Summary: Purity of heart results in a life of a clear vision of God in His fulness
I want to start off today by asking you a question that Max Lucado queries in the opening section of his book, ‘Just Like Jesus’. He asks: What if, for one day, Jesus were to become you?
What if, for twenty-four hours, Jesus wakes up in your bed, walks in your shoes, lives in your house, and assumes your schedule and regular routine? Your boss becomes his boss, your family becomes his family, and your pains become his pains? All of this, with one exception, nothing about your life changes. Your health doesn’t change. Your circumstances don’t change. Your financial condition doesn’t change. Your schedule isn’t altered. Your problems aren’t solved.
Interestingly, only one change occurs: What if, for one day and one night, Jesus were to live YOUR life with HIS heart? Consequently, your heart gets the day off, and your life is led by the heart of Christ. For one day His priorities govern your actions; His passions drive your decisions; and His love directs your behavior.
What would you be like? Would people notice a change in you? Your family—would they see something new? Your coworkers—would they sense a difference? What about the less fortunate? Would you treat them the same? And your friends? Would they detect more joy in you? How about your enemies? Would they receive more mercy from Christ’s heart than from yours?
And what about YOU? How would YOU feel? What alterations would this transplant have upon your stress level? Your mood swings? Your temper? Would you sleep better? Would you see sunsets in a different way? Death differently? Taxes differently? Any chance you’d need fewer aspirin or sedatives? How about your reaction to traffic delays? Would you still dread what you are dreading? Better yet, would you still do what you are doing?
Would you still do what you had planned to do for the next twenty-four hours? Would you still plan to do tonight what you did last night when nobody was looking? Pause and think about your schedule. Obligations. Engagements. Outings. Appointments. With Jesus taking over your heart, would anything change?
Keep working on this for a moment. Adjust the lens of your imagination until you have a clear picture of Jesus leading your life, then snap the shutter and frame the image. And what you will see is what God wants and what God desires. Simply put, GOD wants you to “think and act like Christ Jesus”. Philippians 2:5 conversely says, ‘Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus’.
Brothers and Sisters, let us be clear that God’s plan for us today is nothing short of a pure heart. If you were a car, God would want control of your engine. If you were a computer, God would claim the software and the hard drive. If you were an airplane, he’d take his seat in the cockpit. But you are a person, so God wants a heart and holy and pure.
Ephesians 4:23-24 says, “23 And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; 24 And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.”
Mark it Down: God wants you to be just like Jesus. He wants you to have a heart like His.
If a sentence or two could capture God’s desire for each of us, it might read like this:
God loves you just the way you are, but he refuses to leave you that way. He wants you to be just like Jesus.
Get That: God loves you just the way you are. If you think his love for you would be stronger if your faith were, you are wrong. If you think his love would be deeper if your thoughts were, you are wrong again.
In First Samuel 16, the coming of Samuel to Bethlehem troubled the entire community. God’s prophet was on a mission to anoint the next king of Israel, those to whom were called the promised people of Yahweh. While God had not yet informed Samuel the identity of the future monarch, He had revealed that the prophet is to go down to Jesse’s house, and there examine the household of Jesse. It is a simple yet significant reminder that every now and then, God will give out instructions and directives without the convenience of further information or intricate details. After the sacrifice, the impressive family of Jesse began to “pass in review before Samuel.” No doubt the HANDS of Eliab impressed Samuel as he says: “How strong he is, Lord. Those hands could handle the sword and spear in battle against the adversary.” But God reveals to Samuel that Eliab is not the one. If the HANDS of Eliab were not enough, probably the HEAD of Abinadab impresses him. He rationalizes and says, “Lord, here is Jesse’s most intelligent son. He has been to the best school, has the highest GPA and graduated Summa Cum Laude. Certainly Israel will need someone who has the intellectual ability and academic strength.” But God says to Samuel, ‘He’s not the one.” It is then that the Lord reveals to the Prophet Samuel his qualifications for the one who would be called king. He says to Samuel, “For the Lord sees not as man sees; for man loos on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.” It is then that finally the unqualified, ruddy and inexperience eighth son of Jesse, by the name of David, is ushered before God’s prophet. And it is there that the youngest and most unlikely son was anointed the next king of Israel because, according to the Scripture, he was “a man after God’s own heart.” (13:14)