To Those Who Wait, Part III: Purity is Possible

“Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity.” 1Timothy 4:12 (NKJV) 

Only June 25, 2011, I had the privilege to give the message at my sister’s Quinceañera. For those of you who do not know what a Quinceañera is, it is a coming of age ceremony mainly found in the Hispanic culture. There is a ceremony followed by a reception and dance. It is a day where the young lady gets to be a princess as well as proclaim her faith and choice in living a pure life before the Lord and all of her family and friends. I had one and it was so very special, so now, it was my sister's turn. For my family, a Quinceañera is a bit different then a lot of the world because we are not Catholic and do not follow most of those rituals. Instead, it is tailored around worship, God's word being preached, and purity proclaimed. 

I got asked a lot about the message I gave and so, I wanted to share it with you all :)

Enjoy ;)

Speaking at Renique's Quinceanera 

Purity is Possible

I. (1Timothy 4:12)
a.       Renique chose this scripture as the main verse for this special time and I believe God led her straight to it for a reason. In fact, I know He did because this part of scripture describes perfectly the young woman she is aiming to be as well as provides a foundation and evidence as to what God is calling all of His youth to be in their time here on earth
b.     When one thinks of the word purity, sexual abstinence, not dating, courtship, and clean are just some of the most common words that pop up into many minds. But purity is, in fact, more than just having to do with remaining pure in body, but it is also about purity of the mind and of the spirit. And I truly believe that purity is possible for all through God’s son Jesus Christ and through a commitment and relationship with Him, which Renique has made a few years ago
II.                  Background on Timothy
a.       This passage I read is an epistle, one of Paul’s letters in the New Testament in the Holy Bible
b.      Paul is writing this letter to Timothy, his disciple. Timothy is young. Timothy is not the leader-type. In fact, he was probably not the cream of the crop, not someone that the elders wanted to pick or that we would pick nowadays to lead a church. Timothy was noted as being timid, shy, and dealing with frequent infirmities—he was not the healthiest of all the lads. But, GOD chose him and led Paul and the rest of the elders to him at the time
c.       In this specific verse, Paul tells Timothy to not let anyone despise his youth 
                                                               i.      It is easy to feel like your youth can stop you a lot, how can you make a difference? The world may try to tell you that you are too young, you are naïve, you cannot think for yourself and the list goes on, but I have seen all throughout scripture and to this day and age that youth are rocking the world upside down for Jesus Christ. The message is being preached by so many youth and in fact, the youth and college-aged group make up the most of the chunk of missionaries in our world. You do have a voice and can make a difference. Do not let anyone tell you other wise
d.      Paul also tells Timothy to be an example to other believers
                                                               i.      Renique, you are an example to all of the believers around you, never forget that. As much as you are an example to non-believers, you are especially an example to the believers you serve and fellowship with
e.       Paul then goes in to what it is Timothy is supposed to be an example in—word, conduct, love, spirit, faith, and purity
                                                               i.      Word – Renique, study the word of God. Know it, write it on your heart. The Holy Bible is God’s love letter to you and you are going to be an example by His word and how you make it come to live. Know it, speak it, live it
                                                             ii.      Conduct  - Renique, your conduct is vital. How you carry yourself, how you act, how you re-act, plays a huge role in the example you are and are going to be for both believers and non-believers. We live in a world where Christians are harped on a lot regarding hypocrisy. If you conduct yourself in the way Christ conducted Himself, follow His lead, and be His bride here on earth, no one will be able to question your standings
                                                           iii.      Love – Renique, love everyone. 1John 4:16 (NKJV) says, “And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him.” You are called to love your enemy and your friend. You are called to love the poor and the rich. You are called to love everyone just as God loves you. God is love, never forget that. As you grow, you will begin to experience God’s love more and more and more
                                                           iv.      Faith – Renique, your faith can truly move mountains. Right now, I am reading a book by Lee Stroebel called Case for Faith. It is an apologetic work which means it is a work aimed at defending a position. Our world is constantly trying to battle your beliefs and question, Why have faith? Renique, be ready for this daily battle. Put on the full armor of God and just as Paul tells Timothy in this letter as well, wage the good warfare/fight the good fight. Remember, it is not faith if you use your eyes. Cling to Christ and His cross and walk in His footsteps, He will replenish your faith on a daily basis
