New Hope For The Day

Welcome to New Hope for the Day : My Personal Devotional

In the Indian language there is a greeting, 'Namante", which means "I honor the holy one who lives with in you." May you feel welcomed and honored as I share my strengths and weaknesses from my days which turn into years. I share from my heart, my spirit with HIS wisdom; never acknowledging that I have arrived, but always pressing towards the mark to be more like HIM.

If you are going to be used by God, He will take you through a multitude of experiences that are not meant for you at all, they are meant to make you useful in His hands."
Oswald Chambers

Please feel free to grab that cup of joe, or in my case a cup of hot chocolate, turn on some beautiful music, pull up a warm blanket, and let us together live life.

Thank you for "tuning in". I hope your day is wonderful and may HE bring you new hope for this day.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Cleanliness Is Next To Godliness

"His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness." 2 Peter 1:3

Most of us have heard this phrase, "Cleanliness is next to godliness." I have heard of some one once saying they think it is in the Bible, but it is not. It is not in the Bible anywhere. Do you know where it came from?

This ancient proverb is said by some to have come from ancient Hebrew writings. However, its first appearance in English - though in slightly altered form - seems to be in the writings of Francis Bacon. In his 'Advancement of Learning' he wrote: 'Cleanness of body was ever deemed to proceed from a due reverence to God.'

Near two centuries later John Wesley in one of his sermons referring to neatness of dress indicated that the proverb was already well known in the form we use today. Wrote Wesley: 'Slovenliness is no part of religion.'Cleanliness is indeed next to Godliness.'"

From "Morris Dictionary of Word and Phrase Origins" by William and Mary Morris (HarperCollins, New York, 1977, 1988). There are a couple more details in "Random House Dictionary of Popular Proverbs and Sayings" by Gregory Y. Titelman (Random House, New York, 1996): ".According to the fourteenth edition of 'Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable,' it is an old Hebrew proverb used in the late 2nd century by Rabbi Phinehas ben-Yair. First attested in the United States in the 'Monthly Anthology and Boston Review'. The proverb is found in varying forms."

But before we dismiss the fact that it is not in the Bible too quickly, let’s think about it. Is cleanliness considered to be next to godliness? It certainly was in the minds of many Jews, not only in Peter’s day, but through much of Israel’s history. The difference between that which was “clean” and that which was “unclean” was vital to the devout Jew. The book of Leviticus frequently deals with the issue of cleanliness and impurity so that the Children of Israel would be clean as a sign of separation from the surrounding nations. Perhaps this is where the ancient Hebrew writings come from?

Yet in the New Testament, cleanliness finds mention in relation to the cleansing of the believer's life.

"If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." 1 John 1:9

"You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you." John 15:3

"Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all defilement of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God." 2 Corinthians 7:1

"Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded." James 4:8

"So that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless." Ephesians 5:26-27

In modern terms for today I do feel and will state this as my opinion that what you put on the inside of you does reflect your outside appearance and environment. Indirectly, it has been taught to us from the pulpits in the format of sowing and reaping. It also brings to mind another popular adage from my school days, "you get out, what you put in". So if you study for a test, your more apt to get a better grade. A pastor friend frequently states, "What's happening on the inside is happening on the outside."

So how does this look in our daily lives? Do you think that if your spiritual life is in order that your personal affairs will be in order? you appearance? your home? your family? I am not talking about economics of keeping up with and having to keep up with others. I am talking about taking care of what God has blessed you with.

In closing, on our own, we cannot achieve true godliness--that requires God's redemptive work in our lives. But for His believers, He provides all that we need to live godly and righteous lives.

Perhaps this SOAP acronym will help us all live godly and righteous lives.

S for Scripture
Open your Bible to the section we're reading today in our daily devotions. Take time reading and allow God to speak to you. Highlight, underline or place a mark in the margin of your Bible, next to the scriptures that stand out. When you are done, reread the verses you marked, look for one that particularly spoke to you that day, and write it in your journal.

O for Observation
What do you think God is saying to you in this scripture? Ask the Holy Spirit to teach you and reveal Jesus to you. Paraphrase and write this scripture down in your own words, in your journal.

A for Application
Personalize what you have read, by asking yourself how it applies to your life right now. Perhaps it is instruction, encouragement, revelation of a new promise, or corrections for a particular area of your life. Write how this scripture can apply to you today.

P for Prayer
This can be as simple as asking God to help you use this scripture, or it may be a greater insight on what He may be revealing to you. Remember, prayer is a two way conversation, so be sure to listen to what God has to say! Now, write it out.

I look forward to hearing your thoughts in the comments as we all strive to be more like HIM.

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