Purify Your Barrel

 

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I never left the police firing range without cleaning my handgun. “A dirty firearm is an inoperable weapon,” barked the rangemaster. While this is not entirely true, the chance of a misfire dramatically increases with a filthy weapon.

 

I went shooting with a group of guys from church recently, and I let a few days pass without cleaning my guns. Finally, the guilt overwhelmed me. I pulled the weapons out, broke them down, and cleaned each one inside and out.

 

This is also a biblical principle. Not cleaning your firearms, but purifying your heart.

 

Had the apostle James been a rangemaster, he would have declared, “Draw near to your training, and it will never fail you. Cleanse your firearms, you slackers, and purify your barrels, you who think it is unnecessary.”

 

But he was a trainer of a different sort. The brother of Christ had become a devout apostle when he wrote, “Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded” (James 4:8 ESV).

 

For those who can identify with the illustration, think of your spiritual life in these terms. Just like basic weapons training counsels users to keep their firearms serviceable by keeping them clean, basic Christianity does the same by admonishing us to “cleanse our hands,” and “purify our hearts.”

 

“Break Free” is a fabulous cleaning product for weapons. It works as a solvent and lubricant. The Bible is God’s revelation to humanity, which is mired in relational sludge, grime, and oily residue of every sort. Scripture is a superb cleansing product for our heart. It also works as a solvent and lubricant, helping us break down that which needs to be expelled, and lubricates our life to help us flourish. It is more than a metaphor, it is a message of hope that will never misfire!

 

-Jim

 

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