Monday, November 17, 2014
“Blessed Are the Pure in Heart”
You’re listening to The New You, the daily broadcast for people who have been made new by the blood of Christ. I’m Robert Hatfield, and here is today’s Scripture:
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God (Mat. 5:8).
This statement comes from the section of Scripture that we call the Beatitudes. They span from Matthew 5:3-12, and were given by Jesus during His great Sermon on the Mount.
This is an interesting statement, isn’t it? “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” How badly do you want to see God? You understand that to see God is to be where He is; to go to heaven when you die. What are you willing to do – or what are you willing to give up – so that you can see God?
Cultivating a pure heart is not going to be easy. We’re talking about changing who we are from the inside out. Change isn’t easy, especially that kind of change that will affect every part of who I am. The Scripture gives us two important concepts relative to cultivating pure hearts: a cost and a conversion.
Romans 12:1-2 is one of those passages that we need to examine quite often. It would be a good daily reminder for any Christian, really.
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God (Rom. 12:1-2).
Verse one gives us the price. Our bodies are to be living sacrifices to God. Verse two then shows us the contrasts: we can be conformed to the world, or we can be transformed by renewing our hearts (or, our minds, as the text specifically puts it). The idea here is of a potter who is working with a piece of clay. He or she molds and shapes that clay into what it is supposed to be. What about you and me? Will we be shaped by the world, allowing the world to mold our hearts according to our culture’s standards? Or will we allow the gospel to transform us?
You understand that there is some cost associated with this. We lose our own priorities, will, pleasures, desires, so that we can live for the Lord.
Here’s the thing about our hearts: we cannot purify our hearts alone. The Psalmist recognized this in the fifty-first psalm when he penned, “Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow” (verse seven), and “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me” (verse ten).
We can’t change our hearts all alone. We cannot be cleansed without applying the precious blood of Christ to our souls (1 Pet. 1:18-19). We submit to God’s Will and then God is able to transform us, through our obedience to His Word, into who we are to be.
Remember that Peter preached on Solomon’s porch that men should “Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord” (Acts 3:19). Conversion is turning around; changing our lives to conform to God’s will.
Are you willing to be fully converted to the Lord? Will you give your heart totally to Him?
Let’s wrap it up: We often use terms like “give your heart to the Lord” in pleading with non-Christians to begin their Christian journeys. And yet, we’re discussing it here, on a podcast that is designed for Christians – specifically, new Christians. I believe that the decision to give our hearts to the Lord is one that we have to make every day, perhaps several times a day.
How badly do you want to see God? Are you willing to pay the price, that is to sacrifice your own will so that you can live for God? Are you willing to be converted, to adapt to your new purpose in Christ? Is seeing God worth it to you? I hope so. Jesus gives us this guarantee: those who purify their hearts will see God.
Memory Verse: This week’s verse reminds us to live with the end in mind. That is, we should regulate our thoughts, words, and actions based upon the fact that, one day, we will be judged for everything that we have thought, said, and done.
For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad (2 Cor. 5:10).
The New You 10 Week Challenge for a Better Internet! Let’s work together to make the Internet a better place. Each week, I’ll give you a challenge, and I want to encourage you to take to social media with that challenge, followed by the hashtag #NewYouChallenge.
This week I want us to answer this question: For what physical / material blessing are you most thankful? So head over to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and the like and compose a post which says, “The material blessing for which I am most thankful is ______ . #NewYouChallenge” This is week 8 of the 10 week challenge for a better Internet!
Thanks for joining me today for The New You. You can find us each weekday at thelightnetwork.tv. You’ll also find episode archives, transcripts, and more Christian podcasts there. That’s thelightnetwork.tv
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I’m Robert Hatfield. You are the new you! Go live like it!