“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God”
~ Matthew 5:8
What does it mean to be pure of heart?
It means to be clean, blameless, unstained from guilt. Being pure of heart involves having a singleness of heart toward God. A pure heart has no hypocrisy, no guile, no hidden motives. The pure heart is marked by transparency and an uncompromising desire to please God in all things. It is more than an external purity of behavior; it is an internal purity of soul.
Psalm 51:10 says, “Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.”
In simpler words in means we ought to clear away junk from our hearts; like pride, self will, discontentment, impatience, anger, malice, envy, covetousness, reckless ambition and renew a right Spirit within us. The Holy Spirit renewed within us through confession and works of mercy make us humble, selfless, genuinely seeking Christ, patient, kind, understanding, eager to love, forgiving and open to God, just like Mary.
And again, just like Mary, as promised we shall see God!
What does it mean to be able to see God?
We are able to see God when;
- We recognise The Holy Spirit moving in our everyday lives
- We see God’s will unfolding in our lives through the decisions we make, through our needs being met, and through the soft whispers we hear in the quietness that reassure us that we’re on the right track in life.
- We encounter Him in our prayer time, through an insight or an understanding of God’s Word, and see Him revealing Himself to us in new ways every day.
- We will see God, in us and in the people around us because the pure in heart live according to the leading of the Holy Spirit.
What is the importance of being pure in heart?
“People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.”
1 Samuel 16:7
“These people honour me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me”
Jesus gave the Sermon on the Mount because He saw people were living a double standard of life, much like today. Their hearts have been contaminated by sins no one else can see, and thus they give the external impression of purity. But within them there is sin that remains uncleansed and continues to contaminate their lives. Jesus our Lord sees our hidden motives and knows how far away we’re from Him. When sin has found a home in our heart, it cannot be considered pure until we confess our sin and renew a right Spirit within us affording us the privileged of seeing God. So let us find out who we can look to, to show us how to be pure in heart.
Mary’s Pure Heart
We all know that Mary was conceived without Original Sin, making her Pure. But to live a life void of hate, guilt, lust, envy and pride was entirely up to Mary. The beauty of Mary’s life was her single mindedness and utter devotion to God. Mary was a Nazarene, born into a community of people who memorised the Scriptures and she knew them by-Heart.
Mary was so immersed in the Word of God that she recognized the Angel Gabriel and understood all he said to her. The only clarification she had was, “How can this be, since I am a virgin?” (Luke 1:34) She did not require any other clarification, because she had been taught about The Messiah.
Mary was so open to the plan God had for her life, so trusting, so submissive and so humble that she said simply yet confidently, “Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your Word“. I would be willing to bet that anybody else would take time to consider, check their schedule maybe, or even ask what the consequences of this would be on their life, but Mary saw God and allowed herself to be used by Him.
Mary Memorised and Confessed and Rejoiced in Scripture. The first words recorded in The Bible after The Annunciation were Mary’s words in response to her cousin Elizabeth. The opening verse we now know as The Magnificat, were words first spoken by Hannah (2 Samuel 1), recorded in scripture and memorized by Mary
“My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has looked with favor on the lowliness of his servant”
~ Luke 1:46-48
Mary dwelled on words spoken to her about her son, signs showing her of His greatness and she treasured these. Mary knew that great suffering would someday pierce her heart and yet she remained open to God.
“Mary treasured all these words and pondered them in her heart.”
~ Luke 2:19
A mother would sacrifice everything to save the life of her child and Mama Mary was no different, she would have done anything she could to save Jesus the humiliation and great pain He suffered, even given herself in His place, yet she stood quietly. Mary didn’t say anything because she knew her scriptures, she knew what was in store for her beloved son. More than ever her love for Him, allowed her to do the will of God. Mary suffered the excruciating pain, of watching her only beloved son die on the cross, every day until she was assumed into heaven.
Therefore from Mary we can model 7 things that she drew from scripture:
“How can a young man keep his way pure? By living according to your word.”
~ Psalm 119:9
- Verse 10 – Search your Bible and be ready to obey all that God commands.
- Verse 11 – Let God’s Word enter right into you.
- Verse 12 – Be humble, lowly and submissive.
- Verse 13 – Declare the truth of God’s Word in your daily walk; in your family, school/college and friends circle.
- Verse 14 – Rejoice in God’s Word and treasure it above everything else.
- Verse 15 – Learn, mark and inwardly digest God’s Word and never question what it says.
- Verse 16 – Persevere at this daily process: take His Word, apply it, obey it and make it your all-sufficient rule for faith (what you believe) and practice (what you do).
The standards for citizenship in the kingdom of God are extremely high. External, outward, human righteousness might lead people to think you are pure, but that won’t cut it with God who sees the heart. God says there has to be an internal work, a transformation at the most basic level, not only of what we do, but of who we are.
How can my heart and life be kept pure? – “by living according to your Word.”
There are three things to do immediately as you start on this journey:-
- Stop in your tracks and give careful thought to your ways – recollect all your sin and repent
- Confess – make a good confession every time and go as often as you can, at least once a month.
- Apply the remedy. This simply means, take the Bible and apply it to every part of your inner unseen life and outward life. Soon you will realize that sin does not have a hold on you anymore.