HAPPY & PURE – Part 1
“Happy are the pure in heart; they will see God! Matthew 5:8 MEMORY VERSE
Did you ever reach into the fridge, grab hold of the carton and take a big gulp of sour milk? You can’t get it out of your mouth fast enough—can you? Not pure! Ever get behind some big old diesel truck with its fumes? You can’t get out of its way fast enough—can you? Not pure!
We are increasingly concerned with purity. We want to drink pure water. We want to breathe pure air. We want to eat pure foods. I read that there is a company that will, from fees ranging from $3,000 to $15,000 come and do an analysis on why your house stinks so you can have pure air in your house. Another article says last year Americans spent over half a billion dollars on water purifiers.
We all perceive purity differently. Sales of bottled water in this country have exploded in recent years, largely as a result of a public perception of purity driven by advertisements and packaging labels featuring pristine glaciers and crystal-clear mountain springs. But bottled water sold in the United States is not necessarily cleaner or safer than most tap water, according to a four-year scientific study recently made public by National Resource Development Center.
What is pure? Let’s take a few moments to define purity. Purity may be described or defined in several of the following manners:
- pure – “1. having homogeneous composition: unmixed 2. free from impurities or contaminates: clean 3. free from faults: sinless” Webster’s Dictionary
Without blemish, Undefiled, Perfection, Flawless
- Purity is prized in our society. . (Water, Food, Medicine, etc.)
- Purity sets apart the very best. Think about some of the following things: Gold, Diamonds, Old cars,
The more purity the item has the greater it’s value.
- God sets a high priority on purity.
Consider the Old Testament instructions for sacrifices, the temple, worship its all in Leviticus. Instructions for sacrifices – spotless lambs without physical abnormalities or defect. The emphasis on cleansing and purification. For example cleansing before sacrifice and cleansing after war.
* As important as clean air, pure water and pure food are, there is a sense of purity we tend to overlook. Our hearts: “Happy are the pure in Heart”
- In Bible times people thought of the heart as the very center of a person. What you thought, how you felt, your motivations, impulses and passions all flowed out of your heart—from the very core of your being. If you want to know what a person is truly like, on the inside, look at the kinds of things that flow out of their hearts.
- The heart can be proud – Proverbs 18:12
2. The heart can be pure – Proverbs 22:11
3. The heart can be heavy – Proverbs 11:25
4. The heart can be sick – Proverbs 13:12
5. The heart can be bitter – Proverbs 14:10
6. The heart can be sorrowful – Proverbs 14:13
7. The heart can be merry – Proverbs 15:13,15; 17:22
8. The heart can be fretful – Proverbs 19:3
9. The heart can be envious – Proverbs 23:17
10. The heart can trust – Proverbs 31:11
11. The heart can lust – Proverbs 6:25
12. The heart can be faint – Genesis 45:26
13. The heart can be willing – Exodus 35:5
14. The heart can be discouraged – Numbers 32:7
15. The heart can be trembling – Deuteronomy 28:65
16. The heart can be disquieted – Psalm 38:8
17. The heart can be hot – Psalm 39:3
18. The heart can be contrite – Psalm 51:17
19. The heart can be overwhelmed – Psalm 61:2
20. The heart can be smitten – Psalm 102:4
21. The heart can be wounded – Psalm 109:22
22. The heart can be broken – Psalm 147:3
23. The heart can melt – Ezekiel 21:7
24. The heart can be hardened – Exodus 8:15
25. The heart can be obstinate – Deuteronomy 2:30
26. The heart can be grieved – Deuteronomy 15:10
27. The heart can forgive – Matthew 18:35
28. The heart can love the Lord – Matthew 22:37
29. The heart can doubt – Mark 11:23
30. The heart can be troubled – John 14:1
31. The heart can be pricked – Acts 2:37
32. The heart can be anguished – 2 Corinthians 2:4
33. The heart can be condemned – 1 John 3:20
34. The devil can put thoughts into the heart – John 13:2; Acts 5:3
35. The heart must be guided in the right way – Proverbs 23:19
36. The heart must be kept with all diligence – Proverbs 4:23
37. The heart must be fixed to give praise to God – Psalm 57:7
38. The heart must be fixed to trust in the Lord – Psalm 112:7
39. The heart of fallen man is desperately wicked – Genesis 6:5; 8:21; Jeremiah 17:9; Proverbs 22:15; Matthew 15:18-20
40. The Holy Spirit takes up residence in the heart of the child of God – 2 Corinthians 1:22; Galatians 4:6
41. God know’s the secrets of man’s heart – Psalm 44:21; Luke 16:15; Acts 1:24; 15:8
42. God can create a clean heart in man – Psalm 51:10
43. The Lord tries the heart – Jeremiah 11:20
44. The Lord looks on the heart – 1 Samuel 16:7
45. The Lord ponders the heart – Proverbs 21:2; 24:12
46. The Lord gives understanding to the heart – Job 38:36
47. The Lord opens the heart – Acts 16:19
48. The Lord hardens the heart – Exodus 4:21
49. The Lord searches the heart – Romans 8:27
The greatest level of purity deals with the inside of a man. Purity of the Heart. Consider the importance of purity. Outward appearances may be deceiving a man can have pure actions, but wicked thoughts.
