“Blessed are the PURE IN HEART, for they shall see God.”

Purity of heart is a theme that runs from the beginning of the Bible to the end. It is one of the greatest utterances in the Bible. It stretches over everything else revealed in Scripture.

Of all the Beatitudes, this one is the clearest statement on how to enter the Kingdom. Only the pure in heart will ‘see’ God in His Kingdom. Those depending on a ‘religion’ based or human achievement won’t make it into the Kingdom.

Purity of heart comes after you’ve hungered and thirsted for righteousness and after God has dispensed His mercy upon you. It is His mercy that cleanses your evil heart. Purity is not something that you earn–it comes from God’s mercy.

The term “heart,” when used in the Bible, relates to ones ‘will’—the seat of a man’s personality. Predominantly it refers to the thinking processes—not the emotions, but our choices. So, a “pure heart” means that the decisions one makes, the desires one has, the thoughts and intensions of the will, are untarnished by sin, and that the will is determined to be pleasing to God. From a pure heart comes only good things—acts of love, mercy, grace, and desires for righteousness, justice, and peace—decisions that please God.

To be pure of heart means to be free of all selfish intentions and self-seeking desires. What a beautiful goal! How many times have any of us performed an act perfectly free of any personal gain? Such is an act of ‘pure’ love. An act of pure and selfless giving brings happiness to all.

The ‘essence’ of what God wants of each one of us is: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind” and “Love your neighbor as yourself.”

This is to be done not with ‘part’ of your heart, or a double or ‘divided’ heart—that would be ‘impurity’. Purity of heart has no deception, no double-mindedness, no divided allegiance. God wants us to seek Him like King David (“a man after God’s own heart”) did: “Create in me a clean heart, O God” [ Psalm 51:10 ].

God doesn’t care about your appearance, your achievements, your accomplishments, or your acquisitions. God isn’t interested in how educated you are, or how wealthy you are. God doesn’t care how popular or how famous you are. God just cares about your ‘heart’—the ‘real’ you, what’s ‘inside’. (“Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart” [ 1 Samuel 16:7 ]).

God is more interested in the ‘direction’ of your heart, than He is in the sins you commit—more interested in your ‘attitude’ than your actions, and ‘why’ you do what you do, than actually what you do.

A person with a ‘pure heart’ will experience the pardon and ‘presence’ of God, the ‘power’ of God, a ‘closeness’ with God, the peace of God, and the purpose God has for their lives.

Man tends to measure himself by his fellow man. His standard is always someone ‘lower’ than himself.

For those who set their standards lower than themselves, the ultimate human ‘standard’ ends up being the most ‘rotten’ person alive. That’s because when everyone bases his personal evaluation of himself on a person lower than himself, the standard spirals down from person to person until it can go no
lower—the ‘dregs’ of humanity.

However, God’s standard for acceptable character is that we are 100% pure! Though mankind sets the standard of “goodness” as the worst human being alive, God’s standard is Himself—absolute holiness and righteousness.

The word for “pure in heart” today is integrity.

Integrity is what you are when nobody else is looking—what you are in the ‘dark’. What you really think, act, and do when nobody else will ever find out. The ‘world’ is interested in your reputation, God is interested in your character. Reputation is what you are in public, character is what you are in private (by yourself).

Integrity is ‘tested’ in the “small things.” It’s relatively easy to have integrity in the ‘large’ things, since you know everyone is looking—but God cares more about how you act when no one is looking.

It doesn’t matter if anyone else will see what you are doing—God does! This is a real test of integrity.

There are some ‘benefits’ of integrity:

– When you live with integrity, God will ‘show’ His plan and purpose for you—what to do next. (“A righteous person lives on the basis of his integrity. Blessed are his children after he is gone” [ Proverbs 20:7 ]).

– There will be rewards in ‘eternity’. God will say, “Well done! You are a good and trusted servant! Because you were faithful with small things, I’ll now put you in charge of much greater things. Come and share your Master’s happiness!” [ Matthew 25:21 ].

