- Blessed Are the Pure in Heart
- Matthew 5:8
- Lyndol Loyd November 7, 2016
Celebrate LakeRidge ~ November 6, 2016
Beatitudes for Families: Blessed Are the Pure in Heart
Good morning Church! Welcome to the second week of our series called, “Beatitudes for Families” where we are looking at what’s known as the beatitudes. That simply comes from a Latin word which means Blessedness. In Mathew 5, Jesus teaches on the characteristics of those who are blessed.
Last week, we looked at “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness.” Next week, we’re going to see that “Blessed are those who are peace makers.” In our homes today, we have a lot of people that are peace takers, and we’re going to learn to be peace makers. And in the fourth week, we’re going to see that blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness sake.
Today, I want to apply one of the beatitudes to our families as we ask God to bless our homes. Because, honestly, many of our families are struggling so we want to talk about how with God’s help we can turn that around – no matter if you are parenting small children or teenagers, dealing with adult child and parent relational issues or trying to figure out what the role of grandparent is supposed to be. No matter if you are a brother, sister, mother, father, aunt, uncle, cousin, grandpa or grandma this series is for you.
Back when I was a kid life was dangerous for children. I didn’t have a car seat. Most of the time I didn’t even have a seat belt. When I learned to ride a bike I didn’t have a helmet. If your bell bottom jeans got caught in your bike chain, you crashed and felt it. I jumped on Jim and JoAnn Helton’s trampoline all of the time. There wasn’t any net or a pad covering the springs. Its a wonder that I’m even alive.
What’s interesting in our culture today is people are all about protecting their kids physically. Right? I mean you put head gear on them and elbow pads before you send them out today because we’ve got to keep them safe. But yet, in our culture, when you try to protect their heart and their morals, you’re often called an overprotective parent. We’re applauded for protecting them physically but people make fun of you when you try to protect them morally.
We’re going to find that God actually calls us to protect, not only the physical nature, but to protect the purity of their hearts. I believe we have a spiritual enemy, the devil and he isn’t a little red guy with a cape, pitch fork and horns. The devil wants to rob our families of their purity, to break in, to kill, steal and destroy their innocence and their trust.
And Jesus gave us a very specific beatitude in Mathew 5:8, which is our key verse for today. He said, “Blessed are the pure in heart for they will see God.”
Now, the word “HEART” in the Greek language is the word “cardio.” We get our word cardiac from that word. And Jesus was using this as a metaphor. He wasn’t saying, “Blessed are those that have a pure organ that pumps blood through the veins.” He was using it as a metaphor to describe the emotions and the feelings, and the inner self.
Now, in our world today, it’s very common for us to believe of ourselves and of other people that, “Oh, she’s got a good heart. He’s got a good heart.” The reality is, although that’s a common saying, it’s simply not true of any of us. And let me show you in scripture.
We need to understand that without Christ, there is no such thing as a pure heart Without Christ doing heart surgery on us, there is no such thing, in any of us, as a pure or a good heart. In fact, Jeremiah 17: 9-10 says, “9 The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is? 10 But I, the Lord, search all hearts and examine secret motives. I give all people their due rewards according to what their actions deserve.”
In fact, in Ephesians 4:18-19 (NIV), the Apostle Paul said something really profound to the believers in Ephesus. He said this of those who were Gentiles, who had drifted from their faith, who were nonbelievers. He said, “18 They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts.”
They are darkened in their understandings, they’re separated from the life that God wants them to have because of their ignorance. They don’t even realize it because their hearts have grown hard to the things that matter most.
How many of you have ever walked into a movie theater that was really dark and you walked in, and you’re like, “Oh!” It’s almost like you’re hit by the darkness. Who knows what we’re talking about? It’s like, “Don’t spill the popcorn. Be careful.” Right? “Be careful.” Well, what happens after you’re in there for a few minutes? Suddenly, you can see much better. Why? Because your eyes adjust to the darkness.
Could it be that in the majority of our homes, that our families that we love are separated from the life of God because we’ve been darkened in our understanding? Because of our ignorance and our hearts have hardened, and we don’t even recognize that we’re missing seeing the goodness of God because we’ve allowed so much impurity into our families, and we don’t even know it.
He goes on to say this in verse 19, “Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, and they are full of greed.” There are few verses that might better describe our culture today. Having lost all sensitivity, our culture is giving itself over to all sorts of
sensuality and indulging in every kind of impurity.
