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Being Authentic

February 14th, 2014

“God blesses those whose hearts are pure.” Matthew 5:8 NLT.

Purity of heart is the greatest deterrent to the presence and progress of impurity.

My thoughts and comments today are about “being authentic.”

Purity does not come easily in a culture that too often denigrates what is pure and celebrates what is not. Impurity begins in the most subtle of ways, but grows incrementally with each unnoticed tolerance or indulgence. From our study of the Beatitudes (Matthew 5:1-12), we have considered Jesus’ teaching that an exemplary life is: “being real, compassionate, submissive, satisfied, and merciful.” Jesus had more to say. (6) “Being Authentic.” To those who zealously guard their inner life, God is revealed. “God blesses those whose hearts are pure, for they shall see God.” Matthew 5:8 NLT. What obstructs your heart obscures God from sight.

Establishing and keeping a pure heart in today’s world is no small task; thankfully, that undertaking is not left to you alone. God gives you spiritual resources that are available and ample – the Word of God to instruct you, the love of God to enfold you, the Holy Spirit to empower you, and the fellowship of others to encourage you. The Bible says, “Pay attention to what I say. Listen carefully. Don’t lose sight of my words. Let them penetrate deep within your heart, for they bring life and radiant health to anyone who discovers their meaning.” Proverbs 4:21-22 NLT.

Purity begins in the heart, as does impurity. “Above all else, guard your heart, for it affects everything you do.” Proverbs 4:23 NLT. Impurity is not the inevitable byproduct of your environs; if that were so, there would be no one pure. From a Roman prison, Paul wrote of those forced to live and serve in the midst of the evil and debauchery of the Roman Emperor Nero, “All the saints greet you, but especially those who are of Caesar’s household.” Philippians 4:22 NKJV. An impure culture is no excuse for an impure life.

“Everything is pure to those whose hearts are pure. But nothing is pure to those who are corrupt and unbelieving, because their minds and consciences are defiled. Titus 1:15-16 NLT. Impurity simply fills the places left void of that which is pure. Purity commences, continues, and concludes with the condition of your heart. Read Mark 12:30 NLT. Purity of heart and mind is the greatest deterrent to the presence and progress of impurity. Read Luke 6:45 NIV. “Finally, brethren . . whatever things are pure . .  meditate on these things.” Philippians 4:8 NKJV.

Jesus’ severest rebuke was to the Pharisees, “You are so careful to clean the outside of the cup and the dish, but inside you are filthy – full of greed and self-indulgence . . You try to look like upright people outwardly, but inside your hearts are filled with hypocrisy and lawlessness. .”  Matthew 23:25/28 NLT. Being pure means living with integrity, and without pretense. God is interested in internal matters rather than external manners. The purer your heart before God and man the clearer you see yourself and others as God sees. Read Psalm 15:1-2 NIV.

This is the prayer for purity: “Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me . . and see if there is any wicked way in me . .  May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O Lord.” Psalm 139:23-24 NKJV/Psalm 19:14 NIV.  

My prayer for you today is that you live with authenticity before God and man.

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