“O LORD, who shall sojourn in your tent? Who shall dwell on your holy hill? He who walks blamelessly and does what is right and speaks truth in his heart; who does not slander with his tongue and does no evil to his neighbor, nor takes up a reproach against his friend; in whose eyes a vile person is despised, but who honors those who fear the LORD; who swears to his own hurt and does not change; who does not put out his money at interest and does not take a bribe against the innocent. He who does these things shall never be moved” Psalms 15: 1-5.
In this passage, the psalmist asks God, what type of people will go to Heaven. I love this question. But more important, I love that we have been honored to hear God’s answer. It is an important question and exchange… It is simple and direct, but implies many things of which we, I, need to hear especially this morning.
In my mind’s eye, I imagine a little child not more than 5 or 6 years old, sitting on the knee of God, curious and without guile, seeking understanding… This wee one wants to know more about God but doesn’t feel confident to ask Him directly. So he asks God what He is like by asking about the people who will live in His home. By asking in this way, he gets an answer to both questions.
We can learn much about God by the answer that He gives. Gods’ character and nature is revealed by whom He chooses, what He values, and what types of behavior make God smile. God does not choose those with heritage and ancestry to favor. He does not choose those that value wealth and opulent living. He chooses people who choose Him.
A citizen of Heaven sincerely seeks to please God. This citizen does not look to God on a whimsy or just in crisis, but depends on God for all things, in all ways, as a constant companion, confidant and advisor.
A citizen of Heaven is conscientiously honest and just in all his dealings, faithful and fair to all with whom he approaches. He walks by the rules of righteousness and truth, and scorns and abhors the gains of injustice and fraud.
A citizen of Heaven seeks ways to bless others, performing good deeds and encourages the same.
A citizen of Heaven bridles his tongue and makes the best of everybody, and the worst of nobody.
A citizen of Heaven chooses to love those who also love God. His charity covers a multitude of sins.
A citizen of Heaven is one that always prefers a good conscience before any secular interest or advantage and will not increase his standings or estate by any unjust practices.
And lastly the citizen of Heaven is like Heaven itself. He or she cannot be moved, but abides forever in the love relationship with God.
Father, thank you for showing us more about you and your character. Thank you for showing us your ways for they are beautiful and pure. You are Holy and we are in awe of You! Thank you for showing us what you value and how we can make you smile. May our thoughts, emotions, actions demonstrate that we truly desire to be citizens of Heaven.