Pure in Heart •Devotion #3: The Core

Matthew 5:8 is a short and straightforward verse. However, as with much of Scripture, it is incredibly profound in the statement it makes. The verse reads, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” This verse serves as a reminder of the gift that we have all been offered. It is the gift of Jesus, through whom we are able to have a relationship with our Father in Heaven. This verse promises that if we are pure in heart, we will see God and we shall reside in Heaven one day when we die. However, what does it mean to be “pure in heart?”

In our culture, the heart is used to describe emotion and feeling as well as to describe your inner person, or the center of your personality. MacArthur says that in Scripture, it also means a person’s thinking process and their will. In Scripture, the heart is used to describe the very core of your being. Therefore, if your heart is in the wrong place, your mind, your thoughts, and your actions are all affected negatively. Matthew 5:8 states that the very core of our being must be pure to see God. Above all else, God is concerned with the condition of your heart. It is possible to go to church, help people in need, and do the things you are supposed to do, but if your heart is in the wrong place, you will have missed the point. Many of the Pharisees featured in the Gospels can attest to this.

Purity of heart means to cleanse your being of wrong behavior. Those that are “pure in heart” give their undivided devotion to the Lord, and sincerely strive for righteousness at the core of who they are. Their deepest will is to be motivated to purity because they belong to the Lord. Isaiah 59:1-2 warns us what impurity of heart warrants, “Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save, or his ear dull, that it cannot hear; but your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden His face from you so that He does not hear.”

How do we achieve purity of heart? The first step is Jesus. Recognize that none of us are able to achieve any semblance of purity without Jesus. The second step is spending time with the Lord in the form of prayer and reading of Scripture. How else are we to strive for purity and walk in God’s will if we are not near Him? Last, we must put forth genuine effort to obey God’s will and strive for righteousness.

It is impossible to achieve complete purity, yet it is our obligation to attempt to live as Christ-like as possible. So, in those moments that you notice that your heart is not in the right place, take a quiet moment to ask for God’s help in correcting your heart.

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