1 Peter 1:18-19 (KJV) “Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:”
Last week, we discussed the Power of the Blood of Jesus to give “Peace.” The Blood of Jesus also has the “Power” to…
I think about this quite often – “The other day I was involved in an automobile accident. Because of the severity of the collision and the amount of damage, the first responders recommended that I be driven to the hospital to be checked out for and internal injuries or hidden medical consequences. So, after the medical team gave me a cursory examination and assessed that I only experienced the major bruising and minor cuts, I was able to call my mother to ask her to pick me up from the hospital. I had to use the hospital telephone because my cell phone had been damaged in the accident. My mother has ‘caller-id,’ so she answered with an apparent anxiety in her voice. I told her I was in an automobile accident and was sent to the hospital. Before I could say anything else, my mother said, ‘Please tell me you were wearing clean underwear!’” –Familiar Joke
I chuckle every time I think of this joke! I’ve visited folks in the hospital, and when I am confident that they will not be offended, I will say, “I assume you were wearing clean underwear when you came in here!”
When I first heard this joke, the comedian started with a statement like this, “My mother was always concerned with what others would think about her. She was didn’t want anyone to think she would send her children out with dirty clothes, especially underwear!”
We understand the principle. But, we also know that whether we go to the hospital with clean clothes are not will have very little, if anything, to do with having a positive outcome!
I often hear people say, “It doesn’t matter what you wear when you go to church. God doesn’t care what you wear, He only wants you to come to worship. It’s only legalism if the clothes matter.”
While I understand the principle that is being expressed – God is more concerned with the condition of our heart than what’s on the outside – very few people who express the statement about “what we wear” really know God and what He has revealed in His Word.
How we approach God and how we appear before Him DOES matter! First, because He is God! Second, because He is Holy!
God called David a man that was “after Mine heart” for several reasons. We could point to his ability to become broken before God as one of the reasons God referred to David in such an intimate manner. Perhaps it was because of the confidence and trust he expressed in God. I believe the prime reason was David loved, valued, and reverenced God above all else. He understood the “heartbeat” of God long before anyone experienced the abiding Presence of the Holy Spirit.
Perhaps while David was meditating upon the Greatness of God one day, he looked toward Mt. Zion and imagined God seated on His Throne atop a mountain in Heaven. Maybe, as he thought about ascending to the Throne of God he was moved to write…
Psalm 24:3 (KJV) “Who shall ascend into the hill of the LORD? or who shall stand in his holy place?”
Perhaps, as he considered ascending the hill of the LORD, he thought of what the proper attire for visiting the King would be. Immediately his thoughts turned to the principle that he learned from Samuel, “for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart” (Samuel 16:7). Therefore, David wrote…
Psalm 24:4 (KJV) “He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully.”
The Holy Spirit stated through David that it DOES matter how we approach, and how we appear before God!
The next thing the Holy Spirit inspired David to write reinforces a principle of being “received” in the presence of a king. David would have been familiar with the story of Esther; for, the Jews celebrated the Feast of Purim every year. While the story of Esther has much to do with God’s ability to intervene and bring deliverance to His people, it also presents the proper decorum in approaching a king. IF this has to do with those whom God exalts, how much more we need to be mindful of this with the King of Kings, and Lord of Lords!
You will recall that there was a decree to destroy every Jew in the Babylonian Empire. Mordecai, Esther’s uncle, implored Queen Esther to approach the king and intervene on behalf of the Jews. Notice her response, Esther 4:11 (KJV) “All the king’s servants, and the people of the king’s provinces, do know, that whosoever, whether man or woman, shall come unto the king into the inner court, who is not called, there is one law of his to put him to death, except such to whom the king shall hold out the golden sceptre, that he may live: but I have not been called to come in unto the king these thirty days” (Emphasis Added).
