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Fundamentals Of Meditation (Part 5. Contemplating The Importance Of Purity)
Although a part of a series, this study is COMPLETE on its own. (Part 5 of 9 in series)
* all [bracketed] words in Scripture verses are mine *
In part 4 of this series on Philippians 4, we will examine things that are pure. Paul urged the Christians at Philippi to meditate upon such things. We have already spoken of things that are true, and things that are honest, and of things that are just. We have laid the foundation of meditation in the article Christian Meditation vs. New-Age Meditation.
It was noted that the basis of Christian mediation is the same as that of worship and begins with a humbling of oneself before the God of the universe. With this humbling comes confession of any sin and a pouring out of oneself, an emptying of any rebellious attitude, and a putting on an expectation that something good will come from God. It is at this time that one would give any petitions to God and offer them up to His will. And lastly, to tell the Lord your whole heart and any desires that lay thereon. While in this very special time with God, one focuses his heart on a truth or on Scripture that is brought with him to this meeting with the Lord of hosts. In the musing and pondering, the readied Christian will receive something from the Lord, be it a new insight or a line of study that will teach something that he needs, or a new appreciation for what he already knows or even perhaps a gratefulness for what things God has already done for him. Along with this, comes the promise of a peace that passes any understanding.
"Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice. Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand. Be careful [anxious] for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God which passeth all understanding shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; If there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think [meditate] on these things." (Philippians 4:4-8)
Purity. The everyday person doesn't think much about the purity of anything. The more one looks into these things, the more contaminated one finds the world to be. Our food, our water, our air, everything is contaminated. Who can be bothered with such concepts when no one can get away from the contaminates? If something is not pure so what? If something doesn't kill you, it makes you stronger, doesn't it?. Isn't that the old saying? And the one my mom used to say to me: "Don't be bothered, you gotta eat a pound of dirt before you die anyway."
Not many people give thought to these things, but that is just the physical aspect of purity. What about the greater aspect of moral purity? It used to be that a maiden was considered pure before she was married. The pureness referred to was the woman's virginity given as a gift to her husband. She wore white signifying that she had saved herself until marriage and that her husband would be her one and only sexual partner. After the marriage, she was considered pure and chaste if she remained faithful to her husband. Where has that sense of purity gone? It has blown away with the wind-driven snow.
And everyone knows that saying: "Pure as the wind-driven snow."
Very few things are known to be pure (even wind-driven snow) and the very concept of purity is discouraged by true science. There is good reason for this. There is almost nothing that is pure. Science can study the chemical makeup of substances and everything is mixed or contaminated with something. If a substance is 99.[something]% pure it has to be regarded as totally pure because nothing is 100%. The simple facts of science should not affect attitudes toward purity, but it seems that one attitude leeches into another.
Isn't it interesting that with the evolution of science and popular thought, all things have lost their purity? There is no totally pure water, food, air, but now there is no pure good nor evil nor any principles to live by; nor anything pure at all. What happened to pure motives? No one believes there are any. Pure good? pure evil? not many hold that either exist.
