Good morning, Church! The message this week, again, comes from the beatitudes in Matthew 5 as we are looking at verse 8 which says “blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God” (NRSV). Like so many others, the topic of purity is one that often gets taken and bounced around as different opinions, denominations, and belief systems take the idea of purity and redefine it based on their own criteria to prove or disprove a certain point or perspective. Today, we aren’t going to be diving too deep into the these different perspectives or looking too closely at the tangled web of purity culture, but we are going to be looking at what it means to be pure of heart in the context of Matthew and some of the ways in which we can see God when we allow our hearts to be purified by our loving creator.
Adonai – Chris Renzema
As John talks about in his sermon, the first thing we need to look at are the things that muddle and mar our hearts. Or, to put it another way, the first thing we need to look at is our heart. In Matthew 15, Jesus says “but what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this is what defiles. For out of the heart come evil intentions, murder, adultery, fornication, theft, false witness, slander. These are what defile a person” (Matthew 15:18-20, NRSV). As we worship together, let us look inwards as we think about what it means to be marred and then purified.
Pursue / All I Need Is You – Hillsong Worship
While acknowledging the ways in which we have sinned and have been hurt and stained by sin is part of the process, the next and possibly the most important step is to pursue and seek God. ‘Not sinning’ is simply not the same as having a pure heart. Longing for God – yearning for God’s presence and seeking out the evidence of God’s work, this is perhaps the greatest indicator of a heart that has been purified and brought back into alignment with our creator. It is not enough to not sin – and even if it was, no one would be able to accomplish that anyways. Though there are steps we can take to eradicate the defiling things that Jesus talks about in Matthew 15, we are incapable of removing these stains from our hearts if we cannot first seek the Lord and invite God to replace our selfish desires with a longing for God, and then allow the one who made us to carry out the process of purification.
Touch of Heaven – Hillsong Worship
Defender – Kings Kaleidoscope
“O God, you are my God, I seek you, my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water. So I have looked upon you in the sanctuary, beholding your power and glory. Because your steadfast love is better than life, my lips will praise you. So I will bless you as long as I live; I will lift up my hands and call on your name. My soul is satisfied as with a rich feast,63.5 Heb with fat and fatness and my mouth praises you with joyful lips when I think of you on my bed, and meditate on you in the watches of the night; for you have been my help, and in the shadow of your wings I sing for joy. My soul clings to you; your right hand upholds me” (Psalm 63:1-8, NRSV).
Thank you for joining us today! If you haven’t listened to this week’s sermon yet, it is posted on our YouTube channel, our website, and now as a podcast on Spotify, iTunes, and a few other platforms too! If you prefer to listen to worship music in a playlist format, don’t forget that all of these songs are also available on our Spotify playlist so that you can worship as you go about your week. Our playlist is updated every week so that the songs for the most recent message will be right at the top of the queue. We also have a newsletter that talks about more ways to connect and worship with us as a community in Christ, so if you would like to connect with us in that way there is more information about how you can do that on our website. Thanks, and God bless!