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Purity Produces Clarity

November 16th, 2017

Walk uprightly with conviction and clarity.

 “Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself.” Daniel 1:8 NKJV.

My thoughts and comments today are that,

“Purity Produces Clarity.”

I am assuming you have read my most recent comments on, “Clarity or Ambiguity.” If not, take a few minutes to do so at: allenrandolph.com. I would like to continue a bit on this important theme – the necessity of purity as the basis for moral and spiritual clarity. In a confused, uncertain, and less than clear world, clarity is a rare but valuable commodity. Too many people live in a relational, moral, and spiritual fog. Not much seems clear about matters that are vital.

Our culture, media, and popular opinions offer mixed assumptions and confusing answers, of which Jesus warned, “Can the blind lead the blind? Will they not both fall into the ditch?” Read Luke 6:39-42 NKJV. The answer is obvious; the results are debilitating. Without purity life is confusing. Too many people are sorely burdened by their past and woefully uninformed and unprepared for eternity. Too many marriages and families struggle without enduring truth as their foundation. As a result, far too many marriages stumble forward with increasing dismay and the resulting disarray.

Making sense of daily life and finding purpose and meaning require God’s truth, not man’s opinions. God’s Word provides the answers you lack and the wisdom you need. Jesus taught eight simple, practical principles for a life that God promises to bless. Among those, Jesus affirmed that, “Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God.” Matthew 5:8 NIV. Do you see the connection? Purity is necessary for spiritual clarity.

I am inspired by the clarity of Daniel’s conviction. In a hostile culture and with every pressure to conform,“Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself.” Daniel 1:8 NKJV. As Daniel did, set the Word of God as foremost in your heart and daily practice. Walk uprightly with conviction and clarity. Jesus directly connected the purity of your heart with your ability to recognize truth and comprehend God.

“Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.” Proverbs 4:23 NIV. The principle applies broadly. The more your heart is cleansed by God’s Word, the clearer your understanding and the more consistent your obedience. The Psalmist wrote, “The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul . . The commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes.” Read Psalm 19:7-10 NKJV.

Jesus often used stories, examples, or analogies to present a practical truth. On one such occasion, He asked, “Why worry about a speck in your friend’s eye when you have a log in your own? . . First get rid of the log from your own eye; then perhaps you will see well enough to deal with the speck in your friend’s eye.” Read Matthew 7:3-5 NIV. Clarity about Who God is, what His Word says, and who you are in Christ are essential and invaluable. But from where does such clarity come?

“The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks.” Luke 6:45 NIV.  Writing to Timothy, his young protégé, Paul summarized God’s calling and expectation, “Set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity.” 1 Timothy 4:12 NIV. That’s a big order, but not too big for the Holy Spirit to reproduce in you. Read Galatians 5:22-23 NLT.

Today, I pray for you to be sure about the things that need to be clear.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Christian Communications 2017

Website and archives: allenrandolph.com facebook.com/everydaylife.allenrandolph

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Clarity and Ambiguity

November 10th, 2017

Purity is the spiritual fruit of clarity.

 “Then we will see everything with perfect clarity.”  1 Corinthians 13:12 NLT.

My thoughts and comments today are about,

“Clarity and Ambiguity.”

We live in a world that lacks moral and spiritual clarity. Presently, our country is reeling from the senseless, murderous tragedy of lives taken on this most recent Sunday morning in a Church not far from where I write these thoughts. In vain, our hearts try to understand what our minds cannot explain. Where clarity lacks, confusion fills the void. Opinions pose as facts, but sometimes they are merely opinions. Inevitably, we find some supposed facts to be in dispute. Opinions are as diverse as the people that hold them. Truth is never ambiguous and not lessened by either those who proclaim or disclaim it.

The world longs for clarity yet there is not much that is perfectly clear. Ambiguity seems the norm. Spiritual ambiguity. Moral ambiguity. Political ambiguity. Ambiguity seems to have become the norm. Where there is no clarity there is no truth. When and where you discover truth, you will find clarity. Absolute truth is found in God’s Word and character. Clarity comes from His truth.

The Apostle Paul addressed his problem and ours. We lack clarity. “Now we see things imperfectly as [looking] in a poor mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God knows me now.” 1 Corinthians 13:12 NLT. Our knowledge is finite; His is infinite. Our comprehension is flawed; His is perfect. Our understanding is partial; His is complete. “Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable His judgments, and His paths beyond tracing out!” Romans 11:33 NIV. Isn’t it foolish, or even arrogant, to assume your experience to be unique or your knowledge to be complete?

