Pure in heart

Most of the time my mind is going in a million different directions. If you ask me something, and I request some time to think about it and get back with you, I’d better put it in my iPhone immediately and set a reminder. If not, I’ll forget about it within 30 seconds. I don’t know if it’s my hyper-dependence on electronic gadgetry, the inevitable effects of getting older, or just an easily distracted mind. Or maybe some combination of the three.

I suspect I’m not alone. If Satan can’t get us to abandon Christ, he’ll just make us so busy that the Lord is just another thing on our to-do list.

Bed made? Check. Exercise? Check. Kids up and dressed? Check (sorta). Quick prayer as I run out the door with a bagel in one hand and briefcase in the other? Check.

And so the day goes. Whisper a quick prayer before eating lunch at your desk, and an exhausted Thank-you-for-getting-me-through-this-day prayer before sinking into oblivion to prepare to rinse and repeat the next day.

To that kind of mind—my mind and yours—Jesus says, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God” (Matthew 5:8).

Much of my life I’ve thought that meant that I need to keep my heart clean—keep the garbage and sinful thoughts out—but I’m not sure that’s exactly right, at least not here.

I think Jesus meant that my heart doesn’t need to get too full—full of distractions, to-do lists, chores, deadlines, stresses. As one commentator puts it, “The ‘pure in heart’ exhibit a single-minded devotion to God that stems from the internal cleansing created by following Jesus” (Craig Blomberg, p. 100).

A single-minded devotion. That’s what I need. It’s what you need.

Something that’s pure is unmixed, unadulterated. Pure water or pure gold or pure milk has nothing added to it to dilute its value.

Same with us. God wants to fill our hearts with him so that there’s no room for anything else. That doesn’t mean, of course, that we won’t have concerns about work or school or bills. But it does mean that we filter everything in our lives through him.

God doesn’t want just one part of our mind. He doesn’t want just a little slice of it, but he also doesn’t want the biggest slice. He’s not one of many jostling for a little bit of our time and attention.

He wants it all.

And once he’s got it, all those distractions and worries seem so much smaller.

Once he’s got it, then you and I will see God everywhere we look.

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