some things never change!
"Who shall ascend the hill of the LORD? And who shall stand in his holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not lift up his soul to what is false and does not swear deceitfully."
To say that things have changed since I was a child would be a complete and utter understatement. To list a few; the price of a loaf of bread is approximately 5 times higher today compared to the price when I was born. The cost of an average new car during these years was around $8,000 versus now it is at least $40,000. The price of a gallon of regular unleaded gas was a whopping $1.31 per gallon and now it is.... ok, well let's not go there. In addition to all that, the population in Georgia has almost doubled in the last 40 years. If we went back even further, we could ask our parents how much times have changed, and they would quite possibly tell us of a time when they walked uphill to school in the snow...both ways!
Our world is constantly changing in just about every way possible. Some change I would say has been very beneficial and some, not so much! But either way, change, from my perspective, is inevitable. With growth and expansion comes change. Whether the growth happens inside of a family, a business, a town, etc., the most predictable outcome you can expect with this growth is that in one way or another change will occur.
And even though the world is changing at a rapid rate, the most important still remain. The same God that created me is still the same God that sustains me. The same God that made the entire universe in 6 days, is the same God that tells the sun to rise in the morning and set in the evening. The same God who drew me to Him as an early teen is the same God who still directs my path today. I realize that what I'm about to say is direct, but it's the truth. The same God who gifted us His Word to live by still expects us to live by that SAME Word.
"Who shall ascend the hill of the LORD? And who shall stand in his holy place? He who has a clean hands and a pure heart, who does not lift up his soul to what is false and does not swear deceitfully."
Are your hands clean?
Is your speech delightful to the Lord? Do your actions honor his ways? Are your conversations uplifting? When people look at your life, does it reflect a life lived for the glory and honor of Christ?
Is your heart pure?
Do your thoughts tend to lean towards the way of the world or the way of the WORD? Are you first dedicated to pleasing God or the people that surround you? Do you most often seek to attain moments to please yourself or is your utmost desire to please God?
Clean hands and pure hearts...
You see, we can't have one without the other. We most definitely, can not only live in external uprightness. We must not just live our lives in a way that makes us appear to be following God when in all actuality we are not. Your external uprightness must be a result of your internal love of the Father and your commitment to Him. Put simply; your words, thoughts, and actions should be an overflow of what is in your heart.
How do we have clean hands and a pure heart?
We commit ourselves and our lives to knowing who Jesus Christ is and surrendering our lives to walking in the ways in which He has revealed to us through His Word. Because guess what? His Word hasn't changed and we can rest assured that it won't ever change. It speaks the same truths for us to live by today as it did when it was inspired and written all those many years ago.
The path to walking in obedience with God has NOT changed. Our purpose for being here and making His name known has NOT changed and the means of obtaining Salvation in Christ has NOT changed. We, most definitely, should NOT sugarcoat what God asks of us or paint our own version of how this picture should look. We can NOT bend the rules or even make our own to fit our personal preferences and then say that we are following Christ. If your actions and your heart are not aligned with God then you are not living the life of a believer and you are NOT following Christ in obedience.
Do you believe in your heart that God, in all His power and majesty, created the Heavens and the Earth and everything in it? Do you believe that God sent His one and only son to die on the cross to save you from your sins? Do you believe that what Jesus spoke to His disciples was true and unchanging when He said, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." Do you believe that when your time on earth is done that you will meet your Creator in all of His splendor.? Do you believe at that moment you will hear Him say one of the following statements: "Well done good and faithful servant" or "depart from me, I never knew you."? If you can say yes to these questions, then it should bring you to a point of realization that even though change is happening all around us, our God and His Word never change. Living for Christ most certainly is not manipulating the rules or changing them to meet your needs. Living for Christ is surrendering to what He tells you in His Word. God wants us to live a life with clean hands and pure hearts and that is ONE thing that we can trust will NEVER change!
Spiritual Disciplines have been such a ginormous part of my growth in Christ. These disciplines changed my daily walk with the Lord and have taught me about reliance and dependence on Him! My prayer is that this space can help deepen your knowledge and understanding by teaching you to lean in closer to God. With that being said, my goal is to incorporate these disciplines slowly so that you can gain a clear picture and understanding of each one as well as learn how to incorporate them into your daily walk with the Lord. Here is a list of the 8 disciplines that we will cover. If these disciplines are already a regular part of your day, now is a great opportunity to reach out to a friend that could use some help learning and growing.
Worship is an honor and a gift that we have been given to declare His majesty and offer humbled praises to Him who reigns over all creation. Last week we studied prayer. Our prayers should always include a special time to praise God for all that He is and all that He has done. We worship because we proclaim our dependence and gratefulness for all that He is and for all that He has done for us.
This week's Bible Study:
MONDAY: Psalm 23-24 tHURSDAY: Psalm 29-30
TUESDAY: Psalm 25-26 Friday: Psalm 31-32
WEDNESDAY: Psalm 27-28 Saturday: Psalm 33-34
Sunday: Psalm 35-36
This week's verse to
memorize and meditate on:
Tips and challenges this week:
When you go to the Lord in prayer, praise Him FIRST.
Focus on the Adoration section of the ACTS prayer model.
Look for the goodness all around you that God created and praise Him for that.
Bring Praises to him throughout the day for who He is and what He has done in your life.
Private Facebook Discussion Group
Would you like to dig a little deeper into your weekly reading and spiritual disciplines? Join our Facebook group where we learn, grow and encourage one another.
If you have questions or things that you don't understand, please email them to me and I will add them to the Q&A section. I can't promise you that I will have all of the answers, but I can promise I will do my best to find them if I don't have them.
Growing in God
Would you like a tool to encourage your growth in God? Check out my newly released 12-month spiritual disciplines book/journal. This journal will give you a brief understanding of 8 tangible spiritual disciplines as well as give you a space to implement these disciplines into your daily walk with God.