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work.” I don’t know about you, but I want to be used for God’s good work. What Paul is saying here is: when you wash a pot, the outside gets clean and looks great to everyone who looks at it, but the inside is still a wreck. It is useless and cannot be chosen to use for God, regardless if it is gold or wood. God cleans from the inside out, so that we are able to do his good purpose!!! Our relationship with God grows as we are cleansed by him and desire to get to know him and do his good purpose, but you can’t do that as someone who only washes themselves on the outside, and doesn’t allow God to clean up their inside.
Continuing on in 2 Timothy 22, Paul tells Timothy how to keep himself clean now that we has been cleansed. Verses 22-26 are “So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart. Have nothing to do with foolish, ignorant controversies; you know that they breed quarrels. And the Lord's servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth, and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will.” Ok wow, a lot of wisdom there but it’s a pretty long list, so here is the break down-
flee youthful passions-this can be anything that is an idol or a recurring sin. you are youth, what is a passion in your life you shouldn’t have? whatever it is, get rid of it! Ask the Lord to take it far away from you!
pursue righteousness-this one is my favorite, make sure that you are being fair and just in your lifestyle and walk with the Lord
pursue faith-when is the last time you genuinely believed that God is going to do something in your life? have faith, God works in his timing, your job is to pray for opportunities.
pursue love- agape guys, not romantic love….on record, this verse is not talking about getting a significant other (sorry). the word says “greater love has no one that this, that someone would lay down his life for his friends”...this can be shown in a lot of ways, give up some of your free time to be with a friend who needs you, hangout with someone who is alone, pray for those who you don’t necessarily want to pray for, love them.
pursue peace-oh brother, another hippie comment! no but really, God is a God of peace and we should be trying to make peace, not start fights...EX: when your brother is trying to start a fight, walk away or hug him and say “I’m so glad our God is a God of peace”
fellowship alongside those who have a pure heart for the Lord- shouldn’t be too hard :) you are all blessed with a very tight knit youth group, get together with someone and just talk about God, what he is doing in your life and what you want to do for him.
stay away from foolish, ignorant controversies- nowadays, it seems t]like people ca bicker about just about everything, don’t get into it. In a week you aren’t going to remember what you were even bickering about, it’s pointless (take it from the 20 year old who wishes she could go back in time and duct tape her mouth shut).
do not be quarrelsome- oh mannnn, this falls under disrespect. Do you disrespect your parents? Well knock it off, they love you and care about you!!!!! don’t start arguments with them or anyone else for that matter.
be kind to everyone- pretty self explanatory, do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
teach the good news-WHOOOHOOOO!!!! Time to share the joy of Christ everyone! take any opportunity you have to teach people about who God is and how he has cleansed you!
patiently endure evil- remember Job? Angelica talked about him in her devo a few weeks ago. He had to patiently endure evil, and he did it through God! Evil will come, because we are lights in the world and Satan wants to put out lights. Be diligent and patient through evil.
correct your opponents with gentleness- verses 25-26 explain why this is important, it says “God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth, and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will.” How incredible that by us being cleansed by God, we get to share that with others and be an example! What an incredible opportunity :)
Don’t take this lightly everyone, be cleansed, be committed, and be continually asking God to cleanse you for HIS glory.
Love you all so very much :)-Lexie