What of God? Is He pure? I would venture a guess that the basis for not believing in God that most atheists use, is the concept of purity. For who can believe, they say, that there is a Being that is pure knowledge, pure love, pure power, pure justice, pure truth? Who would believe this? Christians would that's who, because the Bible says God is that, and much, much more. God is:
Pure Knowledge. "The eyes of the Lord are in every place, beholding the evil and the good." (Proverbs 15:3)
Pure Presence. "Am I a God near at hand" says the Lord, "and not a God afar off? Can anyone hide himself in secret places, so I shall not see him?" says the Lord. "Do I not fill heaven and earth?" says the Lord." (Jeremiah 23:24)
Pure Power. "God has spoken once, twice I have heard this: That power belongs to God." (Psalm 62:11)
Pure Ability. "Then Job answered the Lord and said, "I know that You can do everything, and that no purpose of Yours can be withheld from you." (Job 42:2)
Pure Sovereignty. "The earth is the Lord's and its fullness, the world and those who dwell therein. For He has founded it upon the seas, and established it upon the waters." (Psalms 24:3-4)
Pure Holiness. "For I am the Lord that bringeth you up out of the land of Egypt, to be your God; therefore be holy, for I am holy." (Leviticus 11:45)
Pure Justice. "The Lord is righteous in her midst [Israel and the rest of the world], He will do no unrighteousness. Every morning He brings His justice to light; He never fails, but the unjust knows no shame." (Zephaniah 3:5)
Pure Truth. "He is the Rock, His work is perfect; for all His ways are justice, a God of truth and without injustice; righteous and upright is He." (Deuteronomy 32:4)
The apostle Paul did say for Christians to meditate on things that are pure. The word pure is the greek word, hagnos (hag-nos') that means clean, innocent, modest, perfect, chaste. This is a very interesting word because it comes from the same root word as the word "saint" (hagios) that means sacred, blameless, religious, consecrated.
To sum up Paul's statement to meditate on things that are pure one could say that we are to meditate on the One that declared us holy because He is holy. We are to think on things that are declared righteous through the blood, because it will give us an insight into the One who declared it to be so. Meditate on God, on the Blood of Christ, on examples of individuals who loved the Lord in Scripture (Old and New Testament saints, hagios). One should ponder Christ's suffering, His life, all His words and all His miracles.
One's desire might be to become a man or woman like those mentioned in Scripture, a person of purity. If that is so, then an effort to walk blameless and consecrated to the Lord will have to be made. She would have to understand that she is a child of God and is called to a life that is set apart to be an example to others in modesty and chaste behavior. He will have to forget those things behind and press on, knowing that God has declared him clean, and endeavor to stay pure from now on.
Though I personally hate the word religion, for it is a much misunderstood concept. It is, however, a part of this definition so let your religion reflect not yours but Christ's life that He lives through you. It must not be something one does only on certain days, or in certain instances; but a total walk, a total way of life.
Meditating on things that are pure tends to cleanse one's mind. It puts a perspective on things and sheds light on the person's sin. We become smaller in our own mind as to our strength and our own power, but we gain an insight into how much better it is to let the pure Savior live His life in us. It encourages us to be "crucified with Christ" and to submit each moment of the day to Christ's leading. We do that so that the life we would live in our own power does not cancel out the potential of Christ in us.
Now if that statement confuses you, it is possible that you never have asked Jesus to come into your heart to be your Lord and Savior and the Master of your life. Calling on Jesus to save you would be the result of you Believing that Jesus died for you to pay for your sin. The Holy Spirit would be touching your heart and letting you feel the hole that needs to be filled in it. What fits into that hole in your heart is Jesus. The hole is a result of your sin that you carry with you and that eats at you. Jesus died to pay for that sin. He died to take away the pain of that sin munching its way through your heart into your soul. Your sin will have to be paid for in order for you to get into a pure and holy heaven. If Jesus' blood isn't applied to your life to take it away, you will pay for it yourself after this life in a place designed not for you, but for Satan and his angels. Jesus will be faithful and save you and declare you pure before His Father, if you cry out to Him in repentance and belief. God can not see your sin through the blood of Jesus.
"Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven, and whose sins are covered; blessed is the man to whom the Lord shall not impute sin." (Romans 4:7-8)
"For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." (Romans 3:23)
"If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation." (Romans 10:9-10)
If you feel a hole that sin has eaten away and want a life that can reflect more than you ever dreamed possible, pray this: Dear Jesus, I know that I am a sinner. I know I can't save myself. I feel the hole in my heart that sin has eaten and I need You to stop that pain and emptiness. I believe that You died to pay for my sin and was buried and rose the third day. Please forgive me save me and make me pure in Your sight. I promise to turn from my sin and I turn to You as the only Way of salvation. Thank You for this gift of life. I pray this in Jesus' name. Amen
Other hubs on Christian Meditation: