Thursday, July 21, 2016

Happiness and a Pure Heart

Chuckle: Child's prayer, "Dear God, I bet it's very hard for you to love everybody in the whole world. There are only four in our family and I can never do it." Nancy
Quote: “Clear water flows from a pure spring.” --Proverb
"Blessed (happy) are the pure in heart, for they will see God" (Matthew 5:8 NIV).
Obviously, in Scripture, the word "heart" means much more than the organ beating away in our chests. Because our "hearts" represent the very core of who we are, we must hear and understand what it means to have a pure heart. Thus, the proverb, "Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life!" (Proverbs 4:23 NIV). The heart is the center of not only your intellectual, physical, and emotional life but your spiritual life. So, what did Jesus mean by "pure" when describing the heart?
We could say that Becoming "pure" in heart is a process by which God makes us into the person he desires us to be. Purity is the result of cleansing. This purity of heart manifests itself in the way we relate to other people. Note the order of the words in this beatitude. First, purify your heart, then you will see God. Clean up the heart and then a pure life will follow.
The pure in heart have been cleansed and purified by their faith in Jesus Christ and his atoning sacrifice on the cross. Initial cleansing occurs when a person commits his or her life to Christ. Purity is not the result of human will, but it comes from God. "A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh" (Ezekiel 36:26 NIV). This happens when we are born again. To be saved, however, is not enough. Purity of heart for Christians is produced by daily repentance and confession of sins to God. "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins, and to purify (cleanse) us from all unrighteousness" (I John 1:9 NIV).
The pure in heart are guided by one aim or purpose -- to glorify God. The further you expect to go in your spiritual life, the more important your aim becomes. I was a pilot in my military days, and when planning a flight, I always tried to plot an accurate course toward my destination. But with changes in wind direction and speed along the route, midcourse corrections were required to stay on course and arrive at the desired destination. As the Holy Spirit guides us and helps us with midcourse corrections, we can stay on course and stay true to our purpose -- to glorify God.
Out of a pure heart will come clean thoughts. The Mighty Mississippi River is 2,350 miles long and a mile wide as it approaches the gulf of Mexico. However, it begins as a tiny, clear, and clean stream less than two feet deep flowing out of the northern end of Lake Itaska in North-Central Minnesota. We must visit its beginnings to understand the river's meandering course and powerful flow. The flow of our lives begins with our smallest hidden thoughts. Proverbs 23:7 reminds us that. "As a person thinks in his heart, so is he." A pure heart will produce clean thoughts and clean thoughts result in a clean life.
Jesus promised that the pure in heart will see God. When we experience salvation by grace through faith in Christ, God forgives our sins and begins to cleanse and purify our hearts by the work of the Holy Spirit. Each time we confess our sins to God and seek forgiveness, He forgives us and purifies our hearts. As we experience cleansing, God begins to reveal more and more of himself to us. Our fellowship with him grows more intimate as we experience God's presence and begin to understand who God is and His will for our lives. Praise!
Love, Jerry & Dotse


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