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By Pastor Earl Herr

Thought for the Week



Illustration by John McConahy

Scriptures to Read:

Psalm 24:3-6

St. Matthew 5:8

Hebrews 13:4

I Timothy 5:22c

I Corinthians 6:15-20

I Corinthians 7:1-10

I Thessalonians 4:1-8

Today, I have chosen to write about purity. Purity partly defined is: "Freedom from filth, guilt, defilement, evil"; also "Clean in every way." I want to focus specifically on sexual purity. This would mean to abstain from or not be involved in either fornication (sexual involvement without being married to the partner) or adultery (sexual involvement with some who is not your partner).

There was a time when sexual purity was expected, even demanded. That time is past and our society now overlooks sexual impurity and does so at great cost. Some of that cost is paid in Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STD). There are multiple STDs. Some have relatively minor health consequences and others are devastating. The cost for cure or even treatment is staggering in terms of finance. But there are other costs, where finance is not the issue but rather pain, and suffering, both physically as well as mentally and emotionally. Once contracted, the person with STD may never be free of the consequences and also endangers a present or future spouse.

God commands and demands sexual purity. Anyone who engages in sexual misconduct displeases God. Human sexuality is a gift from God and it is a wonderful gift. He expects His children to use their sexuality within the boundaries He has set. When inside these boundaries, sexuality is designed by God for both reproduction and enjoyment and enrichment. Our society treats sexuality as a toy to be engaged in by anyone who simply wants temporary pleasure or satisfaction. But when simply engaged in with only human standards to guide, a person becomes vulnerable to major consequences.

Of course a part of those consequences can be an unwanted pregnancy. Children are a gift (heritage – inheritance) from God. God considers every child to be extremely valuable, to be loved, cared for, and the life to be sacred (sanctified). Our society, to its own danger, considers the unborn child to be less than human. Not so, God knows that child, has a purpose for that child even though yet unborn.

Clear examples of this are found in the pre-born life of the Prophets Jeremiah and John, The Baptist. Another part of the consequences is STD. But there are other aspects to consequences. Mentally and emotionally persons who engage in sexual activity are changed, impacted, in subtle ways, unplanned and unexpected but nonetheless real. The human mind and memory get involved, whether desired or not, they are affected.

Those effects impact any and likely all future sexual relationships. Hebrews 13:4 (KJV) says, "Marriage is honorable in all and the (marriage) bed undefiled." This is God's standard. He expects everyone to accept responsibility for this both before and after the marriage. Jesus has designed marriage to be an example of His love for His Church. Both the husband and the wife are to be faithful inside the bonds of marriage.

Certainly Jesus Christ has given men a wonderful example of what a husband should be like. We hope the Church is also a quality example of what a wife should be. Paul considered Timothy his "son in the faith." He gives lots of great advice to Timothy. One brief but powerful piece of advice is "Keep yourself pure"(I Timothy 5:22). We would all do well to heed this advice. It may not always be easy but it is always worthwhile. The Bride of Christ, that's us, should desperately want to be pure before the marriage altar for her husband Jesus Christ. No matter where you are in life's spectrum, keep your body and your mind pure. Yes, if the mind thinks impure thoughts, God is not pleased.


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