October 09, 2015

Heart Purity Needed

Proverbs 5:1-6, 15-18, 21-23

[Jesus] began to teach them. . . . “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.”

—  Matthew 5:2, 8

Some of the imagery in Proverbs 5 is graphic and explicit. In a world where the exploitation of human sexuality prospers, we need warnings about what to avoid as well as encouragement to enjoy what God has intended for good.

On the day I began working on this reflection about Proverbs 5, I received an email offering help for pastors and churches dealing with issues of sexual immorality. It stated that more than two-thirds of all men in church view pornography as a prostitute substitute. The proverb’s picture of the lips of an adulteress dripping honey is clearly one of smooth speech enticing someone to sin. At the same time, the warnings about evil deeds, complete ruin, and death should prompt us all to listen closely.

Our hearts set the direction for living. Jesus promises the joy of seeing God if we are pure in heart. The pure heart knows that whatever we do, in the bedroom or the boardroom, it’s all in full view of the Lord.

Proverbs 5’s encouragement to enjoy our sexual nature (within God’s guidelines) uses word pictures about pure water. Like water, sex is essential to life as a gracious gift of God, but it requires the commitment of marriage to be expressed fully and enjoyed without shame. The pure heart knows the captivating power of love—God’s and ours. Wise hearts delight in God’s prescriptions.

Jesus, empower us to under­stand our sexual na­ture and be grateful for the gift of life. Help us to remain pure in all our relationships so that we honor you. In your name, Amen.

About the author — George Vink

Pastor George Vink has served as a pastor in the Christian Reformed Church for more than 30 years in British Columbia, Montana, Michigan, and California. He and his wife, Shirley, have four married sons and nine grandchildren.

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