( Part 8 Eight)
UP THE MOUNTAIN OF THE LORD
December 20, 2011
Today’s reading: Psalm 24:1-6
Our destiny as children of God is to live with our Father in heaven for all eternity. But that will not just happen automatically. We need to do our part, in making ourselves eligible for entry into heaven.
What needs to happen? As David asks, “Who may go up the mountain of the Lord? Who can stand in his holy place?” (Ps 24:3). God is holy, and if we are to stand before Him, much more if we are to dwell with Him forever, we too must be holy. How do we become holy? How do we prepare ourselves for heaven? On this earth, we must live pure. To live pure is to be “clean of hand and pure of heart.” (Ps 24:4a).
James tells us, “Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you of two minds.” (Jas 4:8). To have clean hands is to avoid sin and wrongdoing. To be pure of heart is to be single-minded for God and His righteousness. This is how we draw near to God, and how God will then draw near to us. Or rather, God will draw us near to Himself, all the way to heaven. “The Lord acknowledged my righteousness, rewarded my clean hands. So the Lord rewarded my righteousness, the cleanness of my hands in his sight.” (Ps 18:21,25).
To live pure is also to be “not devoted to idols” (Ps 24:4b). We know, love, serve and worship only one true God. Now this also applies to the “idols” that we might have in life–money, material goods, power, hedonistic pleasure. What is an idol? It is anything that keeps us from giving God all of ourselves. As such we must be careful. Idols can even be good things in life, such as children, secular work, entertainment. If our devotion to them exceeds our devotion to God, then they have become idols.
To live pure is to not swear falsely (Ps 24:4c). One often swears by God, or takes an oath on the Bible. Not to swear falsely is to speak the truth at all times. It is to avoid half-truths, distortions of facts, misrepresentation, skirting the issue, not revealing material facts to an issue. It is to have integrity.
To live pure is to “love the Lord” (Ps 24:6a). We are commanded to love God with our whole heart, mind, soul and strength. God is our one and only priority (every other good thing in our life will then fall into place). This love for God translates into committed and faithful service, especially in evangelization and mission.
To live pure is to “seek the face of the God of Jacob” (Ps 24:6b). We are to pray without ceasing. We are to walk along the path of holiness and righteousness. We are to enter into God’s presence in worship.
When we live pure, then we “will receive blessings from the Lord, and justice from (our) saving God.” (Ps 24:5). Justice is giving to the other person what is his due. What is due to us, by God’s own design, are salvation and eternal life in heaven with Him.
Such are the blessings awaiting the one who lives pure.
* * *