“‘Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God’” (Matthew 5:8).
Throughout Scripture the heart is used metaphorically to represent the inner person, the seat of motives and attitudes, the center of personality. But in Scripture it also includes the thinking process, particularly the will. Proverbs 23:7 says, “As [a man] thinketh in his heart, so is he” (kjv). The heart is the control center of the mind and will, as well as emotion.
Jesus said that it is in the inner person, in the core of our very being, that God requires purity. This was not a new truth but an old one long forgotten in ceremony and tradition. “Watch over your heart with all diligence, for from it flow the springs of life,” counseled the writer of Proverbs 4:23.
God has always been concerned above all else with the condition of a person’s heart. When the Lord called Saul to be Israel’s first king, “God changed his heart” (1 Sam. 10:9). Until then Saul had been handsome and athletic, but not much more. Soon the new king began to revert to his old heart patterns. He refused to live by the new heart God had given him.
Consequently, the Lord took the kingdom from Saul and gave it to David because David was “a man after [God’s] own heart” (1 Sam. 13:14). David’s deepest desire was, “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my rock and my Redeemer” (Ps. 19:14). May that be your desire as well.
What are some things you’ve learned about your heart over the years? What motivates it to action? How trustworthy is it? Where does it usually like to lead you? When do its passions most vividly fire into flame? How inclined is it to purity?
From Daily Readings from the Life of Christ, Vol. 1, John MacArthur. Copyright © 2008. Used by permission of Moody Publishers, Chicago, IL 60610, www.moodypublishers.com.