Here’s a few ways one can develop integrity:
– Keeping your promises (verbal)
– Paying your bills (financial)
– Refusing to gossip (relational)
– Faithfully ‘tithing’ (spiritual)
– Doing your best at work (vocational)

Jesus said wherever your ‘treasure’ is, that’s where your heart is. So, these days, where you put your money first, is what’s most important to you! (If you ‘dare’, take a look at your checkbook for your ‘discretionary’ spending).

The other thing you can do is just be ‘real’ with others—don’t pretend and wear ‘masks’—always be the same. Don’t be a ‘phony’—be an ‘open book’. To do this, you’ve got to care more about God’s approval than the approval of people. (“But God removed Saul and replaced him with David, a man about whom God said, ‘I have found David son of Jesse, a man after my own heart. He will do everything I want him to do” [ Acts 13:22 ]).

So, if you are serious about wanting to be a person of integrity, you first have to admit that you aren’t—then God can help you develop it.

Sometimes the greatest integrity you show is during times when it doesn’t seem like there’s any blessings.

Your greatest ‘legacy’ in your life is your integrity—it’s the only thing that will outlast you from generation to generation. Everything else we do will be ‘lost’: the money you have at the end of your life will get divided up and spent; the work that you do will be given to someone else to do and what you did will be forgotten; and all the ‘awards’ you have earned will be thrown away. Encouraging? But, the character you have is going to be ‘translated’ into the people who are around you, and transferred into the lives of the next generation—a lasting legacy!

So, the aim of Jesus is not to reform the ‘manners’ of society, but to change the ‘hearts’ of sinners—someone with a ‘heart’ for Him.

A ‘pure heart’ declares itself by its constant struggle against sin and temptation. Is that the state of your heart?

Purity of heart cleanses the ‘eyes’ of the soul, making God ‘visible’. Can you ‘see’ Him?

“Pure In Heart” Related Bible Verses:

“But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.”
[ 1 Samuel 16:7 ].

“Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.”
[ Psalm 51:10 ].

“Blessed are those whose way is blameless, who walk in the law of the Lord! Blessed are those who keep his testimonies, who seek him with their whole heart, who also do no wrong, but walk in his ways! You have commanded your precepts to be kept diligently. Oh that my ways may be steadfast in keeping your statutes!”
[ Psalm 119:1-176 ].

“Blessed are those who keep his testimonies, who seek him with their whole heart,”
[ Psalm 119:2 ].

“Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!”
[ Psalm 139:23-24 ].

“I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.”
[ Psalm 119:11 ].

“Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.”
[ Proverbs 4:23 ].

“He who loves purity of heart, and whose speech is gracious, will have the king as his friend.”
[ Proverbs 22:11 ].

“Every way of a man is right in his own eyes, but the Lord weighs the heart.”
[ Proverbs 21:2 ].

“I the Lord search the heart and test the mind, to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his deeds.”
[ Jeremiah 17:10 ].

“You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.”
[ Jeremiah 29:13 ].

“But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people.”
[ Jeremiah 31:33 ].

“I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean from all your uncleannesses, and from all your idols I will cleanse you. And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules.”
[ Ezekiel 36:25-27 ].

“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
[ Matthew 6:19-21 ].

“But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a person. For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander. These are what defile a person. But to eat with unwashed hands does not defile anyone.”
[ Matthew 15:18-20 ].

“Having purified your souls by your obedience to the truth for a sincere brotherly love, love one another earnestly from a pure heart,”
[ 1 Peter 1:22 ].

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In 1965, Jackie DeShannon sang “What The World Needs Now,” and it became a very popular ballad. The first line in the song ‘answers’ the title by saying that, “love, sweet love” is what the world needs. It expresses a desire that virtually everyone holds—to love and be loved. But what is love?

