Why You Should Have a Merry Christmas!

My wife is off to pick up Karis and Caleb from school, the van is packed, we leave for North Carolina in just a little while. I wanted to take a moment and share a Merry Christmas to everyone and a blessed reminder I received in my quiet time this morning. I literally woke up praying this morning (believe me that doesn’t always happen), and my heart was drawn to some issues of prayer and to a passage of Scripture, Psalm 24. I began reading Psalm 24 and my favorite part of that Psalm is verses 3-5:

Who may ascend into the hill of the Lord? Or who may stand in His holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart,Who has not lifted up his soul to an idol, Nor sworn deceitfully. He shall receive blessing from the Lord, And righteousness from the God of his salvation. Psalm 24:3-5

I love Psalm 24, and I greatly desire to “ascend into the hill of the Lord”, to be in His presence, to receive His blessing, and righteousness. I prayed that God would grant me clean hands and a pure heart. I then turned to my daily chapter in Proverbs. Proverbs has thirty-one chapters so I read one a day. I learned this from a pastor years ago and it still blesses me greatly every day. I got to Proverbs 20:9 and the words jumped off the page at me:

Who can say, “I have made my heart clean, I am pure from my sin”? Proverbs 20:9

I quickly responded, out loud even, NOT ME! Not anyone. We are desperately hopeless in our own ability. Then God powerfully and virtually instantaneously reminded me, it was not in my ability and it was not my job to give me clean hands, and a clean and pure heart, it is HIS! My mind quickly turned to 1 John 1:9:

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9

When I agree with God and confess my sins (plural, for there are many) He is faithful to forgive me of my sins. What a wonderful blessing, what a joy and peace to know God forgives me of my sins. But it does not stop there, He cleanses me of all unrighteousness. Hallelujah!! What a Savior! But it does not stop there. Remember what Paul reminds us of in 2 Corinthians 5:21

For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. 2 Corinthians 5:21

My friends that is how I and how you can have clean hands and a pure heart, through the work of the Lord Jesus Christ, through the blessed hope of the Gospel. May we be reminded, may we repent, and then rejoice that we may ascend the hill of the Lord, that we might walk daily in His presence, that we might declare to the world, our sin is forgiven, our unrighteousness is cleansed, and His righteousness is made ours through the Lord Jesus! If you have surrendered to the Lord Jesus, walk in this truth, and there is absolutely no reason for you to not have a MERRY CHRISTMAS!

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