I was staying at my favorite local hotel in Evansville Monday evening, in anticipation of a full day of work on Tuesday. I was pretty tired and decided to turn in early. After all, I start at 7 am with my first meeting and sleeping in a strange bed always causes me to take a little longer to fall asleep. Anyway, when I arose on Tuesday morning, I headed into the washroom and noticed a small message on the bar of soap sitting in the soap dish. It simply said, “To start the day with clean hands.” Now I have stayed at this property almost twenty times but I have never seen that sign before. I can’t believe that I haven’t been paying attention but maybe I just missed it.
I have to say that I always try to start the day with a clean heart – a small time of devotion, usually while I am still in bed, finishing with a short prayer for the issues of the day that I am concerned about. But I don’t know that I ever worried about starting the day with clean hands. This created a bit of curiosity in me about whether the Bible has anything to say on this topic.
After all, this is the same hotel where one of the desk clerks proudly displays the fact that he “loves Jesus” on his name tag and another clerk says that she is a real “people person” on her badge. Each morning when I check out, they rush to make sure that I have a banana or container of milk for the road in case I need nourishment during the morning. They are terrific people who really care for their customers.
Interestingly, I found a number of references to clean hands in the Bible. And that brings us to our verse for the evening. It is from Psalm 24:3-5, “Who may ascend the hill of the LORD? Who may stand in his holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not lift up his soul to an idol or swear by what is false. He will receive blessing from the LORD and vindication from God his Savior.” So I guess that it really is important to have both clean hands and a clean heart.
My encouragement this evening is that God wants us to be clean and presentable to Him in every sense of the word. That includes physical cleanliness as well as spiritual cleanliness. My prayer is that you will take a mental inventory each morning to make sure that you are putting your best foot forward for representing God each day. Because there’s nothing quite like starting the day with clean hands! Have a great day in the Lord, grace and peace…