- The heart’s purity matters most to God.
Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.”
1 Samuel 16:7
*Here’s an interesting thought… when God looks at you he pays little or no attention at all on your outward appearance. I’m sorry about that– because I know a lot of you work hard on what you look like “out here”. Some of us, like me, have to work extremely hard on our outward appearance. I like what Abraham Lincoln once said, “If I were two-faced, would I be wearing this one?”
God looking to see what’s on the inside of you. What’s going on in your heart.
Jesus got worked up over some of the people of his day because they spent an awful lot of time on their outsides: looking good: wearing the right clothes, having long prayer beads dangling down to their knees. Their hair all fixed up nice. All washed up. They loved to stand in the prominent places in the community and pray out loud. It was a nice show—but that’s all it was!
Jesus saw through all the pretty and the pretense to what was in their hearts and he said, using the words of Isaiah, “These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.” But the way, Jesus was talking about “church folks”.
Jesus said on another occasion that these folks were like white-washed tombs. All pretty, clean and white on the outside but on the inside they were rotting corpses.
They carefully kept all the law–including the meticulous washing of their hands– before anything went into their mouths. But what came out of their mouths was slander, hatred, vulgarity, and abuse toward those who weren’t so clean, or religious, or “like them”. Jesus said, “Evil words come from an evil heart and defile the person who says them. For from the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, all other sexual immorality, theft, lying, and slander. These are what defile you.” (Matthew 15:19,20) What chaffed Jesus more than anything was their dishonesty—with themselves and with God!
The Bible puts a great deal of emphasis on the heart. No doubt the Lord included this sixth Beatitude, because of the hypocrisy of the Pharisees. The most common charge leveled against the Pharisees by the Lord was that they had a keen interest in the outside of the pots and platters, but they blatantly ignored the inside. “Like a white washed tomb” but inside is full of dead men’s bones. When viewed externally, the Pharisees had it altogether and were found to be without spot. But inwardly they were, to quote the Lord, “full of hypocrisy and iniquity” (Matthew 23:28). while they were most concerned about the external injunctions of religion.
When the Lord said, “Happy are the pure in heart”, He was pronouncing blessedness on those who are pure at the very center of their being, at the very source of their every activity, not those who are merely pure on the surface. May we keep in mind that “the LORD sees not as man sees; for man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.”
- God requires a pure heart.
Purity is God’s requirement for fellowship with Him. Look at Psalm 24:3-6:
Psalm 24:3-6 (NLT)
”Who may climb the mountain of the LORD? Who may stand in his holy place? Only those whose hands and hearts are pure, who do not worship idols and never tell lies. They will receive the LORD’s blessing and have right standing with God their savior. They alone may enter God’s presence and worship the God of Israel.”
There is however a problem.
DILEMMA – WE AREN’T PURE IN HEART
*Willie Nelson apparently at one time owned a golf course. He said the great thing about owning a golf course was that he could decide what par for each hole was. He pointed at one hole and said, “See that hole there? It’s a par 47. Yesterday I birdied it.”
1. We not only try to make up the rules, but we fall short of God’s par,
which is purity as I described above
How can a mere mortal stand before God and claim to be righteous? Who in all the earth is pure? Job 25:4 (NLT)
All of us have sinned and fallen short of God’s glory. Romans 3:23 (CEV)
- D. The Truth About My Heart
- My heart is sick
“What a sick heart you have, says the Sovereign Lord” Ezekiel 16:30
- My heart is not curable by myself
“The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure.” Jeremiah 17:9
**Niki gets frustrated with me if I get sick and won’t go to the Dr. This must be a guy thing, but when I get sick, I try to heal myself, get more rest, fluids, take vitamins. Its only when I have no luck that I go to the Dr. Well the condition of our soul is not self curable. We are sick. Only the Great Physician can heal us.
- 3. My Heart is the source of impurity.
“ For from the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, all other sexual immorality, theft, lying, and slander. These are what defile you.” Matthew 15:19
One of the greatest fallacies of modern day thinking is that all we need to do to change the way people are is to change their environment. That simply is not true. Where was it that the first man fell? It was in Paradise, a perfect environment. . If that were true wealthy people would not sin, but they do, they kill, steal, do drugs, get drunk, have prostitutes. The Bible teaches us that all of man’s problems come from the heart.
You may be thinking, how can I ever be pure?
- My Heart needs Jesus to be pure.
‘‘God alone made it possible for you to be in Christ Jesus. He is the one who made us acceptable to God. He made us pure and holy, and he gave himself to purchase our freedom.” 1 Corinthians 1:30 (NLT)
“Christ will make your hearts strong, blameless, and holy when you stand before God our Father on that day.” 1 Thes. 3:13 (NLT)
Only through Christ Jesus are we made pure. It is His purity that comes forth in our lives.
In the next post we’ll look at the second part of the verse “…they shall SEE God” Matthew 5:8b