"Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God" (Matthew 5:8 NIV).
If you notice there is much concern in our society with the state of your heart. Doctors urge us to exercise, eat right, and watch the dreaded cholesterol. Since the heart is what keeps us alive, we have a greater tendency to want to take care of it, but it also is the seat of our spiritual life. In the Bible there are many references regarding the heart and how God views it to see how we stack up spiritually. "Man looks at the outward appearance, but God the Lord looks at the heart (1 Samuel 16:7 NIV)
David gave his son, Solomon sound advice about God's knowledge of his soul. "And you my son Solomon, acknowledge the God of your father, and serve him with wholehearted devotion and with a willing mind, for the Lord searches every heart and understands every motive behind the thoughts (1 Ch 28:9 NIV).
Sobering isn't it? God knows us inside and out. There is nothing that we can keep from him. You see out of our hearts can come also bad things, especially if we haven't given our hearts to God. If you don't have the Lord in your heart then evil can take it over. Jesus said this to the Pharisees, "For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander. These are what make man unclean" (Matthew 15:19 NIV).
How can we make our heart pure? Jesus tells us, "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind" (Matthew 22: 37 NIV). Reading the Bible helps us keep our heart pure because it tells us how we should live as a Christian. In the parable of the sower Jesus speaks about the seed that was planted in good soil. "But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop" (Luke 8:15 NIV).
To have a sincere faith is essential as Paul tells Timothy, "The goal of this command is love, which comes from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith" (1 Timothy 1:5 NIV). If you notice in your life that when you are really doing what God wants you to do you will have a good conscience, but if your heart is bent on sinning, you will not be as happy. If your heart is filled with the love of God you will feel tremendously guilty when you do things you know aren't pleasing to Him. I think God made us that way so we will repent and stop doing things that will harm us. The Lord wants us to love Him with all of our hearts. But it is up to us realize when we aren't acting purely and turn aside from what is wrong and seek the Lord to help us have thoughts that are pure.
Help us as we measure our hearts to see how pure they are. Help us to make any changes to our lives that aren't pleasing to you, so that you will look upon our hearts and be glad at what you see.
The world is so tempting, but we know that with your help we can really try not to give in to sin.
Give us your strength to make right choices.
In Jesus' name,
PLEASE ENCOURAGE AUTHOR,
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