‘Make me pure – but not yet’

To Follow Jesus

My notes on Every Day with Jesus, written by Selwyn Hughes; revised and updated by Mick Brooks, published by CWR.

May/June 2016 Issue –  The Presence of God‘You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.’ Psalm 16:11

The text set for today’s reading and meditation:

1 Corinthians 6:12-20 (NIVUK): “‘I have the right to do anything,’ you say – but not everything is beneficial. ‘I have the right to do anything’– but I will not be mastered by anything. You say, ‘Food for the stomach and the stomach for food, and God will destroy them both.’

The body, however, is not meant for sexual immorality but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. By his power God raised the Lord from the dead, and he will raise us also. Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ himself? Shall I then take the members of Christ and unite them with a prostitute? Never! Do you not know that he who unites himself with a prostitute is one with her in body? For it is said, ‘The two will become one flesh.’ But whoever is united with the Lord is one with him in spirit.

Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a person commits are outside the body, but whoever sins sexually, sins against their own body. Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honour God with your bodies.”

In the first part of today’s study, Selwyn continues with yesterday’s discussion on the importance of always being truthful. He reminds us that it’s all too easy to be loose with the truth. He says: “So often we are willing to stretch a meaning to gain a point, to misquote if the misquotation serves an end, to exaggerate in order to impress.” We must be careful not to let these cases of intentional misinformation to become a habit in our lives – because they will grow to become something far more serious. Keep in mind that the devil is the master of deception – don’t copy his character.

Further on in the study, Selwyn looks at the second question: Have I been impure? He writes: “The question of purity is fundamental: if our life flounders at this it will probably flounder all down the line. This matter of purity seems to be an increasing problem in today’s church. …

This is a good moment perhaps to look into our own hearts and ask: Am I  a pure person? Do I allow my mind to dwell on things that blunt my awareness of Jesus’ presence in my life? If so, then repent of that tendency now.”

I’ve read that there is a growing number of people who think that pornography is harmless – this is of course the work of Satan. Pornography hurts many people and is extremely sinful – it is an area that should be strenuously avoided. Do you agree?

If you have a problem in this area, then pray to God for urgent help and start by throwing out all your pornographic material and severing all ties with pornographic sites on the internet – it is an all or nothing action – a small exposure to pornography – is still a fatal dose!

In summary, Selwyn writes: “Don’t adopt the attitude of St Augustine, who once prayed along the lines of, ‘Lord, make me pure, but not just yet.'” To be fair to St Augustine this quote was reportedly said when he was young (spiritually) and still exploring what it meant to have a meaningful relationship with God; I think he developed a very different attitude later in his spiritual life.

Any comments?