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15Aug/150

Purity Matters

Now in a large house there are not only gold and silver bowls, but also those of wood and clay, some for honorable use, some for dishonorable.So if anyone purifies himself from anything dishonorable, he will be a special instrument, set apart, useful to the Master, prepared for every good work. (2Tim 2:20-21, HCSB)

You know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize. So run to win! All those who compete in the games use self-control so they can win a crown. That crown is an earthly thing that lasts only a short time, but our crown will never be destroyed. So I do not run without a goal. I fight like a boxer who is hitting something—not just the air. I treat my body hard and make it my slave so that I myself will not be disqualified after I have preached to others. 1 Corinthians 9:24-27

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (author of Sherlock Homes) was a bit of a prankster. He once wrote many of his close associates the short note: "Flee! All is discovered!" In response to the news, eight of them fled the country. Wow! What secrets we hide...and how we fear their discovery!
We will all have challenges that we will face this year--but when you begin a journey of trying to stay more in tune with God, the one that has the greatest potential to throw you off course is a sin issue. If you've been a Christian very long, then chances are you have an area of weakness that has knocked you off course a few times. This isn't something you need to advertise to the world, but as your coach and as someone who is keeping you lifted up in prayer, your mentor and mentees should know where your weaknesses are.
Take some time to reflect on your struggles to stay in tune with God. What has knocked you off course in the past, and how have you gotten better in the struggle? What have you learned, and what questions do you continue to have?There's no need to turn this in as homework--but I would challenge you to really take time to process this in your time with God. Many times using others to examine an area of weakness will show us places where we can grow in how we trust God, and in how we behave.
Though your relationship with your coach is not intended to be spent on accountability, it does provide some accountability. If you've never had this kind of weekly encouragement, then I hope you fall in love with it enough to keep someone close in this role. Below are some questions that accountability partners often meet and discuss:
  • How’s your relationship with God been this week?
  • Are you reading your Bible? Are you getting anything out of it?
  • Have you prayed much? Heard anything you need to act on?
  • Have you done something to “put God at arms length?”
  • How’s your relationship with your wife?
  • Is any other woman competing with her for your affections?
  • How have you shown her love this week?
  • Have you struggled with lust/porn/guarding your eyes and mind?
  • How’s the family?
  • Where you able to speak into the lives of your kids in any significant way?
  • Did you spend time with them?
  • How’s work?
  • Is there anyone there that God is calling you to be a friend or a witness to?
  • What happened that we can celebrate—where’s the WIN in your life this week?
  • Did you exercise this week?
  • What else is happening that you want to talk about?
  • What temptations have you met with? How did you endure them? Did you fall?
  • Rate your progress…did you move forward this week, backward, or show no improvement?
  • What do you face in the week ahead?
  • Is there anything else I can pray for you about?

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