Bible Reading:  Matthew 5:1-12; Psalm 24:1-10

Jesus said that the pure in heart are blessed [Matthew 5:8]. The word blessed used by Jesus in the beatitudes of Matthew 5:3-10 means happiness of the highest kind, and even more that, of God’s special favour towards His people. The happiest people on earth are those whose hearts are pure. Sin makes a person miserable but purity of heart and the beauty of holiness makes a person happy.

The Bible says that God is good to those whose hearts are pure [Psalm 73:1]. Paul, writing to Timothy exhorted him to keep himself pure [1 Timothy 5:22] and to be an example of purity [1 Timothy 4:12]. One of the conditions for entering into God’s presence is to have a pure heart [Psalm 24:4].

The Greek word translated as pure in Matthew 5:8 is a word used of clear water, metals without alloy and of grain that has not been winnowed [that is freed from mixture of other particles].

To have a pure heart does not mean it is without sin, but it is consciously free from known sin. One day a little girl was upset when her mother came home soaked to the skin by heavy rain. Mother went upstairs to get a hot bath, and the little girl really wanted to help her mother. Suddenly she had an idea – she would dry mother’s shoes in the oven. Mother, in the bath suddenly could smell burning leather and quickly came to the kitchen. As she opened the oven thick smoke began to pour out and there were her shoes, a burnt offering! Just as mother was about the explode the little girl said, “Mummy, I dried your shoes for you!” The little girl’s heart was pure but not necessarily without fault. We may not be conscious of sin, and our heart may be pure, but it does not necessarily mean that we are faultless.

An old pastor once said to me that holiness is not the inability to sin, but the glorious ability not to sin.


It is critical to the Christian life how we handle those who criticize us. Have you sought to do what is right, with a pure heart, and the result has not turned out as you expected? How did you handle the criticism?

Jesus says that purity is one of the keys to the highest form of happiness. “Self-gratification never brings satisfaction.” Putting these two statements together what do they say to you?






Bible Reading: Romans 13:1-14; 1 John 1:7

God is light and walking in the light is an important aspect of purity and holy Christian living. As we saw yesterday light is a symbol of honesty and purity. The darkness hates the light. To walk in the light is to walk right! Honesty makes us vulnerable but it is powerful. No cover up, no pretense, no trying to be something that we are not, and no hidden agendas. When Jesus met Nathaniel [John 1:47] He said, “Behold an Israelite in whom there is no guile.” The words “no guile” literally mean pure and free from deceit.

To walk in the light is the basis of Christian fellowship. The apostle John says, “If we walk in the light we have fellowship one with another” [1 John 1:7]

If we are not honest then we cannot be trusted and trust is a fundamental component of any relationship. Any good relationship requires four basic elements to grow. These are love, trust, respect and understanding. Trust is the part of a relationship most difficult to be restored if it has been broken.

To walk in the light is the key to progressive cleansing from sin. John continues, “…and the blood of Jesus Christ cleanses us from all sin” [1 John 1:7]. The life of fellowship is a life that is continually cleansed from sin by the blood of Jesus. When a Christian walks in the light their lives will be known, and will not contain hidden sins, falsehoods or deception. In that openness they will experience progressive cleansing from all sin.

To walk in the light provides protective armour in spiritual battle. Light is a weapon. Where light shines it exposes the enemy and evil. Writing to the Roman Christians, Paul says that we are to put on the armour of light [Romans 13:12]. Holy and right living protects us from many dangers.


Have you ever tried to have fellowship with someone you find it hard to trust? What exactly was it that made fellowship so difficult with that person?

In what way do you think that walking in the light is protective weapon for the Christian? Can this principle also be true for the person who is not a Christian?





Bible Reading:  Philippians 2:12-18; Acts 9:36-41

We are called by Jesus to let our light so shine before men that they may see our good works and give glory to God. The evidence that a person is living in the light is good works. The danger is that we get the order wrong! It is not that we do good in order to shine but that the Holy Spirit within us shines out and the result is good works.

One of the most saintly people I have ever met was my mother-in-law. Gladys admitted to being lazy at school and as she grew up she was illiterate. Gladys and her husband, Sid, came to Christ in 1939. Sid never went on with the Lord, but Gladys’ life was totally transformed.

Sid complained, was moody and a gambler. He would give Gladys money for housekeeping but then steal it back to fund his gambling habit, but be very difficult if his wife did not continue to put meals on the table. Sometimes he locked her in the house so that Gladys could not go to church, and on at least one occasion she escaped through a downstairs window. Never once did Gladys complain or fight back, and when he was 80 years old Sid finally came to the Lord.