Judging by the commonly held understanding of “love,” it is clear the ‘world’ has only a ‘foggy’ notion of what love really is. The prevalent idea is that love is a warm sense of regard, a strong desire to be satisfied by something, or the ‘thrill’ that one gets in the pit of their stomach when they are with their spouse. Some equate it with caring, benevolent giving, or sheer emotionalism. On occasion, we use the term very casually and loosely. People express their “love” for a certain kind of food, style of house, color, automobile, fashion, performer, or sports team.

[ Note: There are 12 specific words for love in the Greek language, with four of them used, by far, the most times in the Bible: Agape; Eros; Phileo; and Stergo ].

But the Bible’s definition of love is a bit different. Rather than merely a feeling, an opinion, or a preference, it is something that is ‘unconditional’.

The “love” mentioned in the “Fruit of the Spirit” comes from the Greek word “agape,” which means to ‘willfully’ act in the interest of others, no matter who they are, how we feel, or what it costs (the highest ‘level’ of love). It does not depend on the other person’s performance or desirability. It is sacrificial—it costs you something to love in this way. It is not just giving, but ‘giving up’ for the sake of another. It puts another person’s well-being ahead of our own—not because they ‘deserve’ it or we feel like it, because it’s convenient or comfortable, or because of what they have done for us—but because it’s the way Jesus loves. Our greatest goal should be to do all things with this kind of love. This kind of love is only possible in any of us when it is ‘empowered’ by the Holy Spirit.

The apostle Paul reveals love’s supreme importance to life. He contrasts love’s value to faith, hope, prophecy, sacrifice, and knowledge—and indirectly with all other ‘gifts’ of God mentioned previously. He does this to emphasize love’s importance, completeness, permanence, and supremacy over all other qualities we consider important to life. He in no way denigrates the other gift’s usefulness to life and God’s purpose, but is adamant that none can compare in importance to love. “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails” [ 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 ].

Paul goes on to say that, “Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love” [ 1 Corinthians 13:12-13 ]. Paul continues to emphasize that love is the epitome of all virtues: “Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony” [ Colossians 3:14 ].

If we really love another person, we cannot possibly ‘injure’ them. Love would immediately stifle any thought that leads to adultery, murder, theft or any form of covetousness—because love does not harm.

There will be a time coming when love will be ‘perfected’ in us (in Heaven), and we will have it in abundance. However, in the meantime, while we are here on earth, we are to ‘pursue’ love: “Let love be your highest goal!” [ 1 Corinthians 14:1 ].

The apostle John also emphasized how important love is—telling us what Jesus said about it: “So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love your neighbor as yourself. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are My disciples” [ John 13:34-35 ].

John continues: “He who does not love does not know God, for God is love. In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has seen God at any time. If we love one another, God abides in us, and His love has been perfected in us” [ 1 John 4:8-12 ]. Love is the ‘supreme’ desire!

This command to love others cannot be fulfilled unless a person has the Holy Spirit ‘living’ within them. So, for those who have not yet ‘believed’ in Jesus, let me encourage you to do so right now. (A suggested prayer is below, immediately after the “Summary”).

THE ultimate manifestation of “agape” love was shown when Jesus willingly died upon the cross for the sins of mankind. We didn’t deserve this sacrifice, but Jesus gave His life willingly and God the Father gave up His Son to make it possible that we might be ‘saved’ from our sins. Love is the first quality mentioned in the “Fruit of the Spirit” because of its importance.

Paul then tells us where this love comes from: “Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.” We receive godly love from God, by means of His Spirit.

All this is possible because God, in His love, initiates a relationship with us, grants us repentance, gives us His Spirit, and then, because of His love, takes the lead in sustaining the relationship. “We love each other because God loved us first (1 John 4:19). It should behoove us to earnestly show others the love God has showered upon us!

By developing a ‘relationship’ with God, we come to know Him and receive His love—and in experiencing His love, we become like Him and really get to know Him.

