THE HEART OF CHRISTMAS: Week 1
HAVING A PURE HEART
“As water reflects the face, so one’s life reflects the heart.” Proverbs 27:19
The Hebrew word for “heart” doesn’t mean the organ pumping blood to your body. It’s the word “leb” (layv) and it means your whole self, your desires, and emotions, and passions.
My heart is the center of who I am.
Your life is a reflection of what is in your heart.
How does something impure become pure?
Waterborne illnesses are the number one killer in the world with 3. 4 million people dying every year. In the villages we support in Guatemala, water must be physically collected and transported for everything from cooking and cleaning to drinking and bathing. Usually, it’s the women who have to walk for miles to local springs which don’t have a sufficient supply for everyone. So, we take water purification kits to give to those in need of clean, safe water. Unclean water filtered into clean pure water is similar to how God can clean our hearts.
“Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.” Psalm 51:10
How does God make our hearts pure?
God takes my impure heart full of mixed motives, bad intentions, impure thoughts, and sin, and He makes it pure. God can turn something impure into something pure.
Get real about my heart condition.
I need to come clean about my dirty heart. That’s where we start. Because until you can admit it, you can’t deal with it.
At Celebrate Recovery, the first step people take when they want to recover is to “admit we were powerless over our addictions and compulsive behaviors.”
This applies to all of us!
“Who can say, “I have kept my heart pure; I am clean and without sin”? Proverbs 20:9
No one can truly say that!
Sin is the impurity that pollutes our heart. I sin when I do my own thing instead of God’s thing. When I say, “God, I know you have a plan for me, but I ‘m going to do my own thing instead.” Or, “God, I know you don’t want me to do that, but I’m going to do it anyway.”
Paul says, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,” Romans 3:23
All of us have sin that makes us impure.
“For the wages of sin is death…” Romans 6:23a
A wage is something you earn for something you do. God says what we do is sin and what we earn is death. Drinking impure water can be deadly, but living with an impure heart deadly too. Paul is not just talking about physical death. He’s talking about being disconnected from God for this life and for all of eternity. When our heart is impure there are serious consequences. That’s why we need to get real about our heart condition.
2. Grasp that God can change my heart.
I can’t change my heart by myself.
If we examined a random drop of seawater under a microscope, we might see something like this picture. We might look pure on the outside but on the inside, we are still impure. Only God can completely purify our heart.
“…but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 6:23b
The first Christmas gift, the gift of eternal life in Christ Jesus, is completely free. But it is not cheap! It cost the very life of Jesus! He died for anyone who opens the gift.
“Come now, let us settle the matter,” says the Lord. “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.” Isaiah 1:18
3. Give my heart fully to God.
I give my heart to God so that He can make it pure.
“We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ. And this is true for everyone who believes, no matter who we are.” Romans 3:22
When I trust God enough to give Him my heart, He changes my heart from the inside out. It doesn’t matter who you are or what you’ve done in your life, God wants to give you a pure heart.
“Surrender your heart to God, turn to him in prayer, and give up your sins—even those you do in secret.” Job 11:13-14
4. Guard my Heart.
“Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” Proverbs 4:23
The process of purification will last the rest of your life. Once you commit your heart to Him, He starts working in your life to you’re your heart pure and remove all of the impurities out of your life. You won’t ever be completely perfect in this life, but you will be making progress through the process. He gives you His Holy Spirit, His word, the Bible, and your church family to help you in the process. He will start to make you more like He created you to be. You’ll be more like Jesus, and He was totally sinless and pure.
Jesus said, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.” Matthew 5:8
If we have pure hearts, we will experience God’s power and presence in our life. We’ll see Him working in our lives. And, we will spend eternity in Heaven with Him. But on the flip side, if my heart isn’t pure, I won’t see God, and, I won’t be with God in Heaven for eternity.
God wants to give you a pure heart. All you have to do is give your heart to Him and He’ll take care of the rest. It will change your life today and forever!