Yes, it’s mid February. And yes, we are still listening to Christmas Carols. Earlier this week my four year old son asked me to pause the song and wanted to know what the third verse of Away in a Manger meant – “how do we fit us for heaven”? I tried to explain it in the simplest way possible that a tiny (yet growing) mind may understand:
- God is so holy and perfect in every way.
- We must be made pure and clean to be with Him in heaven.
- We sin and are unclean, but because Jesus is perfect, when He died on the cross to pay for our sin, He makes us clean.
- Our time here on earth is to truly believe in Jesus, every day love Him with all of our heart. This is how we “get ready” or “get fit” to live with God in heaven.
Psalm 15 takes us through a much better description of who can be in God’s presence, in His holy place, or “fit for heaven”. And WOW, it’s convicting and motivating! I can’t wait to read this scripture with my little guy as a follow up to his question.
O Lord, who shall sojourn in your tent?
Who shall dwell on your holy hill?
He who walks blamelessly and does what is right
and speaks truth in his heart;
who does not slander with his tongue
and does no evil to his neighbor,
nor takes up a reproach against his friend;
in whose eyes a vile person is despised,
but who honors those who fear the Lord;
who swears to his own hurt and does not change;
who does not put out his money at interest
and does not take a bribe against the innocent.
He who does these things shall never be moved.
While this isn’t a checklist to enter heaven, if it were, we would all fail. We are all disqualified at the very first qualification: blameless. Because we have all sinned, we all have blame. But Jesus took our blame and shame that day on Calvary. Our belief in Him is what allows us to dwell with Him in His holy place.
As I continue studying the different verse meanings and praying through each one, the Holy Spirit is challenging me to rid and repent of any of these sins in my life. One characteristic that really stands out is the end of verse four. Am I able to keep my word and commitments even when it hurts? Am I unchanging even when it’s hard?
I’m humbled that my God still loves me through my failings, continues to cleanse me through His perfect Son, and keeps calling me to a deeper communion with Him. I can’t help but think of another kids’ song I’m thankful for:
He’s still working on me, to make me what I ought to be.
It took Him just a week to make the moon and stars,
The sun and the Earth and Jupiter and Mars.
How loving and patient He must be, He’s still working on me.