Sorting our heart
December 3, 2021, 9:53 AM

Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. Matthew 5:8

Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Psalm 51:10

As I sort through laundry this morning to load the washer, I remind when I first started doing laundry on my own. My dad always did the laundry as a kid, he would gripe about me coming in and dump mounds of clothes in the laundry room and not separating them. I never paid much attention, so when the time came for me to do my own laundry I just tossed all my dirty clothes along with some detergent in the washer and waited. 

Once it stopped, and I opened up the lid and started pulling things out to throw them in the dryer and I recognized that my bright red work shirts had bled on everything in the washer. Everything from my undershirts, jeans, and socks, it was a full-blown laundry disaster. 

Struggling to not mix isn't strictly a laundry issue; it's something we must sort out when it comes to our faith. A tension many followers of Christ face is how to influence culture without allowing culture to control us. How can we be a part of the world while avoiding giving pieces of our hearts away in the process? 

In today's passage, Jesus offers a blessing; those PURE in heart will see God. The word pure means something not mixed or altered with any other substance or material. Maybe it's just me, but I look at my life and feel defeated hearing these words. 

Failing to protect my eyes, check my emotions, and guard my mind left the most crucial part of me, my heart, susceptible and vulnerable. Thanks to my diluted heart, I resign myself to believing that the promise of seeing God isn't in the cards for me. To combat my frustration, I resolve to work harder and try to clean up my act. I reason that by sure will-power, I can turn the tide and scrub away the stains. Maybe if I look good on the outside, that will gain me God's favor. I spend my days on a repeated spin cycle of futility, frustration, and hopelessness - all of my strivings amount to nothing more than filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6). 

The reality is I can't do it on my own. Neither can you. But, that doesn't mean all hope is lost or that the promise is void. The cross blotted out our sin and bleached out our transgressions. Because of Christ's sacrifice, we can exchange our hearts of stone. Create in me a pure heart. Renew a steadfast spirit within me. These are petitions of desperation but do not mistake them as pleading with God to be accepted. We already are. We have a new heart.

They are desperate prayers to remain focused on this reality and allow it to shape everything about us. It's through this relentless pursuit that we recognize everything this world offers us pales in comparison to the love, hope, and forgiveness Christ provides. And in doing so, we see God for what He is - worthy of our heart's affection and devotion. Have you asked God to search your heart and expose the messy places? 

Prayer: Father God, when I search my heart, I'm confronted by its messy state. Create in me a pure heart. Lord help me pursue You above all else, knowing You are the only place where real purpose, satisfaction, and security reside. May I renew my mind daily, focusing on the reality of Your love, the thing that defines me at my core. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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