BEATITUDES SERIES: We Mix A Lot
Matthew 5:8 (ESV): “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.”
Pure is the same as holy. Someone who is pure in heart is holy in heart.
Pure is the same as morally righteous. Someone who is morally righteous is a perfect saint.
Pure is the same as undivided. Someone who is completely undivided has absolutely no idols.
WE MIX A LOT
I have one feeling that I would like to describe for you as I think about this verse and I am hoping that we all end up on the same page or at least close. It is a feeling I have. I think we all have it now and again when talking about purity, holiness, being blameless, uprightness, and righteousness.
The feeling? Inadequacy.
I don’t feel like I am adequately pure in heart in order to see God. I have attitude problems. Daily. I know I am God’s and that I belong to Him, but I do not always act like it. Do you? I’m saved, but my spirituality is messy because I sin. I have chosen to have Jesus Christ is my Lord and Savior, but sometimes I am ugly on the inside and sometimes that ugliness leaks outside to my words and actions. When I think of “pure,” I think of something that is quite constant and firm and never changing. I am all over the place.
I hope you understand what Jesus meant when He says “pure in heart.” He means that we have completely undivided set-apart loyalty for God and that God is always the number 1 priority. He means that we are set apart for God’s use and our loyalty is completely for Him. He means that our faith is in Him and nothing else. I imagine the word “perfection” also goes along with this and none of us is perfect.
Why do we sometimes feel that way? We mix a lot.
You and I mix a lot of different attitudes, supposed truths, and personal hang-ups with our faith. Here are some examples of what I mean by that:
* We adopt political views on a moral issue like abortion and vote a particular way when God is clear on the topic of life.
* We adopt political views on a moral issue like immigration and vote a particular way when God is clear on the topic of strangers and foreigners in the land.
* We let how we were raised dictate a belief about racial issues even though the Bible is quite clear that anger or mistreatment over skin color has absolutely no place in God’s Kingdom.
* We date who we want to date get our cues on the steps of deepening a romantic relationship from our culture when God states clearly some things are for marriage only.
* We date who we want to date and love who we want to love when God states clearly believers shouldn’t be unequally yoked with unbelievers.
* We let personal feelings or a close relationship cloud our view of homosexuality and how we interpret the Bible even though the Bible is plainly clear on the issue of same sex attraction.
* We spend our time at the lake or at sporting events and create a habit of not worshipping and God slides down the scale of what is most important because we do all things on Sunday.
* We watch too much TV and so our view of God and our thoughts on proper doctrine are mixed with fiction, new age thought, and atheist garbage and we are not as strong in our faith as we could be.
* We rely on ourselves for material wealth and only give God a cursory thumbs up when we think about how we got where we are at.
You see it is possible to mix political views, personal traditions, lessons our parents taught us, feelings, relationships, habits, different priorities, entertainment, and self and so many other elements with our faith and what we end up with is something not pure. We end up messy. We end up impure.
We end up with an impure heart that allows us to drift from God the Father.
We end up with impure faith that leads us away from Christ.
We end up mixing so much with our beliefs that we cannot hear the voice of the Holy Spirit.
We will do strange things to make the outsides of our lives project a certain image even though the reality on the inside is something much different. We mix a lot. Our actual insides may not be all that pure even though we spray ourselves with church each week.
We are then left with one question: How do we pursue being pure in heart?
I want to be pure in heart. I want to see God. I want to ascend His holy hill. I want to be in His presence. I want God my Father to be proud of me. I want to be a person of character with a pure heart. I want those things so I am thinking that you want them too.
The first truth we must accept is our inadequacy. This is a complicated thought and I want to express it well. I am not saying that sinning is fine. I am not saying that accepting sinful habits or unholy ways of life is just what we are stuck with. I am not perfect. I sin. You are not perfect. You sin. I became a Christian when I was young. I have done all my shameful hurtful really good sinning after I knew better. Not one of us has earned Jesus dying for us. Not one of us is perfect. Not one of us makes it through a day without sin.
The second truth we must accept is that we are inadequate to be pure in heart and we are going to need help. We must confess our impurity and understand that Jesus Christ died for those sins in us that make us impure. Those things that separate us from God are the exact things Jesus suffered and died for. Forgiveness and new life is given only by the blood of Jesus.
A huge part of the process of having a pure heart is trusting in God to do what He does. Yes, we sin and we will trust God to do the purifying. We are inadequate… we can’t do it. God can take our mess and make us pure. He does that. He does that through the blood of Jesus. Trust in the blood of Jesus. Trust in the blood of Jesus. Trust in the blood of Jesus.
The third truth we can lean into is that the practical path of action towards a pure heart has already been given in the Beatitudes. I always look for something practical in the Scriptures to help guide my mind, emotions, and actions and we have seen it already in what Jesus has taught us in Matthew 5.
We must be poor in spirit before the Lord and accept our sin and confess it. (Matthew 5:3)
We must mourn our sin and impurity to the point that we change. (Matthew 5:4)
We must meekly accept that God’s way is better than our impure way and pursue it. (Matthew 5:5)
We must turn from impurity and hunger and thirst after the pure way God outlines. (Matthew 5:6)