Blessed Are The Pure In Heart (Matthew 5:8)

Pure gold, pure silver: what comes to mind when you think of these terms? For many, the idea of pure means that the item in question contains one element. Pure gold is 100% gold. Pure silver is also 100% silver, but what is a pure heart? Would it be safe to say that a pure heart also contains just one thing? To better understand this, the term heart needs to be defined.

Most agree that man’s heart is best understood as his mind, will and emotion. If that is accurate, then we should take earnest heed to The Lord’s warns. A double minded man is unstable in all his ways. (James 1:8) Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded. (James 4:8) From these warnings, it can be concluded that a person with a pure heart has a single heart for The Lord and is not double minded.

A person with a pure heart will have actions that are not evil, thoughts that are not evil and emotions that are devoid of evil. Because his heart is single for The Lord, his thoughts, emotions and actions will follow. Examples of this can be seen in the lives of Job and Enoch.

In all this Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly. (Job 1:22)

And Enoch walked with God:and he was not; for God took him. (Genesis 4:24)

The blessing for having a pure heart is to be able to see God. (Matthew 5:8) This cannot mean that the believer will be able to visibly see God face to face, because the scriptures state that man cannot see God and be able to live, (Exodus 33:20) but instead, God will open the scriptures and reveal himself and also manifest his presence to him as they meet together in the quiet place.

Having a pure heart is not accomplished by putting things in or out of the heart, but by spending time with The Lord to where you love and desire him more than anything else. Remember, a pure heart is the result of all the beatitudes mentioned in Matthew 5:3-7. After being poor in spirit, mourning over your sin, standing meek before God, hungering and thirsting after righteousness and having a heart of mercy towards others, being pure in heart is more of a by product than an action.

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Your Past Does Not Determine Your Future (Matthew 1:5)

Your past does not determine your future. Your past may strongly influence you as you decide your future, but it cannot determine it. As you read the genealogies of Jesus in Matthew chapter one, you will come across Boaz. This is the same Boaz that redeemed and married Ruth. His family background was as bad as it could be. Boaz’s mother was the harlot that hid the Israelite spies in Jericho. Can you imagine what life was like for Boaz as a young boy: the names that he was called and the shame he endured as he faced peers and the self righteous society?

In spite of it all, Boaz became somebody great and so did his mother. Both are listed in the genealogies and are responsible for passing on their heritage to the Messiah. Their lives are prime examples of what God and his grace can do.

We must remember that our past does not determine our future either. Our families’ good testimony cannot make us successful and it’s failures cannot hold us back from success. Even the failures in our past cannot hinder us from experiencing success. Maybe you have made some very poor decisions and now your life’s testimony is anything but desirable. Remember, God’s grace was given to buy you out of sin and to empower you for victory over it. Your past cannot be changed, but God’s grace can change your future.

As you face the shame of your past, remember the following.

1. Your past is in the past.

And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God. (1 Corinthians 6:11)

2. What you were does not determine what you are or what you will be.

In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will: That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ. (Ephesians 1:11-12)

3. God’s power changes lives and reputations

Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, (Ephesians 3:20)

Jesus’ Titles (Matthew 1:1)

Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham. (Matthew 1:1)

What a statement! With just these 10 words of introduction, a Jewish person could understand the position and purpose of Jesus.

Jesus was a named derived from Jehoshua which means Jehovah is salvation. In merely two words, Jesus is declared to be the Jehovah who saves. Those of us who know him as savior have recognized and experienced the salvation that he brings.

The title Son of David reveals that Jesus is the fulfillment of the promises in the Davidic covenant. The Davidic covenant states that from David a King would arise, build a house, establish a kingdom and sit upon the throne for ever. (2 Samuel 7:11-13). These important details were also conveyed to Mary when she received the announcement from Gabriel. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end. (Luke 1:32-33)
Jesus’ kingdom–thou yet invisible–has already begun as he rules in the hearts of believers. Upon his return, he will establish a visible earthly kingdom which he shall be reigned in righteousness.

Son of Abraham indicates that Jesus is the long awaited seed that was promised to Abraham in Genesis 12:1-3, 6-7; 13:14-17; 15:1-21; 17:1-14; 22:15-18. The first mention of a promised seed appeared in Genesis chapter three and by this seed, the head of the enemy will be crushed. Although the world that we live in seems to become increasingly dark, Jesus continues to be in control. He will continue to save all that call upon him and will dwell within each believer bringing them the peace that passes all understanding.

What more do we need? When you have the Jehovah that saves, the King of Heaven and Earth and the promised seed who crushes your enemy, you really don’t need anything else.

Digging Up Evil (Proverbs 16:27)

Why is it that you more often hear people speak badly of someone than good? Why is it that people look for bad in others? A possible reason why people look for bad is so that they may destroy and pull people down others making them lower than themselves or to expose other people’s lower estate and make themselves appear to be better.

An ungodly man diggeth up evil: and in his lips there is as a burning fire. (Proverbs 16:27)

However by just glancing at this passage, you can see that those digging for dirt are really the individuals with the spiritual problem. Countless times I have seen people, in the name of Christ, look for dirt either to expose sin or a person’s wavering in faithfulness to Christ.

We would be better to recall and live the words of the Psalmist: “Let the words of my mouth,
and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength, and my redeemer” (Psalm 19:14) or the admonition of Paul: “Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.”

It is so easy for us to fall into this trap. It happens as a result of our outlook on life. If our heart’s desire is to help people and to make them successful, we may see these same negative characteristics, but only as obstacles to overcome so that the benefits and goodness of the individual may be exposed. Your tongue is a powerful instrument and can be used for good or evil. (James 3:5-10). Make sure that you use it wisely.

