Purity and Promise – Matthew 5:8

I woke up a couple of weeks ago with this verse in my mind and I’ve been ruminating over it since then.

Matthew 5:8: “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.”

I was struck by what seems to be a promise to those who are pure in heart – they will “see God”! Not only this, but they are “blessed” (having the happiness that comes from divine favor, my Bible notes say).

And then I wondered what it means to be “pure in heart.” I found this online:

“The Greek word for ‘pure’ here is katharos. It means to be ‘clean, blameless, unstained from guilt.’

“The Greek word for ‘heart’ is kardeeah. It can be applied to the physical heart, but also refers to the spiritual center of life. It is where thoughts, desires, sense of purpose, will, understanding, and character reside.

“So, to be pure in heart means to be blameless in who we actually are. Being pure in heart involves having a singleness of heart toward God. A pure heart has no hypocrisy, no guile, no hidden motives. The pure heart is marked by transparency and an uncompromising desire to please God in all things. It is more than an external purity of behavior; it is an internal purity of soul.”  (See http://www.gotquestions.org/pure-in-heart.html.)

When by faith in Christ we come to know God, he purifies our hearts and cleanses us from unrighteousness. But there is the process of sanctification, of ongoing holiness that keeps us in that purity. It’s not just a thing at one moment in time.

So my next thought was “How can continue to be pure in heart?”

Psalm 119:9 gives us an answer:
“How can a young person stay on the path of purity?
By living according to your word.”

We stay pure by living according to God’s Word. I don’t think we can hope to be pure in heart if we are not in God’s Word regularly.

We can offer this prayer that David offered after his sin in his life.

Psalm 51:10 says, “Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.”

1 John 3:2b-3, speaking to the children of God, says, “we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. All who have this hope in him purify themselves, just as he is pure.

Prayer: Father in heaven, thank you for the sacrifice of your Son that brought us redemption, for the purifying work you do in our lives to refine us and make us like yourself. Help us to walk and live according to your Word so that we might be clean and pure. Convict us where we need to be pure in heart. Cleanse us from any unrighteousness, and create in us pure hearts. Renew in us a steadfast spirit to love and follow you. Help this purity to be our heart’s desire and for you (the One who is perfectly pure) to be our heart’s desire. And may we know the outcome of this purity, the promise that you give us, that we will be blessed and see you! Let us experience this blessing and promise, I pray. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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