This issue of Light + Life focuses on these words from Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount: “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God” (Matthew 5:8).
The Greek word for “pure” is katharos, which means to be “clean, blameless, unstained from guilt,” according to author Sophia Chang (fmchr.ch/schang). Chang notes that the word can refer to that which is purified by fire or by pruning, and John the Baptist said that Jesus would baptize with the Holy Spirit and fire (Matthew 3:11).
A pure heart is motivated by what pleases God, and the pure in heart lack hypocrisy and deceit. As we live in today’s world, this purity can be a goal that many may think is unattainable. So many temptations, distractions and sinful situations can be thrown at us. The world has become a very dark place with so many hidden motives and agendas. Just when we think we have the whole story, there is another twist, another layer, another chapter. It can be so discouraging. Sometimes, we want to throw our hands up in the air and say, “What’s the use?”
However, we have a Savior who is our strength and shield when we allow Him to guide and lead us. When we put ourselves in His hands, we will see a change. We will see real growth in our spiritual life. Isn’t that how our growth occurs? We often do not recognize it at the time. Through these trials as we strive to become more like Jesus, to cleanse our hearts from the stains of sin, we see that being pure in heart is a goal we should strive to achieve. To have the heart of Jesus will mean sacrifice on our part.
We may begin to disappear as we strive to exemplify Jesus and the pureness of His heart and works. But less of me and more of Him would be a good thing. No, it’s not a good thing; it’s a great thing —what we are called to be. “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here” (2 Corinthians 5:17).
We cannot accomplish this on our own. We must ask for the help of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Psalm 51:10 says, “Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.” God is the one who makes our hearts pure. This verse is a prayer that we need to pray on a daily basis.
We often hear that, in our lives, it’s more about the journey than the destination. In our journey, we must strive for a pure heart to make the impact that Christ wants us to make in this world. It’s not an easy road to travel. It’s often not one that will elevate us in the world’s standing. But Christ is with us every step of the way. He will not leave us or forsake us (Deuteronomy 31:6).
I have a friend who always ends his prayers with “may we be a light in a dark world.” Only as we daily call upon Jesus to purify our heart, to help us be an example in our professional lives and our personal lives, can we see the progress toward a pure heart. The best part is that we have history’s greatest example of a pure heart documented for us to read on a daily basis! God calls us to have a pure heart, so we may better serve him. We many never truly arrive at having a pure heart, but our efforts in this journey may bring about tremendous results for the kingdom.
Douglas Britt is the web architect for Light + Life.
- Feature: How’s Your Heart Condition?
- Bishops: When the Fog Lifts
- Action: On Holy Ground
- Discipleship: 100 Percent Pure Priorities
- Discipleship: I Could Sure Use a Wife
- Pop Theology: Seeing God in an Age of Instagram Idols
- News: Central’s Hal Hoxie Named Butterfield President
- News: Eric Leroy Baird | 1959–2018
- World: From Wesley to Townley: Suffering, Glory and Freedom in Methodism’s Birthplace