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Change of heart

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You may or may not have picked up on a theme for the pastor’s column this month. Purity. What a foreign concept in our society! Nobody on TV is talking about purity. Nobody in Washington is talking about purity. Surprisingly, not many in our churches are talking about purity. The outside world doesn’t care about it, and the church is too nervous to discuss it. But here’s the reality: whether outside the church or in, we aren’t pure these days. The sin of self has led us to pursue everything but purity in our lives.

Pornography, adultery, lust, and greed are not just an issue for “those heathens.” They are a real issue for the church. And, unfortunately, as I mentioned above, those issues are too often neglected in the church.
Well, it’s time to start dealing with these issues. And here’s the great news: we can become pure again! Jesus has come to make us “whiter than snow!” What a promise!
One of the most egregious stories in the Bible of lost purity is the story of David and Bathsheba. If you aren’t familiar with the story, David, King of Israel, was enjoying an evening on the palace rooftop when he saw a woman bathing on a neighboring rooftop. To make a long story short, David sins with Bathsheba, destroying their purity.

Fast forward to a confrontation that David has with Nathan, a prophet. Nathan condemns David for his sins and loss of purity. David’s response is where I want us to focus. In Psalm 51, verse 10, David cries, “God, create a clean heart for me and renew a steadfast spirit within me.” David understood that his loss of purity was a heart issue. He didn’t pray that God would keep him from seeing beautiful women. He asked God to change his heart. He prayed that God would purify his heart, for that was the real issue.
Do you know what David’s legacy was? It wasn’t his sin with Bathsheba. It wasn’t his loss of purity. Even today, David is known as “a man after God’s own heart.” Regardless of how you’ve lost your purity, you can still leave that same legacy! One of purity! One of right standing with God!

I want to make you aware of an opportunity that can lead you to better understand how you can regain your purity through Christ. “A Call to Purity Weekend” will be held on March 7 and 8 at Williamstown Baptist Church. You won’t want to miss out on this opportunity to hear how Christ can change your heart, just as He did King David’s, and create a clean heart in you. For more information, go to www.purelifeministries.org/Williamstown.
(Josh Hildebrand is the pastor at Sherman Baptist Church in Dry Ridge. He can be reached at 859-428-2695 or by visiting the website at www.shermanbaptist.org)