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Pure Hearts!
Christian Devotional by Pastor Cecil Thompson

Cecil Thompson

Psalm 119:9-12

"How can a young man keep his way pure? By living according to Your Word. I seek You with all my heart; do not let me stray from Your commands. I have hidden Your word in my heart that I might not sin against You. Praise be to You, O LORD; teach me Your decrees."

Over the past few years, my wife, Joyce, and I have been blessed as we have watched the Discovery Health Channel’s look into the life of a large family who live in Springdale, Arkansas. When I say large, I mean LARGE! At this point, Jim Bob and Michelle Dugger have 17 children and number 18 is on the way.

As extraordinary as that may be, that is not the thing that has gripped us the most. The greatest blessing is to see a family who is committed to live in a way that is pleasing to the Lord Jesus Christ. A family who stands firmly on the principle: “God says it—I believe it—that’s good enough for me!”

In the back of my mind I have wondered what would happen as the children were old enough to leave the nest. I should not have worried. God’s Word is very plain as it says in Proverbs 22:6; “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”

The last installment of the Dugger family program featured their oldest son Joshua, as he chose a beautiful young lady, Anna Keller, to become his wife. Josh asked the permission of his father and her father before proceeding with his proposal to Anna. (His proposal was caught on tape!)

Here is another remarkable thing: Josh and Anna purposed in their hearts that they would not kiss until their wedding day. That was not a requirement imposed by either set of parents, but a godly choice they had made themselves.

Let me share with you the following announcement that was made on Josh and Anna’s web page:

“We are pleased to announce that as of Friday, September 26, 2008, we are married! Praise The LORD! We are excited our parents have given their full blessing on our relationship and we have been blessed entering marriage with purity and a commitment to each other that will last forever.

We would like to express our appreciation to God for His great love toward us by sending His son Jesus Christ to die for our sins, that we might have life eternally and His blessing & abundant grace by trusting in Christ's finished work on the cross. As Paul exhorted the Ephesians, "Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it." God has given us the greatest example of sacrificial love and we trust that we will always be able to share that kind of selfless love for each other.

We are grateful to our parents, who have given us both the opportunity to be raised in loving homes where Christ is the center focus. Training us in the ways of God, they have instilled in us a solid Biblical Worldview rooted in the truths of God Word, the Bible, clearly displayed by their faith in Him in daily living. We cannot express enough our deep gratitude for all the ways that they have invested in our lives.

We are forever indebted to so many of you for devoting so much into Anna & I over the years. We value our relationships with you and look forward to enjoying your friendship for years to come.”

Reading that glorious announcement gives me hope and confidence that the Lord is still in control and He calls us to live holy lives that stand out from the sin of the world around us.

May God bless and enrich Josh and Anna as they walk as one before the Lord!

Blessings dear hearts. Draw near to God today, trust Him completely and be a blessing!

--- Pastor Cecil


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