Bible Reading: Psalm 24:1-10
“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” [Matthew 5:8]
Many years ago, Dr W.E. Sangster was speaking to students at Leicester University and spoke about inviting Jesus into your heart. One of the students – who thought rather too much of himself – challenged Sangster saying: “How can you ask Jesus to come into your heart? Your heart is only a biological pump”. Sangster had the measure of the student and responded by saying, “What do you say to your girlfriend when you say goodnight to her? “I love you with all my biological pump?” What exactly is the heart of man?
The heart is that inner part of man where the depths of our soul and our spirit touch. David said, “You desire truth in the inward parts, and in the hidden part….” [Psalm 51:6]. Jesus, speaking about the Holy Spirit, said, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart [“innermost being” – Amplified Bible] will flow rivers of living water” [John 7:37-38].
The Greeks understood the heart to be the seat of our affections. Jesus said that where your treasure is, there will your heart be also [Matthew 6:21]. What our hearts love is our treasure! We are called to, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart…” [Matt. 22:37].
The heart is the source of our words and actions. Jesus said, “The things that come out of the mouth come from the heart,” and “out of the heart come evil thoughts” [Matthew 15:18-19]. When we talk about a pure heart, we are talking about the inner person, and the result of purity of heart is seen in a person’s life and character.
The Bible says that the heart of man is desperately wicked. The heart is deceitful above all things…. who can know it?” [Jeremiah 17:9]. Our hearts are so full of mixed motives, distractions, divided loyalties and deception.
Only God can make the heart of man pure. It was impossible for the Law to make the heart of man pure, and the beatitudes make it even more impossible, and yet James commands us to “purify your hearts” [James 4:8]. Although God is the one who purifies our hearts, we also have a responsibility in our heart being made pure!
What does Psalm 24:3-6 say about a pure heart? What one key is there in these verses to having a pure heart?
If God’s Word teaches that only God can make the heart pure, then why do you think James 4:8 says, “purify yourselves”? What do you think that we have to do in order to have a pure heart?