“Whatever is pure.” Here we enter into a portion of the secret to Christian contentment that could profitably be addressed by a book-length treatise. We live in a day where we literally wallow in impurity. You cannot drive down a street without seeing billboards that are filthy and impure. You check the distance to the car in front of you and it has a profane and disgusting bumper sticker. You turn on the radio to get news and you are assaulted by impure words and concepts. We are surrounded by that which is unholy and impure.
   And yet we are called to purity ourselves. John told us, “And everyone who has this hope fixed on Him purifies himself, just as He is pure” (1 John 3:3). Purity speaks to us of remaining unspotted by the world, holiness helps us to consider the separation, the “differentness” that should be ours. Even the objects of our love should be different, for to love the world is to be the enemy of the Father. “But like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior” 1 Peter 1:15). Holiness and purity are extensive, speaking to the broad range of our lives, behavior, thoughts, and speech.
   We wish to be like Christ, and as He is pure, we too desire purity. Or…do we? Truly this is one of the most convicting portions of this text, for to be able to focus upon what is pure, what is holy, and to think upon these things, we must know experientially purity and holiness. And yet, in a day when the church is trying to look as much as possible like the world, where we dress like the world, talk like the world, are entertained by the world, how can we even begin to fulfill this command? For many in church-ianity today, the very idea of being holy, separate, and pure, is counter to the real goal of “reaching the world.” But where do you get the idea from Scripture that you reach the world by capitulating to it and becoming its mirror image? When Paul said he became all things to all people he was not even contemplating the idea of becoming worldly in thought or behavior, speech or dress.
   To think upon that which is pure requires us to have a passion for purity, a desire for holiness. And that desire, that passion, has to come from the Holy Spirit Himself. We must pray that He will enlighten our minds to see how the Word defines holiness, and how vital it is to our contentment and peace. We cannot expect the Holy Spirit to not be grieved by our lifestyle when we purposefully choose to revel in that which is unholy.
   So as we approach a new year, will it be a year where we will strive to be holy, as He is holy, and seek to think upon those things that are pure, to the benefit of our sanctification? Will be we able to look back a year from now and see progress here? Let us put forth serious effort to focus our minds upon what is true, honest, just, holy and pure. Will we be in danger of looking very unlike the world around us? Yes, and what a blessed danger it is!

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