Friday, July 19, 2013

Purity of Heart

"Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God."   Matthew 5:8

If, as we have previously said, the Beatitudes give us information about our conduct and dealings in real life situations, the one listed above becomes a little more difficult for us to live up to. After all, who among us can claim to have such a purity of heart to always speak godly things, conduct ourselves explicitly according to the will of God, and treat each other with respect and honor?

I have searched my heart and confess to you that as hard as I try to maintain the purity that Jesus mentions in the beatitude, sin gets in the way.  The marvelous grace of God which brings forgiveness to you and me is definitely His gift to us. He does know our hearts and in spite of our weaknesses and blunders, he longs for us to have a heart like his, bringing the joy of relationship with the Father. 

A fellow sinner, David, taught me to pray, "Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me"  Psalm 51:1.  It is with the prayer in mind that I relay to you several quotations and scriptures pertaining to the heart.  I'm hoping we can all be people of God, evidenced by a pure heart. 

From The Cost of Discipleship by Dietrich Bonhoeffer, "Only those who have surrendered their hearts completely to Jesus that he may reign in them alone. Only those whose hearts are undefiled by their own evil—and by their own virtues too."

Mr. Bonhoeffer has given us information which should cause us to be on guard. He recognizes the heart of man is a tricky thing, and while it is obvious that our hearts remind us when we have sinned and damaged our rightness with God, but it can also be the good things which can get between us and God. If only we could trust him enough to surrender our hearts completely that he may reign in them alone.

Augustine asked in a sermon, "What would satisfy one who would not be satisfied with God? Yes, we wish to see God. Who does not have this desire? We strive to see God. We are on fire with the desire of seeing God."

How would you answer Augustine's question? What would satisfy you if you were not satisfied with God?  Our hearts purified by his loving kindness, will answer the desire we have for seeing him. There is no greater promise than the promise we will see God. Then D.A. Carson states, "The vision of God--what an incentive to purity."

Read the Sermon on the Mount, beyond the Beatitudes. Read with your mind focused on the purity of your heart. You will see new and deeper meanings in the situations Jesus speaks about. 

Certainly we echo David's prayer again and again, "Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me"  Psalm 51:1.


No comments:

Post a Comment