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II Corinthians 6:14 – Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?

What the fer-pete's-sake does it mean "to yoke"? According to Webster, it means "to unite or join".
In what ways can you join yourself or unite with unbelievers? The first thing you may think of is in a dating or marriage relationship. Another way is in a business relationship or a partnership.
God had a reason for putting this verse into the Bible... There are many things that can destroy an relationship between a believer and an unbeliever. Things that may try to come between a Christian and Jesus. Idols, to be exact.
The biggest, baddest idol is usually money. In both personal and business relationships, money is an important thing to the majority of people. In fact money is the main reason for getting involved in a business relationship.
God requires Christians to give a portion of their income back to Him. Unbelievers think this is nuts. This can cause a major clash if both parties are uncompromising. (And as a Christian, i suggest that all Christians should NOT compromise their faith by neglecting to tithe!)
In relationships of all kinds, be sure to analyze your potential partner to ensure that you are on the same terms and that you agree on all the most important issues. If tithing is very important to you, be sure that your partner (personal or business) agrees with you. In a marital relationship, be sure that your mate is in agreement with your tithing (not that i'm an expert on marriage, but i've seen this destroy a few).
In essence... don't hook a whale to an elephant. Compromise just won't work.

Jesus says to us in Matthew 5:16, "Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven." This is one of our purposes here on earth. To demonstrate God to other people... We do this through our actions, our words, our good deeds.
Is this always enough? Can we reach everyone this way?
It is possible that with enough prayer, enough good deeds, and enough humility, we can reach everyone close to us (or in close proximity to us). But what about those people who live miles or oceans away from us? Those groups of people who have never had the opportunity to hear about Jesus?
Jesus makes a provision for these people...

Acts 1:8b -- ...You [followers of Jesus or disciples] will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.

If Jesus had never said this, would you be a believer right now? Would you be sitting there reading this blog? I believe you wouldn't... Because the only reason i'm writing this blog is because someone was a witness to Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and the ends of the earth.

So, whether you are called to Jerusalem (Ottawa, for me!), Judea (Canada), Samaria (the USA), or the ends of the earth (wherever that may be...); as followers of Christ, we have a mission. We must love other people as much as we love ourselves (Matt. 22:39). I believe that by accepting God's grace, we are loving ourselves as much as we possibly can. So, by telling other people about God's grace, we are giving the greatest gift, the most loving gift, we can; because without God's grace, we are on our way to hell.
But even more than that... We are to love God first and above all else (Matt 22:37). And what happens when you love someone? You talk about them... To as many people as possible! (I know this because practically everyone i know is getting engaged or married now :oP *sarcasm*... j/k *wink*) And because we can never know EVERYTHING about another person, we always have new information to tell to the people around us... It is the same with God... He reveals new truths... Sometimes they are meant just for us... but sometimes the people around us get something out of it, too! *smile*

So let's get out there and shine our lights to all men.

Offerings are a tough thing... Have you ever sat in church while they pass around the plate for tithes and offerings? Have you ever had nothing to put in?

There are times when it is important to give financially to God. In the old testament (Malachi 3:10), God requests ten percent (the amount considered by many churches to be a 'tithe') of what you earn ... That's really not too much to ask, when you think that God is the one who provided you with that job! And when God supplies you with an extra bit of cash, why not give the ten percent and some of the surplus back to Him? That's an offering... Giving more than is necessary.

But there are other ways that we can bring offerings to God...
If you look at what is necessary to please God, you see:
Hebrews 11:6 (CEV) -- ...Without faith no one can please God. We must believe that God is real and that He rewards everyone who searches for Him.
This is the bare necessities of to please God... This is not an offering. It's sort of the 'tithe' of our lives... The little bit God asks for out of everything He gives us. He asks us to believe in Him. This is the starting point from which the Christian walk grows.
We believe in God, first, and then we start giving our lives to God.
Romans 8:8 (CEV) says: If we follow our desires, we cannot please God.
So we must start following God's desires, we must offer our will to God! We hand over our choices to God... I think this is the essence of offering our lives to God. As we offer God more freedom in our lives, we are pleasing Him more.
When we do more of what He wants us to do, we are getting closer to His perfect plan. This is pleasing to Him!

In the past couple of days, i think God may have been telling me something! I'm not really sure why, though!?
I have heard sermons, radio shows, advice and discussions on "Purity"... Why all this talk of purity? Is there something i'm doing that is impure? I'm not sure... I have examined myself, and i come up blank...
But am i looking at this in the right perspective? Am i looking to my physical lifestyle, or my spiritual lifestyle, or my mental lifestyle? Mostly when i think of purity i think of the physical context... Am i "keeping out of trouble"? Am i allowing physical lust to invade my life?
I've decided that in the physical sense, i'm fairly well off... I'm keeping the sexual "lusts of the flesh" under control, and that's what counts, right?
It does count, but it isn't the ONLY part that counts. Physical impurity is sin. Sin starts with what is in your mind... those thoughts move into your heart and become feelings... those feelings are translated into actions. What starts out as a thought becomes a sin.

So can we then say that impure thoughts become impure actions? I believe so.

So... Back to my dilemma... Is my mind where it should be? Am I concentrating on pure things? Am I focussed on what is right, true, holy, or pure? Is this the part of me that God is telling me to work on?

So what am i saying here..?
Romans 12:2 (NIV) -- Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is--His good, pleasing and perfect will.

God is waiting for me to renew my mind... He wants me to want to get my mind pure so that He can show me what He has in store! If i start with my mind, my body, my heart and my spirit will follow!

So how do i know if i'm thinking pure thoughts?

Would i be able to say these thoughts out loud? Would i share them with my friends? Would i share them with my brother? Would i share them with my DAD??
I read a quote somewhere... "Never write anything you would not want read at your funeral." Maybe that can be applied to thoughts?

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