Only by knowing God can we have this kind of love, and only by loving can we know Him, and only by obedience to God will it ‘prove’ our desire to love—keeping His commandments (1 John 5:3). It is the product of God’s Holy Spirit ‘living’ in our ‘hearts’ and our yielding to His guidance. It does not arise naturally within us and frequently requires us to change our will and make sacrifices.

“Love” Related Bible Verses:

“You shall not take vengeance or bear a grudge against the sons of your own people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the Lord.”
[ Leviticus 19:18 ].

“Only be very careful to observe the commandment and the law that Moses the servant of the Lord commanded you, to love the Lord your God, and to walk in all his ways and to keep his commandments and to cling to him and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul.”
[ Joshua 22:5 ].

“Let not steadfast love and faithfulness forsake you; bind them around your neck; write them on the tablet of your heart.”
[ Proverbs 3:3 ].

“I love those who love me, and those who seek me diligently find me.”
[ Proverbs 8:17 ].

“Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all offenses.”
[ Proverbs 10:12 ].

“I prayed to the Lord my God and made confession, saying, ‘O Lord, the great and awesome God, who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments,’”
[ Daniel 9:4 ].

“Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”
[ Matthew 22:36-40 ].

“But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil.”
[ Luke 6:35 ].

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”
[ John 3:16 ].

“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
[ John 13:34-35 ].

“If you love me, you will keep my commandments.”
[ John 14:15 ].

“Jesus answered him, “If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.”
[ John 14:23 ].

“This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.”
[ John 15:12 ].

“Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.”
[ John 15:13 ].

“And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.”
[ Romans 5:5 ].

“But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
[ Romans 5:8 ].

“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written, “For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.” No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
[ Romans 8:35-39 ].

“Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.”
[ Romans 12:10 ].

“Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law.”
[ Romans 13:8 ].

“Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.”
[ Romans 13:10 ].

“Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away.”
[ 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 ].

“So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.”
[ 1 Corinthians 13:13 ].

“Let all that you do be done in love.”
[ 1 Corinthians 16:14 ].

“For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’”
[ Galatians 5:13-14 ].

“With all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love,”
[ Ephesians 4:2 ].

“Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her,”
[ Ephesians 5:25 ].

“Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.”
[ Ephesians 5:1-2 ].

“And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.”
[ Colossians 3:14 ].

“And may the Lord make your love for one another and for all people grow and overflow, just as our love for you overflows.”
[ 1 Thessalonians 3:12 ].

“Listen, my beloved brothers, has not God chosen those who are poor in the world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom, which he has promised to those who love him?”
[ James 2:5 ].

“Having purified your souls by your obedience to the truth for a sincere brotherly love, love one another earnestly from a pure heart,”
[ 1 Peter 1:22 ].

“Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins.”
[ 1 Peter 4:8 ].

“Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.”
[ 1 John 2:15 ].

“But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him?”
[ 1 John 3:17 ].

“Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God.”
[ 1 John 4:7 ].

“Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.”
[ 1 John 4:11 ].

“So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. By this is love perfected with us, so that we may have confidence for the day of judgment, because as he is so also are we in this world. There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love. We love because he first loved us.”
[ 1 John 4:16-19 ].

“And this commandment we have from him: whoever loves God must also love his brother.”
[ 1 John 4:21 ].

“The purpose of my instruction is that all believers would be filled with love that comes from a pure heart, a clear conscience, and genuine faith.”
[ 1 Timothy 1:5 ].

“Run from anything that stimulates youthful lusts. Instead, pursue righteous living, faithfulness, love, and peace. Enjoy the companionship of those who call on the Lord with pure hearts.”
[ 2 Timothy 2:22 ].

“And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works,”
[ Hebrews 10:24 ].

“Having purified your souls by your obedience to the truth for a sincere brotherly love, love one another earnestly from a pure heart,”
[ 1 Peter 1:22 ].

“Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.”
[ 1 John 4:8 ].

“There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.”
[ 1 John 4:18 ].

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