12% of all website are pornographic. 70% of men 18-24 visit a porn site monthly. 1 in 3 viewers of porn are women. Porn use is up 18% during our recent pandemic. We live in a morally dirty world.
Jesus said, “Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.” (Matthew 5:8)
Jesus promises a blessing to those with a pure heart.
When Jesus talks about the heart, the word Greek word used is kardia, where we get the word cardiac. It actually means the inner person. It is the center of our emotions, thinking, decision-making. Our heart must be pure, meaning it must be clean. It also indicates that it is unmixed. In Biblical times, sometimes they would mix milk, wheat or gold with other ingredients. If a substance was pure it indicated that it hadn’t been mixed with anything else to dilute it. We should have a heart that is clean with no impurity.
I think we can apply a “pure heart” to four areas:
- Morality – the way people experience and express themselves sexually.
- Motivation– the reason for acting in a particular way.
- Integrity– the quality of having strong moral principles.
- Holiness– total devotion to God.
How pure are we supposed to be? What is God’s grading scale? Does He grade on the curve?
God’s standard is perfect holiness. Jesus said at the end of Matthew 5, “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” (Matthew 5:48).
We know we aren’t perfect. The apostle Paul reminds us, “For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23). We aren’t righteous enough. We aren’t good enough for God. But God loves us, so Jesus died on the cross for us, and offers us His perfect righteousness. All who trust Jesus as personal Savior are given His righteousness.
In one aspect, all who have trusted Jesus as Savior are holy. In fact, in the New Testament the most common expression for believers is “saint”, which means sanctified or holy.
However, in a very practical sense, we are not holy. A good Christian is actually trying to live up to His holiness. So how can we live a more holy life? If God blesses the pure in heart, what can families do to raise the level of holiness in the family to be in a position for God’s greatest blessing? Here are a few ideas:
Get your own heart pure.
“Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” (Proverbs 4:23)
- Pay close attention to what you look at.
- Give greater thought to the consequence of sin.
- Begin each day with a renewal of reverence for God.
- Periodically in the day focus on Christ.
Parent to the heart.
As a parent, it is good to monitor the behavior of children. Yet, it’s important to pay attention to a child’s heart. Jesus focused on the heart. Rather than simply murder, Jesus warned of hatred (Matthew 5:21-22). Rather than adultery, Jesus warned of lust (Matthew 5:27-28). The Pharisees focused on the outside, but Jesus focused on the inside. One way of understanding the heart of your child is to listen more. Ask questions and listen to the heart.
Pursue perfect purity.
“But among you there must not be even a hint of immorality or of any kind of impurity…” (Eph. 5:3)
The problem with purity, the hindrance with holiness, is you can’t see a person’s heart. In fact, Jeremiah reminds us that the “heart is deceitful about all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9). We must constantly be evaluating ourselves to determine if we have a pure heart.
Here’s some good questions to ask yourself…
- Morality: Do I have lustful attitudes, tempting thoughts or have I willfully exposed myself to something that would not honor God?
- Motivation: Why do I do what I do? Do I want the recognition? Do I have selfish motives?
- Integrity: If no one noticed, would I still do the right thing? If I knew I would never get caught, would I do the wrong thing?
- Holiness: Am I becoming more like Jesus in my actions? Am I really becoming a better person from the inside out?
When I preached this idea to my congregation I closed with an illustration. I had a cup of clean water and added ketchup, mustard, Italian dressing and hot sauce. As I added them I asked for sins of the heart that might correspond to these ingredients. I had responses like greed, anger, lust, jealousy, hatred, envy, and many more. I asked if anyone wanted to drink my new cocktail. Obviously no one accepted. So I took a pitcher of clean water, to represent God’s Word, and began to pour it into my dirty glass. After awhile, the clean water rinsed out all the impurities and I took a big drink. The lesson: We can’t clean up our own heart. But God will clean our heart as we allow the Holy Spirit and the Word of God to continue to flush out all the impurities. “Sanctify them through thy truth; thy word is truth.” (John 17:17)
Jesus demands that we have a clean heart: our morality, our motivation, our integrity, our holiness. Whether anyone notices, Jesus sees a pure heart and will bless you and your family. “Blessed are the pure in heart.”