Because of her relationship with, and acceptance by, the king, Esther was willing to take a chance of approaching the king uninvited. But, she sought for the Jew to be prayerful intercessors so that God would touch the heart of the king to accept her. Esther 4:16 (KJV) “Go, gather together all the Jews that are present in Shushan, and fast ye for me, and neither eat nor drink three days, night or day: I also and my maidens will fast likewise; and so will I go in unto the king, which is not according to the law: and if I perish, I perish” (Emphasis Added).
Esther 5:1-2 (KJV) “Now it came to pass on the third day, that Esther put on her royal apparel, and stood in the inner court of the king’s house, over against the king’s house: and the king sat upon his royal throne in the royal house, over against the gate of the house. And it was so, when the king saw Esther the queen standing in the court, that she obtained favour in his sight: and the king held out to Esther the golden sceptre that was in his hand. So Esther drew near, and touched the top of the sceptre” (Emphasis Added).
David knew that God is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords! David knew that only those who approach God with “clean hands, etc.” would be accepted by Him and granted access to approach Him. Therefore, David wrote…
Psalm 24:5 (KJV) “He shall receive the blessing from the LORD, and righteousness from the God of his salvation” (Emphasis Added).
The King of Babylon had provided the clothing, the perfume, and the attendants to serve Esther. She knew what was required to approach and appear before the king. She followed the “King’s Protocol.” We must also! Our King provides everything we need to approach and appear before our God! Only those who obey will “receive the blessing from the LORD” (Golden Scepter Extended), and “righteousness from the God of his salvation” (Holy Garments).
David knew that he could not approach and appear before God in a casual manner; therefore, he wrote…
Psalm 19:12-14 (KJV) “Who can understand his errors? cleanse thou me from secret faults. Keep back thy servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me: then shall I be upright, and I shall be innocent from the great transgression. Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.”
Psalm 51:10 (KJV) “Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.”
Psalm 139:23-24 (KJV) “Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”
In all of these Scriptures, David expressed his need for God to intervene for him, so he could approach and appear before Him. We have the same need. Praise the Lord, God provided through the Blood of Jesus!
Hebrews 9:12-14 (KJV) “Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us. For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh: How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?” (Emphasis Added.)
John, the Apostle, declared that we need a continual cleansing, so we may approach and appear before the King!
1 John 1:7 (KJV) “But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin” (Emphasis Added).
God placed an example in our bodies of what the Blood of Jesus does for us – The Blood is a Cleansing Agent…
“All that we have learned about physiology in recent years confirms the accuracy of the still-jarring juxtaposition of blood and cleansing…
I suggest a simple experiment if you truly wish to grasp the function of blood as a cleansing agent. Find a blood pressure kit and wrap the cuff around your upper arm. When it is in position, have a friend pump it up to about 200 mm. of mercury, a sufficient pressure to stop the flow of blood in your arm. Initially your arm will feel an uncomfortable tightness beneath the cuff. Now comes the revealing part of the experiment: perform any easy task with your cuffed arm. Merely flex your finger and make a fist about ten times in succession, or cut paper with scissors, or drive a nail into wood with a hammer.
The first few movements will seem quite normal as the muscles obediently contract and relax. Then you will feel a slight weakness. Almost without warning a hot flash of pain will strike, after maybe ten movements. Your muscles will cramp. If you force yourself to continue this simple task, you will likely cry out in absolute agony. Finally, you cannot force yourself to continue; the pain overwhelms you.
When your release the tourniquet and air escapes from the cuff, blood will rush into your aching arm and a wonderful sense of relief will soothe your muscles.… Physiologically, you have just experienced the cleansing of the blood.
While the blood supply to your arm was shut off, you forced your muscles to keep working. As they converted oxygen into energy, they produced certain waste products (metabolites) that are normally flushed away instantly in the bloodstream. Due to the constricted blood flow, however, these metabolites accumulated in your cells. They were not “cleansed” by the swirling stream of blood, and therefore in a few minutes you felt the agony of retained toxins.” — Dr. Henry Brand
“There is a fountain filled with blood drawn from Emmanuel’s veins, where sinners, plunged beneath that flood, lose all their guilty stains.” –William Cooper