February 1, 2018: Lift Up Your Heads
February 1, 2018
TODAY'S BIBLE READING:
<![CDATA[ Today’s Bible Reading: Exodus 1-3, Psalm 24, Matthew 10:21-42, Acts 15:22-41 Psalm 24: People compete for the resources of this world—its energy, its oil, its land. But “the earth is the LORD’s and the fullness thereof” (24:1). The one who owns it all is God. Easy to say, but harder to put into practice. What it means is that we are but stewards of this life, of our resources, of our time and of our money. The earth is the LORD’s, and every part of it, the fullness thereof. This is the higher meaning and purpose that gives greater satisfaction than the trite search after happiness. We were made for more than mere accumulation of possessions, for the earth is the LORD’s and the fullness thereof. Our satisfaction comes from realizing our higher purpose, that is to serve God. But how then do we know this God? Or “who shall ascend the holy hill of the LORD” (24:3)? The answer is stunningly clear and devastatingly challenging: “He who has clean hands and a pure heart” (24:4). None of us has perfectly clean hands (has never done anything wrong) nor a perfectly pure heart (has never intended to do anything wrong). This is why we need the gospel, why Christ’s death for sinners is so precious. Our hands are not clean, and our hearts are not pure. We need the holiness of Christ in us; we need his justification to cleanse us from our sins; and we need his power to gradually make us more holy. Let us then today, in God’s power, seek to have clean hands and a pure heart. To do what is right and to want what is right. For the motivation for such holiness is the sweetness of the presence of God himself. And now, we are encouraged, to “lift up your heads, o gates!… that the King of glory may come in” (24:7). Open wide our hearts to receive God as our King in fullness of joy and celebration this morning!]]>
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Josh Moody (Ph.D., University of Cambridge) is the senior pastor of College Church in Wheaton, IL., president and founder of God Centered Life Ministries, and author of several books including How the Bible Can Change Your Life and John 1-12 For You.
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