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April 12, 2010 / dcwisdom

Clean Hands, Pure Heart

One of my favorite blog friends, Mary, recently sent me a special order of soap for Brin’s 31st birthday.  Brin loves almost all things country, including natural soaps.  So, first of all, I would like to thank Mary publicly for the beautiful and fragrant soaps and samples.  It’s just a little bit of heaven on my hands and skin.  Oooo – so nice!  🙂

Secondly, happy belated birthday (from here), Brin.  I love you, dear daughter, and hope you enjoyed your birthday week, all the dinners, cake, and pies shared with family and friends, and all the fun gifts you received.

Annie's Goat Hill soaps

My hands, lately, have been quite busy doing spring cleaning.  With all spring’s dry and blustery weather conditions in this area and sneezy-sniffling-coughing-pollenated air –

(Although I’ve been a kazillion times blessed to have no allergies, I have heard a old wives’ tale that if you take a tablespoon of honey from your local apiary fairly often, it will help with one’s allergies.)

-I thought it was high time to do some painting and changing of sleeping quarters in this wee place we live.  Mary and I have been working this last week on getting things rearranged and redecorated, and I’ll be sharing pictures later this week.

But, getting back to my title “Clean Hands, Pure Heart,” I can say I’m now able to wash my hands and body in the best of pure soaps, and I do recommend Mary’s lovely soaps to you.

However, while my hands are physically clean,  sometimes my spiritual hands and heart are far from pure.  When I think about the impurities of them, my mind settles on this scripture in Psalm 24:

“Who shall ascend into the hill of the Lord?  Or who shall stand in his holy place?  He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully.  He shall receive the blessing from the Lord, and righteousness from the God of his salvation.”

There are many rabbits to chase in these few words, but a commenter  recently caused me to ponder about how pure my heart really is, or is not.    What with the culture mores, traditional customs, political correctness, and the plain old family ways which I tend to follow, there should be no wonder that my heart is filled with junk that needs purifying. 

I like what The Message-Remix says:  “Only the clean-handed, only the pure-hearted; men who won’t cheat, women who won’t seduce.”

Come; let us reason together.  How clean are my hands?  How pure is my heart?  Have I cheated or seduced?  But, God…  “God is at my side; with God’s help, I can make it.  This…is what happens to God-seekers, God-questers.”

Every part of my life is up for evaluation against the standard, the Word of God.  Now, it really bugs me that people use scripture to brow-beat others according to their interpretations of what’s been said/written.  When one is brow-beaten, that’s not a good thing; it’s a form of punishment without love.  It’s harsh and critical, and certainly not what God does to his beloved children.  And since there’s not one of us children qualified to stand in judgment against another child, we all must be willing to evaluate ourselves against the Holy God. 

When we do, we all come up short.  That’s just because of our humanity, our human nature, which is always in need of repentance and forgiveness, also with the need for the Balm of Gilead to sooth our troubled souls. 

To have clean hands and a pure heart is a worthy aim, a worthy purpose.  Let’s resolve to forgive and help each other in the race each of us must run.

God bless you all.  God bless Israel.  God help America.

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15 Comments

  1. Mary / Apr 13 2010 9:59 PM

    I am not sure where my comments went. Funny, I am sure it was just me perhaps hitting a wrong key.

    You made my day with this post. Not only with the rich scripture and reminders, but with a thought for myself to remember personally as I make soap for others, “Clean hands, pure heart.”

    I,too, sometimes feel I cannot possibly meet up to the expectations set forth, but I do my best, and have peace knowing that we have a very loving and forgiving Heavenly Father when we seek him.

  2. Tara / Apr 13 2010 3:41 PM

    Well said!

  3. Mary / Apr 13 2010 2:52 PM

    Debbie, this is beautiful. You made my day.

    As I make soap I will remember your message.

    Clean hands, pure heart.

