Notice: register_sidebar was called incorrectly. No id was set in the arguments array for the "Sidebar" sidebar. Defaulting to "sidebar-1". Manually set the id to "sidebar-1" to silence this notice and keep existing sidebar content. Please see Debugging in WordPress for more information. (This message was added in version 4.2.0.) in /home/earnestly/public_html/maranatha/wp-includes/functions.php on line 5535
Cleanse – Pull Up A Chair

Psalm 119:9 BETH. Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word.

I wanted to write about how God uses the Scriptures to bring conviction against sin to us. However, as I read and re-read this verse, it became apparent to me that the Lord used the words “young man (or woman)” here. Why would God use this adjective to describe the man? He could have just used the word man. So why did God interject with the word “young”?

I’ve seen older Christians who have remained “spiritual babes” because they have not spent time in the God’s word. Taking time in the Bible is work but a blessing follows. Some of us work for a living and at the end of the pay period, we receive a check. At the end of our hard work of reading and studying, we also receive a paycheck – a spiritual paycheck. However, our paycheck is inexhaustible and lasts for eternity. Paul spoke about these spiritual babes. 1 Cor. 3:1-2, “And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ. I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able.” Paul likened the spiritual babes as carnal. They were still more concerned about the things of the flesh than spiritual things. After all, isn’t that what a human baby does? He cries and cries unto he is fed. He is only concerned about his own needs at this point. Not once does this baby consider that Mommy is really tired and could sleep an extra hour if he would just hold off! Paul used the right choice of words here, didn’t he?

As that baby gets older, he becomes a whiner so he can get what he wants. There are Christians who are whiners in every church. They don’t like the way things are going – they don’t like the color of the carpet that was chosen – they think the Pastor preaches to long and keep looking at their watches.

The more we grow in the Lord through His word, the more we become spiritual adults. We no longer have the same struggles we did as younger believers. We have put off the immature spirituality and have made way for the meat of God’s word. We’ve learned to trust more in the Lord; we’ve learned that we can never lose our salvation and we’re sure of it and can prove it from the Scriptures; we’ve learned that God is faithful and won’t abandon us; we’ve received this peace that young Christians and spiritually immature Christians can’t understand. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. (Phi 4:7)

Suffice it to say, however, that just reading the Bible is not sufficient. One has to heed its warnings, as the Psalmist continues to point out. What’s the use in reading a self-help book if you don’t apply what you’ve learned, right? Applying God’s word to our lives is the key to maturing as a believer.

I know I sound like a broken record, but God stresses over and over in His word that we need to be IN the word of God and applying it to our lives! Without it our growth is stunted spiritually. That baby would die without his Mommy feeding him, right? So will the babe in Christ stunt his growth in Christ by not opening his Bible and gleaning from its spiritual nourishment.

There’s a banquet table awaiting the believer who stops to eat!

~Ephesians 2:13 But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.

Do you truly want to be close to God in this new year? First of all, there is only one way to be close to God and that is through His Son, Jesus Christ. Only Christ’s shed blood on the cross forgives us of our sins. The Old Testament saints looked “forward” to the cross and knew that their Messiah would redeem them. They knew that their own works would not draw them any close to God. They looked forward to a better hope!

We, on the other hand, look “back” to the cross and know that nothing we do or say will bring us salvation, let alone draw us closer to God.

~Hebrews 7:19 For the law made nothing perfect, but the bringing in of a better hope did; by the which we draw nigh unto God.

Our hope is in Christ Jesus! He is the only way to a close relationship with the Heavenly Father. People claim to have this relationship – but do they really? What, exactly, is involved in their relationship? Is it their good works? Is it the money they tithe? These things are good but they don’t earn us an audience with God. The only thing that will get us closer to God is His Son! Nothing more … nothing less … nothing else!

~James 4:8 Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.

Cleansing and purifying our hearts can only be done by Jesus Christ’s blood. And thus, this devotional leads back to the first verse! Draw nigh to God and He will draw nigh to you!

Snow

~1 Peter 3:15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:

Peter exhorts us to sanctify the Lord God in our hearts. But how do we actually do that? Noah Webster defines the word sanctify as:

To cleanse from corruption; to purify from sin; to make holy by detaching the affections from the world and its defilements, and exalting them to a supreme love to God.

We are to totally cleans ourselves from corruption – totally purify ourselves from sin – totally detaching ourselves from the affections from this world and its defilements and lifting them before God so He can create in us a holy heart. Wow … can you imagine just what God could do through us if we were to set ourselves apart in this manner?

What a wonderful Christmas gift to the Lord Jesus Christ this would be if we were to take this verse with all seriousness of heart! Then we could truly tell others about this hope that Christ has given to us through His precious blood shed on the cross so we may gain eternal life with Him in Heaven!

Celebrate this Christmas by giving Christ the one thing He truly desires … our sanctified hearts!