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Text Box: The 6th Step: Be Transparent!



Text Box: (Matthew 5:8 NIV) Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
(Matthew 5:8 GWT)  Blessed are those whose thoughts are pure. They will see God.
(Psalms 24:3-5 NIV)  Who may ascend the hill of the LORD? Who may stand in his holy place?  He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not lift up his soul to an idol or swear by what is false.  He will receive blessing from the LORD and vindication from God his Savior.
(Psalms 51:10 NIV)  Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
(Hebrews 10:22 NIV)  Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.
(1 Peter 1:22 NIV)  Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for your brothers, love one another deeply, from the heart.
(Proverbs 15:26 NIV)  The LORD detests the thoughts of the wicked, but those of the pure are pleasing to him.

Text Box: We’re at the end of another trio of beatitudes. Just like poverty in Spirit + penitent attitude = meekness, filled with righteousness + filled with compassion = purity of heart.
The combination of knowing God’s will (being filled with righteousness) and forsaking your own will (being compassionate) produces a soldier of Christ who is pure at heart.   This person can see God working in his life and all around him. The pure in heart are only concerned about what they can be and do for others.  They use whatever God provides for them for the benefit of others. They see God in everything and everything they do is related and has an impact on their relationship with God.  They are tuned into the Spirit (Romans 8:5-10; Galatians 5:16-17) as opposed to their own passions (2 Peter 2:7-10; Jude 1:16-18).
Since the pure in heart have God before them, in their heart and mind all the time, they walk knowing they are in God’s sight all the time.  In everything--what they say and what they do and how they deal with everyone--they seek to please the Lord because they know they are in God’s plain sight.  They have nothing to hide.
(Psalms 15 NIV) LORD, who may dwell in your sanctuary? Who may live on your holy hill?  He whose walk is blameless and who does what is righteous, who speaks the truth from his heart and has no slander on his tongue, who does his neighbor no wrong and casts no slur on his fellowman, who despises a vile man but honors those who fear the LORD, who keeps his oath even when it hurts, who lends his money without usury and does not accept a bribe against the innocent. He who does these things will never be shaken.
The pure in heart have no guile, no hidden agenda, and no secrets to keep. The pure in heart will see God, because they know God can see them.  
Purity of heart is the result of a rightly placed desire (passion): for God’s Kingdom and His Righteousness—tempered by a rightly placed motive (what moves you): compassion. Think about Jesus’ desire and what moved Him to go to the cross: salvation for you and me.
(Psalms 18:23-27 NIV)  I have been blameless before him and have kept myself from sin. The LORD has rewarded me according to my righteousness, according to the cleanness of my hands in his sight. To the faithful you show yourself faithful, to the blameless you show yourself blameless, to the pure you show yourself pure, but to the crooked you show yourself shrewd. You save the humble but bring low those whose eyes are haughty.

In His Footsteps © 1998                                                   





Text Box: The 6th Step: Be Transparent!




Knowledge can cause pride.  Read 1 Corinthians 8:1-3.  Why do you think knowledge can cause you to become puffed up?  Have you ever thought you were better than someone just because you knew something they didn’t know?  According to Paul, what is the antidote to this “puffing up”?  Is it bad to have knowledge?  Is it bad just to have knowledge by itself without love?  Read 1 John 3:16-18.  What is love?  So what are we supposed to do with knowledge, keep it to ourselves or practice it to benefit others?  Let’s examine the other side of the coin.  What if we just had compassion and no knowledge?  What would happen then?  Read Ephesians 4:11-15.  Verses 14 and 15 are the result of what?  Who has God given us to prepare us to be mature in faith and knowledge?  Can we grow in Christ without knowledge?  Can you grow in faith and knowledge all by yourself without the Body of Christ, the Church?  Now read James 1:21-25.  What saves you?  What attitude should you have towards the Word of Christ that has been planted in you?  What do you need to do with the Word?  As you can see, purity is described here as being able to see yourself clearly, as though in a mirror.  The Bible is often referred to as the mirror to our souls.  Through it we can see ourselves in a clear light and do something about it!



