A pure heart is the only kind that can show God's love fervently.
Alright, thank you very much. And hello again, radio friends. How in the world are you? You doing alright today? Well, I trust so. Bless your heart. I’m fine, thank you. Nice to be back with you once again. And as I always do before I begin these broadcasts, I’ve been asking God to put His Truth and His love and His blessing and His power in to what I say and the way I say it, so that there may be something there just specially for you, my beloved friends. The miracle of the ministry is not that the minister says anything but rather that God says something through the minister that is especially planned to meet somebody’s need. That’s what I pray for every time I approach these microphones, believe me.
Well, we’re in 1 Timothy, and Paul is saying to this young man, “Keep thyself pure.” That’s the verse that we’re going to address today. He said in verse 22 of Chapter 5, “Lay hands suddenly on no man, neither be partaker of other men’s sins. Keep thyself pure.” Now, this phrase, “Keep thyself pure,” modifies the one that goes just before it. “Neither be partaker of other men’s sins.” We’ll start there at least. There is a sense in which as a believer you have to realize that others may do things that you simply cannot do or say, and still stay in close fellowship with your Lord.
God has a special way of talking to individuals. I remember the lady who in prayer meeting many years ago, this would’ve been back in the late 1930s, I guess. That’s a long time ago, isn’t it? Well anyhow, she got up to testify one night and she said, “The Lord has convicted me of something and I want to share it.” Well, I didn’t know what was coming, but here’s what she said.
She said, “I’m very busy with young children and I have a busy day. And after the children are in bed and everything is finished, I have had the habit of settling down in bed and reading the paper.” Now, this was in Philadelphia and of course the slogan in those days was, “Everybody reads the Bulletin.” You Philadelphians remember that, don’t you? So she said she settled down with with Bulletin, the Philadelphia Bulletin, and read the paper until she got sleepy and fell asleep. “Now,” she said, “The Lord has been has been convicting me of that. Why shouldn’t I read the Bible before I fall asleep? And so,” she said, “I’ve been laying aside the paper, and as I finish the day I pick up the Bible and read it. And my,” she said, “I’ve been so blessed. God convicted me of that and I’m glad. I wanted to share it with you.” Interesting, isn’t it?
Now tell me, anything wrong with reading the paper? No, I don’t think so. I don’t think that you’re ever gonna be condemned for reading the daily paper. As a matter of fact, God expects us to keep up with things. “Live,” He said, “Circumspectly.” That means looking around you. Life doesn’t have to take you by surprise, you can keep up with the world, and should. But you see, for this dear saint, God wanted to teach her something. He wanted to teach her something further in this matter of putting God and His Word first. And so He dealt with her about it.
Now what am I saying is that God may deal with you in ways that other people might not understand. They say, “I can’t understand why you’re doing that.” Well, the answer is they don’t have to understand. “Who art thou to judge us to another man’s servant?” Paul says. “To his own master he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be holden up for God is able to make him stand.” Romans chapter… What is it, 13 isn’t it? Has that passage. So people don’t have to understand. You don’t have to explain to everybody else why you do things to obey God. Just do them and let God take care of the reaction. “Don’t be partaker,” He said, “Of other men’s sins.” There are some people that get away with things that you may not by the Spirit of God, you may not be allowed by His Spirit to do. Now beyond that, there’s a definite charge here. He says, “Keep thyself pure.” And so it involves an effort, doesn’t it? “Keep thyself pure.”
Where do we start with all that? Well, always and always when you’re dealing with purity or holiness or virtue, you start not with circumstances outside with which you may deal, but you start on the inside. “Out of the heart,” Jesus said, “Proceed evil thoughts,” and this and that and the other. All of the different difficulties that we have which eventuate in interpersonal situations start inside. You agree? So that’s where you have to start. Oh, to be pure in heart. “Who shall ascend into the holy place? He that hath clean hands and a pure heart who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity nor sworn deceitfully.” The idea of letting God have full control of my inner life, that’s the area where I have to begin. If I’m going to follow Paul’s advice, “Keep thyself,” where do you start? Inside. Inside. Now, how do you get at that? Well, our Lord Jesus prayed for His disciples and for those who would believe on Him through them, and that includes you and me. And He said, “Sanctify them through Thy Truth. Thy Word is Truth. Thy Word have I hid in my heart that I might not sin against Thee. Thy Word is a lamp under my feet and a light unto my path.”
