The Quest – Day 24

This is the devotional for Thursday, October 19, 2006 which is the 24th day of The Quest, our 40 Days of Discovery. Our devotional today offers a summary of the material in Chapter 24 of Frank Moore’s very helpful book, The Power To Be Free.

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Day 24 – Declare Yourself DOA

You must declare your self-centered nature DOA when you come to God for His help.

“Count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus.” (Rom. 6:11 NIV)

Yesterday we studied David’s prayer for a clean heart. It’s easy for us to see why David needed God’s forgiveness; he broke up a home and murdered a man! You may be thinking, Well, I’ve never done anything that bad. That’s probably true. But you’re not off the hook!

We find ways to make excuses for ourselves. We want to “rate” sin. Premeditated murder ranks higher on the scale than cheating on income taxes. But God does not use our scale. Sin breaks God’s law, and it breaks God’s heart. Everyone, including believers, must guard against rationalizing sin or explaining it away.

David asked God to do two things: forgive him of his sins and cleanse him from the thing that pushed him to sin in the first place. He prayed in Psalm 51:12, “Grant me a willing spirit.” He needed something changed in his nature. He needed God to change his “want to.”

What is the nature that David needed changed? Paul, in Romans 6:11-14, said that our sinful nature becomes the source of evil desires and tries to entice us to use our bodies as “instruments of wickedness” (v. 13). This nature wants to put self first and to center the universe around personal motivations. It manifests itself in self-will, self-love, self-trust, and self-exaltation. It is self-centered, self-assertive, self-conceited, self-indulgent, self-seeking, self-conscious, self-righteous, self-glorifying, and self-proclaiming, to name just a few.

The result of this pattern is damaged and destroyed relationships, dissension and tension, loneliness and lack of fulfillment. It leaves a wake of evil and corruption.

No quest for purity is complete without dealing with the sin buried deep within us. You must declare your self-centered sinful nature DOA (dead on arrival) when you bring this problem to God and ask for His help. If you’ve encountered this problem but have not dealt decisively with it, you are a perfect candidate for Discovery 3. You can experience purity for the life you’ve longed for.

The memory verse for this week is Matthew 5:8, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.”

Thank you for listening to FaithBuilders podcast at www.buildyourfaith.net. For more information about our church, visit our website at www.jaxnaz.org.

If you were unable to attend Sunday’s service, focusing on Discovery 3 of the Quest, or if you’d like to hear previous messages in The Quest series, please sign up for our Faith Nazarene Church podcast. You will find the link at www.buildyourfaith.net.

Build your faith today by asking God to crucify your sin nature and then trusting Him to do it!

The Quest – Day 20

This is the devotional for Sunday, October 15, 2006 which is the 20th day of The Quest, our 40 Days of Discovery. Our devotional today offers a summary of the material in Chapter 20 of Frank Moore’s great book, The Power To Be Free.

If you were unable to attend Sunday’s service, focusing on Discovery 3 of the Quest, or if you’d like to hear previous messages in The Quest series, please sign up for our Faith Nazarene Church podcast. You will find the link at www.buildyourfaith.net. We will post the recording of the service by this evening.

Visit our archives to read the previous days’ devotionals. Check out the links to the right to subscribe to the “FaithBuilders” podcast.

Day 20 – Not Another Lecture

God’s call to purity is not another guilt ball for you to catch. It’s a call to obey God’s truth.

“Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for your brothers, love one another deeply, from the heart.” (1 Peter 1:22 NIV)

Have you ever known teens who go deaf when Mom tells them to clean their rooms? Some folks quickly develop that same kind of deafness when God calls us to a life of purity. As Christians we know that purity is a Christian virtue, and that as followers of Jesus Christ we feel drawn to a quest for purity. But we don’t always have a biblical understanding of it. We can be so influenced by our culture that the biblical understanding of purity loses its strength.

Our society has many ways of urging us to lower our expectations of purity in our world:

· “Nobody’s perfect”

· “You should expect me to get angry. I have red hair.”

· “Kids will be kids.”

· “Men have a weakness for that, you know.”

· “He can’t help himself; he comes from a dysfunctional family.”

· “What do you expect? Her mother is an alcoholic.”

· “So I call in sick when I’m not. I work hard most of the time.”

· “Everybody fudges on the truth once in a while.”

· “It can’t be that bad; everybody does it.”

But all the excuses in the world don’t keep our hearts from longing and searching for purity. Our hearts tell us God has something more than the world wants us to believe we should expect, especially when we’ve been personally hurt by the impurity of others.

As you explore the Scriptures this week, keep your ears open to new insights God wants you to hear into the biblical definition of purity. Its meaning may be far richer than you imagine. Notice, too, that God believes we can live a life of purity in this sin-soaked world. Also, as you read and think this week, get in touch with the inner desire for purity God has placed within you. Enter this week’s quest with a new enthusiasm to discover God’s dream of purity for His children.

The memory verse for this week is Matthew 5:8, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.”

Thank you for listening to FaithBuilders podcasts. For more information about our church, visit our website at www.jaxnaz.org.

Build your faith today by realizing you can experience purity.