Summary: This is part of The Sermon on the Mount series and deals with the beatitude "Blessed are the pure in heart." In this sermon we look at 3 aspects of having a pure heart and a 3 part test to determine whether we have such a heart.
Sermon on the Mount
“A Matter of the Heart”
Americans are increasingly concerned with purity. We want pure water to drink, pure air to breathe, and pure food to eat. But as important as clean air, pure water, and pure food are, there’s a purity that we overlook, the purity of our hearts.
“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” (Matthew 5:8 NKJV)
This sort of purity, however, isn’t something we can consume; rather it’s an inside out issue. What we’re talking about is the condition of the heart.
What does it mean to be pure in heart? It means our motives are unmixed. A person who has a clean heart is a person of integrity. It’s where we do what we say. God isn’t concerned with what we do as much as He is with why we do them. In other words, God is concerned with our motives.
“Take heed that you do not do your charitable deeds before men, to be seen by them. Otherwise you have no reward from your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 6:1 NKJV)
“Is it possible to do good things with wrong motives?” Most definitely!
What Jesus is saying is that blessings and happiness comes from when we’re the same on the inside as we are on the outside. Jesus thought that this was so important, in fact, that He spent the rest of Matthew six talking about it.
Tonight I’d like to look at three aspects of having a pure heart.
1. Remember God Sees Everything
In Matthew chapter six there’s a phrase that’s repeated three times.
“And your Father who sees in secret will Himself reward you openly.” (Matthew 6:4, 6, 18 NKJV)
Nothing is hidden from God. Nothing is secret. He knows everything. And that’s a little unnerving, because we all have secrets we want to keep that way, even from God. But God knows everything.
Most people think that nobody will ever find out their secrets, but guess what, God knows and He sees everything. And He has a way of bringing those things we hold in the dark into the light.
The Bible says,
“There is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.” (Hebrews 4:13 NKJV)
This is something King David knew well. He knew that there was nothing and nowhere that he could hide himself from the presences of God.
“Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? If I ascend into heaven, You are there; if I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there. If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there Your hand shall lead me, and Your right hand shall hold me. If I say, ‘Surely the darkness shall fall on me,’ even the night shall be light about me; indeed, the darkness shall not hide from You, but the night shines as the day; the darkness and the light are both alike to You.” (Psalm 139:7-12 NKJV)
If God therefore knows everything, then we might as well have a pure heart rather than trying to continually fake it. We may fool others, but we cannot fool God. And the amazing thing is that even though He knows all my faults and failures He still loves me.
God knows everything we’ve ever done, and everything we’re presently doing, and everything we’re thinking of doing in the future. And still He loves us. How much? He sent His Son to pay the penalty price for our sins so we can be clean and pure before Him.
And so we need to remember that God sees everything.
2. Remember God Reviews Our Motives
We all need to do an honest evaluation of our motives before God. How? The answer lies with King David’s prayer.
“Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me, and know my anxieties; and see if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” (Psalm 139:23-24 NKJV)
Why pray this, because God knows the motives of our heart and rewards us accordingly, therefore our desire is to have our hearts in sync with God’s heart.
“For God understands all hearts, and he sees you. He who guards your soul knows you knew. He will repay all people as their actions deserve.” (Proverbs 24:12 NLT)
God’s judgments and rewards are based not only on what we do, but why we do it. In Matthew chapter six Jesus gives us three examples. Before we look at these, however, I’d like to go back and look at that repeating verse. It says that God will reward openly.