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Awaken 2019: A Pure Heart

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“Who may ascend into the hill of the Lord? And who may stand in His holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who has not lifted up his soul to falsehood and has not sworn deceitfully. He shall receive a blessing from the Lord and righteousness from the God of his salvation.” - Psalm 24:3-5

Over and over again, the Bible communicates the significance of the heart. However, the word heart in the Bible has meaning beyond a blood-pumping organ in the human body. The word heart is a reference to who we really are on the inside. One example of the heart being referenced this way in the Old Testament is Proverbs 4:23 which says, Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.” This verse emphasizes that the purity of our hearts is of the utmost importance. Additionally, in the New Testament, Jesus made a similar point during the greatest sermon in history when He connected the purity of our hearts with the depth in which we experience God (Matthew 5:8). Henry Blackaby gives great application of biblical realities such as these in his book Fresh Encounters by saying, “You cannot continue to practice sin and simultaneously experience spiritual renewal.”

Today’s verses from the book of Psalms communicate yet another reality about the heart. After asking two very significant questions about nearness to God in verse 3, the Psalmist, David, lists some of the highest priorities for those who walk closest with the Lord, and one of them is a pure heart (v. 4). The Bible is clear and consistent: one of the most critical aspects of life is the purity of the heart.  

As you begin 2019, be encouraged by the fact that one of the ways God desires to work in your life is by making you pure. First and foremost, He desires for you to be made pure on the inside by receiving the forgiveness and life He offers. Be assured today that God desires a personal, eternal relationship with you. The way to enter into this relationship is by placing your faith in God’s Son, Jesus Christ (Romans 10:9). Secondly, on a daily basis, God desires for you to pursue a life of purity that will pave the way for you to experience real fellowship with Him. Through Jesus Christ, a way has been made for you to be given a pure heart on the inside that results in a pure life on the outside.  

In conclusion, take some time to read and reflect on the following questions:

  • How is God speaking to you about the condition of your heart? See Psalm 26:2
  • Do you have a personal relationship with God? See John 3:16, John 14:6
  • Are you consistently examining the things that influence your life? See Philippians 4:8

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Collateral Blessing

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"Therefore do not be anxious, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all." Matthew 6:31-32

If you've ever watched even a single soap opera episode, chances are you have seen a case of amnesia. A traumatic event happens to an otherwise happy, successful person and he or she can no longer remember who they are and how they are connected with others. While (thankfully) this ailment seems infinitely more common on daytime television than real life, there is a parallel for us. In this passage, Jesus teaches us of the danger of spiritual amnesia: forgetting who we are in relationship to our heavenly Father. What distinguishes us from the world apart from Christ is nothing more than the grace of God that has transformed our lives and given us a new identity as His children. When we surrender to spiritual amnesia through worry, we also give up the opportunity to show a hurting world how knowing God our Father can change everything for them too.

Prayer:

What friend, family member or co-worker needs to see your confidence in your heavenly Father today?

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