                                                             v.      Spirit – Renique, you know that God did not leave you alone. He left you with His Holy Spirit which dwells inside of you. The same Spirit that was in Christ—Romans 8:11 tells us, “But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.” He has given you His spirit, you are no longer dead but you are alive. Let His spirit guide you, comfort you, counsel you and help you in all-things. May the spirit inside of you assist you in being the example you are called to be
                                                           vi.      And last but certainly not least, is purity. Everything that I have talked about up until now backs up what I said earlier on how purity deals with more than just purity of your body but that it also deals with your mind and spirit. I want to delve more into what I mean on that and on what this coming of age ceremony is depicting for Renique and her family
III.               Purity of the body
a.       Renique is making a vow before God and her family to remain pure until her wedding night
b.      This is something that is frankly laughed at a lot in our society or not understood. Why publicly announce that? Well I ask, why not? The body of believers that surround Renique and especially her own family, are to assist her with this in holding her accountable and giving her guidance when it comes to all-thing BOYS. Yes, I said it, BOYS. And now, I know that my sister is not blind to guys, she takes after her big sister after all ;) But, saving oneself for their husband or for guys, their wife is so very very important.
c.       As Renique’s older sister and the eldest in my family, I was the guinea pig. I made tons of mistakes but by the Grace of God, I was kept on His path though I strayed many times from it. My prayer is that both of my younger siblings would learn from my mistakes and not want to make them and I truly believe that Renique has seen the errors I made in my younger days and then she has also seen how I turned back to God and waited for my prince charming whom He did bring to me. But, it came with patience, obedience toward my parents, and living a pure life unto Him
d.      Some may say that my parent’s may seem a little strict or “what the heck is courtship? Sounds like something from the 50’s” but I will tell you one thing, my parents know what the heck they are talking about. Every way that they have raised me and my siblings is Biblical and I am forever grateful for all that they have taught me. Renique, you will be too and I know that you know that. If I could offer a key verse to you in this time it is Deuteronomy 5:16 (NKJV), “Honor your father and your mother, as the LORD your God has commanded you, that your days may be long, and that it may be well with you in the land which the LORD your God is giving you.” By honoring them, Renique, you are honoring the Lord and trust me, they really do know best and my life can testify to that 
e.       So, in saying all of that, Renique is making a vow to remain pure in body and I want to definitely encourage every youth in here to evaluate themselves in that as well. Through this Renique, you will avoid hurt, heartache, and baggage but most importantly, you will be able to say to God that you waited to give all of yourself to the man He had in store to lead you as your husband
IV.               Purity of the mind
a.       Renique, the word of God says that your mind should be thinking on heavenly things, on things above and not earthly things
b.      When you begin to let earthly things pollute your mind and make your mind impure, you are fogged and can be led away from all that God has for you
c.       Purity of the mind deals with everything that I touched on earlier in what Paul is telling Timothy. Keep your mind pure by reading and meditating on God’s word, being in an attitude of worship and thanksgiving at all times, and in focusing on the gifting and callings He has on  your life
V.                  Purity of the spirit
a.       Renique, the word of God says that the Spirit of God cannot fill a vessel that is already filled, it is a daily refilling and a daily dieing to oneself. Daily you must give yourself to God and be an empty vessel for His Spirit to fill
b.      The moment you begin to allow for your spirit to be filled with other things of this earth and of your flesh, you allow for the mess of this world, the enemies lies and schemes to be able to settle in. Continually be filled with His spirit, keeping your spirit pure
VI.               IT IS POSSIBLE
a.       Renique, through this one passage you picked, you proved to us all through God’s word that PURITY IS POSSIBLE. Purity of the body, of the mind, and of the spirit are all possible.
b.      Simply, do not let anyone despise you of your youth but be an example to believers and non-believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, and in purity
c.       It is possible but not on your own. It takes humility and grace. This can be a time where pressure can come on or where you can humbly state that you are willing and ready to live the life God is calling you to with the help of your support system around you. You are blessed to have a support system around you—your youth group, family, and youth leaders
VII.             Closing
a.       In closing, what started Timothy on the journey God had for him came through the laying of hands on him from the elders and Paul. There are 2 occurances in this book of the Bible where Paul tells Timothy to never forget what the elders prayed and prophesied over him. Renique, you definitely cannot do this on your own. You have a support system. Today, Renique, I want everyone who is saying that they believe in the great and mighty things God has for you, stand in agreement with what you believe are holding true to, and that they are going to hold you accountable to come up here and lay hands on you and pray over you

At the Reception
This is who we are ;)