Devotional – by Randall Easter
“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” (Matthew 5:8)
What is the heart? D. A. Carson says, “In biblical imagery, the heart is the center of the entire personality.” A Christian is a person who has rightly assessed themselves and come to the conclusion of spiritual bankruptcy before God, mourned over their sin, meekly engages the world, hungering and thirsting for righteousness, and is pure in heart. This beatitude deals with motive (heart). Something is driving our attitudes, our insecurities, our clamoring for attention, our selfishness, our desires, our relationships, and etc. What is it? Make no mistake about it. It is our heart.
John 2:23-25 demonstrates Jesus’ knowledge of what is in our hearts. The prophet Jeremiah makes that astounding claim about the heart in Jeremiah 17:9. The apostle Paul addresses the issue of the heart in Romans 1:21; 2:5. The prophet Samuel is told not to look at the outward appearance, because God is not concerned with the outward, but rather, he is interested in the inward (1 Sam. 16:7). The apostle Peter tells the women not be so concerned with the outward, but rather, to adorn themselves with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit (1 Pet. 3:4). When evaluating this beatitude we must come honestly to the table fully aware that the one to whom we have to do is fully aware of our hearts. Thus, humility is the only thing that will be acceptable, because to try to justify our actions to one who already knows the heart of our action is a ludicrous idea.
The driving thrust behind this beatitude is a desire for holiness. A believer who has a working comprehension of the previous 5 beatitudes will desire to be like his God. As J. C. Ryle states, “He means those who do not aim merely at outward correctness, but at inward holiness.” In other words, the believer has cast his eye to heaven and discovered that his God is pure and the only thing that will make him happy is to be like him.
Dearly beloved, examine yourself. D. A. Carson gives us some thought provoking questions. What do you think about when your mind slips into neutral? How much sympathy do you have for deception, no matter how skillful? To what do you pay consistent allegiance? What do you want more than anything else? What and whom do you love? To what extent do your actions and words constitute a cover-up for what is in your heart?