Monday, January 9, 2012

Jesus Is Concerned With Our Hearts

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

The first thing we learn from this beatitude is that Jesus is concerned with our heart.  It is not enough to clean up our act on the outside.

“It is bad for you, teachers of the Law and proud religious law-keepers, you who pretend to be someone you are not! You clean the outside of the cup and plate, but leave the inside full of strong bad desires and are not able to keep from doing sinful things.  You blind proud religious law-keepers!  Clean the inside of the cup and plate, then the outside will be clean also” (Matt. 23:25-26 NLV).

The desire of Jesus Christ is not to reform the manners of society, but to change the hearts of sinners like you and me.

The heart is what you are, in the secrecy of your thoughts and feelings, when nobody knows but God.   What you are at the invisible root matters as much to God as what your are at the visible branch.   "Man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart" (1Samuel16:7).   From the heart are all the issues of life.

What comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart . . . “For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, fornication, theft, false witness, slander.  These are what defile a man.” (Matthew 15:18–19)

Either make the tree good, and its fruit good; or make the tree bad, and its fruit bad; for the tree is known by its fruit . . . For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. (Matthew 12:33–34)

So the heart is utterly crucial to Jesus.  What we are in the deep, private recesses of our lives is what He cares about most.  Jesus did not come into the world simply because we have some bad habits that need to be broken.  He came into the world because we have such dirty hearts that need to be purified.

“Jesus said to him, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ (Matthew 22:37 NLV)

Not with part of your heart!

Not with a double or divided heart.  That would be impurity. 

Purity of heart is no deception, no double-mindedness, and no divided allegiance.

The will of God is that our hearts be purified before Him.  God is in the heart cleaning business.

What is a pure heart?    In Psalms 24:4 it states:

 “He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who has not lifted up his soul to an idol, nor sworn deceitfully.”

 A pure heart is a heart that speaks the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15); a pure heart is a heart that is not caught up in idolatry or alternatives to God, but a pure heart puts God first in all situations and all things.

A pure heart is singular and determined in devotion to God.

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