Now, in our lives and our families, we love them, we want to protect them, we want to guard our marriages, we want to protect the next generation. And so honestly, we would never do anything like give our little babies, “Hey, here’s a bottle of poison, drink this little baby.” We would never do that. Right? We would never do that.
And yet, we’ll give our 12-year-old unlimited access to a mobile device where they can get into anything and everything that we would never want them to see, and call that absolutely normal. Moms, Dads, Aunts, Uncles, Grandparents we would take our own hard-earned money and pay to be entertained by things that honestly must break the heart of God, and that’s absolutely and completely normal in our world today.
You’ve got to ask, could it be that one of the reasons our homes are not blessed is because our hearts have been hardened? And we’ve been darkened in our understanding, and without even knowing it, we’ve lost all sensitivity, and we’re now indulging in every kind of evil.
What’s going to be different in our lives? Well, if you missed last week, we had a KEY THOUGHT that I want to revisit. You may remember it, but we’re going to have a mind shift, a different way of thinking. And here’s what we’re going to be: We
Re saying that we are not just a Christian family. But what are we? We are a Christ-centered home. Now, if you missed last week, you may ask, “What’s the difference? I don’t understand.”
Well, in our culture today, honestly and sadly, it doesn’t mean a lot to say, “You know, we’re a Christian family.” 80% of the people in our country would say that. But if you look on, you would not say 80% of them are Christ centered in the way they live; there’s a big difference. We can say, “Yeah, I’m a Christian person. You know, yeah, I kind of believe in God.” But there’s a big difference between that and saying, “Jesus is first in every way. He’s not just a part of my life, he is my life.”
And that’s exactly what the psalmist asks in Psalm119:9-10 He asks, “9 How can a young person stay on the path of purity? By living according to your word.10 I seek you with all my heart; do not let me stray from your commands.”
Well, here’s what CULTURE would tell you. Here’s what culture would say about everything: “Hey, just follow your heart. Follow your heart. You’ve got a good heart. Follow your heart.” Listen to me: That’s the dumbest advice you could give anybody. Don’t follow your heart; your heart is deceitful.
I’ve seen so many married couples who followed their heart right out of marriage into adultery. Why? “Because my heart said, “He’s hot.” “My heart said, “She looks good.” Don’t follow your heart. How can a you keep pure? Here’s how the psalmist says, “by living according to God’s word.”
“I will seek you with all my heart. Do not let me stray from your commands.” I’ve applied that verse and translated it toward the family just for application. Here’s a different translation that I made of this verse for myself. “How can our family stay on the path of purity?” “We will seek you with all of our hearts God, do not let us stray from your commands.”
The first thing we need to understand is it’s not going to happen by accident. Right? You’re not going to just get married and raise kids and 20 years later, go, “Well, doggone, they’re holy. I don’t know how it happened. I mean, they are all pure. I mean, wow! What an accident.” If we want our families to be blessed we are going to have to get intentional about it.
START WITH OURSELVES: It doesn’t matter what your role in the family is – the first thing is to start with ourselves. Number one, get your own heart right. Solomon said this in Proverbs 4:23, “23 Above all else, guard your heart for it is the wellspring of life.”
Guard your heart. So, when we’re looking at how do we behave, what do we allow into our families, what do we want to be influenced by, what do we want to read and what do we want to watch, and what kind of entertainment do we want to have, and what kind of friends are we going to allow closest to us, and what kinds of things are we going to feed our minds, and what kinds of thoughts do we want to have, how do we decide what’s right, and what’s not right?
Well, a lot of people would say, “Let your conscience be your guide.” That’s not the Bible. That is Jiminy Cricket from Pinocchio. The problem is that scripture teaches our consciences can actually be seared. In other words, we can’t trust our consciences for everything. Because, like our hearts, we can deceive ourselves so easily.
And I guarantee you, that just like me, all of us have been deceived in one way or another. “If there’s conversations that I have that are impure, CONVICT ME.” “If I’m thinking things that are impure me, convict me.” “If I’m allowing things in my home that are impure, God, convict me. Show me.” “If I’ve got relationships or friendships that take me down more than I bring them up, show me.” “If I’m being entertained by things that are wrong to you, God, show me.” “God, help me get my heart right first.”
PARENT TO THE HEART: When you’re working with your kids, parent to the heart. Most of us, we parent to the actions. In other words, all we want is the behavior, but we forget to focus on the heart.
