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Purity Girls
Purity 101

Lydia Learns about Faith
(& about the Disturbing Differences
between Hamsters and Humans, lol)

 

     Lydia entered a room filled with folding metal chairs, laughter, and youthful enthusiasm. Her friends greeted her warmly as she took off her coat and hung it on the back of her seat, placing her Bible and purse on a chair next to her.
     Just then, Mr. Turner strode to the wooden podium and cleared his throat authoritatively. Gradually, the room fell silent.
     When he had everyone's attention, Mr. Turner opened in prayer, then addressed the class with a direct question; "Why do you believe in God?"
     Seeing no one's hand raised, Mr. Turner asked, "Jerry--how about you? Why do you believe in God?"
     "Umm…I guess because my parents believe in God and that's what they've always taught me to believe," Jerry replied uncertainly.
     "I'm glad they did," Mr. Turner replied, "and you should be able to trust your parents and learn from them as well, but at some point each of us has to decide for ourselves what we believe. Imagine if your college professor was making fun of your faith--would you reply that your mom and dad taught you to believe…would that be a good enough argument?"
     Marie timidly raised her hand. "I believe in God because of what the Bible says."
     "That's a wonderful reason to believe," answered Mr. Turner, "and the Bible is certainly the foundation of our faith. No other book has stood the test of time like God's Word, and it has been proven historically accurate time and time again. Still, many people do not believe the Bible to be the verbally inspired Word of God. Even many religious people think that the Bible is a collection of memories written down by good men, and as such, is subject to many errors. How could you prove your faith to someone like that?"
     Rodney, who had been quietly formulating his own response, now interjected, "Well, I think we can prove that the Bible is more than a dead book by its effect on people's lives. Like my uncle, who used to be a drunk and could never "kick the habit" on his own until he got saved and started praying and reading God's Word. Now he's a great guy--I can hang out with him and we go soul winning every week together. He never could have changed like that if there was no power in God's Word."
     Before Mr. Turner could reply, Maddie said questioningly, "But what about all the people who claim to be Christians and are living a bad testimony? I bet for every person you can show who has been changed dramatically by God's Word, you can find ten who appear not to have been changed at all."
     "That's a good point, Maddie, and that's certainly an argument you might encounter from an unsaved person. Does anyone have an answer to that question?" said Mr. Turner.
     "Well, I guess from my own personal experience I would say that the more time I spend with God and the more I yield myself to Him, the more His power is able to change me into what He wants me to be. It's like that verse about "hearers" and "doers" where it says to be a doer of God's Word and not a hearer only. Someone can claim to be a Christian, they can even come to church and read their Bible, but if they don't want to do what God says, He won't make them," Marie chimed in.      "And we should remember, too, that it's a daily battle," Mr. Turner added, "each of us has the choice each day to whom we're going to yield ourselves to obey."
     "I would tell someone who doesn't understand why I believe in God that I don't like myself when I'm not sticking close to God…I don't like who I become," said Lydia.
     "What do you mean?" asked Marie.
     "Well, I start acting selfishly, I feel more rebellious against my parents and teachers, I'm more unhappy and my actions cause others around me to be unhappy--just little things like that," Lydia explained.
     "Your conscience is another witness to the existence of God," Mr. Turner agreed, "If there was no God, there could be no absolute right or wrong. Whatever you'd like to do would be right for you, no matter what the effect on another person might be.

 

We'd be just like the animals, who don't know the difference between right and wrong. The fact that your conscience bothers you when you sin is evidence of God's law written in your heart."
     "Yeah, my hamster once had babies," Jerry interjected, "and each day there seemed to be one fewer. We thought they were just dying, but when I cleaned the cage, there were no dead bodies in there. It took us a couple of days to realize that the mother was actually eating her babies--we had to take them out of the cage and feed them by hand."
     "Ewwwww!" the girls exclaimed in unison.
     Mr. Turner shushed the class. "Thank you for that illustration, Jerry," he answered, "but let's stay on topic. Can anyone give me more evidence supporting your faith in God?"
     "Well, the Bible says that creation itself is a witness to the existence of God," said Brett, "It says that anyone who can see all that God has made without giving Him credit is without excuse."
     "That's true," replied Mr. Turner, "and yet we know that all throughout our country children are being taught that the world in all its complexity just came to be."
     "Yeah, but that takes faith, too!" exclaimed Rodney indignantly. "It takes just as much blind faith to believe in a "big bang" as it does to believe that God spoke the world into existence!"
     "And that's another good point, Rodney," Mr. Turner told him, "Everyone has faith in something, whether that be God, or man's wisdom."
     "Some people believe in aliens," Jerry stated dramatically.
     A few people tittered, but Mr. Turner quickly continued, "You know, kids, life must be pretty sad for people who have no faith in God. Lots of bad stuff happens in this life, and without God you'd have no idea why you're here in the first place and no hope of an eternal future, either."
     "Wow--you're right, I never thought of that," said Erica, "That sure would be a different perspective."
     "Well, our time's about up," said Mr. Turner, "thanks for a great discussion today, class. I'm glad to see you thinking so deeply about what you believe, and being able to verbally express those reasons. I'd like to end our class today with a Bible verse--John 6:67."
     As pages rustled, the teacher continued, "In this passage of Scripture, Jesus' disciples were faced with the same decision that you'll each have to make--will you believe in Him or rely on man's wisdom?" He smoothed out the pages of his worn Bible, and directed the class to begin reading at verse 66.
     "From that time many of His disciples went back, and walked no more with Him. Then said Jesus unto the twelve, 'Will ye also go away?' Then Simon Peter answered Him, 'Lord, to whom shall we go? Thou hast the words of eternal life. And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God.'"
     The teacher faced the class, "Sometimes it's hard to believe in God--it takes faith, and we prefer to believe only in what we can see. But when it's hard, and when others turn back, we can say with Peter, 'Lord, Who else can we turn to--what other alternative do we have but to believe in you? Without You we're without hope, living a pointless life that will soon be forgotten. With You we have everything--children of the King, beloved and accepted.'"
     "We know our short lives are just a period of testing. It's as though we're on the show, "The Apprentice," but instead of earning a job from Donald Trump, God is fitting us for a place in His eternal kingdom! How exciting!" Mr. Turner's eyes sparkled and his smile was infectious.
     Just then a loud bell peeled out in the hall. "Ok, class dismissed--see you next week everyone!"
     Lydia collected her belongings, tucking a prayer bulletin into her Bible to mark the verses her teacher had read. The lesson had really spoken to her heart, and the words of Jesus had seemed aimed directly at her: "Will ye also go away?"
     At home, she planned to memorize Peter's reply and claim it as her own: "Lord, to whom shall we go? Thou hast the words of eternal life...and we believe."

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