A pure heart.
Matthew 5:3 & 8.
Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.... Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
Six marks of a pure heart.
Done in a Corner:
I will use my good friend as an example of having all six marks of a pure heart, but one of the most important marks of a pure heart is doing things just because they need to be done, and not to be seen by others.
That’s what Jesus taught as well. He never tells others what he does for others. He knows his rewards come in the life to come, but doesn’t really do them for rewards.
This man has a pure heart.
What are we doing when no-one is looking?
Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.
So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full.
But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret.
Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.
Expecting Nothing Back:
When we give without expecting anything in return, we are giving out of a pure heart.
It’s not like we gave to them and now we expect them to behave in a way that we find acceptable.
We don’t give so that we have the right to give them un-asked for counsel.
No, this man gives because he wants to…not expecting anything in return.
Loving the Unlovable:
When God first loved me, while still very unlovable, he did what one of my friends does who visits prisoners as part of his own personal ministry. When all of a prisoner’s spouse, children, parents, and friends have forsaken them, he is the one who will show these men love. Prisoners are human. They need love, and my friend shows his love by action.
He loves those who most would be repelled by, but those are the ones whom God seeks to worship Him in spirit and in truth (John 4:24).
Loving the Unlovable.
You have heard that it was said, Love your neighbour and hate your enemy. But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in Heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.
If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that. Be perfect therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
No Hidden Agenda: When my friend does something, like he gave me money once for some tyres, he had no hidden agenda.
He doesn’t do it to get any favors from me or anyone else he helps. His motives are pure, he just gives because he’s generous.
When we are contented in life, we are accepting God’s sovereignty over our lives, and that is very pleasing to God. The Apostle Paul wrote that “godliness with contentment is great gain” (1st Tim 6:6), so even amidst the many heartbreaks this man’s gone through in life, he is still content and that contentedness brings him (and us in the church) great joy.
God cannot use any man or woman greatly until they are first humbled deeply. God’s grace is like water…it flows downhill and seeks the lowliest of places. My friend must be a reservoir of grace because he’s as humble as they get. Humility like that is a true mark of a pure heart.
Conclusion: A pure hearted person would be one who does things but doesn’t brag about it, he never expects anything in return, he loves those who no one else will, he has no hidden agenda, he is perfectly content in every state he is in, and all of this is because he has such great humility, which is the mark of marks for those with a pure heart. May God richly bless you, Pastor Jack Wellman
A pure heart is attainable.
God sees us as we really are.
1 Sam. 16:7.
Man looks at the outward appearance, but I look at the heart.
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
The Greek word for “pure” in Matthew 5:8 is katharos.
It means to be “clean, blameless, unstained from guilt.” Interestingly, the word can refer specifically to that which is purified by fire or by pruning.
How can you determine the state of your heart?
Our speech reveals what’s in our heart.
A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart.
For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.
The mouth is the overflow of the heart.
What flows from your heart?
Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be.
Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring?
God’s assessment of the human heart.
The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it? I the LORD search the heart and examine the mind, to reward each person according to their conduct, according to what their deeds deserve.
Because our hearts are prone to sin and deceit, we need God to examine us and expose sin.
All a person’s ways seem pure to them, but motives are weighed by the LORD.
For treatment to begin there must first be a diagnosis.
The crucible for silver and the furnace for gold, but the Lord tests the heart.
That is why I was angry with that generation, and I said. Their hearts are always going astray, and they have not known my ways.
From these scriptures we can see that there is a dire need for us to guard our hearts and keep them on track.
Trials reveal what the state of our heart is.
Be careful to follow every command I am giving you today, so that you may live and increase and may enter and possess the land the LORD promised on oath to your ancestors.
Remember how the LORD your God led you all the way in the wilderness these forty years, to humble and test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands.
He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your ancestors had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD.
False doctrine is a result of an impure heart.
Timothy Charged to Oppose False Teachers.
1 Timothy 1:3-6.
As I urged you when I went into Macedonia, stay there in Ephesus so that you may command certain people not to teach false doctrines any longer or to devote themselves to myths and endless genealogies.
Such things promote controversial speculations rather than advancing God’s work, which is by faith.
The goal of this command is love, which comes from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith. Some have departed from these and have turned to meaningless talk.
False doctrine comes from those who have departed from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.
Titus Charged to Oppose False Teachers.
For there are many rebellious people, full of meaningless talk and deception, especially those of the circumcision group. They must be silenced, because they are disrupting whole households by teaching things they ought not to teach, and that for the sake of dishonest gain..
Therefore rebuke them sharply, so that they will be sound in the faith and will pay no attention to Jewish myths or to the merely human commands of those who reject the truth.
To the pure, all things are pure, but to those who are corrupted and do not believe, nothing is pure.
In fact, both their minds and consciences are corrupted. They claim to know God, but by their actions they deny him.
How to purify your heart.
We cannot change without God’s working in our lives.
Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
But action is needed on our part as well.
Come near to God and he will come near to you.
Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.
Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.
