October 08, 2021

Pure in Heart

Matthew 5:8

“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.”

—  Matthew 5:8

One of the things God detests more than anything is hypocrisy from his people. Throughout the Old Testament, God rebukes Israel for going through the motions of religion while they keep living in sin and worshiping idols.

Here Jesus picks up on that same theme. Even after we come to faith, we battle with our “old selves” as we try to live our new life in Christ. Though we sometimes obey God and show his love to others, we can also slip up and go back to our old ways. Or we might do the right things for the wrong reasons, such as giving something away while expecting to get something in return.

As we’ll see later in the Sermon on the Mount, we can show up for worship, pray, or give generously and still have a heart that is far from God. True righteousness is about more than just checking religious boxes. It’s about humbly and sincerely seeking to serve God instead of ourselves. If we are pursuing faith out of a desire for attention or personal gain, then we are hypocrites, and our worship amounts to nothing.

But when our actions come from pure faith rather than self-interest, we are able to see God and to experience his presence in a deeper way. Jesus calls us to examine our hearts and to ask God to help us truly show his love in all we do.

Father, purify my heart of sinful desires and selfish motives. Help me to serve you in humility and with pure intentions each day. Amen.

About the author — A.J. Gretz

Anthony Joseph (A.J.) Gretz is a pastor in Grandville, Michigan. He has also served churches in Ohio and in Kalamazoo, Michigan. He and his wife, Anna, have three children.

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