Summary: What is going on inside, in our heart dictates our relationship with God
Chuck Swindoll in "Growing Deep in the Christian Life," writes about
x A man who bought fried chicken dinners for himself and his date one afternoon. The attendant at the fast food outlet, however, unintentionally gave him the proceeds from the day’s business - a bucket of money (all cash) instead of fried chicken.
"After driving to their picnic site," Swindoll writes, "the two of them sat down to enjoy some chicken. They discovered a whole lot more than chicken - over $800! Now many people would have kept the money, and bought themselves a lunch much nicer than KFC!
-But this man did something unusual. He quickly put the money back into the bucket, got into his car and drove all the way back to KFC. Mr. Clean got out, walked in, and became an instant hero.
-"By then, the manager was frantic. The guy with the bucket of money looked the manager in the eye and said, ’I want you to know I came by to get a some chicken and wound up with all this money here.’
-"Well, the manager was thrilled to death. He said, ’Let me call the newspaper. I’m gonna have your picture put in the local newspaper. You’re one of the most honest men I’ve ever heard of.’
-"To which the man quickly responded, ’Oh, no. No, no - don’t do that!’ Then he leaned closer and whispered, ’You see, the woman I’m with is not my wife.’”
------- The heart is the center of spiritual existence
Jas 4:8 - Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.
1. A Need
- We want to change the inside so we do it by cleaning up the outside
Matthew 23:25–28 (AV)
25 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess.
26 Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also.
27 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness.
28 Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.
- Scribes were teachers & lawyers of the law
- Pharisees Self-righteous & Proud by keeping the law exactly
- Inward foul
- Lt. Colonel Joseph Morse serves as a lawyer who prosecuted soldiers accused of sexual assault.
- He himself has been accused of sexual assault while at a sexual assault conference
2. The Heart
Mt. 5:8 Condensed to 4 words – PURE, HEART SEE, GOD
- Center of this verse is HEART
- Heart control center of our being (Our Thoughts & Will)
Proverbs 4:23 (AV)
23 Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.
Jeremiah 17:9 (AV)
9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?
Matthew 15:19–20 (AV)
19 For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies:
20 These are the things which defile a man: ….
- If the spring is pure the stream will be pure
- The heart may be compared to a reservoir which supplies a large town with its hundreds of streets and thousands of pipes.
- If the water is pure in the reservoir it will send its purity through the pipes to the inhabitants;
- If the reservoir is polluted, it will be impure at its destination.
- The heart is the reservoir from which life flows.
- The mouth, hands, feet, eyes, actions, etc. are the pipes.
- If the heart is pure, purity will be seen in life."
3. What is Purity?
Without defilement, no hypocrisy
My thoughts, intents are not hidden, masked
- Pure gold is not clean gold but 100% gold.
- Pure bread is all bread and no leaven.
- Pure water means that all the harmful elements have been removed by filtration.
Psalm 24:3–4 (AV)
3 Who shall ascend into the hill of the LORD? or who shall stand in his holy place?
4 He that hath clean hands (my actions), and a pure heart (my thoughts & decisions); who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity (what is useless), nor sworn deceitfully (being dishonest).
4. See What?
You only see what you are looking for
- Paul’s prayer to the Ephesians
Ephesians 1:18–19 (AV)
18 The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints,