Daily Update #156

Today’s readings –              Titus 1:1-9                       Psalm 24:1-6                      Luke 17:1-6

Pause:  Lord God, still our hearts and minds now, as we prepare to hear from your word.  Help us to appreciate your awesome power and might anew today.  Remind us again of your holiness and impress upon us how unworthy we are to stand in your presence, except through the blood which your son Jesus shed for us on the cross.                                                                                                                                                                             Amen

The psalms are a treasure trove of encouragement for us as Christians.  King David experienced many attacks from his enemies and came under enormous pressure as he sought to honour God and lead his people.  Yet his confidence in God was unshaken, despite all the trials he experienced.  Here in Psalm 24 David looks carefully at the Lord as creator of the world and asks who may stand in the Lord’s holy presence?  The answer is clear and definitive and yet how can we honestly claim we qualify?  Clean hands, a pure heart, not trusting in an idol or swearing by a false god.  Those who do qualify will receive blessing from the Lord, vindication and will be the ones who seek the face of the God of Jacob. 

As is often the case, the New Testament holds the key to seeing how this vision of David’s is fulfilled in practice, how we the redeemed and vindicated people of God can possibly live up to the high standard which David sets out. 

In Hebrews 9:27-28 we read: 

“Just as people are destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.”

So through faith in Jesus Christ the penalty for our sins is paid, our hearts are purified, our hands are cleansed and our trust in him confirms that we trust completely in the Lord God of Hosts, rejecting idols and false gods.  It is through the blood of Jesus that we become the generation of those who seek and find the face of the God of Jacob! 

So when the King of glory comes through the gates (Psalm 24:7-10), the Lord Almighty who conquers and reigns supreme across all creation, we will be there rejoicing and receiving his blessing, receiving vindication from God our Saviour. 

These days, we may not be feeling very victorious and certain about our futures.  The disruption to life from the pandemic has introduced social distancing and limited our previous freedom to travel around, meet family and friends and enjoy certain activities.  But none of these temporary limitations apply to our eternal destiny as those who have full access to the mountain of the Lord, those who may stand in his presence, through the sacrifice which Jesus offered of himself. 

Take some time today to smile and give thanks for the rich blessing and salvation which we have received from the King of glory, the Lord Almighty, through his son, our Lord Jesus Christ.  All temporary physical limitations and restrictions now pale into insignificance compared to the feast of rich food and the banquet of aged wine which the Lord Almighty has invited us to!  (Isaiah 25:6-8).

Prayer

Almighty God,

thank you that, through the sacrifice made by Jesus for each one of us on the cross, we may ascend your mountain and stand in your holy place. 

Help us to know and appreciate the spiritual reality of our status as sons and daughters of you, the living Lord God Almighty, day by day.

Make us those who are salt and light to those around us, those whose light is on a stand and who illuminate those near us with the truth of the gospel. 

We ask all this through Jesus Christ our Lord.

            Amen

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