Sunday, September 24, 2023

Speaking in the Light 4.26.2006

By Rick Racela

If there is one thing we are serious about today in our society, its purity – at least when it comes to what we eat. “Organic” is becoming a household word.  The FDA establishes standards for everything sold in the market. Unfortunately, the standards of purity aren’t always what you might hope.
Did you know that apple butter won’t be sold if it has five or more whole insects per 100 grams? Otherwise it will go right onto your English muffins. Mushrooms can’t be sold if there is an average of 20 or more maggots of any size per 15 grams of dried mushrooms. If there are more than 13 insect heads in 100 grams of fig paste, the FDA ruthlessly tosses the whole batch. As for hot dogs…it’s best not to ask. 
If anything is really good, we long for it to exist in its pure form. Oxygen without exhaust fumes. Snow unmixed with slush. When something is pure it exists in its undefiled, uncontaminated state.
Purity is a word greatly prized in the Bible. Unfortunately, in our day it has been largely written off as quaint, Victorian, and prudish. It sounds like a person who isn’t fully human, when in fact God’s call for us to be pure is precisely his call for us to be purely human – humanity as He intended it to be, uncontaminated by anything impure which the Bible calls sin.
The writer James in the New Testament calls the opposite of this condition as being “double-minded.”  He describes such a person as being like a wave of the sea, driven forward by the wind one minute and backwards the next.  It is a life of divided loyalties.
Most of us know what it is like to be a wave on the sea. We are pulled toward a life of integrity where the inner life matches the outer life, and yet held back by a “secret sin” for which we haven’t been willing to renounce or get help. We long for the adventure of following Jesus fully, but we’re afraid of the price. We commit to pleasing God alone, only to find ourselves driven to impress or please others. We go back and forth. It is a miserable way to live.
In Jesus’ words, the secret to life is to pursue one thing. It is to give Him first place.  It is an unbelievable relief to be delivered from double-mindedness, to finally decide, to stop being torn. If we want to be saved from double-mindedness and pursue purity of heart, we must change the way we think so we can be made new in our minds. God talks about cleaning us by washing us with His words.  An indispensable practice is to have our minds re-formed by immersing then in the Bible. Think of what happens when something gets washed. Soap and water move through the fibers of the dirty fabric at the deepest level, lifting out impurities and removing them from the fabric.  
Recently I washed a favorite work shirt.  It was rather gray in appearance, but comfortable and good for mowing the lawn.  When it came out of the washer I realized it actually had several colors in it – each one distinct.  Only after the washing can we see the fabric as it was originally designed.  And only after having our minds cleansed and reformed can we be what God intended us to be.  If the Bible were to completely fulfill its mission in our lives, we would be transformed. We would be filled with thoughts and feelings of truth, love, joy, peace, kindness, and humility.  
You may be thinking – this doesn’t describe my work place or my family – or me.  Yet this reflects the thoughts and feelings in lives where Jesus has His rightful first place.  His desire is for each individual to come to Him, desiring to forsake a life tossed like the waves of the sea.  We need to change the way we think.  We need to be washed.  We need to be purely human.
The Lighthouse Church meets at Middle Township Elementary No. 2 in Court House with services times at 9 and 10:30 a.m.  Please join us.  For more information please call the church office at 465-6690.
 Bergstrom is Associate Pastor of The Lighthouse Church and filling in for Pastor Rudy while he is on vacation

Read More

Spout Off

Strathmere – I am a registered Independent who supported Van Drew for years when he was a moderate Democrat. I had hoped that when he pledged loyalty to Trump that he would still be a moderate. Instead, he has…

Read More

Villas – Lost in afternoon soaps but has anyone noticed how they Never sit, except when they are in a bar or coffee shop,+ especially the way they always seem to be right around the corner listening to a…

Read More

Cape May County – Can anyone pretty please describe a "wind turbine" ?

Read More

Most Read

Print Edition

Recommended Articles