Who Are the Pure in Heart?

August 19, 2010 § 1 Comment

In the Bible the heart stands for the seat, source, reservoir and instigator of our thoughts, attitudes, desires, character and motivation. It is synonymous with our modern use of “mind,” since the mind is where we hold knowledge, attitudes, motivations, affections, desires, likes and dislikes.

God describes the pure in heart in the following verses. Read and think on these verses and find the freedom pursuing purity brings to your life.

– those that see God often (Matthew 5:8)
– those that think on pure things (Philippians 4:8)
– those that carefully screen their associations (I Timothy 5:22)
– those that follow after righteousness (II Timothy 2:22)
– those that discern purity (Titus 1:15)
– those that draw near to God (Hebrews 10:22)
– those that compelled to love those God loved (James 1:27)
– those that seek wisdom of God (James 3:17)
– those that obey God (I Peter 1:22)
– those that welcome instruction (II Peter 3:1)
– those that continue to examine themselves (I John 3:3)
– those that hate what God hates (Proverbs 6:16-19)
– those that care about their witness (1 Thessalonians 5:22)

“Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”
– Psalm 139:23-24

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Class Notes on Lesson One: Pondering Purity

August 4, 2010 § 4 Comments

On Monday, August 2nd, we began a new six-week study called Pursuing Purity:  A Bible Study for Women.   This lesson includes a list of questions to stir thinking on all topics included in the Study. Below are notes from the class.

Lesson One:  Pondering Purity
(Questionnaire)

I was surprised to hear a member say that one benefit from pursuing a pure life was living without fear. This was a new perspective. I hadn’t considered the fear factor.  Pursuing a life of purity does indeed remove fear.

Lesson Two:  Purity in Order
(Power, Protection and Peace)

One member mentioned that if we pray the blood of Jesus our prayers are powerful and this is true. But, is it true if we are not pursuing purity in our lives?  Can this limit the power of our prayers?

Another member mentioned that genuine, heartfelt prayers are powerful and this is also true. But, is sincerity enough to fortify our prayers?

We discussed protection and how pursuing a pure life will protect us.  If we live unrestrained lives with no attention to purity, doesn’t that limit our protection?  Sometimes God lifts protection in order for us to reap what we have sown.

Lesson Three:  Purity in the Obvious
(Flirting, Flattery, and Foolishness)

As you can imagine, we all had comments on these topics.  One member stated “I don’t know about that because I don’t do that.” which begged the response that came by another member “But you know it when you see it.”

We took a close look at flirting and flattery and discussed the distinction between them. Flirting always has a sexual component, whereas flattery may or may not.  Flirting is basically sexual amusement which is sexual immorality. Flattery is deception hidden within excessive, insincere praise.

Lesson Four:  Purity in the Obscure
(Meandering, Modesty, and Meekness)

There was much discussion on this topic. We considered the definition of meandering being the state of wandering aimlessly from thing to thing or idea to idea. A pursuit of purity in this area would prevent a woman from becoming like those found in II Timothy 3:6-­7.

Concerning meekness, this discussion carried great encouragement for the class. We spoke of I Peter 3:4 and why God considered a ‘meek and quiet spirit‘ of ‘great price.’  It is because God knows what it takes to be meek, to rule our tongues, calm our anger, and so forth.

Of modesty, we all laughed when one member recounted a visiting preacher’s comment of “Best thing to do it keep your privates private.”

Lesson Five:  Purity in the Oblivious
(Authority, Appearance, and Appetite)

Because class time ran short, we briefly touched on this topic. We did speak briefly on appearance and appetite.  How does a woman pursuing purity seem to others? In her demeanor, in her body language, in her clothing, does she appear to others as a daughter of the King?

When we discussed appetite, the discussion centered on fantasizing.  Do our appetites and desires allow fantasizing  that pollute our hearts?

Lesson Six:  Purity in the Obedient
(Status, Satisfaction, and Substance)

Checking the pulse of the group, I made mention of the voicemail I’d received from a popular Christian Musician, and then asked “Did my status just jump up in your mind?”

Pursuing purity will refocus what impresses us. When we realize that every other person’s heart is as wicked as our own, we can honor another only when their efforts or achievements matter to God. Otherwise, we will fall into idol worship.

Finally, we one question in the ‘Into the Word’ section spoke volumes to us.  II Samuel 22:27, Psalm 18:26, and Titus 1:15 all revealed to us a great truth.  How we react or see God reveals the condition of our hearts.  Those who see God as hostile have unsavory or hostile hearts. Those who see God as loving and just have loving and just hearts.

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