In those difficult years Gladys would rise in the early hours to pray. On one amazing day God miraculously taught her to read and His Word became a treasure to her. One day when there was no food in the house and no money she and her two daughters knelt down to pray. Gladys knew the consequences she faced if there was no food on the table when her husband came home. Whilst they were praying there was a knock at the door, and a member of the church stood there with a large box of groceries. “God told me early this morning to go to the shop and buy you a box of groceries,” she said.

Gladys was a light that shone brightly. As a young girl my wife saw two very different examples in her parents and made a decision to follow her mother’s example, and as result countless numbers of people have been blessed. My wife is the fruit of the light of Jesus shining in her mother’s life.


How does Jesus want the light to shine in a difficult situation that you might face today?

Dorcas was known for the kind things that she did for others and for helping the poor, and as a result she and many others were blessed. How is God asking you to be kind and help the poor and thus to shine for Him?


Bible Reading:  1 John 1:1-10; Ephesians 4:175:20

John, writing his first letter makes a declaration that God is Light and in Him there is no darkness [verse 6]. Light and darkness are two opposite ends of a spectrum. Darkness describes sin, evil and the kingdom that is ruled over by Satan. Before we came to Christ and received His salvation we were in darkness. The god of this world blinded our minds and we could not understand truth. Describing our new position in Christ as His children, the Apostle Paul says that we have been rescued from the kingdom of darkness and brought into the kingdom of the Son he loves [Colossians 1:13]. The previous verse states that we are now God’s people in the kingdom of light.

Light symbolizes honesty and purity. To walk in the light means to leave behind the things of our former darkness. No more hidden, selfish agendas. No more hypocrisy and dishonesty. No more pretense or play-acting.

Writing to the Ephesians Paul says, “…you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of the Light” [Ephesians 5:8]. In Ephesians 4:17 through to 5:20 Paul gives instructions for Christian living and the heart of his message is living in the light. We are to expose the fruitless deeds of darkness. Among some of those fruitless deeds of darkness are lying [Ephesians 4:25]; anger [4:26]; stealing [4:28]; unwholesome talk [4:29]; bitterness and malice [4:31]; sexual immorality [5:3].

The result of allowing the “deeds of darkness” to exist in our lives is that we sleep spiritually! Let us awake and let Christ shine on us [Ephesians 5:14]. Holiness is to live in the light!!

Something to do:

Write down the negative works of darkness that Paul mentions in Ephesians 4:17-5:20. I have mentioned some of them but there a number of others. Then write down the positive things, that Paul says are a part of walking in the light. Finally, write down each specific commandment that you read in this passage.

A Question:

What has the Holy Spirit revealed to you today, as you have read this passage in Ephesians, about walking in the Light? Is there anything that you need to change in your life?

A Prayer:

Help me to put on today my new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. Shine your light into my heart today. Through the power of your Holy Spirit let me please you today. In Jesus Name. Amen.


Bible Reading: Psalm 119:9-16 & Psalm 119:105-112

Psalm 119 is a meditation on the excellences of the Word of God. Throughout this longest of the Psalms the Word of God is constantly referred to as His law, statutes, word, testimony, commandments, and precepts. Very early in the Psalm we read of God’s Word that cleanses us [verse 9] and keeps us from sin [verse 11]. Jesus said, “You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you” [John 15:3]. God’s Word has the power to make us clean, to keep us clean and to keep us from sin.

As a young Christian I was encouraged to read God’s Word every day, and I read the whole Bible several times in my early Christian life. Much of it was without real understanding, but as I read it something was happening in my heart. The word of God is like a seed sown and then watered by the Holy Spirit.

A Christian leader from Hungary shared with me a remarkable testimony of the power of God’s word to bring sin to the surface in his life. One day, as he was reading in Deuteronomy, he read of a particular sexual sin, and as he read he began to think about this sin and enjoyed the thought of it. What he was dwelling on and enjoying was not good, but he recognized that God’s Word had revealed within him a root of sin that he had been previously unaware of. My friend, Otto, immediately confessed that sin, the root was removed and he was set free. That is the power of God’s word to bring light, and to purify us on this journey of Holiness.


Can you remember a time in your life when God’s Word has specifically brought to the surface of your life something which was unclean and of which you needed to be set free?

