What is it to be “pure in heart?” The pure in heart see God and live in God’s blessedness, his “congratulations,” according to Jesus (Matthew 5.8). Apparently, to truly know God (“see God”), a pure heart is necessary.[featured-image single_newwindow=”false”]
Imagine this scenario. While at church, where he’s supposed to focus on God, Terry struggles with his feelings towards Carl. There’s no animosity between them; nothing seriously wrong. He simply has a hard time with some of Carl’s actions. Terry observes Carl inattentively crooning his way through worship team practice oblivious to others. He acts like God’s gift to every struggling believer he meets offering his sage wisdom whether they want to hear it or not. Apparently, his M.A. in counseling qualifies him to tell others how to live their lives. In Terry’s opinion, Carl is much too comfortable talking about himself.
Terry is not too happy with himself, either. He knows he is too judgmental, overthinking most things including Carl’s actions. Terry knows if he had a pure heart Carl’s behavior would not affect him like it does. He’d be able to be with and commune with God no matter what was happening around him or who was with him. Terry’s sure he can’t “see” God because his heart is disfigured and hazy with contempt and self-righteousness. Yet, he really wants a pure heart.
Terry’s only hope for a pure heart is Jesus Christ. Jesus clearly sees God. His heart is pure. He doesn’t have the heart issues that Terry does. No doubt, Terry needs to become more like Jesus.
Purity of Heart
When Jesus speaks of purity he moves it from external purification ceremony, as the Jews would understand it, to inner reality. He is not giving a moralistic rule of what behaviors to avoid in order to become pure or judge purity. To Him, purity is a matter of the heart.
Purity of heart involves simple excellence and untainted virtuousness at the level of the will and mind. Desires and thoughts are clear, fresh, and sparkling with God’s grace, mercy, and love. A person’s inner being is unmixed, unadulterated, and uncontaminated by any kind of defilement. The heart is wholesome and good.
Jesus is the only human to have such a heart. A few develop such a heart as they die to themselves and live in union with Him. The rest of us struggle to even think about such purity let alone be so transformed to live it.
How can your heart become more pure?
- By obedience to the living and abiding Word (logos), Jesus Christ. 1 Peter 1.22-2.12
- By suffering which purifies. Scripture and history abounds with many examples of people purified by suffering when they allow the suffering to do its good work.
- By keeping God’s commandments, storing up God’s word in your heart, learning and delighting in God’s statutes, meditating on God’s precepts, fixing your eyes on God’s ways. Ps. 119.9-16
- By recognizing that saying your heart is clean and pure is easy. But the true test is your conduct. Proverbs 20.9-11
- By setting your mind on beauty, truth, and goodness including purity. Philippians 4.8
- By living in the hope of Christ’s appearing. 1 John 3.2-3
- By remembering that you don’t purity yourself. God purifies. Titus 1.11-14; Hebrews 9.13-14
- By humbling yourself in drawing near to God, de-friending the world, resisting Satan, and living in repentance. James 4.4-10
Do you want to see God? Then set a priority on developing a pure heart in union with Purity Himself.
How will you begin to develop a pure heart?