Updated: Jun 1, 2022
I’m a sucker for those wholesome videos on the internet. I love to watch soldiers reuniting with their families, or the innocent laugh of a baby, or the unlikely friendships between animals that are oftentimes natural enemies.
These videos are the best! I don’t know anybody that doesn’t like to watch videos like this. Why? Because they’re pure! I think we’re starving for purity in a culture that is obsessed with things that aren’t good for us. We seek out vulgarity and shock value, and this is why there is such a high value on purity.
Before we go any further I want to define what I’m talking about when I say purity. When I say pure I’m saying “Free from contamination. Clean, especially in God’s eyes”
There is such a high price on purity because the Bible tells us that the pure in heart will see God.
So if you were here last week you know that we started a brand new series on seeking God. Last week we identified who God was. How can you look for something if you do not know what you’re looking for? Tonight we’re going to start unpacking how we can look for God, and more importantly, how we find God.
In Matthew 5:8 Jesus gives us a key that we simply cannot ignore,
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
So what does Jesus’ words mean? How do we have a pure heart? Let’s look at a passage in Psalm 24:3-4,
3 Who may climb the mountain of the Lord?
Who may stand in his holy place?
4 Only those whose hands and hearts are pure,
who do not worship idols
and never tell lies.
So let’s take a few minutes and unpack this passage. Who may climb the mountain of the Lord? Who may stand in His holy place?
Only those whose hands and hearts are pure
This reminds me of a funny story that happened just a few weeks ago. My daughter Brooklyn is a unicorn in our family and loves to be wide awake early in the morning. This girl wakes up usually around 5:30 like clockwork. For her birthday one of her friends got her this huge bag of marshmallows. So one morning I get up and walk into our kitchen where Brooklyn is sitting in the living room playing with some of her toys and I look over on the counter where the once full bag of marshmallows was the night before. Now it’s just an empty bag. I said, “Brooklyn, did you eat all of these?!”
I didn’t ask her because I genuinely wondered what happened to the marshmallows. I knew exactly what happened to them, she had marshmallow dust all over her little face and her hands were still sticky!
Needless to say, in the Lane house, we have to lock up our food like you have to do up in the Smokies to keep it away from bears. Watch out for the little Lane bears!
See how the Bible says, Only those whose hands and hearts are pure, We need to keep our complete focus on God, We need to fill our life with activity that points us towards God and doesn’t dirty our hands with sin.
Then the Psalmist writes, who do not worship idols.
You might think, well hey, I got that one down pat, I don’t have any statues in my room that I worship, I’m good!
But before we move on, I just want to remind you what an idol is, an idol is anything that we put above God. That can be our job, a relationship, money, a device, an idol can be anything that captures our heart away from God.
An important self exercise is to constantly evaluate the “Things” in your life and see where we’re placing our priorities. Are they on God, or are they elsewhere?
Here’s the truth, it’s easy for a person who is prone to sin to pick up an idol. How do I know? Because I’m prone to this.
I remember one time early in our marriage Lauren and I were really struggling financially. I had two jobs and she had one and we were trying to make ends meet. I was riddled with anxiety and I remember, in fact I’ll never forget the words that my beautiful wife said to me one night,
This job, your paycheck, your boss, those things are not your source. Your source is God.
The truth is I got my focus off of who my source was, I believed I was my own source and I was crippled by anxiety, worry and frustration. Those are the fruits of idolatry.
I needed to purify my heart, focus on Him, and when I did that I was able to see God’s hand in my life, taking care of us. If you want to see God, purify your heart, and live your life focused on God.
Remember Jesus’ words in Matthew 5:8, Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
Tonight we’re going to split up into small groups to talk this one out but before we do that I want to remind you of something that is important. You might be sitting here thinking, dude, I’m not sure my hands can get clean,
First, look at John 3:17, God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him.
God isn’t looking to judge you, God is looking to rescue you. We just need to surrender to Him. How do we do that? I think David does an excellent job of this in Psalm 51,
Have mercy on me, O God,
because of your unfailing love.
Because of your great compassion,
blot out the stain of my sins.
2 Wash me clean from my guilt.
Purify me from my sin.
3 For I recognize my rebellion;
it haunts me day and night.
4 Against you, and you alone, have I sinned;
I have done what is evil in your sight.
You will be proved right in what you say,
and your judgment against me is just.
5 For I was born a sinner—
yes, from the moment my mother conceived me.
6 But you desire honesty from the womb,
teaching me wisdom even there.
7 Purify me from my sins, and I will be clean;
wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.
8 Oh, give me back my joy again;
you have broken me—
now let me rejoice.
9 Don’t keep looking at my sins.
Remove the stain of my guilt.
10 Create in me a clean heart, O God.
Renew a loyal spirit within me.
When we Go to our heavenly father, He embraces us and forgives us. All we have to do is surrender and ask Him to make our hearts pure again.
A surrendered heart is a pure heart.