Something to Do:

God’s Word, the Bible is very powerful. Someone has said,” God’s Word will keep you from sin, or sin will keep you from God’s Word.” Would you make a commitment today, with God’s help, to read the Bible consistently every day. There are many daily Bible reading plans and notes available. Keep a journal of what you read, and what God speaks into your heart, and see the change that will have taken place after only one year.       


Bible Reading: 1 John 3:10-23; 4:7-21

Because God is both perfect and love, perfect love is to be filled with God, but some might ask what exactly that might mean.

In his remarkable book, “The Four Loves,” C.S. Lewis exposes a weakness of the English language. Whereas we have in English the one word, love, there are four distinct words in Greek that are translated into English as love. “Eros” describes physical passionate love with sensual desire and longing. “Phileo” is affectionate regard or friendship and includes a sense of loyalty. “Storge” is that natural affection such as felt by parents for their children.

The fourth word, “Agape,” speaks of true unconditional love. This love is selfless; it gives sacrificially and expects nothing in return. Whether the love given is returned or not, the person continues to love without any regard to self-benefit. This is how God loves us and it is because He first loved us that we love Him and that love flows over to others. It is impossible to love God and not to love our fellow men.

Writing his first epistle, John connects light and love. To love is to walk in the light with no hidden agendas. This love is practical in that it does not shut up its heart when faced with the needs of others. The evidence that a person is a child of God is that they practice righteousness and love others. If we love one another God’s love is perfected in us. Love is the outworking of righteousness. Show me a man who is holy and I will show you a man out of whom flows the love of God to others. This is the work of the Holy Spirit and the more we are filled with the Holy Spirit the more we will love both God and men.


Love and Holiness is the same thing. How would you explain this and what is the impact it has on your own life?

How would you describe in your own words unconditional love? As the Holy Spirit to show you if there is any area of your life where your love is conditional and not unconditional. If necessary bring it to the Lord in prayer and ask for His forgiveness.

Something to do:

Ask the Holy Spirit to fill you with His love and then ask Him each day to show you how you might express that love to God and to others.


Bible Reading:  Romans 5:1-11; Matthew 22:34-40

Jesus said that the greatest of all the commandments is to love God and to love your neighbour.

Love is the fruit of the Spirit [Galatians 5:22-23]. One commentator says that love is the sum total of all the other aspects of the fruit of the Spirit.

Jesus commanded us to love! The response to a commandment is not an emotion but a decision of the will. Have you noticed how difficult it is to love some people and especially those who have hurt us or rub us up the wrong way? Love is first of all a choice.

Esther and I gave our lives to serve Jesus. We lived on a fanatical Muslim island where there were very few Christians. One day, cycling to a village about five miles from where we lived, I challenged Esther to a race, and was soon well ahead of her. I was almost out of sight when I heard her scream. Looking back I saw that several young men had pulled her off her bike and were pulling her clothes off.

I ran back towards Esther, and as they saw me the young men ran off. Esther was deeply traumatized and in the weeks that followed often had nightmares and would cry out. She was fearful and wanted to go home to her mum. She blamed all Indonesians for what had happened. Our missionary future was clearly threatened.

Some weeks later Esther prayed a desperate prayer. “Lord, I cannot love these people, but I know you do, and I want You to love them through me.” Shortly after praying Esther felt as though a bucket of warm water was being poured over her, and every part of her was being washed clean. A new love came for Jesus and for the Indonesian people. A few days later we read together, ““God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us” [Romans 5:5].


Ruth Graham said, “You cannot genuinely pray for someone and have a wrong attitude towards them.” Is there someone who has hurt you, who God wants you to forgive and then to love through you?

In Galatians 5:23, after listing the fruit of the Spirit, Paul says, “Against such things there is no law.” What do you think this means?




Bible Reading: 1 John 4:7-21; 1 Corinthians 13:1-13

Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as He is, so are we in the world. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love” [1 John 4:17-18 NKJV]

On one occasion, when asked the meaning of holiness, John Wesley replied, “It is perfect love.”

The devil has done everything he can to confuse people as to the meaning of love. The media and Hollywood have confused and misled many people by giving a wrong conception of love. Writing to the Corinthians, Paul explains what love is.

Love is Essential [1 Corinthians 13:1-3]. The gifts of the Holy Spirit are wonderful blessings to serve God more effectively but without love are they merely empty sounds and without value. Even sacrifice or martyrdom gains a person nothing if love is not the motive.

Love is Expressive [1 Corinthians 13:4-7]. The list of the characteristics of love is remarkable.

