Growing In Faith
In Proverbs, we are warned, “Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life." (4:23, NLT)
It’s true… our “heart” (the spiritual center of our attitude and wellspring of our life) has the power to bring life, refreshment, vitality, and fruitfulness to us, but, when it is poisoned with a toxic attitude and cultural and spiritual pollutants, it can produce spiritual, emotional, and physical disease. It can even lead to destruction and death (physically and spiritually). What is more, the toxic condition of our heart has the potential of polluting entire organizations, neighborhoods, congregations, and networks of friends. The pollution may even influence and impact cities, regions, and nations!
So, why keep our hearts pure? Purity benefits you in several important ways. Do not underestimate its value in your life or the negative consequences of impurity. The most significant benefit of purity is that it allows you to enter into God’s holy presence. The Bible says, “God blesses those whose hearts are pure, for they will see God.” (Matthew 5:8, NLT) Eternal life is only possible by receiving forgiveness of sins through faith in Jesus Christ. It also promotes caution, discernment, and good choices while preventing corruption in thought, word, and deed. It highlights faults in your life and spurs you toward godliness, honoring the conscience God gave you. It also inspires you to avoid stumbling blocks and helps you live free of guilt and regret.
Striving for and maintaining purity affects all aspects of your life. A pure heart will show in your thoughts, words, choices, attitudes, relationships, and more. Remember that your pure living benefits not only you but also those who are close to you.
Be sure to honor the Lord Jesus Christ “who gave Himself for us to redeem us from every kind of sin, to cleanse us, and to make us his very own people, totally committed to doing good deeds.” (Titus 2:14, NLT)
Oh, what a challenge… “Keep your heart with all vigilance!” (Proverbs 4:23, ESV) I know I want a pure heart, and God has the power to cleanse and purify it! With the help of the Holy Spirit, the cleansing power of the blood of Jesus shed for my sin and yours on the cross (1 John 1:7-9), and our personal vigilance (i.e. our attention to personal spiritual hygiene), our hearts can be kept pure! And keep this in mind: the impact of that will not only be felt personally – it has the power to influence a great many others!