Message Notes on Pre-Teen Purity

Last week, we held our annual summer camp for our preteen group (Voltage). It was rad as usual with a whole bunch of fun and good times!

For the first time ever, I decided to do a session with the kids on purity. Not that I wanted to lead it myself, I attempted to get one of our brilliant pastors who is a grandfather himself and would have brought a great authority to the message…but it was not to be, so I prepared to do it myself!

…It was brilliant…

The KDG (small group) time afterward (kids are divided into cabins) was probably the best I have ever seen. Kids sitting and talking with their leaders about things that REALLY matter!

I highly recommend it…here was the process.

  • The registration letter that was sent to parents included information that we would be doing this session and this link: http://hillsongkids.com/purity .
  • Two parents contacted us with questions about this. We talked to them, which they found very helpful
  • I made it very clear that I wasn’t going to talk about sex (especially the ‘mechanics’ involved).
  • I made it clear that our small group discussions needed to focus on purity as well.

Here are some notes from my message (I didn’t use all of this and will see if I can find the KDG notes):

PURITY

WHAT DOES IT MEAN?

The word pure means free from anything of a different, inferior, or contaminating kind. The thoughts and behavior of the people of God need to be pure.
  • Think about the best kind of jewelry: pure gold. My ring is gold plated. How much does it cost for 1 kg of gold? $32,000
  • Think about a bottle of water, you wouldn’t want it if it wasn’t pure (proceeded to backwash in the bottle and offer to a kid).
If you want your water to be pure, then you should want your life to be pure.
OBJECT LESSON: Example of cooking, make a cake for Nathan’s birthday and put just a tiny bit of poo in the mix (found some possum poo).
  • Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. Matthew 5:8 (NKJV)
  • To the pure, all things are pure, but to those who are defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure; but even their mind and conscience are defiled. Titus 1:15

HOW DO YOU STAY PURE?

“…and Moses killed it (the bull). Then he took the blood and put some on the horns of the altar all around with his finger and purified the altar. And he poured the blood at the base of the altar and consecrated it to make atonement for it.” Leviticus 8:15

So what we need is a massive bull to kill and cover each of us with blood? No, Jesus has paid the price; he was the sacrifice to end all sacrifices. So what do we need now?

In the Old Testament, a cleansing agent was required…water, blood, or fire. We are under the New Testament, which is the new and better covenant that Jesus gave us. The sacrifice of Christ brings purification; His blood cleanses from sin (1 John 1:7).

  • The person who is in right relationship with God is to live a life of purity (2 Timothy 2:21-22; Titus 1:15 and references to a pure heart—Matthew 5:8; 1 Timothy 1:5; Hebrews 9:14; James 4:8; 1 Peter 1:22).
  • Purity is also listed among virtues (2 Corinthians 6:6; Philippians 4:8; 1 Timothy 4:12; compare Mark 7:15).
The Old Testament was for our learning. In the New Testament, our cleansing is done when we are buried or immersed in a watery baptism.
  • “He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.” Mark 16:16
  • “How can a young person stay on the path of purity? By living according to your word.” Ps. 119:9

THREE AREAS OF PURITY

  1. Pure deeds? Luke 6:46; 1 John 5:3; James 1:21-25.
  2. Pure words? 1 Peter 2:1; Matthew 12:34-37; James 3:2-8.
  3. Pure thoughts? Matthew 5:8; 1 Chronicles 28:9; Prov. 4:23.

Many believe their thoughts do not matter, so long as they do not actually practice evil deeds. But pure thoughts are essential to a pure life, because our thoughts determine what we say and do. Pure thoughts lead to pure words and pure deeds.

Your thoughts are important. Which is easier?

  • Work out or play Wii?
  • Eat pizza or salad?
  • Clean your room or disobey your Mum?
  • Walk out of the movie, or just go along with your friends.

Often, the hard thing is the best for your future.

OBJECT LESSON: If I bought 1 kg of gold in 2000, it would have cost me $9,067. It would have been a lot of money back then, but as I said, it is worth $32,000 now. Sometimes, the best thing you can do is the hardest thing to do.

MR PURITY: JOSEPH

In the Old Testament, Joseph is an example of purity. He had pure thoughts. When Potiphar’s wife made sexual advances toward Joseph, he refused. (Genesis 39:7-9)

I think it would have been almost impossible for Joseph as a young man in his prime to say no to temptation without his love for God. With the extreme focus on sex and love in our culture, the same is true for us.

The fact is that it’s harder for us today. Don’t beat yourself up about it; remember that God’s forgiveness is total. You need not live in guilt over your sins once you repent and ask forgiveness of both God and anyone else impacted by your sin.

Action Step: Develop a “spring cleaning” mentality when it comes to things in your home that promote impurity or glamorize immorality. Begin to throw away anything you would not want in your home if you knew that Jesus was coming to visit. In what room will you begin your cleaning?

WHO TELLS YOU HOW TO DRESS?

What is the best way to get someone to do something? (The movie Inception is a brilliant example of this, but will probably go over your kids’ heads). Make them believe that they made up their own minds to do it. So the same happens to you. You think you make up your mind about things, but then why are you and your friends wearing the same clothes? Why do you like the same movies and music?

Someone is making up your mind for you. Because one day, you will look back and get embarrassed about what you are wearing today. A decision you were so sure about is suddenly embarrassing.

If your choices are based on what you are told in TV and by friends, you may just make the wrong choice. But if they are based on a standard to live up to and God’s principles, then you will never go wrong. You may still make bad fashion choices, but life is much more serious than clothes, and I hope that you become someone who buys gold while you are young and in the future finds yourself in a much greater place.

PURITY TAKES PLANNING

Purity doesn’t just happen, and the heat of the moment is not the time to decide what your boundaries are.

Prov. 14:15
1 Cor. 10:12
Lam. 3:40

Do you agree or disagree with the importance of “giving thought to your steps” and “examining your ways”?

Think of a personal situation or experience you were in that you shouldn’t have been. Did you have a plan beforehand to prevent you from getting there? How might a plan have helped you prevent it?

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David Wakerley
David Wakerley is a respected children’s ministry thought-leader and frequent conference speaker on the topic. David and his wife Beci serve as children’s pastors in Sydney, Australia and founded the popular KidInspiration blog. Both of them have a passion to see children’s ministries around the world flourish and thrive.