in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. Ps. 51:10.
The Lord purifies the heart very much as we air a room. We
do not close the doors and windows, and throw in some purifying substance;
but we open the doors and throw wide the windows, and let heaven’s purifying
atmosphere flow in. . . . The windows of impulse, of feeling must be opened
up toward heaven, and the dust of selfishness and earthliness must be expelled.
The grace of God must sweep through the chambers of the mind, the imagination
must have heavenly themes for contemplation, and every element of the nature
must be purified and vitalized by the Spirit of God.
He who lives the principles of Bible religion, will not be
found weak in moral power. Under the ennobling influence of the Holy Spirit,
the tastes and inclinations become pure and holy. Nothing takes so strong
a hold upon the affections, nothing reaches so fully down to the deepest motives
of action, nothing exerts so potent an influence upon the life, and gives
so great firmness and stability to the character, as the religion of Christ.
It leads its possessor ever upward, inspiring him with noble purposes, teaching
him propriety of deportment, and imparting a becoming dignity to every action.
The church is the object of God’s tenderest love and
care. If the members will allow Him, He will reveal His character through
them. He says to them, “Ye are the light of the world” (Matt.
5:14). Those who walk and talk with God practice the gentleness of Christ.
In their lives, forbearance, meekness, and self-restraint are united with
holy earnestness and diligence. As they advance heavenward, the sharp, rough
edges of character are worn off, and godliness is seen. The Holy Spirit, full
of grace and power, works upon mind and heart.
The heart in which Jesus makes his abode will be quickened,
purified, guided, and ruled by the Holy Spirit, and the human agent will make
strenuous efforts to bring his character into harmony with God. He will avoid
everything that is contrary to the revealed will and mind of God.
Devotional: Our Father Cares, pp. 211, 212.