Saturday evening at 6 pm 26 students, 35 parents, and approximately 71 others attended our first ever 2011 Live Different Purity Ceremony. The musicians began to play “I Pledge Allegiance To The Lamb” and the back doors opened and the students and parents began to walk down the center when they had all made it in, we had one huge circle of 61 people around the outside walls of the sanctuary.
I reminded students of the Purity Code from Jim Burns.
1.) Honoring God with your body. (1 Corinthians 6:18-20) Flee from sexual immorality. All sins a person commits are outside the body, but whoever sins sexually, sins against their own body. Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit who is in you, who you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.
2.) Renewing your mind for the good. (Romans 12:1-2) Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer you bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God–this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. THen you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will.
3.) Turning your eyes from worthless things. (Matthew 6:22-23) “The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eyes are unhealthy, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!
4.) Guarding your heart above all else (Proverbs 4:23) Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.
After three powerful worship songs and prayer:
“Take My Life & Let It Be”
“I Give You My Heart”
I had the students say these vows:
Believing that true love waits…….I make a commitment to God…….myself…….my family…….my friends…….my future mate…….and my future children…….to a lifetime of purity…….and sexual abstinence…….tonight I commit to…….honoring God with my body…….renewing my mind for the good…….turning my eyes from worthless things…….guarding my heart above all else…….from this day…….until the day I enter…….a biblical marriage relationship.
The parents followed them with these vows:
Believing that true love is pure…….I join these students…….in committing to a lifetime of purity…….I make a commitment to God…….myself…….my family…….and my community of faith…….to abstain from pornography…….impure touching and conversations…….and sex outside of a biblical marriage relationship…….from this day forward.
I asked the parents to place the students symbol of commitment in their hand. (Each student choose different symbols some of the choices were rings, necklaces, dog chains, metal book marks, and various other items)
I reminded the students of their symbol of commitment as a reminder of their commitment to purity. It was given to them by their parents whom love, pray and support them. I asked them to cherish it with the knowledge that their purity is for God’s glory. On their wedding night they are to give their symbol of commitment to their spouse as a celebration of promises given and promises kept.
As parents placed the symbol on their finger, around their neck or placed it in their hands and as they shared this special moment together Melinda sang the song “I Promise” by Jaci Velazquez.
Lord, You know my heart
And all my desires
And the secret things I’ll never tell
Lord, You know them well
Though I may be young
I see and understand
That at times like sheep we go astray
And things get out of hand
So I promise to be true to You
To live my life in purity
As unto You
Waiting for the day
When I hear You say
Here is the one I have created
Just for you
Until then, O Lord
I will be content
Knowing that true love
Will come someday
It will only come from You
Cause I have seen the suffering
That loneliness can cause
When we choose to give our love away
Without a righteous cause
I prayed 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 from the Message paraphrase by Eugene H. Peterson to end the service.
Father your word say’s Love never gives up. Love cares more for others than for self. Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have. Love doesn’t strut, Doesn’t have a swelled head, 5 Doesn’t force itself on others, Isn’t always “me first,” Doesn’t fly off the handle, Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others, 6 Doesn’t revel when others grovel, Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth, 7 Puts up with anything, Trusts God always, Always looks for the best, Never looks back, But keeps going to the end. 8 Love never dies.
Father may the LOVE these students have for you never die! AMEN.
The congregation stood and helped me celebrate with the students the commitment they had just made. We followed the ceremony with a reception in the fellowship hall.
Celebrate with me for the 26 students that made the commitment to remain pure from this day forward until in a committed marriage relationship!