Look in the water and you’ll see your image… but throw a rock in the water and your likeness will disappear. Look at someone in normal circumstances and they will behave in ordinary ways …but throw something like COVID19 and the threat of a national pandemic into their life and all kinds of unlovely emotions can erupt from the person. Lord, create in us a pure heart that is not shaken by the world around us. Amen.
We are to reflect God’s holiness in our lives daily, for it tells us in I Thessalonians 4:7, ” For God didn’t call us to be impure, but to live a holy life.” But it’s when our will gets in the way that the inner conflict starts between holiness and selfishness. Let’s just admit it…sin grows in every human heart, and when what we want to do goes against living a pure life, we’ll do one of two things – either we’ll rationalize our sin away, or we’ll mentally soften God’s command. But regardless of what we do, His Word won’t change…”Be holy for I am holy.”
Matthew 5:8 tells us that, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.” In II Samuel 22:21 it says, “The Lord has dealt with me according to my righteousness; according to the cleanness of my hands He has rewarded me.” The bottom line is we can only serve one Master…it’s either God or self. But when we dedicate our life to God, consecrating our whole self -mind, body, and spirit to Him… we will be able to stand blameless before Him, spreading out clean hands in prayer, our conscience clear.
Paul made it a habit of practicing gratefulness. In not only this letter to the Philippians but in his letter to the Romans he showed his appreciation and encouragement. In Romans 1:8 he writes, “First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you…” Why did he do this? Well, in Philippians 1:7 Paul goes on to add, “It is right for me to feel this way about all of you, since I have you in my heart.” Paul not only practiced a grateful heart, but he went on to affirm the good in people. For when we show appreciation, say thank you, and speak positive words into someone…they are built up, edified, and given new self-worth.
As I John 1:5 states, “God is light; in Him there is no darkness at all.” When we walk from darkness into the light of Christ, we are transformed…and we become enlightened. Gone is our old self, for now we can understand the light and truth of the Gospel. No longer to be trapped in the darkness, this new knowledge of God now resides in our heart…and the glory of God shines forth as there becomes less of us and more of Jesus in our life.
Ask yourself what you hold dear today. What is it that’s precious and cherished in your life? Is it sitting in the garage, or on your wrist, or proudly placed in your house for all to see? Or are they intangible, incorruptible things that only come from a heart where the Holy Spirit abides? Jesus tells us that if our priority is gathering up wealth and riches down here on earth…our heart will soon become a haunt of unclean lusts. But if the things we value are Godly and right, we will have treasures in heaven that will never be exhausted. (Luke 12:34)
We all are tempted and enticed by idols. Idols are everywhere, and attempt to seduce us away from the only one true thing we should be worshipping – God. If our behavior is innocent and undefiled…if our heart is uncorrupted and free from guilt we will see God more clearly. For as it says in Matthew 5:8, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.” The purer a person becomes, the more clearly they can see God, for there are no obstructions to block His face.