What is a pure heart, and how does a pure heart contribute to living a godly life? Psalm 119:9(ESV) states, “How can a young man keep his way pure [stay on the path of purity]? By guarding it [living] according to your word.” [NIV in brackets] NAS says, “By keeping it according to Your Word.” The pronoun “it” refers to our way, journey, or life.
How do you guard your way or live according to God’s Word?
The only way to keep our way pure is to have a pure heart. To have a pure heart, you need pure thoughts. Heart means inner man, mind, and will, which also refers to the soul. The Webster dictionary says the soul is also our mind, emotions, and will. Some people credit the soul as containing our sense of morality and conscience with the functions of thinking and willing.
Pure thoughts could be thinking good about people, even those we disagree with or do not particularly like. Think pure thoughts about the opposite sex instead of obscene imaginations. 2Timothy 2:22 states, “So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.” How are you pursuing righteousness, faith, love, and peace? I covered this in my last post called How to Pursue and Achieve Godly Character.
Pure thoughts lead to godly life choices. For example, godly people choose to view movies and TV shows or read material that generates pure thoughts. In Psalms 101:3a, King David said, “I will set no worthless thing before my eyes;” Make this verse your priority to protect your mind from wicked and evil words and images because when your thoughts are pure, then your heart will be pure. Matthew 15:19-20a states, “For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander. These are what defile a person.” Therefore, if you want to live a pure and godly life, fill your mind with God’s Word and live according to what you know is God’s will.
For example, if you think an unkind thought about someone or you want to complain, it will inevitably come out of your mouth. Purify wrong thinking using God’s Word. Colossians 3:13 states, “[Bear] with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.” So I ask God to forgive me for my critical attitude, complaining, and not bearing with those who irritate me. Then I obey the command to forbear, forgive, and find something to be thankful about.
Only as we obey biblical truth and put off our old self with its wrong thinking and false beliefs then put on a new self in the righteousness and holiness of God can we have godly thoughts and love others well (see Ephesians 4:17-32 and Colossians 3:5-17). 1Peter 1:22-23 states, “Having purified your souls by your obedience to the truth for a sincere brotherly love, love one another earnestly from a pure heart, since you have been born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God.” The living and abiding Word of God is Jesus. John 1:1-2, 14 states, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. 14) And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.” When we are born again of the Spirit (John 3:3-6), we receive the Holy Spirit of Jesus and get a new life. Only through Jesus Christ’s divine power in us can we love from a pure heart and live godly lives, which I covered extensively in my last post.
What blocks us from loving with a pure heart?
Something pure has no contaminates. A pure gem has no marks or imperfections. The number one contaminate of our hearts is resentment from unfair and unkind words and actions done against us. Read my related post called How to Recognize and Eliminate Emotional Cancer. Pride is another contaminate. Read the related post called #1 Destroyer of All Relationships and the Solution. Other contaminates in our hearts can be offenses, unforgiveness, guilt, fear, fleshly desires, worldliness, etc. I wrote a post on how to love from a pure heart called Love from a Pure Heart. I also wrote two posts on why and how to purify your heart Why Heal Your Heart and Purify Your Soul? and Five Steps to Heal Your Heart and Purify Your Soul. You also might like to read Three Steps to Renew Your Mind (Part Two)
If our hearts are contaminated by sin and worldliness, then we can’t seek God with all our hearts. Psalm 119:10 states, “With my whole heart I seek you; let me not wander from your commandments [Word]! What keeps us from seeking God with all our heart and soul? The answer is basically anything that distracts us from obeying God’s Word. It could be worldly activities, TV, sin, grief, unforgiveness, curses, wrong thoughts, false beliefs, worries, etc. We need to remove the blocks in our heart before we can seek God with all our hearts. To learn how to remove blocks in your heart, read my short book on my website called Hope For Complete Healing.
Why should we have a pure heart and live godly lives? We will be blessed. Psalm 119:2-3 states, “Blessed are those who keep his testimonies, who seek him with their whole heart, who also do no wrong, but walk in his ways!” One of the best ways to purify your soul and live a godly life is to memorize scripture and practice them. Psalm 119:11 states, “I have stored [hidden] up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.” On the one hand, we know what we need to do; on the other hand, what is our plan to achieve the task of storing God’s Word in our hearts?
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