A Pure Heart / by Patrick Stoll

Our campus ministry has been diving into the Sermon on the Mount as told in Matthew chapter 5. As we pour into the beatitudes, there have been a few questions that have been raised by myself and several students. Jesus starts out the sermon by teaching [Mat 5:3-11 NASB] 3 "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 4 "Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. 5 "Blessed are the gentle, for they shall inherit the earth. 6 "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. 7 "Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy. 8 "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. 9 "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. 10 "Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 11 "Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me."

Each of these things in which we are blessed, also draw us closer to God and closer IN relationship with Him. One of the biggest questions that came from looking at these the past few weeks has been which beatitude do we struggle with the most. After discussing with several students, almost everyone came to the conclusion that being pure in heart is not only difficult, but tiring to commit to. The other beatitudes (righteousness, meekness, peacemaking, etc.) seem to stem and have roots in having a pure heart. For instance, if you are not pure in heart, how an you be righteous or be a peacemaker? Pure of heart goes beyond just doing the right thing or having the right attitude; it shifts into aligning with the word of God and correcting your attitude and actions to the heart of God. This starts with prayer and giving your heart over to the Spirit to guide you. This also presents and opportunity to posture yourself in the awe of the God of this universe and the understanding the love and desire for relationship with you.

When Jesus calls for righteousness, he is not calling us as Christians to hold a sign saying that gay people are going to Hell. This is not righteousness from God or from Christ. Simply, righteousness to God is Christ and His blood and our living to practice the love that he has for us and standing up for the truth that is the Gospel and not wavering from these.

Pray for a pure heart. Pray for God to revel what needs to become pure in your heart and life.

_Patrick