The Word of God has a cleansing, purifying effect, doesn’t it? Paul, the apostle, spoke of the washing of water by the Word. We are made pure as the Word of God takes effect in our lives. Peter said, “Seeing ye have purified your souls through obedience of the Word.” Do you remember that passage? “Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the Truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart, fervently.” Now, you got a verb there, ‘purified’ your souls. What happens? How do you that? You obey the Word of God, obeying the Truth. How do you do it? Through the Holy Spirit who enables you. What results? Unfeigned love of the brethren. How are you supposed to manifest that? Well, you’ve got a pure heart, so love one another with the pure heart, fervently.
See, every purely human love has an angle to it. It has a personal angle to it. That’s why people don’t feel safe with other people because they keep asking, “What’s the angle?” When is he or when is she going to make their move?” Now, Peter says, “You get alone with the Word of God and let God work on your heart. You’ll be able to show His love to other people out of that pure heart. And that love will be just like a burning fire, fervently.”
So what a concept isn’t it? A pure heart is the only kind that can show God’s love fervently. Any other kind of a heart, well, you would just get derailed, that’s all. And nothing comes of it. People don’t feel safe with it. But you can pour out God’s love out of a fervent heart, and people feel safe with it and they respond to it. You follow that? Now, where does it start?
Says, “Having purified your souls through obeying the Truth.” Alright? “Having purified your souls through obeying the Truth.” Then he said, “See that you love one another with a pure heart, fervently.” Oh man, that’s something, isn’t it? Well, where do I start? I start with the Word of God. Start with the Word of God. Let the Word of God to speak to me. And then, let me pour out my soul and love toward everybody around knowing that they and I am safe in the expression of that Calvary love.
Now, he said, “Keep thyself pure.” You have two points of view. First Peter:1, “You who are kept by the power of God through faith of the salvation, the Lord knows how to deliver the righteous out of temptation. Seeing that He, Himself, hath suffered being tempted, He is able so succor,” that means effectively help, “those that are tempted. There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man. But God is faithful Who will not suffer you to be tempted above that you are able, but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that you may be able to bear it.”
You don’t get out of the temptation, you bear it victoriously and that is God’s escape for you. Kept by the power of God. Kept by the Spirit of God. Kept by the Word of God working in you. And then you may say kept by your own determination to stay clean before God. Our Lord Jesus said, “If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself, take up his cross and follow Me.”
Paul Rees came to speak at the college years ago, this prince among preachers. Dr. Reese, don’t you love the way he gives out the Word of God? Silvery voice and beautiful choice of words. He’s a preacher’s preacher for sure. I remember his outline, “If any man will make up your mind, come after me. Let him deny himself, make up your mind, deny yourself, take up your cross and act. Follow me.” He had just a simple outline like that. But it started out by saying, “Make up your mind, if any man will.”
See, God leaves it up to you and to me to decide whether we wanna go all the way with Him. The old holiness preachers weren’t so far wrong when they talked about praying through and going all the way with God. I can remember as a boy going to the First Church of the Nazarene in Cleveland, Ohio many years ago and hearing them singing, “I’m going through, Jesus. I’m going through. I’ll take the way no matter what others do. I’ll pay the price with the Lord’s anointed few. I’m going through, Jesus. I’m going through.”
See, that’s where it’s at. Make up your mind that you’re going to serve God and then trust the blessed Holy Spirit who indwells the believer, and trust the Word of God to keep you. Now we go on the next time we get together.
Dear Father, today keep us clean and pure through Jesus, our Lord. Amen.
Till I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the King today and be a blessing!
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