Happy Wednesday Everyone,
The scripture for today is James 4:8a
James 4:8a Draw nigh to God, and He will draw nigh to you.
While this is only the first half of this verse, it captures the essence of true spirituality, which is nearness to God. In order to remain near to God, a life of holiness is required. God is holy and those who walk with Him must be holy. The second half of the verse gives us directions to prepare for His presence: "Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded." James 4:8b It is important to note that this strong language is addressed not to the world, but to the church. We are the ones desiring the presence of the Lord and if we are to be with Him, we embrace His likeness. His standard is holiness.
It is not possible for us to cleanse and purify ourselves but God has provided for our cleansing. Pilate, after allowing the crowd to persuade him to put Jesus to death, washed his hands and declared himself innocent, but he was not clean. His hands may have been washed, but his heart was filthy. If we would be cleansed we must surrender to the only One who can cleanse from sin and purify the heart. "What can wash away my sins? Nothing but the blood of Jesus." And after receiving His forgiveness and cleansing we follow the admonition given by Christ to the woman taken in adultery, "go and sin no more." Cleansing is followed by obedience; therefore the condition of holiness is maintained by walking in the truth of the word of God. The psalmist wrote, "Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee." Psalms 119:11 It is the light of His word that keeps us on a sinless path. It is written of Jesus and His relationship with the church, "That He might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word." Ephesians 5:26 His word will cleanse us and, as we hide it in our hearts daily, sincerely following its leading, we will be kept from sin.
God bless you as you continue in His Service.