The more time you invest in God’s Word, and the more you welcome the Holy Spirit to direct your life, and the more you weave God’s Truth into your daily life, the clearer you will become about direction, relationships, values, integrity, purpose, and destiny. Be clear about your salvation; you are forever sealed by the blood of Jesus. Be clear about your victory in Christ; in Him, you are more than a conqueror. Be clear about your purpose; you are here to advance His Kingdom. Be clear about your identity; you are who God says you are. Be clear about eternal life; Jesus prepared a place with Him for all eternity. All other opinions to the contrary are superfluous.

I have found these words to be clarifying and a promise of what is ahead for us, “The path of the righteous is like the first gleam of dawn, shining ever brighter till the full light of day.” Prov 4:18 NIV. “When He shall come, we will be like Him for we shall see Him as He is.” Here is God’s goal for you, and should be yours as well. “Until we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.” Ephesians 4:13 NKJV. Clarity about Who God is, what His Word says, and who you are in Christ produces purity of heart and life. Purity is the spiritual fruit of clarity. “Everyone who has this hope in him purifies himself, just as He is pure.” Read 1 John 3:2-3 NIV“Everyone who has this hope in him purifies himself, just as He is pure.” Read 1 John 3:2-3 NIV.

Today, I pray for you to be clear about your destiny and confident in His promises.

Christian Communications 2017

Website and archives: allenrandolph.com

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Clarity

June 4th, 2012

“Then we will see everything with perfect clarity.” 1 Corinthians 13:12 NLT

The promise of good is incomplete without the process of being conformed.

My thoughts and comments today are about “clarity.”

What I have observed about myself and others is this: we cannot know everything we need to know, and often don’t understand everything we think we know. That is especially true when it comes to matters involving God’s will and His actions (or presumed inaction) in everyday life. Are you perplexed about something God has done, or more particularly a time when God hasn’t done what you wanted or believed He would? Sometimes in one’s life of faith, there seem to be more questions than answers.

Understanding can become a bit clouded, less clear than may feel comfortable to you. I have friends who live with serious health issues, and have for too long of a time. They are good people; they have served God faithfully, often carrying the burden of others’ needs. Maybe your present situation is like theirs in one way or another – a marriage that doesn’t heal, a prodigal who doesn’t return, financial crises that aren’t resolved. How does your heart and mind personally reconcile God’s righteous character and gracious care with the apparent absence of relief to dear people who trust God – loving and serving Him – even in the face of their own dire needs? My friend, Dennis, wisely observed that our present experience is safely” bound within God’s sovereignty, not our own choice or devil’s device.” Our time continuum is so small, eternity so vast.

Faith must occasionally wrestle with an apparent gap between God’s wisdom in a particular circumstance and His will and character as expressed in the Bible. In spite of what may first appear, there is no inconsistency. The Apostle Paul experienced such times and found satisfaction in God’s answer, “My grace is sufficient for you.” See 2 Corinthians 12:7-10 NKJV. There is a day when God gives clarity, but that day is not necessarily this day. This verse describes both psychic pain and spiritual promise, “Now we see things imperfectly . .  but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God knows me now.” 1 Corinthians 13:12 NLT. Just as God knows! What a day that will be.

Here is the problem as I see it. The Bible says our knowledge and understanding are “imperfect, partial and incomplete.” There are times and situations when the miniscule portion of reality you see is not the full reality, until you are able to understand more clearly all that God is doing in this moment and how your small puzzle piece complements the over-arching purposes and providence of God. “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God . . who are called  according to His purpose . . to become conformed to the image of His Son.Romans 8:28-29 NAS. The promise of good is incomplete without the process of being conformed. Romans 12:1-2 NIV.

The Bible’s good news is this. “Then you will see everything with perfect clarity . . then you will know everything completely, just as God knows you now.” Supposed ambiguity can yield to profound clarity about the will of God, when balanced with the eternal wisdom with which He lovingly and sovereignly directs the affairs of your life as well as His church and world. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways, acknowledge God and He will direct your paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6 NKJV. Life requires trust; trust yields spiritual clarity.

My prayer for you today is that you will be clear about Who God is and what He does.

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