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Daily Reading: Jeremiah 44:24-47:7 ESV, 2 Timothy 2:22-3:17 ESV, Psalm 94:1-23 ESV, Proverbs 26:6-8 ESV

Daily Verse: “So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.” (2 Timothy 2:22 ESV)

KATHAROS (2513): “Means free from impure admixture, without blemish, spotless.  Katharos refers to the Christian’s freedom from the defilements of the flesh and the world.”[1]

Without blemish.

Pure sheep have no marks.  No blemishes dirty the white wool. Black nose and hoofs highlight the perfection of what people used to sacrifice to God in atonement for sin.  Jesus had no defect, sinless; He died on the cross for us.

We have blemishes, every one of us.  My most recent temper tantrum resulted in stopping a round of golf on the sixth hole.  After enduring slow play, a rainstorm, and the club slipping from my hands, I had enough. But I could have handled the situation better than I did.  Only Jesus dealt with all things well.

Pursue positive virtues.

Paul’s asking Timothy to pursue positive virtues.  Even though blemished, we can still strive for perfection, understanding we can’t reach it on our own.  When we partner with Jesus, He makes us righteous. 

“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28 ESV)

God wants us to try.  When we center our hearts on Jesus, seeking His will for our life, God will direct our paths.  But we still must walk.  Do I believe God can bring the perfect partner to the door for a single person?  Absolutely. 

But I also believe you might meet someone sooner if you went out of the house.  During my season of singleness, I forced myself to join social groups to meet others.  I met Ron on the tennis court, where our relationship began.

Living life to the fullest means pursuing it with Christ.  We must understand that relationships matter more than anything else in the world.  Jesus comes first, others second, ourselves last, each relationship developing daily.

Strive for a pure heart by connecting with Jesus, allowing Him to search you for blemishes.  Embrace God’s grace and mercy, then share it with the world.

[1] Strong, J., & Strong, J. (2010). The New Strong’s expanded exhaustive concordance of the Bible. Greek Dictionary of the New Testament (p. 124) Thomas Nelson

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