Love is Eternal [1 Corinthians 13:8-13]. Love is greater than faith and hope. God is the God who gives faith and hope, but He is love [1 John 4:8,16]. One day we will not need faith or hope. We will have received what we believed for and hoped for, but love will still be there because God is love and love never fails. To be filled with love is to be filled with God!

Holiness is being filled with love and love is God!


How would you explain what love is to a someone who has been confused by the way the media or Hollywood have defined love?

Something to Do:

Read 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 and note or underline the characteristics of love as defined by Paul. When you have done this pray about how each of those characteristics might be developed each in your own life.


Bible Reading:  Matthew 26:36-46; Romans 12:1-2

Surrendering your will to God and dying to your own will and desire is one of the greatest struggles that we face. It is easy to sing, “I want God’s way to be my way” but living it out is another matter. As a man, it was a struggle even for Jesus, as in the Garden of Gethsemane he sweat drops of blood and asked the Father to take the cup of suffering from Him. Nevertheless, He prayed, “Not my will but yours be done.”

When speaking about dying to our own will, we are speaking about every part of our life. This is an issue of holiness. How much is Jesus Lord of my life? Is He Lord of my decision about where I live? Who I marry? Where and how I serve? How I use my money?  He is Lord of every part of my life? Hudson Taylor of China wrote, “If Jesus is not Lord of all, then He is not Lord at all.”

I first heard about Noby Jo from Selwyn Hughes, although her testimony is well known and documented. Noby Jo went into the hills in China to pray and as she did so the Lord showed her a different direction for her life that what she would have chosen. Annoyed, she complained to the Lord, “Why do you always have your way; what about my way for a change?” The Lord replied, “It is not that your way is wrong; it is rather that My way is best.” As she surrendered her will to Him, she clearly heard the Lord say to her, “You belong to the discouraged and broken people who commit suicide at the bend of the railway track.”

Noby Jo was confused by this message, but made some enquiries and discovered that outside the town where she lived was a notorious spot at the bend of the railway track where people intent on committing suicide would throw themselves over a cliff into a deep ravine. She put up a sign near the spot with these words, “DON’T: SEE MRS NOBY JO FIRST. GOD LOVES YOU.” She added her address and on the very first day that the sign was put up, several people knocked on her door in response to the message. Noby Jo died at the age of 92, having saved 5,000 people from suicide.

So many people were blessed because someone had died to her own desire and surrendered her will to the Lord. His way is best!

Two Things to Do:

Describe in your own words what, “Not my will but your will” means.

As the Lord to show you where you have not surrendered your will to Him, and then ask for His forgiveness and begin to do what He tells you.


Bible Reading:  Galatians 5:13-26

Living this life of holiness requires that we walk in the Spirit. “So I say, walk by the Spirit and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh” [Galatians 5:16].

To walk in the Spirit we must firstly, live in right relationships with others. Paul says that we are to serve one another humbly in love [Galatians 5:13]. Just as God Himself reaches out to us in love, so we are called to reach out to others. It is far easier to hear the voice of the Holy Spirit when we are reaching out to bless others.

Secondly, deal with issues of sin in our lives. The fruit of the Spirit is stated in Galatians 5:22-23 but interestingly in the same chapter is a list of the sins of the flesh in Galatians 5:19-21. We are to live crucified with Christ. It is good to be sensitive to the Holy Spirit and deal with any area of sin in our lives. In the words of James Hudson Taylor, we must keep short account with God.

Thirdly, spend time quietly in God’s presence listening for His voice. Dare I suggest that busyness may be one of the greatest hindrances to hearing God’s voice? It is the birthright of the Christian to hear God’s voice [see John 10:4 and Romans 8:12]. A speaker at the Keswick Convention once gave this piece of advice – “The very next thing that God tells you to do, do it and keep on obeying Him until you meet Him face to face.”

Fourthly, spend time reading God’s word. Jesus said that we are sanctified by the truth and that His word is truth [John 17:17]. God’s words are spirit and will strengthen our spirit. The Psalmist said, “I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you” [Psalm 119:14]. God will never tell us do something that is opposed to what He has said in His word.

Finally, spend time in worship and praise. Worship is for our benefit because it brings God’s presence. God inhabits the praises of His people [Psalm 22:3]. It is far easier to hear God’s voice and be led by the Holy Spirit when we spend prime time worshipping Him.


As you have read todays devotional word what has God been saying to you? Is there some action you need to take?

A Prayer: 

Lord, as I took short, faltering steps and often fell when I learned to walk physically, so help me to walk in the Spirit and to become stronger as I learn to trust you more and more. In Jesus Name, Amen.