Do you remember what Jesus said about the pure in heart?
Matthew 5:8 Blessed are the pure in heart! For they shall see God.
Have you ever longed to see God?
In this study, we will attempt to learn more about being pure in heart.
I will use Scripture taken from the Amplified Bible (copyright - The Lockman Foundation) for our study.
Let’s begin by looking at Philippians 4:4-9
Philippians 4:4 Rejoice in the Lord always [delight, gladden yourselves in Him]; again I say, Rejoice!
The first verse we look at gives us a good starting point. Can a person rejoice in the Lord without a pure heart? Can it be genuine if there is some stain or blemish within?
We know that “Joy” is a fruit of the Holy Spirit. Can the Holy Spirit be firmly in control and bringing forth joy if there is sin present in a Christians’ life?
To be able to rejoice.. there must be a clean heart!! I would go so far as to say.. that having a clean heart may well be why we would want to rejoice!!
“Rejoice in the Lord always…”
Could we conclude, then.. that we need to “keep” a clean heart to be able to rejoice in the Lord always?
Delight yourselves in Him. Have you experienced this? How did it feel to you?
Is it a feeling like… “Almighty God loves me!!” ???? Even when you know yourself so well. And you know HE knows you too. AWESOME!!!
A person with a pure heart knows that God loves them.
Let’s move on:
Philippians 4:5 Let all men know and perceive and recognize your unselfishness (your considerateness, your forbearing spirit). The Lord is near [He is coming soon].
Is this, one you struggle with?
Doesn’t everybody? We were created with a nature that wants to look after ourselves. We want to take care of ourselves first! It’s the most natural thing for us isn’t it?
But we are told here… to let men know our unselfishness. Do you see it? “Let men know…. “
Don’t hide it.. don’t put it aside.. don’t hinder it.
We have been given a NEW nature when we received Jesus Christ. We were given His nature.. His Spirit.
2Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if any person is [ingrafted] in Christ (the Messiah) he is a new creation (a new creature altogether); the old [previous moral and spiritual condition] has passed away. Behold, the fresh and new has come!
The old nature has passed away… died. Don’t let it arise again.. even though it tries to!!
So we can be unselfish.
What are ways we can show unselfishness?
We can be kind to others… we can give of ourselves and our possessions for others… we can give a smile… we can give a hug… we can let others have their way sometimes, instead of insisting on our way. We can let others take credit when credit is due.
We can love more freely…. with sincerity…
We can be generous. We can be forgiving.
A loving, sincere, generous and forgiving heart is pure.
Philippians 4:6 Do not fret or have any anxiety about anything, but in every circumstance and in everything, by prayer and petition (definite requests), with thanksgiving, continue to make your wants known to God.
We are told to not harbor any worry about anything.
God is our Father and He wants us to come to Him in prayer about everything.
To my understanding, God is saying there is nothing He isn’t interested in about our lives. Every aspect of our lives is important to Him.
Did any of us have an earthly father that wanted to be that close to us?
Well, our Father in heaven DOES want to be that close to us. That takes some getting used to doesn’t it?
We need Him to be that close. Close enough to hold us when we are frightened. Close enough to provide for our every need. Close enough to wash us clean when we get dirty. Close enough to protect us from harm. Close enough to hear our prayers.. our praise.. our thanksgiving. Close enough so we can feel His love for us.
Do we want Him that close when we have sin in our lives?
Do we instead tend to hide from Him? Does our prayer life suffer because of that?
A pure heart keeps God close…
Philippians 4:7 And God's peace [shall be yours, that tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ, and so fearing nothing from God and being content with its earthly lot of whatever sort that is, that peace] which transcends all understanding shall garrison and mount guard over your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.
What an awesome verse.
When we harbor no worry in our hearts, God’s peace stands guard over our hearts and minds.
Let’s let that sink in for a moment…
I like what that means.. “that tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ, and so fearing nothing from God and being content with its earthly lot of whatever sort that is.”
When our hearts are clean and without stain, we do not fear God. We are at peace with God. The peace that transcends all understanding…
That peace can last. As long as we choose to not harbor worry or anxiety about anything.
That is another way of saying we trust God. That’s all it means isn’t it? We are willing to trust God for everything.
There is something else I see.
That peace will stand guard over our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.
Do you have trouble with thoughts that are not suitable for a Christian to have?
If you will trust God for all things… He will give you peace that will protect your heart and mind.
Isn’t that an amazing promise? Is that a promise you would like to claim?
A heart protected with peace… is a pure heart.
Philippians 4:8 For the rest, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is worthy of reverence and is honorable and seemly, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely and lovable, whatever is kind and winsome and gracious, if there is any virtue and excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think on and weigh and take account of these things [fix your minds on them].
Another awesome verse!!
This is a good memory verse to learn. The battle is often in our minds. That is where the battles are won or lost. Either we choose to entertain the thoughts that come to mind.. or we gain the victory and reject the thoughts that are not suitable.
This verse implies that we have the choice, beloved.
We can choose to keep thoughts that are good, lovely and excellent.
We do not have to give in to the ugly thoughts that sometimes enter our minds. We are no longer in bondage to them as we once were.
“Fix your minds on them…”
Tells me that we have the right to think on what we want.
Someone once said: “A full cup can contain no more.”
If we have our thoughts on the pure, lovely and excellent things.. will there be any room for sinful thoughts?
A heart that does not harbor sinful thoughts is a pure heart.
We do want a clean, pure heart. We long for it!!!
But in many ways we do not provide an environment that will sustain or develop a pure heart.
God has given us His Word to help us see how to accomplish this. He desires that we have a pure heart too.
1John 1:9 If we [freely] admit that we have sinned and confess our sins, He is faithful and just (true to His own nature and promises) and will forgive our sins [dismiss our lawlessness] and [continuously] cleanse us from all unrighteousness [everything not in conformity to His will in purpose, thought, and action].
He will forgive our sins when we go to Him seeking forgiveness and cleansing. He wants us clean.. and close to Him.
Will you take God’s Word seriously and work to gain and sustain a clean, pure heart?
I pray you will. And I hope you will pray for me as well. We need each other to accomplish this. After all, we all are part of the Body of Christ. We depend on each other.
Let us work together to have pure hearts before God our Father.
Bible study by InAwe