It’s amazing how much we search through life for the purity of things. Things like pure water, pure gold, pure knowledge, and many other things we would deem “pure.” The definition of the word pure is something that is free of any contamination. That definition for purity is really hard to deal with in that anything with a hint of “human” in it will be impure. Our very nature is rooted in the impurity of a sinful world. We know that…..But, there are those things we have happen in our lives that we feel come close. They probably don’t, but we are so impacted by them that in our minds they have to be close to pure. Things like pure joy over something totally unexpected and good. Pure hope when you get a glimpse of something good happening when you’ve gone through so much bad. Pure peace when you totally put yourself in the hands of God. Pure direction when you know exactly where you are going and exactly what you are doing. The one I want to address today is Pure Love. Pure love is an amazing thing that finds it’s roots in the DNA of Jesus Christ. When we continue to develop our relationship with our Lord it causes some changes in our life practices, and love purifies those practices over a period of time. The Biblical word is sanctification, and the offensive movement forward in our lifestyle is toward purity. That purity in all we do is found most prevalent in the way love is generated as we live our daily lives as believers. In 2 Thessalonians 1, Paul wrote to the them concerning the afflictions of the church there and shared a result of facing those afflictions with God’s power. In verse 3 he said, “We ought always to give thanks to God for you, brethren, as is only fitting, because your faith is greatly enlarged,, and the love of each one of you toward one another grows ever greater.” If you read on you will see that the church had to put up with a lot of things against them, but instead of it defeating them, it made them stronger than ever. Also, the result of all that was a love that was pure and real. Get this…..Believers will go through almost insurmountable things together and the end result is purity, especially in the area of love. That almost doesn’t compute for me, but I’m starting to get it. Pure gold (our faith) comes out pure gold (pure faith) when tested by fire (life) and proves to be genuine (pure). I get it, I really get it now.
Today is an anniversary that means so much to me I almost can’t explain it. But the above mentioned examples of pure faith and pure love will hopefully put into context what I am trying to say. Thirty six years ago I made a commitment to love, honor, and cherish my wife Andra. I remember sitting in the back room of that church before we came out to say our vows and thinking about the heartfelt commitment that was about to take place. I was nervous, not because I was apprehensive. I was nervous because in all the things I had ever done, I wanted this one to be pure and genuine. I was such a fruitcake in my younger years and even though I still am, that day the bad tasting fruitcake in my life left and a new fruitcake took it’s place. It was all because of one thing; I was hopelessly in love with Andra. From that moment on everything else paled to my love for her. Oh we’ve had our ups and downs and with our fiery personalities we have had some major mood swings through the years. But one thing has stood. Our pure love for each other. I believe it is more pure today because of all the tough things life has thrown our way, and because Christ has been right there with us through it all. That pure gold in our lives made possible through salvation, continues to stay pure gold when the fire hits it. So in this journey of love and life, I need to say, “I have never known a love like this. Our love has not wained, but grown over these many years and even though we didn’t like it at times, much of that growth has been because of the struggles along the way. Those struggles continue today because we continue to step out in faith to do what God wants and let the cards fall where they may. Since the two became one, I also believe that the individual sanctification of our lives is followed by a sanctification of our relationship as husband and wife. That process must be protected by us both so that we can impact the world and make the greater impact as a couple. I believe that is what we fight for most of all, this thing called “the sanctity of marriage.” Pure love has been lost in the shuffle of us all claiming our rights as human beings, but the pure love I feel for my wife is not about my rights, but about a relationship that surpasses all other relationship save one. The relationship with my Savior, Jesus Christ. The love He gave enables me to give the love Andra needs to make every day, and even every moment, an anniversary. I love you Andra. There is truly no one else like you. We have been on a great journey and the best is yet to come. Happy Anniversary.
The Pilgrimage continues…..