What’s in your heart?

The heart is an important part of life. It’s not only physically important, in that our heart pumps blood through our entire body and without it we cannot live. Any medical problem with the heart is a really big deal. Even more important than the physical heart, though, is the deeper meaning of “heart” we often talk about as an invisible quality someone has. Rocky Balboa had “heart” to stay in the fight and keep going. Physically he should have been done, but he kept going because of a deeper, invisible quality.

Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. – Matthew 5:8

The heart as we use it here is defined as “the soul or mind, as it is the fountain and seat of the thoughts, passions, desires, appetites, affections, purposes, endeavors.” (https://lumina.bible.org/bible/Matthew+5). That is what the heart is. It’s much deeper than the physical.

Someone pure in heart is “one whose motives are unmixed, whose thoughts are holy, whose conscience is clean.” (William MacDonald, “Matthew” in Believer’s Bible Commentary, 3809).

Pure in heart is more than doing good things or being a good person. This is down to the very core of who I am as an individual, made in the image and likeness of God. There is something more going on beneath the surface of someone pure in heart. It is worked out in the physical realm, we can see it, but it comes from somewhere deeper.

Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life. – Proverbs 4:23 NLT

A good person produces good things from the treasury of a good heart, and an evil person produces evil things from the treasury of an evil heart. What you say flows from what is in your heart. – Luke 6:45 NLT

The pure in heart will see God because they are living faithful lives, following God, and determining in their hearts to live for Him instead of themselves. This is the person who realizes his or her selfish tendencies and lays them at the feet of the cross, looking to Jesus Christ as an example of how to live and trusting in Jesus Christ for eternal life.

 

How can we live consistently pure in heart? I think there are at least 4 things that can be very beneficial, maybe even essential, to living as someone who is pure in heart:

1. Cultivate daily faithfulness.

Living pure in heart is not a one-time decision that can be over and done with one day and forgotten about the next. This must be a daily, moment-by-moment determination that Jesus Christ is Lord of one’s life. It is a daily recognition we are poor in spirit, mourn after our sin, and live in humility. The pure in heart are comforted because they shall see God.

 

2. Live in disciplined pursuit.

This is our “personal growth plan.” It must be something intentional and consistent. There’s that old adage, “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.” We need to make a plan to succeed and be disciplined to do it.

 

3. Be quick to confess and repent.

The pure in heart are not perfect in heart. Temptation and sin is still an unfortunate present reality while living on this earth, but confession and repentance (a turning away) of sin renews our relationship with God and brings healing and freedom. We should be quick to confess and repent, turning from sin toward God.

 

4. Live in community.

“No man is an island entire of itself” – John Donne.

We need each other. We need to live in intentional community for the help and healing that come through it. A person who is pure in heart is not living it alone, because it is, if not impossible, incredibly difficult to live pure in heart on our own.

 

 

A Daily Prayer

Prayer has been a common topic recently in my life. Quite a few people have been talking about it lately. We just had a lesson about it in youth group, and we talked about prayer a lot in the sermon on Sunday morning. When something comes up with some frequency, I think it means God is trying to teach me something. So, I wanted to share a daily prayer of victory that I’ve prayed. I actually got it from someone else, but tailored it to my days.

I hope this encourages you to pray today! Here’s the daily prayer challenge:

“Dear God, this morning I give to you my mind. I ask that You would help me to set my mind on the things that are above, and not the things of the earth. I can sometimes get so distracted by daily activities that my focus comes off of You and is consumed by things of this earth. Keep my mind focused on You today.

I give you control over my eyes today. Help me to see others as You see them; as people in need of a Savior, in need of encouragement, and in need of Your love. Help me not to see the outward appearance, but the inward need of others that I may be able to be a light to them. Keep my eyes focused on You today, and let them not wander to please my flesh.

I submit and give you control over my mouth today. Let my words be pleasing in Your sight. Help me to build up with my words today instead of tear down. Use my words to speak Your life-giving truth into others today.

I submit and give you control over my heart today. I pray that You, God, would be the ruler of my heart. Take away my selfishness and pride and help me to walk humbly in Your will and way today.

I submit and give you control over my hands and feet today. Let my actions be pleasing and honoring to You. As I work through my day today, help me to bring glory to You as I work hard, diligently, and for Your purposes.

Take all of me today, Lord God, and use it to further Your kingdom. Help me to be a light in the darkness I will enter today, and place people in my path today as divine appointments to share the truth of Jesus Christ with.

In the Name of our Risen Savior Jesus Christ I pray, Amen.”