Integrity And Communion


Lord, who may dwell in your sacred tentWho may live on your holy mountain?

~Psalm 15:1


No one other than Jesus has lived with perfect integrity but because He is our Savior and our High Priest, we can dwell in God’s presence through Him.

~Timothy Keller

Psalm 15 begins with two soul searching questions: Who may dwell in Your sacred Tent and who may live on Your holy mountain? The Tent that David is referring to is the Tabernacle or the tent of presence. It was that sacred place where God met with Moses and Aaron. The O.T. Tabernacle is a picture of Jesus the ultimate TABERNACLE or Tent. Jesus is the Temple that God promised David. It is in Christ [God’s perfect Tent] that we commune with God. The Jews, who knew all the details about the Tabernacle, did not get it: Jesus told them, “Destroy this Temple and in three days I will raise it up.” Jesus was talking about His body, they thought He was talking about a building. A building will not help us commune with God because a building can’t do anything to help us with our sin problem. Only Jesus has the solution to our sin problem. Of course David did not see Christ as clearly as you and I and in Psalm 15 he lifts up a standard–protocol for spending time in God’s presence. If you are like me, you don’t get very far without realizing that it is an impossible standard for a sinful human being. Think about this list for a moment:

  • Those whose walk is blameless
  • Those who do the right thing
  • Those who speak the truth all the time
  • Those who never slander others
  • Those who never sin against their neighbor
  • Those who never cast slurs on others
  • Those who despise evil
  • Those who honor those who fear the LORD
  • Those who always keep their word even if it cost them something
  • Those who are reliable and dependable
  • Those who are generous
  • Those who are above reproach [refusing to take bribes or kickbacks]

Obviously, I nor anyone else can live up to this standard. So the standard David lifts up here is a challenge to me and a reminder that I am in need of grace. Thank God, Jesus lived up to this standard in my behalf. However, we are not to pass this scripture off as being irrelevant. One might have the attitude, “since I can’t live up to this standard, why bother reading it or meditating on it.” It would be a huge mistake to give in to such thinking. The more transparent, open, honest and faithful we are, the sweeter our communion with Christ. My quiet time, my time of communion with Christ is much better than it was a few years ago or even a year ago. This is because I have learned to be honest and open with my heavenly Father. I was probably in my late 20’s or early 30’s before my father and I had a real heart to heart, man to man talk. It was not that my father was unwilling, he simply knew that I was not ready. When he revealed his heart, it changed my opinion and feeling about him. He would have done is sooner had I been more mature. When we get ready to be honest, our HEAVENLY FATHER is waiting to reveal Himself to us. It’s not a point or merit system but the truth is–“The greater our integrity, the greater our communion.”

We all have those casual relationship where we smile and chat but we don’t really talk about anything of importance because we don’t really know or trust the person to whom we are speaking. Your relationship to God should not be casual. If you can’t be honest with Him, you have a real trust issue. If you are not honest and transparent with others–you are not be honest and transparent with God. I don’t want to put pressure on my children by making them examples but I’m going to make an exception for your benefit. My son with through a horrible ordeal a year or so ago. God used this experience to break him down; to teach him humility. He came back to us a different person. He confessed his weakness publicly; he made himself vulnerable before the entire congregation. He took the risk of being transparent. I’m sure the professional pretenders questioned his wisdom but I did not. God put him in a crucible to make him more real and he is a better communicator for it. I don’t like to listen to preachers who are trying to impress me. I just as soon listed to a recording. I want more than fact or even bible knowledge, I want to hear someone who is real. Some preachers just don’t get it: they keep working on degrees, books, eloquence, refinement, impressive homileticical outlines when what they need is more time with in the TENT. They need a good cleansing. We need a Mount Carmel experience where the fire of heaven falls and consumes the bull. There is far too much bull in the pulpit.

The great thing about bitter cold weather is it makes us appreciated mild weather. The great thing about winter is that it last only three months. God is good: I praise Him for the seasons. One makes us appreciate the other and we always have something to look forward to: amen!

Guess what? We had a VBS planning meeting for GPBC this morning. We even set a date: June 23-26. We are also working on our Easter Egg hunt. God is at work: prayers are being answered.

Belinda Childers niece Lilly is awaiting a bone marrow transplant. She had her last round of chemo this weekend. Pray that everything goes well for this very difficult procedure which is scheduled to take place later this week.

As you know, I am not an NFL fan but our oldest daughter is a huge New England Patriot fan and it is not because of John Hannah. She’s been helping out around the house since her mother’s surgery and she watched the game at our house last night. She was much more entertaining than the game. She was creating such a stir that I moved from my puzzle room to the den to watch the last few minutes. I didn’t really care who won but it was nice to see her happy. O for the day, that I can watch an Iron Bowl with the same emotion.

We are still a few days away from getting our in-house computer restored: this means early post from the EASTERN GATE MINISTRIES BUILDING which is located on main street, down town Rocky Ford. You can’t miss it: there is a 4X8 bill board of Holly Reeves re-estate in front.



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