Once God has exposed our sin, we need to repent.
If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me.
Hope inspires us to purify our hearts.
1 John 3:3.
And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure.
Faith enables us to purify our hearts.
Acts 15: 9.
Having purified their hearts by faith.
The Word of God purifies our hearts.
John 17: 17.
Sanctify them through thy truth; thy word is truth.
Now you are clean through the word.
Not just knowing the Truth but obeying it.
1 Peter 1:22.
Having purified your souls by your obedience to the truth for a sincere brotherly love, love one another earnestly from a pure heart.
Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart.
Then you will win favor and a good name in the sight of God and man.
Give God first place in your life, your No 1 priority?
1 Peter 3:15.
But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord.
Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.
And you shall seek me and you shall find me when you search for me with all your heart.
This is what the Lord says to the people of Judah and to Jerusalem: Break up your unploughed ground and do not sow among thorns.
Circumcise yourselves to the Lord, circumcise your hearts.
True repentance affects the desires of my heart.
2 Corinthians 7:8-11.
Even if I caused you sorrow by my letter, I do not regret it. Though I did regret it, I see that my letter hurt you, but only for a little while, yet now
I am happy, not because you were made sorry, but because your sorrow led you to repentance.
For you became sorrowful as God intended and so were not harmed in any way by us.....
See what this godly sorrow has produced in you: what earnestness, what eagerness to clear yourselves, what indignation, what alarm, what longing, what concern, what readiness to see justice done.
REMEMBER: THE MIND ALWAYS JUSTIFIES WHAT THE HEART EMBRACES.
God’s will must affect the desires of my heart.
Once again we need to exercise our free will.
Set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things...Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry.....
But now you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips.
Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator.
Only when we have allowed the Holy Spirit to change our appetites can God satisfy us.
Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed, not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence, continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling,for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfil his good purpose.
Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him and he will do this:
Store the right things in your heart?
I hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.
Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your hearts to the Lord.
God is not interested in a shallow lip service.
He replied Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you hypocrites; as it is written: These people honour me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.
The heart of man.
We need to guard our hearts because that is where God puts his laws as we enter into the new covenant.
This is the covenant I will make declares the Lord I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts.
This is the covenant I will make with them after that time says the Lord, I will put my laws in their hearts and write them on their minds.
Guard your heart with diligence for it is the wellspring of life.
Protect your heart.
We put alarms on our houses and cars and put password protection on our computers and bank accounts, but we leave our hearts and minds open to be infiltrated by envy and lust and bitterness as we expose ourselves to TV programs and magazines/ books and bad company with advice and suggestions and ideas that are contrary to God’s Word.
2 Timothy 2:22.
So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.
How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to your word.
Fellowship is vital to guard your heart.
But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.
It is not good for man to be alone. (Accountability is vital)
Not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
Guard against worry and the cares of this life.
Philippians 4:6-7. Do not be anxious about anything but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God, and the peace of God which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Be careful or your heart will be weighed down with carousing and drunkenness and the cares of this life and that day will close on you suddenly like a trap.
Things to guard your heart against.
So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches? And if you have not been trustworthy with someone else’s property, who will give you property of your own?
No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other.
You cannot serve both God and money. The Pharisees, who loved money, heard all this and were sneering at Jesus. He said to them, You are the ones who justify yourselves in the eyes of others, but God knows your hearts.
Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will also be.
See to it, brothers, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns from the living God.
(We see in Hebrews 3:18,19. that unbelief and disobedience go hand in hand, just like faith and obedience go hand in hand in James 2.)
Envy and selfish ambition.
Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom.
But if you harbour bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. Such wisdom does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic.
For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.
To harbour a thought, is to give it permission to stay, we all have to deal with wrong thoughts, but we don’t have to accommodate them.
But when his heart became arrogant and hardened with pride, he was deposed from his throne and stripped of his glory. He was driven away from people and given the mind of an animal; he lived with the wild donkeys and ate grass like cattle; and his body was drenched with the dew of heaven, until he acknowledged that the most high God is sovereign over the kingdoms of men and sets over them anyone he wishes.
The Parable of the sower.
The only variant in the parable of the sower is the soil.
The soil represents the heart.
What kind of heart do you have.
What has happened to the seed that has been sown in your heart recently?
If you want to meet with God, he sets the terms.
Who may ascend the hill of the Lord? And who may stand in His holy place?
He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who has not lifted up his heart to falsehood and has not sworn deceitfully.
Where there is insincerity, dishonesty and deception, true worship is not possible.
I have met too many professing Christians who love to participate in emotionally charged worship, but are dishonest and lack integrity in their dealings with others.
We may be truly said to worship God, though we lack perfection; but we cannot be said to worship Him if we lack sincerity.
Stephen Charnock . (a English Puritan Presbyterian clergyman)
Unless otherwise stated, Scripture quotations are taken from the NIV:
THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV®
Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™
Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
Scripture quotations taken from the NASB:
New American Standard Bible®,
Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation
Used by permission. (http://www.lockman.org/)