JANUARY 15

Today's Bible Readings
     Genesis 16
     Nehemiah 5
     Matthew 15
     Acts 15
 
MEMORIZE TODAY
''But those things which proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and defile a man.. For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, and blasphemies."  (Matthew 15:18-19)
 
THE WAY TO PURITY
            It is clear from Scripture that it is the will of God that His children be clean and pure in mind, heart and body.  God will not use a dirty pitcher to carry the water of life to thirsty souls for very long. Sometimes a person will seem to be an effective servant of the Lord while living in impurity, but it never lasts for very long.  Jesus makes it very clear in our text that what is really in a man will eventually be revealed. We know what is inside of him by what eventually comes out of his mouth.
            I remember the strong loyalty I felt toward former President Richard Nixon. I trusted him and his character and felt resentment toward those who attacked him and accused him. Then I heard the tapes and the profane utterance that came from his lips. Then I knew there was something seriously flawed in the internal character of this famous man.  It broke my heart. How it must break the heart of God when those who claim to love Him are dirty and impure on the inside.
            Our consideration today is not about others, however, but about you and me. I have discovered in the Christian life that initially we trust in our ignorance calling it innocence; and next, we trust our innocence calling it purity. We resent any suggestion there could be any rottenness and impurity within us. I would suggest today instead of trusting your own ''innocent ignorance'' that you examine your heart in the spiritual mirror of the Word of God. As long as I remain under the false security of my own ''innocence,” I am living in a fool's paradise. We must be open and completely exposed before God and we will discover that Jesus Christ and the Word of God is correct in their diagnosis of me.
            The only thing that really provides protection is the redemption of Jesus Christ. If I will simply hand myself over to Him, I will never have to experience the terrible possibilities that lie within my heart. Purity is something far too deep for me to arrive at naturally, but when the Holy Spirit comes into me, He brings into the center of my personal life the very Spirit that was exhibited in the life of Jesus Christ, namely the Holy Spirit, which is absolute unblemished purity.
            Jesus was appalled at defilement within His Temple. He ran the moneychangers out, turned over their tables and cleansed the temple in an act of righteous indignation. Now we are His Temple. How it must break His heart when He discovers the impurity within His Temple. Allow the Holy Spirit today to cleanse you and fill you with His purity and His power.
 
PRAY FOR THE WORLD
Pray today for the poor in Africa. Of the world's 40 poorest nations, 32 are in Africa; of these about 13 are in almost complete collapse. Only 1.2% of the world's earnings are generated in Africa.  The need is so great that only a mighty miracle of God can meet such need.
 
A WORD FOR YOUR WORLD TODAY
''A baptism of holiness, a demonstration of godly living is the crying need of our day."
Duncan Campbell