THE PURE IN HEART

Bible Reading:  Matthew 5:1-12; Psalm 24:1-10

Jesus said that the pure in heart are blessed [Matthew 5:8]. The word blessed used by Jesus in the beatitudes of Matthew 5:3-10 means happiness of the highest kind, and even more that, of God’s special favour towards His people. The happiest people on earth are those whose hearts are pure. Sin makes a person miserable but purity of heart and the beauty of holiness makes a person happy.

The Bible says that God is good to those whose hearts are pure [Psalm 73:1]. Paul, writing to Timothy exhorted him to keep himself pure [1 Timothy 5:22] and to be an example of purity [1 Timothy 4:12]. One of the conditions for entering into God’s presence is to have a pure heart [Psalm 24:4].

The Greek word translated as pure in Matthew 5:8 is a word used of clear water, metals without alloy and of grain that has not been winnowed [that is freed from mixture of other particles].

To have a pure heart does not mean it is without sin, but it is consciously free from known sin. One day a little girl was upset when her mother came home soaked to the skin by heavy rain. Mother went upstairs to get a hot bath, and the little girl really wanted to help her mother. Suddenly she had an idea – she would dry mother’s shoes in the oven. Mother, in the bath suddenly could smell burning leather and quickly came to the kitchen. As she opened the oven thick smoke began to pour out and there were her shoes, a burnt offering! Just as mother was about the explode the little girl said, “Mummy, I dried your shoes for you!” The little girl’s heart was pure but not necessarily without fault. We may not be conscious of sin, and our heart may be pure, but it does not necessarily mean that we are faultless.

An old pastor once said to me that holiness is not the inability to sin, but the glorious ability not to sin.

Questions:

It is critical to the Christian life how we handle those who criticize us. Have you sought to do what is right, with a pure heart, and the result has not turned out as you expected? How did you handle the criticism?

Jesus says that purity is one of the keys to the highest form of happiness. “Self-gratification never brings satisfaction.” Putting these two statements together what do they say to you?