Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Psalm 24 (ESV)

1 The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof,
the world and those who dwell therein,
2 for he has founded it upon the seas
and established it upon the rivers.
3 Who shall ascend the hill of the Lord?
And who shall stand in his holy place?
4 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.
5 He will receive blessing from the Lord
and righteousness from the God of his salvation.
6 Such is the generation of those who seek him,
who seek the face of the God of Jacob. Selah
7 Lift up your heads, O gates!
And be lifted up, O ancient doors,
that the King of glory may come in.
8 Who is this King of glory?
The Lord, strong and mighty,
the Lord, mighty in battle!
9 Lift up your heads, O gates!
And lift them up, O ancient doors,
that the King of glory may come in.
10 Who is this King of glory?
The Lord of hosts,
he is the King of glory! Selah

During this season of penitence, it is easy to become burdened with our sin and shame. We can get stuck in our remorse, especially if we suffer habitual sin, and think that we don’t measure up, that we will never attain the goodness, the clean hands and the pure heart, that the Lord expects of us and so rightly deserves.

But thanks be to God for our Lord Jesus Christ! He is our blessing from the Lord. He is our righteousness from the God of our salvation. Be not ashamed or embarrassed. The blood of Christ washes away your sin, your guilt and your shame, and what is left, what the Lord sees, is the righteousness of Jesus Christ: clean hands and a pure heart.

Repent from your sin and turn to God. Do not be downcast or distraught, but seek the face of the God of Jacob. He is the Lord, strong and mighty! He is the Lord, merciful and gracious! He is the King of glory! Do not be dismayed or discouraged, lift up your heads that the King of glory may come in.

Heavenly Father, You are the Lord of hosts; You are the King of glory. Open our hearts, God Almighty, that You, the King of glory may come in. May we always remember that it is not by our efforts that we have forgiveness of our sins and everlasting life, but only by Your gracious gift, O Lord, strong and mighty, through Jesus Christ our Savior. Take away our sin and shame and remember them no more. Cover us in the precious blood of Your Son, our Savior Jesus Christ that we may receive Your righteousness, O God of our salvation.

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