The Heart God Purifies


Nancy Leigh DeMoss

Moody Publishers, 2004, 194 pp.   ISBN 0-8024-1276-9


DeMoss is the host and teacher for Revive Our Hearts, a syndicated radio program.  She has written six books, including Lies Women Believe.  DeMoss appeals to God’s people to pursue holiness.  It is easy to read, but challenging to live. 


“True holiness isn’t cold and deadening—it’s warm and inviting.  It’s irresistible.  Those who think otherwise have never seen it, but only its caricatures.”  “It’s something beautiful.”  (10)


“Holiness is the only path to happiness.  Every time I’ve been unholy it has made me unhappy.” (10)


“Holiness and sin both matter—more than we can imagine.” (19)


“True holiness is the pathway to fullness of life and joy.  To be holy is to be wholly satisfied with Christ.”  “In pursuing holiness, you will fulfill and experience all that God had in mind when He created you.” (22)


“Holiness in the Bible means moral wholeness....”  It also means to be set apart, distinct, different, consecrated for his use.  It carries the sense of belonging to God.  (31)


“God is holy, and holiness is not an option for those who belong to Him.”  (33)


“[My parents] convinced us there was something really special about being set apart for God rather than being squeezed into the world’s mold.” 


It is a priceless privilege to be cherished by God; to fit into his grand, eternal plan; to experience the exquisite joys and purpose for which we were created; to be freed from all that destroys our true happiness. (33)


“Over and over again, Jesus and the New Testament authors call us to a life of absolute purity.” (35)


“He has given every believer a supernatural resource called grace that gives us the desire and the power to be holy.” (36)  “His love for us moves us to reject all lesser loves and all the fleeting delights sin can offer.” (36)


“Holiness...is the overflow of a heart that is deeply grateful to have been redeemed by God from sin.” (37) “True holiness starts on the inside—with our thoughts, attitudes, values, and motives—those innermost parts of our hearts that only God can see.  It also affects our outward and visible behavior.” (I Peter 1:15) (38)


“To be holy is to be clean, to be free from the weight and the burden of sin.” (41)


“To pursue holiness is to move toward joy....” (42)


“People are supposed to be able to look at Christians and see what God is like!” Our life and conduct are meant to reflect what God is like, make him believable to the world.  (49) 


He is both the standard for and source of your holiness.  An awesome responsibility.  And an astounding privilege!  (50)


“We can sing praise choruses loudly enough to be heard in the next county, ...but none of that will get us one iota closer to God if we are ignoring or cherishing sin in our hearts.” (59)


“Without holiness on earth we shall never be prepared to enjoy heaven.” (61, quoting J. C. Ryle)  This world is just a dressing room—a staging area—for eternity.” (61)


“To a significant degree, the lost world determines its view of God based on the lives of those who profess to know Him.” (63)


“Parents seldom realize until it’s too late how determinative their example is in the lives of their children.” (64)  “They know the kinds of videos you rent and what you laugh at on TV and the kinds of books and magazines you bring into your home.” (65)


“A healthy fear and respect keeps most people from getting cozy with wild beasts.  So what makes us think we can get close to a far more deadly beast called sin—and survive?” (70)


“What makes all sin so heinous and grievous is that it is against God.” (70)  “Imagine how you would feel if your mate refused to break off [an] illicit relationship....” (74)


“Somehow, the evangelical world has managed to redefine sin; we have come to view it as normal, acceptable behavior....”  We have sunk to such lows that we can not only sin thoughtlessly, but, astonishingly, we can even laugh at sin and be entertained by it.” “I wonder if we could be so cavalier about sin if we had any comprehension of how God views it.” (75)


“Sin will disappoint you.  Sin never pays what it promises.” (76)


“Sin will deceive you.  The more ground you concede to sin, the more you dull your capacity for truth.  As your conscience is violated, you gradually lose your moral compass....”   “You become blind to the seriousness and extent of your sin.”  “Sin will lead you step-by-step through incremental compromises, all the while convincing you that...you’re not so bad.” (77)


“Sin will destroy you.”  “Most of us have become so familiar with sin that we no longer see it as a deadly monster.” (79)


“Mark it down: There is no such thing as a small sin.”  “Seemingly small, ‘harmless’ compromises snowball and set the stage for tragic consequences.” (81)


“Periodically every believer needs to be given a fresh glimpse of the corruption of indwelling sin, apart from which the mercy, the grace, and the Cross of Christ cease to be precious in our eyes.” (85)


“From start to finish, the pathway of holiness is a life of faith....” “His grace is infinitely more powerful than any sinful bondage.” (95)


“There is something powerful about fixing our eyes on Jesus as we seek to be holy.” (96)  “The longing of my heart...is to be like Him.” (97)


“As I assemble the [jigsaw] puzzle, I keep looking at the picture on the box.”  “We need to be constantly reminded what the finished product is supposed to look like.”  “Jesus is holiness with a face.” (98)


“No amount of striving or self-effort can make us holy.  Only Christ can do that.” (104)


“Holiness and sin cannot both thrive in our lives.  One or the other must die.”  “Mortification...suggests the willingness to eliminate influences that may not be sinful in and of themselves, but that could fuel unholy thoughts or behavior and thereby lead us into sin.  It means cutting off every possible means to sin.” (111)


“In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus exhorted His hearers to be ruthless in cutting off every avenue and enticement to sin.” (113)


“Anyone who imbibes the sensual culture through movies and other forms of entertainment that feature sexual innuendos, suggestive and immoral scenes, and provocatively dressed women is going to struggle morally—count on it!” (114)


“I have resolved not to expose myself to entertainment or other influences that put immorality in a favorable light or could fuel unholy desires.” (115)


“The problem is that most people in today’s world aren’t in pursuit of holiness; therefore, they think nothing of sin.” (115)


“Sin is a toxin that contaminates to the core of the human soul.  When God saved us it was with the intent of cleansing us from every vestige of sin.  He does so through the lifelong process called sanctification.”  “Putting off sinful practices isn’t sufficient to make us holy.  We must also put on righteousness.” (128)


Means of grace: 1) the cleansing and renewing properties of the Word; 2) consciously confessing sin; 3) self-examination in communion; 4) accountability in the body of Christ; 5) church discipline; 6) God’s discipline in suffering.  (129-143) An excellent series of self-examination questions are listed on pp. 144-147


“As Christians, we are called to maintain lives that can be ‘toured’ by outsiders at any time, without embarrassment.” (152)  “Is what’s on the outside the same as what’s on the inside?” (153)


“When will we realize that the world is not impressed with a religious version of itself?  Our greatest effectiveness is not to be found in being like the world; it is to be found in being distinct from the world, in being like Jesus.” (171)


“Lots of people are praying, and lots of people are repenting, but so few are changing their lifestyle.” (quoting a pastor)  But, “if people are not changing their lifestyle, they’re not repenting.”  (171)


“In proportion as a church is holy, in that proportion will its testimony for Christ be powerful.” (173, quoting C. H. Spurgeon)


“Sadly, the church has become a safe place to sin.” (174)  “The evangelical church, by and large, has abandoned preaching on sin and holiness.” (175)


“When most of the Christians you know...are forever following the latest fad or talking about the latest movie they’ve just been to see, you can start to feel like you’re from a different planet!” (quoting a friend)  “Have we been lulled to sleep by a watered-down, compromised version of ‘Christianity’?” (179)


“God...simply won’t make Himself at home in an unholy place.” (185)


“The world is waiting for the church to get right with God.”  (187)”


There’s a wedding coming.  “My deepest desire is that I would be a holy woman and that the church of Jesus Christ would be holy.” (193)

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