Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Blessed are the Pure in Heart

Beatitude: Blessed are the pure in heart-Oasis-Inspired devo Matthew 5:8

Approximately 100 miles below ground there is some pretty crazy things happening: the element carbon is transformed into diamonds. It is still somewhat of a mystery to scientists as to how the phenomenon works but it is believed that diamonds are made from carbon subjected to high heat and a ton of pressure. High heat meaning, 2200 degrees Fahrenheit and a pressure of 725,000 pounds per square inch. Now, I am not too fond of chemistry but for some reason this just really grabs my attention (Perhaps I am like every other girl who just loves shiny things---like diamonds!). To think that the same compound in the tip of my No. 2 pencil (carbon is commonly known as graphite), has the potential to become a breath-taking diamond is crazy! What is even more mind-boggling is that here on earth; there is an even greater transformation taking place inside of the human body: the purification of the heart.

Seriously. When you’re born, your heart is not really any different than a hunk of graphite. Jealousy, success, anger, money, popularity, insecurities, sexual immorality and sin in general, create these other elements of impurity in your heart until the moment you give your life over to Jesus Christ. When that happens, you are cleansed and made new by the washing of Christ’s blood much like a solvent purifies a solution or a metal.

Check out this verse in 1 John 1:6-9

“6If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth. 7But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all[b] sin. 8If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.9If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness”

It says that the "blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin." The washing of your “graphite heart” puts you into the position of being created into a diamond. Now, just because you make the commitment to be a Christ-follower, or a diamond in our analogy, doesn’t necessarily mean bam: I am a diamond! It has to undergo some pretty high heat and pressure. How does one maintain this purity over the course of a life in all the “pressure” and “heat” ? Check out this verse in Psalm 119:9:

“How can a young man keep his way pure? By living according to your word.”

“By living according to your word.” God’s word is so honest about sin and is so obvious about the penalties of living in the ways of the world. Sometimes the pressure and heat of life doesn’t come in the form of sin but just in trials and tribulations and God, in his goodness, uses these hard times to shape us and refine us.

James 1:2-4 NIV

“2Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. 4Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”

Psalm 6:10 NIV

“For you, O God, tested us; you refined us like silver.”

Isaiah 48:10 NIV

“See, I have refined you, though not as silver; I have tested you in the furnace of affliction.”

Zechariah 13:9 NIV

“This third I will bring into the fire; I will refine them like silver and test them like gold. They will call on my name and I will answer them; I will say, 'They are my people,' and they will say, 'The LORD is our God.' "”

Malachi 3:3 NIV

“He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver; he will purify the Levites and refine them like gold and silver.”

1 Peter 1:7 NIV

“These have come so that your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.”

I think you get the idea: God is big into refining things. But why? Why is he so concerned with transforming our hearts? You see, God defines the word pure and in order for us to see Him, we need to be purified. Pastor Rick spoke on the beatitude in Matthew 5:8 which states:

“8Blessed are the pure in heart,
for they will see God.” NIV

In this message, Pastor Rick challenged us to seek the Lord on areas of our lives that need to be purified so that we can actually see God in the future.

John 1:8

“18No one has ever seen God, but God the One and Only,[a][b]who is at the Father's side, has made him known.” NIV

Hebrews 12:14

“14Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord.” NIV

1 John 3:2

“2Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when he appears,[a]we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.” NIV

Revelation 22:4

“4They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads.” NIV

Isn’t that great?!?!?! I am sorry but I cannot help but get excited to get to see the God of the Universe; my Savior and King. And this actually relates a little to our analogy in the sense that if you were to try and look through a hunk of carbon, you won’t be able to see anything, but if you were to look into a diamond that has been purified, it is clear and even reflective of itself. This somewhat relates to the verse in 1 John where it says “we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.”

My challenge for you today is to be like the Psalmist and ask God to “Create in me a pure heart, Oh God and renew a right spirit within me.” Ask God to either begin or continue to purify your heart so that when He comes, you will get to gaze upon something far more glorious than a diamond.

(Numbers and letters within the scripture used within the devotional have been copied from –check them out for cross-reference purposes!)

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