In the old testament when Samuel was anointing a king, he looked at David in 1 Samuel 16:7 and said, “7 “Do not judge by his appearance or height, for I have rejected him. The Lord doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”
JESUS was a fanatic about the heart. In the Old Testament, scripture taught, “Don’t murder.” Then what did Jesus do? He talked to the heart. He said, “Hey, don’t even hate. If you’ve hated, you’ve committed murder in your heart.” Old Testament said, “Don’t commit adultery.” Jesus taught to the heart. He said, “If you look lustfully at a woman, you’ve already committed adultery in your heart.”
He hammered the Pharisees who had the outward behavior right. So, when we’re working with our kids, we don’t want to just settle for outward submission when there’s still inward rebellion.
And if you have a couple of kids, I can guarantee you’ve done it. One kid does something to the other kid and you say, “Go apologize.” “Fine. [Stomp, stomp, stomp], “I’m sorry you got your feelings hurt, you big baby.” Okay? Now, they did what you asked, but is their heart right? No, no, no, no, no.
So, we don’t stop loving them toward a right heart. Not just actions, but heart. “Well, you can’t go to the party.” “Fine!” [bam]. “I hate you Mom!” Okay? No, that’ not acceptable. And so, we try to work for the “why” behind the “what.” Here’s the “why,” and let’s continue to talk, and, pray and work and parent toward the heart. Because the heart really, really matters. Right actions come out of a right heart.
Now, if I haven’t offended you or made you uncomfortable yet, or raised the standard yet, the third point is for you. Okay? Number 3: First thing is we’re going to get our own heart right. Second thing is we’re going to parent to the heart. And number three, which is most important, in our homes as we want to be Christ-centered homes, we’re going to PURSUE PERFECT PURITY OF THE HEART.
We’re going to pursue perfect purity of the heart. The reason I chose the word “pursue” is because we can’t achieve it on our own, but with the help of the power of God, we’re going to pursue perfect purity. Why perfect purity? Isn’t that raising the standard a little high? Yes, that is a high standard, but anything less than perfect purity is not purity; Remember the video at the start of the sermon? It only took a few drops to contaminate the whole tank. We’re going to pursue perfect purity of the heart in our homes.
Ephesians 5:3, Paul said this: He said, “But among you there must not even be a hint of sexual immorality, or any kind of impurity” not even a hint. Not even a little bitty insy, winsy bit, not even a hint of immorality.
The question is: How much impurity do you want to let in? It is sort of like the kid who wanted to see a bad movie, just PG-13, 12-years-old. Mom said, “No.” The kid said, “Oh, there’s not a lot of bad stuff in it. There’s just a little bit of bad stuff.” The mom said, “Fine. First, I’m going to make you brownies.” The kid was pumped. She went out in the yard, got a little spoonful of dog poop, mixed them in the brownies, made the brownies, and said, “Here you go. But before you eat them, you need to know there’s just a little bit of poop in the brownies.”
“I’m not eating that. That’s gross that’s gross.” She said, “No, no, no. There’s just a little bit of poop in the brownies, just like there’s a little bit of bad stuff in your movie.”
Listen, when you find PURITY FROM THE POWER OF GOD, not just moral purity, but when God starts to change your heart, and you stop desiring what you once desired and start desiring what matters to him, “Blessed are the pure in heart for they will see God.”
Imagine if you see God answer prayers and see God use you in the lives of others, and see God make a difference through you. And see God use your spiritual gifts and see and sense the presence of God with you, and see his power at work in your life, and see his goodness following you all the days, and see him working in all things to bring about good to those who love him and are called according to his purpose. When you’re pure in heart, you can see the power of God in a way that you’d never even imagined.
Now, some of you are going to go, “Well, great for you. But oh, I’ve screwed up big time. My heart is obviously messed up, and I’ve done things that are wrong, and I’m so far off.” Listen, I relate. I messed up more than you could ever imagine. My heart is deceitful above all things. That’s why I lean on the word of God.
In Ezekiel 36:26, when God says, “26 I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.” Some of you, your heart has grown hardened.
Listen, if you’re offended today, if you’re pushing back, could it be that your heart has grown hard? “I will give you a new heart and remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.”
Because there is a standard of righteousness we cannot achieve on our own; it takes the power and goodness of our God through Jesus Christ. And when we seek him and know him, we’re not just a Christian family, we’re a Christ-centered home. And suddenly, the standard rises and the Power of God gives us a new heart and we are different.
“Blessed are the pure in heart.” “God, helps us be pure in heart so we can see you like we’ve never seen you before.” “Father, we pray today, your Holy Spirit would do heart surgery in all of our lives.”