2014-02-28 - Puddles and Purity
Purity ~ Part 3
[For this next, part I simply used a plain sheet of white printer paper. I would rip parts off as appropriate and act out the scene. By the end, true tears were pouring out.]
Each of us is given a single sheet of snow white paper - just one sheet to guard. This may look like an ordinary sheet, but because it is the only sheet you can ever have. It is precious. With each sexual act, you give a part of yourself away. How great it would be to present yourself whole to your spouse on your wedding night a perfect gift for your perfect spouse. Then over the years, your spouse would have all your pieces, and you would have all of theirs. That would be incredible. And that is Gods good plan - one man and one woman sharing themselves completely with the other, in a committed marriage for the rest of their lives. If you dont believe me, then just read the Song of Solomon sometime.
I wanted to save myself, and in high school that was easy. Being one of the geekiest kids around, who also happened to hit puberty rather late, made me pretty undesirable - so there was little temptation - but nonetheless, I had committed to myself that my page would stay intact until my wedding night. But then I gave into a lie that being engaged was practically married, and had sex. I tore a big part off and gave it away. And then additional pieces were given to her. Sadly I learned engagement is not the same as marriage, and that relationship ended, but I was forever altered. I tried to put the torn pieces together, but they wouldnt stay. I could tape or staple pieces, but its still pretty clear that its not a normal whole piece of paper. It has been forever altered.
When the engagement ended, I felt betrayed and hurt. I was sad and angry. And I was stupid among other things, so since I couldnt get that part back I decided it didnt matter, and gave more and more of myself away. I felt hopeless, lonely, ashamed, a gamut of emotions. And I began to trample on myself until I was numb. This dirty, torn, abused little scrap was all that was left. When I married Dana, that was all that was left to give to her. People whose names I dont even remember have my paper, and I could not give it to the perfect person that God had planned before my birth for me to share that with. I destroyed Gods plans for my paper, because I thought I knew better.
I look back, and that is one of the biggest regrets of my life. For those of you who know me, you know that I have done other dumb things in my life, but this one area is by far the dumbest and my single biggest regret. I cant undo anything, or even erase it from my mind. Its all trapped in there, and it haunts me. Now by Gods grace, I was still able to fall in love, and all of that, but sin - even when forgiven - still has consequences.
According to CDC in 2011, the latest year with data available:
47.4% of US high school students have had sex,
Do you remember that one in four stat? Well they just drank all four smoothies. Theres not much doubt if they got my booger or not.
I hope all of you are still virgins, and will commit to purity for God and for yourself. But in a crowd this size, it is foolish to think everyone is. According to statistics 65% of people have had sex by the time they graduate high school. So if you arent still a virgin, what hope is there for you?
Lets look at Johns gospel.
John 8:1-11 (NASB) But Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. 2 Early in the morning He came again into the temple, and all the people were coming to Him; and He sat down and began to teach them. 3 The scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman caught in adultery, and having set her in the center of the court, 4 they *said to Him, Teacher, this woman has been caught in adultery, in the very act. 5 Now in the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women; what then do You say? 6 They were saying this, testing Him, so that they might have grounds for accusing Him. But Jesus stooped down and with His finger wrote on the ground. 7 But when they persisted in asking Him, He straightened up, and said to them, He who is without sin among you, let him be the first to throw a stone at her. 8 Again He stooped down and wrote on the ground. 9 When they heard it, they began to go out one by one, beginning with the older ones, and He was left alone, and the woman, where she was, in the center of the court. 10 Straightening up, Jesus said to her, Woman, where are they? Did no one condemn you? 11 She said, No one, Lord. And Jesus said, I do not condemn you, either. Go. From now on sin no more.
A woman is caught in the act of adultery. She is undeniably busted, and everyone wants to punish her. Jesus speaks, and everyone drops their stones and walks off. He concludes by telling her, I dont condemn you. I accept you as you are. But from now, on go and sin no more. Jesus accepts us, no matter what our paper looks like. He doesnt condemn us but loves us. But being accepted by him, he compels us, commands us, to sin no more. Today your shirt may be wet. Today you may have mud on your jeans. Your paper may have a corner missing, or be almost all gone. But it doesnt matter. God will accept you right now. He wont condemn you. Will you receive his forgiveness, and then go and sin no more?
So if youre not a virgin, you can commit from this point further, to stay pure until your wedding day. Go and sin no more.
Avoid puddles, and keep your paper whole and pure, but if thats too late, then go and sin no more. Protect what you still have, and trust him to make all things new.
[I wish I had some magic skills and could have with some sleight of hand turned my dirty trampled on ball of torn and tattered paper into a whole sheet, at this point, but that is one visual I did not know how to pull off.]
All scripture references are from the KJV unless otherwise noted.
Author's Note: This devotional is based off a message delivered to youth on February 5, 2014.