A lot of people think of purity as something they’re born with, but lose pretty quickly as they get older and mess up in life. Others think of purity as something that they will never have, so they get a little discouraged when Jesus says, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.” Matthew 5:8. But the good news is, that in the Bible, purity is not something that you lose, but rather it is something that you gain, as you grow in your faith journey as a Christ-follower.
This past Sunday at Watermark, guest speaker Dan Roseman shared some important insights about the pure heart; what it is and what it isn’t. A pure heart refers to a heart that’s free from moral guilt. No one is free from moral guilt through their own work, because that is a gift of God. Jesus even told his disciples that they were clean… “because of the word I have spoken to you.” John 15:3
The truth is, a pure heart doesn’t mean we are sinless because no one is perfect. But a pure heart is forgiven and undivided. A pure heart starts with the forgiveness God offers us in Christ. When we confess our sins and surrender to Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, our broken relationship with God, created by our sin, is healed and we are at peace with Him. Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, Romans 5:1
A pure heart is forgiven and it is undivided. An undivided heart is fully focused on following Jesus. The apostle James makes clear that the impure heart is double-minded; in other words, it’s distracted. 8 Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. James 4:8. Notice that there is some expectation on us as Believers, particularly to draw near to God and wash our hands of whatever it may be that is keeping us from fully following Christ. Is there anything in your life these days that may be dividing your heart and hindering you from a pure heart?
Dan shared three characteristics of an impure heart, all found in Psalm 73.
1) An Impure Heart is Jealous. (Psalm 73:1-6)
Those who are pure in heart are content with the life God has given them instead of longing for the successes of others. Sometimes it is easy to see what others have and long for that too. The Psalmist said that kind of attitude caused him to lose his foothold and slip. Jealousy and envy will do that to us. It divides our minds and can cause us to focus on and pursue things that really don’t matter. Are you battling jealousy these days?
2) An Impure Heart is Manipulative. (Psalm 73:13-14)
Have you ever found yourself at a place in life where, despite trying to do the right things, life just wasn’t going your way? We’ve all been there. In those moments sometimes we are tempted to try to bargain with God, or worse, to manipulate Him in some way, so things might begin to go our way; in other words, our motives for honoring Him are less than pure. People with pure hearts don’t fully follow Jesus in order to manipulate Him or to get something from Him, but because they want to honor Him. Do you ever find yourself trying to manipulate God in some way to get something from Him?
3) An Impure Heart is Shortsighted. (Psalm 73:15-20)
The Psalmist remembered that he was envying people who would only have it good in this life. Sure some may have a nice bank account, or huge house, or massive 401-K; but if they don’t know Jesus, that is all they’ll ever have. If you are putting everything you’ve got into the 70-80 years on this earth, then you are tragically short-sighted. Surrender your heart to Christ today and develop an eternal perspective. There is so much more to life than the hear and now.
The reward of the pure in heart is clear: The Pure in Heart Get God.
25 Whom have I in heaven but you?
And earth has nothing I desire besides you.
26 My flesh and my heart may fail,
but God is the strength of my heart
and my portion forever.” Psalm 73:25-26
Jesus made clear, the pure in heart will see God. If you have not yet committed your life to Jesus as Savior and Lord, you can do that today! If you are a Christ-follower, let God continue to make you pure in heart as you fully follow Jesus daily. For much more, click here to list to: The Blessed Life - Part 6 - Pure in Heart.