If someone deliberately winds you up, do you a) go in a corner and cry b) recognise their attempts to rile you, and stay calm c) punch them on the nose
You realise you’ve brought home a ‘works’ pen. Do you a) feel guilty but put it in the drawer b) make sure you take it back next morning c) pocket it – there’s plenty more at work
Your friend’s husband or wife flirts with you a little when you meet by chance in town. Do you a) enjoy the moment and cherish the memory b) make a polite but firm exit c) suggest coffee together
Now, on a scale of 0 to 10, where do you put yourself in the rankings of being a good person? Could you class yourself as a pure 10? Or are you so grateful that grace abounds, that your sins are covered over by the shed blood of Jesus?
Yet Jesus said, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” (Matthew 5:8) Having sins forgiven is certainly a wonderful part of the Gospel – really, really good news. But we can forget more is required from us. Hebrews 12:14 tells us, “Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord.” Every effort. I’m glad to say the word ‘holy’ is not the same word in the Greek as God’s holiness, but more about sanctification – becoming purer, improving intentionally. If I want to ‘see God’ I have to be determined that today, I am going to do better than I did yesterday, which was better than last week.
So if I scored a 9 on the honesty scale last week, because I didn’t want to own up to mishandling a situation, am I today wholeheartedly aiming for a ten? Or is 9 good enough? Am I content with my spiritual life, am I doing OK? Or should I be aiming for more?
Take a look at the rewards of aiming for purity. Revelation 22:3-5 “No longer will there be a curse upon anything. For the throne of God and of the Lamb will be there, and his servants will worship him. And they will see his face, and his name will be written on their foreheads. And there will be no night there—no need for lamps or sun—for the Lord God will shine on them. And they will reign forever and ever.”