Just as we can allow knowledge to build up “walls” around us, we must allow compassion to break down those “walls”.  Some of us have lived behind those walls for too long, thinking that we are safe behind our “masks” that we wear.  Being pure in heart is about removing those masks and being honest with ourselves.  In the world we feel we may need to pretend.  In Christ, we must believe who we have become—children of God.  We need to be 100% Christian.  The world in us needs to decrease, as the Word in us needs to increase.  Our selfish motives and passions of the heart need to decrease, as our compassion and love for others needs to increase.  Ready for self-examination?  Describe your “old-self.  List some character and personality traits and actions other people have seen in you.  What were some walls or masks you hid behind?  If you are a young Christian, this task may be a bit more difficult unless you have a firm grip on the Word and you are honest with yourself.  Now describe the “new-self” in Christ that you see through the Word.  Do you see your worldliness diminishing?  Do you see yourself growing and maturing in faith and wisdom?  Your true colors will usually show during trials.  Read James 1:12-18.  When do blessings come to you in trials?  What causes temptations?  How de we know whether something is a blessing or a temptation?  Is it possible for you to learn to distinguish whether your motives are selfish or pure (James 4:3; 1 Thessalonians 2:3,4)?  Does God give you a way out of every temptation?  Read 1 Corinthians 10:13 to find out.



Today we will learn about “purity”.  The Greek word for “purity” is katharos.  Our English word catharsis is derived from it.  Look up catharsis in a good dictionary.  The predominant meaning of “purity” in the New Testament has to do with moral righteousness.  To live a pure life is to live a “clean” life, avoiding the stain of sin.  Read Mark 7:15.  What kinds of things have come out of you that have made you unclean?  It is interesting that the word for “unclean” is derived from the Greek word koinoo, which is to make or to consider something, common, profane or defiled.  In other words, to be “unclean” is to be “common”—like everyone else.  No wonder Jesus seeks to make us holy—which in the Greek (hagios) means “different” (1 Thessalonians 3:13; Hebrews 12:14)!  To be pure is to be clear—like clean water is transparent, and pure glass allows light to go through it unhindered (Revelation 21:18-21).  It is obvious from the description in Revelation that the gold described was so pure that you could see through it!  In those days, you could tell whether the drinking water was tainted or not by judging its clarity or transparency.  We do it today as well.  I’m sure you wouldn’t want to drink water that wasn’t clear!  Pure = clean, clear (transparent), holy.  What word pictures come to mind when thinking about these defining characteristics of purity?



Let’s learn something about the nature of sin.  Read Genesis 3:1-8. God had open fellowship with Adam and Eve before the devil instigated them against God. Satan has since then been lying to mankind, telling them they won't be separated from God and die when disobeying the Word of God.  What happened to them the moment they disobeyed God (verse 7)?  What did they try to do when they heard God coming toward them (verse 8)?  After reading this passage, what would you say we try to do whenever we sin?  Doesn’t sin teach us to cover ourselves (lie), justify and rationalize (deceive ourselves), blame and bluff and pretend (wear masks)?  Look at the reference Paul makes in 2 Corinthians 11:3,4.  It is a reminder of what the devil offered Adam and Eve: deception and separation from God.  What was Paul rebuking them about?  What was their attitude about “falsehood” (verse 4)?  Accepting or becoming tainted by anything else other than truth causes what (verse 3)?  Impurity not only causes our relationship with God to be jeopardized, but it causes our relationship with others to be compromised.  Masks keep other people from knowing you. Masks = hypocrisy.  Look at the word pictures Jesus uses in Matthew 23:25-28.



Jesus says something about those who are pure in Luke 11:34-36.  There’s a whole lot in this verse!  Think about the difference between light and darkness.  Light exposes, while darkness covers.  Also, something opaque doesn’t allow light to pass through, while transparency allows all light to pass through!  What do you think Jesus means when He refers to the “eyes” as being the “lamp” of your body?  Is He talking about how you see things (your motives/viewpoint)?  How would your motives affect how the rest of the body is lightened or darkened?  Read Titus 1:15-16.  Isn’t Paul talking about the same thing here?


May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.1 Thessalonians 5:23



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