A Pure Heart
Just Like Jesus
A Heart Pure
In the last article, the meaning of “heart” was defined as the spiritual control center with the components of soul, mind, emotion, will and conscience. IT’S WHO WE REALLY ARE!
1 Peter 5:8-9 NIV “Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith.”
Satan is forever looking for those who are not pure in the heart. He’s going to tempt us today and every day. He’s not going to tempt us where we are strong and pure but where he knows we are most likely to give in. Pure is not perfect. The following are thoughts of commentators:
- The Greek word for “pure” in Matthew 5:8 is katharos. It means to be “clean, blameless, unstained from guilt.”
- A pure heart is a single heart without mixture, a heart that seeks only the Lord and takes the Lord as the unique goal.
- To be pure in heart is to be single in purpose, to have the single goal of accomplishing God’s will for God’s glory.
- When we’re pure in heart we seek the Lord only.
Max writes that we must cultivate our heart like we cultivate a garden. People harvest only what they plant. Galatians 6:7 NIV “Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.”
Max continues: “If the heart is a greenhouse and our thoughts are seeds, shouldn’t we be careful about what we sow? Isn’t guarding the heart a strategic task?” He uses the following verse to make his point: Proverbs 4:23 NIV “Above all else guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life. Or as another translation reads: Be careful what you think, because your thoughts run your life.”
We can’t control the thoughts the devil pushes into our mind. We can however control what our mind cultivates. Just the same as you would pull a weed in the garden, get the impure thought out immediately. It’s not a sin to be tempted by the thought but it is a sin to cultivate the thought and allow it to grow.
Max writes: “You’ve got to admit some of our hearts are trashed out. Let any riffraff knock on the door, and we throw it open. Anger shows up, and we let him in. Revenge needs a place to stay, so we have him pull up a chair. Pity wants to have a party, so we show him the kitchen. Lust rings the bell, and we change the sheets on the bed. Don’t we know how to say no?”
Max: “Jesus guarded his heart. If he did shouldn’t we do the same? Jesus wants your heart to be fertile and fruitful. He wants your heart to be like his. That’s God’s goal for you. But how? The answer is surprising simple. We can be transformed if we make one decision: I will submit my thoughts to the authority of Jesus.”
Matthew 28:18 – Jesus said: “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.” Max: “To have a pure heart, we must submit all thoughts to the authority of Christ. If we are willing to do that, he will change us to be like him.” For me, the key words in Max’s statement are “if we are willing”. God nor Jesus is going to force anything on us. They must have a willing heart to work with. One of our biggest problems is our need to justify our anger, revenge, pity or any other thought! We struggle with letting go and admitting our sin. If we are working on justification for our action then God/Jesus does not have a willing heart.
2 Corinthians 10:3-5 Phillips translation “The truth is that, although of course we lead normal human lives, the battle we are fighting is on the spiritual level. The very weapons we use are not those of human warfare but powerful in God’s warfare for the destruction of the enemy’s strongholds. Our battle is to bring down every deceptive fantasy and every imposing defense that men erect against the true knowledge of God. We even fight to capture every thought until it acknowledges the authority of Christ.”
Max’s point in using these versus: The Holy Spirit is always ready to help you manage and filter the thoughts that try to enter. He can help you guard your heart. You “fight to capture every thought until it acknowledges the authority of Christ.” The key is inviting and allowing the Holy Spirit to help you.
One example Max uses is that the devil tells you are a loser, always have been and always will be. “You’ve blown relationships and jobs and ambitions. You might as well write the word bum on your resume, for that is what you are.” What are you going to do with this thought? Are you going to allow it to grow or let the Holy Spirit help you deal with it. Many of the teens I work with through CASA think this way. Mom and Dad are this way so I am and will be. Getting them to break this view and convince them they can be different is difficult.
If you think this way about yourself, pray for help and even ask someone you view as spiritual for prayers. If you believe Jesus agrees with this assessment, read Ephesians 2:10 NIV “For we are God’s workmanship, created in Jesus Christ to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Does it sound like Jesus agrees with Satan. Based on this verse, I believe God is insulted if we cultivate negative thoughts like this. Do not ever compare yourself with others. Paul does not say we are all equipped the same. Take whatever God gave you and use it to his glory.
The reverse side of the loser thinking is the, “I’m so great” or “the world is lucky to have me”. Max’s reply to this thinking is to point us to the following verses: Romans 12:3 Phillips translation “Don’t cherish exaggerated ideas of yourself or your importance.” Galatians 6:14 NIV “The cross of our Lord Jesus is my only reason for bragging.” Do not cultivate these type of thoughts either.
Max’s closing thoughts: “The point is this. Guard the doorway of your heart. Submit your thoughts to the authority of Christ. The more selective you are about seeds, the more delighted you will be about the crop.”
How do I accomplish a pure heart? An honest desire to be pure!
You need the knowledge of what God expects from you!
Clarke's Commentary on the Bible: 2 Timothy 2:15 “Study to show thyself approved unto God - Endeavour so to cultivate and improve thy heart and mind, that thou mayest not be a reproach to him from whom thou professes to receive thy commission.”
Constant prayer: Romans 12:12, NIV: "Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer." Some translations say “consistent”
When I was young, we were told that sin was not fun. This was an allusion Satan used to deceive us into sinning. So don’t give in to the temptations because you are really not having fun. This did not process well for me. If it seems like I’m having fun then…. I tried to teach my children and Sunday school classes that yes some sins are fun or we would not fall for temptations. You have a choice to make. Accept the temptations, allow them to cultivate in your life and live for Satan. Your other choice is submit them to the authority of Christ and be Just Like Jesus.
Just Like Jesus written by Max Lucado, Published by Word Publishing – 1998 – Used with permission