If I’m honest, there were stubborn sins in my life that
I thought would never come out until I saw Jesus face to face.
Having a really positive relationship with an administrative assistant
seemed out of reach.
Losing the twenty pounds I gained during grief also seemed impossible.
It still amazes me that God’s cleansing power purified me, in my sixties,
in both of those areas through opening my eyes to idolatry,
the sin beneath all sins.
And though I know I could fall again in these areas, and have
slipped, both in manipulating others and in grazing on junk food,
I now am confident I don’t have to be forever in their cruel grip.
Not only is there Holy Spirit power to cleanse me positionally,
It also gives me hope for other besetting sins.
Not only am I relieved of the pain those sins brought,
but I am experiencing more frequently the sense of God’s presence.
Is that what this Beatitude means?
Indeed, though He will purify us completely and permanently
when we see Him face to face,
we can have an increased sense of His presence as idols are diminished
in our lives right now.
Colin Smith says that many Christians do not think
God can really change them.
They have surrendered to being forever bound to impure fantasies,
a destructive temper, anxiety, or some other besetting sin.
Just recently I heard a sister in Christ in her seventies say,
“It’s just too late to change in this area.”
I hear it in prison too,
yet we are seeing God dramatically change hard and impure hearts.
This week there is real hope and help for being set free!
To give you a taste, one way we cooperate with the process of sanctification
is by being immersed in His Word, as Psalm 119 says:
Colin Smith compares it to very dirty clothes immersed in a sudsy washing machine. Slowly,
as the machine churns and churns, the dirt is released. It made me think of how every
summer my king-sized white duvet cover is filled with stains after my grandchildren visit.
They love to pile all together on its fluffy white cover and shams and play.
Often, they snack as well, which I probably wouldn’t allow if I were a mother and not a
grandmother, but I know it is for a short time, and then I can wash the spread.
One grand-daughter, who persuades me with Anne of Green Gables enthusiasm, quipped:
“Oh, thank you, Grandma! We’re picnicking in the clouds!”
But this year grape juice bars made their way there, and when I saw the stains I thought:
“That’s the end of that spread.”
I let the stains stay until they left ten days later, as I thought it was hopeless to wash it.
But before I bought a new spread, I gave it a try in the machine with plenty of Clorox.
To my happy surprise — it came out as good as new!
And so can we be if we cooperate in the cleansing power of sanctification.
It really can happen for us too.
Not only will be cleansed of nasty stains that have haunted us for years,
we will “see” God.
- What stands out to you from the above and why?
- What is one way you have sensed God in your life in the last 24 hours?
Monday: Pure in Heart
3. Meditate on Matthew 5:8.
- Read this in more than one translation and share anything you see.
- What is the promise that goes with this?
Pure in heart doesn’t mean sinless. Thomas Watson said:
“A face with some freckles may be said to be fair.”
Scripture tells us we all are sinners, and those who say they have no sin make God a liar!
Yet we also have a power that world does not know to be cleansed.
4. Colin Smith says purity of heart comes through single-mindedness. How does Jesus
express this a little later in the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 6:22?
5. What does Paul say in Philippians 3:3-4?
6. How would you describe the life of someone who is single-minded?
7. If purity in heart leads to the increased presence of God, when is the last time you sensed the
presence of God?
Tuesday: Confessing our Sins
8. Meditate on the above verse.
A. What is the promise?
B. Why do you think it says “and just?”
C. Remembering what we learned about “Blessed are those who mourn,” what should
9. Meditate on James 5:16. What does it say and what do you think the promise means?
It can also be a great encouragement to hear people share of deliverance from sins and shame. One of the most powerful testimonies in The Jesus Who Surprises came from such a woman. We then followed that testimony from exhortation from woman to make ourselves vulnerable in small groups. Click here, and then look at “Video 3” scrolling to 11:14 and listen to the end.
10. Comments on the above?
11. Pray about sharing a besetting sin with a trusted friend and asking for prayer.
Wednesday: Everyone Who Has This Hope in Him
12. Read carefully 1 John 3:1-3
A. John bursts out in joy in verse 1. What amazes him?
B. What, according to verse 2 do we know — what is still a mystery?
C. Embracing this causes what response according to verse 3? Is this true for you?
13. We can participate in the process of sanctification through the riches we have in Christ. How
can you purify yourself according to the following? Meditate and share everything you
A. James 4:8
B. 2 Corin. 7:1
C. 1 Peter 1:22
14. How have you spied God in the last few days?
15. Listen to the following from Colin Smith and share your notes and comments.
16. How have you become purer in heart?
17. What is your take-a-way and why?