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Matthew 5:9

“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.”

One of my favorite spiritual songs is Change My Heart O God by Eddie Espinoza. The lyrics read,

“Change my heart oh God.

Make it ever true.

Change my heart oh God

May I be like you.”

Purity of heart goes deeper than actions. It is purity of motives, purity of desire, purity of devotion to God and His righteousness. Purity of heart is purity in the very depth of your being. Purity can mean sinlessness. There is a sense in which purity means single mindedness. It also means transparency especially before God. And the promise here fits this latter meaning well. If you are open and transparent before God, He can reveal Himself to you. Purity of heart does not mean ultimate sinlessness except in the life of Jesus. But it does mean a willingness to be honest with God about our sins.

And I think it must extend to honesty with people, not operating with hidden motives. Someone once told me about hearing someone say about a friend, “He pretends to like me, but he probably talks about my behind my back.”

The man answered him, “No, you're wrong. He (the friend he was talking about) is as pure as water.” But to be honest, it is easier to give examples of underhanded motives than pure hearts. That is until we think about Jesus. One of the best places to observe His pure motives is when He was attacked and accused by the religious leaders. His purity always showed up their false motives.

In the 21st chapter of Matthew Jesus entered the temple not long after driving out the money changers. The scribes and Pharisees challenged Him asking by what authority He did those things.

Jesus said, “I will answer you if you will answer one question. ‘The baptism of John was it from heaven or from man?’”They talk among themselves saying, 'If we say it is from Heaven,’ he will ask us why we didn't believe in John. But if we say, 'It was from Men,’ We will lose popularity because all the people held John as a prophet.” He had them by their own prejudices. This is not the only example of their duplicity. Again and again they revealed their false motives.

So in Matthew 5:20 Jesus told us,

“Unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.

But Jesus was saying much more about our righteousness in this verse. He was saying unless His righteousness, His purity of heart, was given to us by God, we could never in our own righteousness enter the kingdom of heaven.



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