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Summary: Used as a New Years Sermon, but applicable anytime -- a call to establishing a pure heart before God.

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PSALM 101 … ESTABLISHING A HEART OF INTEGRITY.

On this New Year’s day, 2006 … I have considered a number of different sermons. There are many issues we could discuss

from the condition of the world in general (a sorry mess it is in)

to the miserable state of politics

to the fulfillment of the promise of Christ’s return

to the proper use of our own time/priorities (heaven knows those need examined).

to the future of the church in general … or to the state of our own church

But as important as those things are – and they all are worthy topics (aside from politics perhaps (which I wish we could do without all together).

Illus. It is interesting to look at the grammatical origin of words (etymology) … someone has observed that the word politics is derived from two Latin words “poly” and “tics” … the former meaning many and the later being “blood sucking pests”. (I’m pretty sure they are right, though I did not find that explanation in a dictionary.)

But I have chosen a different topic today. Yet, most certainly the subject I have chosen to look upon would have a profound impact on all the other subjects we have mentioned already. Today I want to look at the subject of ESTABLISHING A HEART OF INTEGRITY.

I know that every one of us here today would readily agree that a man should be honest in his dealings with others … and that he should be an upright man in his attitudes towards those around him. Certainly we can all find a lot of lessons on living honestly and with integrity in dealing with others.

But I want to take things a little deeper – maybe a little more personal today. You see I am reminded that God seeks to know us “from the inside out” instead of from the “outside in”. That is to say, God isn’t just concerned with how we look – or how others will view us – or even how our lives might influence others around us (good or bad). I do think He is concerned about those matters. But God is much more concerned with how we truly are! (the condition of our person, not our healthiness).

1 Samuel 16:7 (NKJV) ….. For the LORD does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.”

That is why David said to the Lord – realizing his own sin and standing in complete guilt before God –Psalms 51:10 (NKJV) 10 Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me.

Psalms 10:13 (NKJV) 13 Why do the wicked renounce God? (because) He has said in his heart, “You will not require an account.”

Psalms 14:1 1 The fool has said in his heart, “There is no God.”

So how do we stand before God – how do we WALK with God with pure hearts– that is with PERSONAL INTEGRITY?

It should go without saying this morning, that we cannot walk with God when there is known sin in our lives. We all probably understand that. IF you do not – ask God to show you the truth of that, for much of the problem that we as Christians face is because we so intently cling to the sins we already know God would like to rid us of … ( intentional rebellion is another matter that I am not really addressing today – God may).

But I’m talking today, about how we can do some practical things to maintain a clean heart – things that we can be aware of that will help us keep our hearts clean before Him

I wonder if perhaps David, in his own way, was writing out a list of NEW RESOLUTIONS.

– Most scholars think that this Psalm was written by David after assuming his throne as king, and it was a public policy statement.

– At any rate, it makes a good starting point for us … a picture of one who desire to keep his heart pure.

Text: Psalm 101 A PSALM OF DAVID.

I want the text this morning to be the outline – for if we could even approach the heart that David displays here we most certainly could walk better with our God.

1 I will sing of mercy and justice; To You, O LORD, I will sing praises.

The heart of integrity will be determined to give God the praise in all things.

The phrase “I will” in the original language means more than a “desire” to praise God, it means an uncompromised determination of spirit…

The pure heart will WANT to give God praise every time it can.

The starting point is to recognize that God has dealt with us in Mercy … graciousness.

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