Speaking the Truth in Love
Heart Lessons: Purer In Heart
Tonight our lesson is called “Purer In Heart” (Matthew 5:8)! If you are not a Christian, we want to convince you that your heart is diseased and broken. Once you realize that we also want you to humble yourself to the Great Physician Jesus Christ! He is the only one who can heal your heart of your sins!
PURITY IN HEART DEFINED
Jesus taught that true defilement comes from within (Matthew 15:18-20). See Psalm 51:10. A pure person is free of falsehood before man and God. Their whole life, public and private, is open before God and men. Their heart (including thoughts and motives) is pure, unmixed with anything evil. Hypocrisy and deceit are not a part of their lives. Purity of heart also means clean in heart or utterly sincere.
MOTIVATION FOR A PURE HEART
Tired of manipulation and selfish-interest - The world claims that everyone has an angle. James tells us the wisdom that dominates this world is one mixed with selfish ambition, while the wisdom from above is without hypocrisy (James 3:14-17). After a while, living in a world filled with advertisements and relationships that are cluttered with fine print gets tiring. The Church is one place where we can find people with pure motives. If someone asks us, “Why are you treating me so nicely?” Christians should be able to honestly say, “Just because I love you--nothing more, nothing less.”
The wonderful feeling of innocence: Jesus described His followers as being, “Innocent as doves” (Matthew 10:16), or “like children” (Matthew 18:3). Purity of heart gives us freedom and peace of mind, so we do not have to worry about those we have lied to or what we have lied about.
Security in Relationships: It is a wonderful feeling when you realize that someone loves you genuinely and that you have been freed from all the game playing, manipulation, uncertainty, jealousy, and the maneuvering that so often plagues families, friendships, and marriages among non-Christians.
Peace in the Home: As soon as we realize that all the challenges that surround us are not the real problem, and that the secret of changing ourselves is found in cleaning up our hearts, rather than some quick fix in circumstances, we will experience permanent change and success over our struggles. Remember, if Adam and Eve sinned in “Paradise”, a perfect environment, so even if I could be placed in a perfect environment today, this would not lead to real and lasting change in my life. Only when “I” change will everything else change. Having a pure heart is the key to spiritual victory, no matter what problems we may face.
Jesus called the scribes and Pharisees “whitewashed tombs which indeed appear beautiful outwardly, but inside are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness. Even so you also outwardly appear righteous to men, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness”(Matthew 23:27-28). We need to always be aware so we do not appear pure to those who see us, when our hearts are really full of uncleanness and sin (1 Timothy 5:21-22).
I am only Fooling Myself: When people are pretending to be someone that they are not, they certainly are not fooling God (Hebrews 4:12-13), and many people do see through their hypocrisy (i.e., play acting).
APPLICATIONS IN THE SERMON ON THE MOUNT
The Sermon on the Mount teaches practical applications of what it means to be pure in heart:
· Purity of heart comes from a mind so clean that lust cannot survive (Matthew 5:28).
· Basic honesty so well known that oaths are unnecessary (Matthew 5:33).
· Motivations so pure that worship is real (Matthew 6:33).
· Love so pure that sinful hate, anger, and partiality have no place (Matt. 5:22; 44-48).
· Singleness of purpose so confident in God’s love and power that worry and materialism are unable to take us over (Matthew 6:19-24).
· A heart that only serves one Master (Matthew 6:24).
PRACTICAL APPLICATIONS: With a pure heart;
· There is no need to pretend about one’s social status or wealth.
· Freedom from flirting and games in relationships.
· Freedom to concentrate on the inner beauty (1 Peter 3:4).
· Freedom from the need to manipulate others or play with other’s emotions.
· Freedom from temper tantrums so that people will bow to your will.
· Freedom from bullying or threatening.
· Freedom from moodiness, sulking, or unpredictability.
· Freedom from the need to “impress”.
· Freedom from fine print (or conditions) that control our commitments and promises.
· Freedom from half-truths.
· Freedom from turmoil and drama for the purpose of keeping others off their guard.
· Freedom from posturing and seeking the “chief seats”.
FOR THEY SHALL SEE GOD (the second part of Matthew 5:8)
Our ultimate goal should be to see God. Our aim should be pure, to do God's will, to please God, and be with Him eternally. Such individuals will get their wish. 2 Corinthians 5:9 “Therefore we make it our aim, whether present or absent, to be well pleasing to Him”. Jesus’ challenge to His or any age is simply: ‘How badly do you want to see God?’ Are you willing, then, to open up your innermost thoughts, your best-hidden desires, and all your secrets for the inspection of God? How happy is that man who so lives that at any moment he could bare his heart to the eye of God without shame. This is the one who will see God.
Sometimes we get so focused on our own physical well-being or the physical well-being of our family or our brethren, that we make our physical well-being more important than the condition of our hearts! Jesus assures us that our physical needs will be met in Matthew 6:25-32, but He also tells us where our priorities must be in Matthew 6:33. You see if our heart is pure before the Lord with the pure motive of seeking first His Kingdom, then there is nothing that can happen to us physically to keep us from Heaven. No matter what sickness or tragedy, we can be pure to God!
HAVING A PURE HEART CAN BE A REALITY
If Jesus says that only the pure in heart can see God, then any of us can be pure in heart. The world, and many religious groups contend that we can never purify our hearts or our motives, yet God says otherwise (2 Corinthians 7:1, 10:5, 1 Timothy 1:5, John 1:47).
How about you tonight? Is your heart completely pure before the Lord?
For those who are not Christians: Do you want to have a pure heart? Are there sins that weigh heavy on your heart? Jesus can take all that away! The only way is to become a Christian, a follower of Jesus (John 14:6). We would love to baptize you this very moment.
“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” (Matthew 5:8)
We hope to see you next time on "Speaking The Truth In Love".