Verse for the Day – Psalm 51:7

When I woke up and looked out the window, I immediately thought of Psalm 51:7 which says:
“Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.” (ESV)
Though we may be tired of all the snow this winter, it is breathtakingly beautiful to me. When it first falls, it’s so clean and white, and we can understand what this verse is telling us. When Jesus washes away our sins, we are white as that snow. As the LORD also says in Isaiah 1:18, “though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow.” Isn’t that a beautiful picture?Psalm 51 was written by David after he had committed adultery and murder. It is a “penitential” psalm, a prayer of repentance. Hyssop was the small bushy plant used by the Israelites that first Passover when they brushed the blood of the lamb on their doorposts, so that the LORD would pass over the door and not allow the destroyer to enter their houses and strike them with the death of their firstborn as happened to the Egyptians (Exodus 12).David is saying, “Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.” I love David’s confident declaration and belief that if God would purge and wash him, he would be clean. He doesn’t say, “Purge me and I might be clean” or “Purge me, and I’ll try to live life better.” He says, “Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean.” It’s a fact. True repentance leads to forgiveness of sin by the One able to give it.Jesus is the One who can do that. He is the sacrificial Lamb whose blood was shed and used to purge us and cleanse us and wash us and make us whiter than snow! White as snow! Clean and beautiful and able to walk then forward in the forgiveness Jesus has given us. Not by the works we have done, but by the blood of the Lamb, given for us. Praise the Lord!

PRAYER: Dear heavenly Father, help us to understand and to know, like David, that we have been washed in the blood of the Lamb and that through Jesus, we are clean. Let us today remember the great cost by which you gave your Son and by which He paid for our sins, and let us walk in the freedom from sin that He has provided. Thank you for full and complete redemption in Jesus’ Name. Amen.

Whiter Than Snow

I’ve been thinking a lot lately (the last month or so) about this “whiter than snow” imagery that I shared about in the last post.

It started with a “service project” our school did in early December for the refugees that take ESL classes at our church where our school also meets. The church had a Christmas program for them, and our students were able to sing hymns and recite Scripture, followed by a gospel presentation from the pastor and a time of fellowship, food, gifts, and distribution of New Testaments. I left my work to run over and take some pictures, but while I was standing there watching this amazing program, my heart was convicted, “This is not a photo op for service.”

Our school is very service oriented with a Vision to see the students propelled to a life of service for Christ. Of course, we want this to flow out of a relationship with Christ and a grateful heart to Him for what He has done for us, extending it to others. It’s not service for service’s sake. And we are dependent on His Spirit for this, as in all things. So the conviction to my heart was, “this isn’t simply a service project that you need to be photographing… this is gospel transformation happening!” I was so moved by the whole program, seeing this large room, packed with refugee students, and seeing the simplicity of the gospel and how God is working in all our hearts.

A teacher came over and asked me to run back to the office for something. I normally would take an inside route following a tunnel underground to get to the other building, but I ran out a back way, found myself in the kitchen, with the only door leading to outside. I figured I could handle the cold for a few minutes, so I stepped outside only to find myself in the first snowfall of the year. It was beautiful and timely, and the verse that came to my mind was from Isaiah 1: “come, let us reason together, though our sins are like scarlet, they shall be white as snow….”

This theme ran through my December, even as I looked for a gift to send a friend. Amazon popped up a book by an author I like (Paul Tripp) entitled “Whiter than Snow.” At our New Year’s Eve prayer and praise time, our friend read from Isaiah 51 during the confession time of prayer. As he read, “purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me and I shall be whiter than snow,” those words again hit my heart: “whiter than snow.”

What an amazing thing that Jesus has done for us that we can be whiter than snow! He cleanses us from all our sin through His sacrifice on the cross, and we gain everything through our faith in Him.

At church this morning, I opened up the program to see that during communion and the “distribution of the cup,” a soloist would be singing a song entitled Whiter Than Snow. One more reminder through the beautiful words of this song of what we have in Christ and a beautiful prayer:

Lord Jesus, I long to be perfectly whole;
I want Thee forever to live in my soul.
Break down every idol, cast out every foe;
Now wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.


Whiter than snow, yes, whiter than snow.
Now wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.

Lord Jesus, let nothing unholy remain,
Apply Thine own blood and extract ev’ry stain;
To get this blest cleansing, I all things forego—
Now wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.


Lord Jesus, for this I most humbly entreat,
I wait, blessed Lord, at Thy crucified feet.
By faith, for my cleansing, I see Thy blood flow,
Now wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.


Lord Jesus, Thou seest I patiently wait,
Come now, and within me a new heart create;
To those who have sought Thee, Thou never saidst “No,”
Now wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.


The blessing by faith, I receive from above;
O glory! my soul is made perfect in love;
My prayer has prevailed, and this moment I know,
The blood is applied, I am whiter than snow.


Whiter than snow. Thank you, Jesus.

Happy New Year 2010!

We enjoyed bringing in the new year in a new way. We were invited by friends to a prayer and praise night in their home from 9 p.m. -12 midnight to begin the year with praise, thanksgiving, prayer, worship, and song. It was a wonderful way to reflect on 2009 and consider 2010.

I particularly liked the image of “white as snow” from Psalm 51 and Isaiah 1: “Purge me with hyssop and I shall be clean; wash me and I shall be whiter than snow” and “Though their sins are like scarlet, they shall be white as snow.”

With all the beautiful snow that has fallen this year already, it left a beautiful impression in my mind. To be whiter than snow! So thankful for Jesus’ blood that washes us and cleanses us from all our sin.

Here are a few pictures of some things we’ve enjoyed these last couple of weeks during our Christmas break.

Making a gingerbread house
Watching some football
Cooking with KKChristmas Eve after church

Ice Skating


Riding up the sledding hill

Ready to go again!

I pray the coming year is one of great blessing and joy for you and your families!