"Precious Pearls"

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By: Emily Watkins

1 John 3:3, “All of us who look forward to his Coming stay ready, with the glistening purity of Jesus' life as a model for our own” (MSG).


Today, purity comes with a price. I remember when I was in public school, my friends did not always approve when I refused to gossip or watch R-rated movies with them. My parents were missionaries to Poland and, as almost the only Christian in my school, it was hard at times to “fit in.” However, after a while I grew accustomed to standing out in the crowd. I learned it wasn't me that they were rejecting, but Christ in me.

Purity is not some cheap gadget you can buy at Wal-Mart, but a priceless pearl that only few search for and even fewer find. Why? Because Jesus gave His life for it. The pure Lamb of God took upon Himself our filthy sin, so that the Father could clothe us in white robes of righteousness. Do you know that warm, pleasant tingling you get after you take a nice long shower? It is the natural feeling of cleanliness. If you have accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior, then God has done the same thing to your soul. You are no longer the “blemished bride” we read about in the Old Testament, but the beautiful daughter of the King of Kings.

Listen to this story. Along the shores of Australia, there once was a pearl seeker. Each day he would go out with his son on his boat to search for pearls. One day while he was out at sea, he saw a faint glimmer on the surface of the water. He knew what this meant - somewhere deep beneath the coral reef there was a pearl.

“Let me fetch it for you, Father,” his son suggested and quickly plunged overboard. After a while, when his son did not appear, the pearl seeker became worried and dove underneath the water to find him. He found his son trapped a few feet from the boat, his foot hopelessly caught in some coral reef. Try as he might, he could not get his son's foot loose. In his last moments, the son handed the pearl to his father. The pearl seeker took the round, smooth pearl from his son's hands, the pearl that his son had given his life for, and swam to safety. He could not save his son. Now, the pearl was his only memory of him. The pearl seeker never sold the pearl. It was precious to him, because he had paid the highest price for it.

As you might have guessed, the pearl seeker represents God, and His son is Jesus. We are the shining precious pearls in the Father's hands for whom Jesus paid the highest price. His sacrifice is the greatest expression of love in the universe, and that is why purity comes at such a great cost (John 15:13). Though by grace we can approach Christ, only those who take up their cross and follow Him are called His disciples (Mark 8:34). Sometimes a life of purity is a life of sacrifice and pain, but, thankfully, it doesn't end there! God promises to give life, joy, peace, and much more to His children! The Lord knows that true happiness can only be found in Him, and that's why he calls us to purity. For only those who walk in purity shall see God (Matthew 5:8). So let's run to Him with arms wide open with the seal of purity on our hearts!

Prayer:

Heavenly Father, thank You so much that I am a precious pearl in Your hand, and that You sacrificed Your only Son for me. I ask that You would give me strength and wisdom, and that I might remain pure and holy amidst this sinful world. May I be pure in heart, thought, speech, and action. Thank You that You promise to reward those who follow You. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Related Resources:

Authentic Beauty: The Shaping of a Set-apart Young Woman, by Leslie Ludy

Holding His Hand: A devotional for teen girls, by Beka Dewitt

Think About It:

What does the story about the pearl seeker tell you about your worth?

Who are some people in your life that you can look up to as role models of purity and holiness?

Live It:

Look in a Concordance and find all the verses in the Bible that speak about purity (you might have one in the back of your Bible or you can do a search on a website like
http://www.biblegateway.com/). What instructions does God give us about living a pure life? Think about some people in the Bible who are role models of purity.

Power Verses:

Matthew 5:8, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.” (NIV)

James 1:21, “Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you.” (NIV)

© 2009 by Emily Watkins. All rights reserved.

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