By Marilyn Schouten
Excerpt from Oswald Chambers, My Utmost For His Highest
"Purity is not innocence, it is much more. Purity is the outcome of sustained spiritual sympathy with God. We have to grow in purity. God makes us pure by His sovereign grace, but we have something to look after, this bodily life by which we come in contact with other people and with other points of view, it is these that are apt to sully. Not only must the inner sanctuary be kept right with God, but the outer courts as well are to be brought into perfect accord with the purity God gives us by His grace. The spiritual understanding is blurred immediately the outer court is sullied. If we are going to retain personal contact with the Lord Jesus Christ, it will mean there are some things we must scorn to touch. A practical way of keeping personal purity unsullied in relation to other people is to say to yourself--That man, that woman, perfect in Christ Jesus! That friend, that relative, perfect in Christ Jesus."
Okay, so hold that thought from our friend, Mr. Chambers! In my house, at times there are different seasonal decorations, I have mentioned this before and is not new news to any of my family. At times, the decor for each season is the same, it just might shift in its location throughout the house. Not new to my repertoire are some large "letter blocks" that say different things depending on where they might sit in the overall scheme. One set says "F-R-I-E-N-D-S" one set says "J-O-H-N M-A-R-I-L-Y-N" and one set at this time of year, mimic’s what was on the VGF stage this past weekend...."H-E I-S R-I-S-E-N" At any point in time when I leave the house, depending on the present family members and or the "orneriness" of those said persons, I could come home to any number of phrases using those same letters. Yes, they change my letters around to make other words, then wait to see how long it takes me to see that indeed, "He is risen," now says.... "see his rin" or "hi is r seen! Now I know that this may come as a shock to many of you that know my husband and my girls, but we are quite the set of pranksters! Though I have changed the names to protect the not-so-innocent, I have in mind, like a wanted poster on a mail room wall....a complete picture of the culprits! : )
I will now see how the Lord has determined to bring this all together. I was sitting at the Good Friday teaching, (I hope it was recorded) as John taught with some material from John Stott, the full grasp of the conquest of evil that was accomplished on the cross. The goal was to understand the full ramifications of what Christ did on that cross, that night so very long ago. John was emphasizing that Jesus' death surely took our sin debt by canceling it, but removed, disarmed and conquered the powers of darkness that ensnare us on a daily basis....Christ liberated us from those evil powers. In my thoughts, while listening to the teaching on Friday, Christ removed the debt and the power of the previous debt collectors! You know, those pesky debt collectors that call and call when a bill has not been paid; they hound you till YOU make restitution....Christ made the payment, and removed the calls from the debt collectors! Then we learned that death was defeated on the cross and that the tomb was not capable to hold the Christ...it had to "cough Him up," there was no other option....the power of Christ HAD to burst forth. So now we can read Oswald Chambers devotional with different lenses...."Purity is not innocence, it is much more. Purity is the outcome of sustained spiritual sympathy with God. We have to grow in purity."
A clear picture of what's been done for us opens our eyes to the understanding: "If we are going to retain personal contact with the Lord Jesus Christ, it will mean there are some things we
must scorn to touch." And the very first way to retain personal contact with the Lord Jesus Christ and understand the things that we must scorn to touch is by reading and praying each and every day. You know, there are things that change in this world on a hourly/daily basis; money markets, our feelings/emotions, our schedules, etc...but one thing never changes and that's
God's love for us and HIS WORD! People will change, clothing styles will change and times will change, but Christ's words in the Scripture has and will remain unchanged till HE COMES AGAIN and makes all things new. Unlike the block letters in my house that change on occasion from saying a "truth" (he is risen) to some nonsense prank....God's Word never changes! All the letters stay the same as they were penned thousands of years ago, He still says.... "Love thy neighbor as thyself, worship no other God, do not lie, cheat or steal....do not even think it in your heart!" The message remains the same, the grace that enables you and I to say to yourself, that man, that woman, that friend, that relative...PERFECT IN CHRIST JESUS. So if you are looking for direction, "things to scorn to touch" how to walk and live as a follower of Christ, it is the Bible and the instruction of the Holy Spirit that can guide you into all things. Even if some ornery person tries to "change the letters around" or give you another gospel, you have the gift of God's Word and can read the letters as they were written and with the help of the Holy Spirit, make the change to mirror Christ!