Thursday, February 18, 2016

Pure in Heart

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

Have you ever wondered what it means to have a pure heart?  
When I looked up the word pure, I found that the word means not mixed or altered with any other substance or material; or uncontaminated (Webster).  Unfortunately, we live in a society that has become desensitized to sin.  We are constantly bombarded with sexual images, the chance or need to be rich, you can have it all, and instant gratification enticements.  If you don’t believe me, just tune in to some of the prime time shows or visit your local magazine stand.  In the midst of all this, how do we protect our hearts from becoming contaminated by the ways of this world? I believe that we need to remember what it means to be in the world, but not of it. We must put a guard on the portals to our heart which is our eyes and our minds.
The heart is what you are, in the secrecy of your thought and feeling, when nobody knows but God. And what you are at the invisible root matters as much to God as what you are at the visible branch. (John Piper) "Man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart" 1 Samuel 16:7. From the heart are all the issues of life.  Each of us needs to periodically look at our lives and say, "Are there things that I am doing or people that I am spending time around or places that I am going that would encourage lust in my heart and mind or does what I am doing glorify Christ, build my faith, and personify Christ’s love in me?”  Greg Laurie says, “If the only thing that is stopping us from committing a certain sin is the fear of getting caught, then when circumstances change in such a way that we feel we can pull it off, we will indeed go and commit that sin.  We need internal incentive, not just outward deterrents.” We need a motivation that comes from a desire to not sin against God”. 
When it comes to putting a guard on our minds, the Word of God gives us very simple but clear instructions on how to do so. Philippians 4:8 says, “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.   What do you meditate on?  If you meditate on things that feed the lust and desires of this world, then you are dumping impurities into your heart.  If we do as Paul wrote, then we will begin driving the impurities from our heart.  Darkness (sin) cannot occupy the same space in our heart as light (Christ).  It is impossible.
How do we protect our eyes? It is simple yet because of our human nature, can be difficult especially with all of the images displayed on the media, movies, and advertisements these days.  The one simple act of looking away (or clicking the exit button on the screen or television) is a choice that we can make when it comes to protecting our eyes and ultimately our hearts. We must consciously make the effort to step away from those types of influences.  We must make the effort to fill our eyes with things that glorify Christ, edifies and uplifts our lives, and gains us steps towards our maturity in Christ.  Our daily prayer should be as David’s was in Psalm 51:10, “Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.” 

Scripture to Claim:
Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life. 
Proverbs 4:23

submitted by David Miller

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