    I am a God seeker. I also sometimes feel I do not meet up to expectations. But I know I do my best, and strive to do better, knowing I have a loving Heavenly Father that forgives.

  4. nola at alamo north / Apr 13 2010 8:04 AM

    I like homemade soaps, I will go take a peek.
    You commented on my blog that your neighbor gave you garbage bags of cast iron plant; well, that’s a goldmine; I paid $10 for a gallon pot of it!
    You don’t have “Wisdom” on your profile page; wasn’t sure if you knew that. Makes it ez to go from my comments to you profile to get here.

  5. Linda Sue / Apr 13 2010 7:58 AM

    Thank you for stopping by my blog and leaving your sweet comment – we all fall short but I believe the Lord is pleased with our striving because He made us and knows our tendencies. We believers are clothed in the righteousness of our Savior – clean hands both with soap and spiritually are good things to have.

  6. debsladybugtexas / Apr 13 2010 6:53 AM

    Debbie…like your new blog…just figured out how to get on here…

  7. debsladybugtexas / Apr 13 2010 6:51 AM

    Hey Debbie…like your new blog…just figured out how to get over here…yes we were on the levy watching the stadium go down…

  8. Vickie / Apr 13 2010 5:47 AM

    Oh yeah – Happy Birthday to Brin!

    I, too, have bought some of Mary’s soaps & lotions. They’re wonderful, aren’t they! I got several for Christmas presents, and of course, some more for myself!

    Won’t we be smellin’ great in June!

  9. Vickie / Apr 13 2010 5:45 AM

    Hey Gib – good post. I fall short all the time, we all do, against the standard of Jesus. He’s the only standard by which we should measure ourselves. Not each other certainly. I guess it’s human to do that tho AND it’s a lifetime challenge. We’ll never measure up. It’s only through Jesus’ saving grace and that free gift of salvation that make me righteous and pure in His sight. If we are in Christ, He only sees the perfection and purity and the blood of Jesus covering us. It’s almost too much to understand and fathom in my little human mind. I just have to trust.

    It only matters what God thinks of us, Gib. Ch.Vickie

  10. Jeanette / Apr 13 2010 5:41 AM

    Debbie, A wonderful post you’ve written and very, very wise words. I too question my heart and mind purity on a daily basis and pray the Lord will cleanse me of all that does not belong. Of course, our true purity will arrive only when we are swept up to greet our Lord and Saviour Jesus and for that day I long. Jeanette
    P.S. I keep forgetting to send the info but will send it via my gmail address. Subject line will say Jeanette

  11. Rayanne / Apr 13 2010 5:00 AM

    What a lovely post…and so perfectly put.

  12. tanna / Apr 13 2010 2:16 AM

    Sometimes it just feels overwhelming to compare my life to the standards set by Jesus. I am so grateful for and to a God who loves me in spite of my shortcomings. I am so grateful for a grace that gave me the chance to be with Him. Grateful.

    Good post, Debbie.

  13. Debbie / Apr 13 2010 2:08 AM

    That Mary is quite a gal, isn’t she? Ang uses her soaps too and just loves them.
    Your post was effective. We can always make our selves feel good by measuring us against others. But if we could get a glimpse of us through God’s eyes, it sure would change our opinions:0
    By ‘brow beating’, I think you might mean ‘legalism’ which sure reigns supreme in a lot of religious circles. I have to really watch that.
    See ya soon, Gib
    C. Debbie

  14. Marylou55 / Apr 12 2010 11:55 PM

    Exellent post to start my day; thank you.

  15. Gale / Apr 12 2010 10:08 PM

    Wow, what a rich verse!

    “…who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity”

    I think I need to memorize this. How many times have I thrown heart and soul and precious time into vain things?

    But I love the last part too. Even those who have clean hands and a pure heart, who haven’t lifted up their souls to vanity or sworn deceitfully…they don’t get their righteousness from those things, but God gives them righteousness.

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