Mercy and Truth from Parents (Proverbs 16:6)

By mercy and truth iniquity is purged: and by the fear of the Lord men depart from evil. (Proverbs 16:6)

Raising children is probably one of the most difficult tasks in life. An innate tendency in all children is to follow the dictates of their flesh that they inherited from their fathers. It seems that much of child raising addresses these issues. Throughout the years, many child raising techniques have been developed which have gained their host of followers. Some people experience success implementing principles for child raising while others who employ the same techniques have failed miserably. What most people fail to recognize is that success in child raising is based on mercy and truth and not so much child raising techniques or training methods.

Mercy occurs when an alternative method for dealing with a person and their sin is employed instead of judgment and retribution. While truth is the principle that needs to be developed in a person’s life. Many people while child raising fail to apply these two essential elements to their plan. Instead, they react in an array of emotions that at best are nonproductive and in some cases sinful.

The two most common emotions displayed by parents while correcting or disciplining their children are anger and fear. If mercy and truth produce desirable fruit, anger and fear will produce their own fruit which is usually the root problem in struggling families. The reason that anger and fear occur is because the parents focus on themselves and their own needs instead of their children’s needs. Parental correction becomes the management of children problems which appear either to cause public embarrassment or parental failure. As long as the parents continue to focus on these, mercy will never be present. However, when parents truly focus on their children’s needs, mercy becomes the mode by which truth is communicated and training principles are employed.

Sorrow Makes The Heart Better (Ecclesiastes 7:2-3)

The scriptures tell us that sorrow is better than laughter because by sorrow the heart is comparatively made better.

It is better to go to the house of mourning, than to go to the house of feasting: for that is the end of all men; and the living will lay it to his heart. Sorrow is better than laughter: for by the sadness of the countenance the heart is made better. (Ecclesiastes 7:2-3)

When Adam plunged mankind into his sinful state, man’s heart became astray from God. Although Jesus may have redeemed man from his penalty for sin, man’s heart is still affected by it. As man grows in grace and is progressively sanctified by the working of the Holy Spirit, his heart over comes sin’s effect and is made better or more closely to how God intends for man to be. It is through sorrow that man recognizes his weakness and need for God. Although the sorrowful event may appear to present God as uncaring or devoid of love, it is really the opposite. God wants our hearts in fellowship with him and for us to be conformed to the image of his son. He accomplishes this work in the heart of man. It is for our betterment that he allows these events to occur.

If sorrow is to make the heart better, we would be wise in helping people as they endure sorrow and experience the work that will change or make their heart better. The Scriptures admonish us that if you have the opportunity to celebrate with people or mourn with others, you would be better to mourn with the mournful. Consider that when celebrating with those feasting, there is no burden to bear, but those in mourning need help to bear their heavy burden. As we help those who are hurting, it will be taken to heart because the heart was greatly relieved and touched.

Helping others through hurt does not mean that we need to take the hurt away. That is impossible for us to do, but with empathy and compassion, we can carry the hurt with them. While living our lives, we must strive to recognize and focus on the sorrowful needs of others. It should be easy to find hurting people because it seems that in some way everybody is hurting.

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My Personal Decree From Proverbs 15

I will speak softly when others are angry. (Proverbs 15:1, 4, 7, 18, 23)

I will use my words to make things better. (Proverbs 15:2, 23, 26, 30)

I will have a right attitude towards being corrected. (Proverbs 15:5, 10, 12, 31-32)

I will share my heart with God. (Proverbs 15:8, 29)

I will run from the wrong and towards the right. (Proverbs 15:9)

I will allow God to use sorrow to change my heart. (Proverbs 15:13)

I will focus on developing a right heart instead of what I can gain. (Proverbs 15:25, 27, 21)

I will seek advice for achieving goals. (Proverbs 15:22)

I will seek to be humble so that God may establish me. (Proverbs 15:25, 33)

Love Your Life – Hate Your Life (John 12:25-26)

He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal. If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my Father honour. (John 12:25-26)

At some point in the believer’s life, he comes to this passage and assesses himself by trying to determine if he loves or hates his life. Many may conclude that those who hate their lives can only accomplish this by denying themselves of any desires and live lives of abasement and self denial. Although this view may seem accurate, it is similar to living life much like the Pharisees did. In their own eyes, these individuals never seem to reach the satisfactory level of hating their own lives. They constantly seek for and add new regulatory guidelines for living the “hated” or “denied” life.

Thankfully, The Lord has made a life that pleases him much more easily attained and enjoyable. Jesus simply defines the life he desires by saying, “Let him follow me.” So before breaking out your spiritual scourging instrument and beating yourself into subjection and self denial, ask yourself, “Do I want to walk with Jesus today and am I willing to follow him where he leads me?” If your answer is yes, God is pleased. If your answer is no, he wants you to know that you will not gain what you seek and will lose whatever joy you already have.

It is understood that there will be people who are deceived in their hearts about their answers, but God is able to deal with their deception by bringing needed truth to their hearts. Until he does, our efforts of setting them straight will be of no avail. If your life is like most Christians, you may vacillate in your position as you live throughout the day. If you find yourself walking away from The Lord and seeking your own will, desires or gain, confess your fault to The Lord, believe he has forgiven you and begin following him from that point on.

Jesus came to give us life that is more abundant and free. When you are following him, you will experience the joy that comes with it. If you are not experiencing his joy, something is drastically wrong. I am not saying that circumstances in life that may result from following him will always be easy or pleasant, but you should be experiencing the joy of The Lord and the sweetness of his presence.