Cleanliness is Next to Godliness
Summary: In order to approach God, we need to do so with a clean heart, hands, and intentions. God hides himself from an impure heart. The only way to be clean before God is initially through faith and baptism, and continually through confession and repentance.
Open (5-10 minutes)
1. In the past, who is someone you had to meet with that you were compelled to do things such as get a haircut, dress differently, get new clothes, etc? Why did you do this? What would/could have happened if you did not?
Dig (20-25 minutes) (Read 24th Psalm)
2. What is this Psalm all about?
3. How do the first and second phrases of the Psalm tie into the rest of the Psalm? What do they have to do with approaching the Lord with clean hands or a pure heart?
4. Why can't a person with an impure heart or unclean hands approach God? What is the problem with it? (Read Jeremiah 7:8-16)
5. What are some indications that a person might have an impure heart or unclean hands?
6. If someone were to say, "Sincerity is not enough when it comes to God." How would you respond? Why?
7. Since all have sinned and fall short of God, how can we ever hope to approach God?
8. What will it take to be clean? Can we clean ourselves? (Read 1 John 1:9)
Apply (20-25 minutes)
9. Really think about the last three verses of Psalm 24. How do they make you feel? Do you typically feel nervous anticipation, joy, or nonchalant when you approach God? Why?
10. In what ways do you struggle with approaching God with a pure heart and clean hands? What could you do to ensure you remain pure?
11. What are some ways you can help each other to approach God with a pure heart and clean hands?
12. Pray that God would grant a clean heart and renew a right spirit in us. Don't forget the empty chair