Pure in heart
‘Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.’
Matthew 5:8 (NIVUK)
Do you know your Niffler from your Murtlap or your Billywig from your Bowtruckle? What about a Qilin, pronounced chillin?
Not to worry, they are not real animals. Instead, they are magical beasts created through the imagination of author J. K. Rowling and they come to life in the ‘Fantastic Beasts’ films.
Just recently I was captivated by the tiny Qilin, part-dragon part-horse, who is gifted with purity and the ability to see into one’s soul. In this make-believe world the Qilins choose the next leader by bowing in front of the candidate with the purest heart.
I couldn’t help but think Qilins would be useful in the real world. We would have honest leaders with pure hearts who could be trusted. But what does it mean to have a pure heart? Jesus mentions the ‘pure in heart’ in his sermon on the mount. It says in Matthew 5:8, ‘Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God.’
At the time of Jesus people believed the heart was the central point of one’s thoughts, emotions and will. To be pure in heart one had to have no division or internal conflict between the three. In other words, to be pure in heart you had to be a person of integrity and have complete consistency in your thoughts, feelings and actions. But there is more.
The blessing of this purity is seeing God and how he is connected to everything in our lives. No matter what happens we can have peace of mind knowing God is working in our lives for his good purpose. That means even in moments of great crisis when we don’t understand what is going on, we can turn to God knowing he is in the middle of all our circumstances, so we don’t need to be anxious. We don’t need to try to manipulate things, so they turn out in our favour. To see God as the centre of all gives our lives focus and freedom, no matter what comes our way.
It sounds good doesn’t it? Who wouldn’t want to be pure in heart and be blessed with seeing God in all aspects of life? But if we are absolutely honest, we quickly realise we are incapable of such purity on our own. Our hearts are in perpetual conflict, and we often feel the need to hide the ugliness of our true thoughts, feelings and actions. There is only one individual who is truly pure in heart and that is our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. There is not, nor has there ever been, any conflict between how he thinks, feels, and acts because he is love, and one day, when his kingdom is fully realised, we will all bow before him.
Our loving Father, help us to focus on you and to follow your lead. Help us to yield to the promptings of the Holy Spirit so we may become pure in heart like you, and able to see you at the centre of our lives. In Jesus’s name, Amen.
Study by Jackie Mill
About the writer:
Jackie Mill is a minister in Grace Communion International and Co-Regional Pastor for Scotland and Ireland.
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