Purify Your Heart
By Lois J. Stucky (1928 – 2014)
Our God is holy and pure, and His intent for all His people is that we glorify Him by living a holy and pure life by His grace and enabling. This is inherent in Christ’s redemptive work on Calvary. We read, “…Our Savior Jesus Christ…gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto Himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works” (Titus 2:13-14). “Peculiar” is translated also as “a people for His own possession” or “clean.” “O the fullness of redemption, pledge of endless life above!” writes Fanny Crosby, and we agree.
Living a holy life begins with laying a good foundation of repentance as well as faith in Christ. Take note of Mark 1:14-15 – “...Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel...saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.” Someone has written that repentance is “turning from sin, self and Satan – to God, righteousness and truth.” It is a “right-about-face,” a full surrender to God, and a living in obedience to His Word. We who have been redeemed by “the precious blood of Christ” – do we not yearn that our lives should henceforth bear “fruits worthy of repentance”? (1 Pet. 1:18-19; Luke 3:8). Do we not aspire to live a pure, loving life that blesses others and glorifies our Lord?
When the Apostle Paul wrote to Timothy listing the abounding iniquity that would be in the world in the perilous last days, he included that many would be “unholy” (2 Tim. 3:2). What responsibility this puts upon us of the church to represent our God well in this hour by God-like living. “…As He which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation [conduct]” (1 Pet. 1:15). Might we who profess to be God’s “own possession” have a passion to live holy, purified lives, filled with the Holy Spirit.
There are diversities of teachings and experiences in regard to obtaining a pure heart. But this seems certain for all: Our hearts must earnestly desire to be holy and pleasing to our Heavenly Father, even as was His Son. We must be willing to humble ourselves and confess our need and seek Him earnestly for a pure heart. We must carefully endeavor to walk in the light of His Word and to trust His mercy and grace to us.
The holy, Spirit-filled life has the power of God resting on it to be effective in prayer and in service of every kind for God. How blessed is the home, the church, the nation where God’s blessing is resting upon a holy people!
In Proverbs 22:11 we read: “He that loveth pureness of heart, for the grace of his lips the king shall be his friend.” Perhaps it was a human king referred to when the proverb was originally written, but we can apply it to King Jesus, who counts those as His friends who “do whatsoever I command you” (John 15:14). Oh, what incentive to cleanse our hands and purify our hearts as James 4:8 exhorts, and to walk daily according to God’s Word!