Who is pure in heart? Only those who have completely given their hearts to Jesus, so that he alone rules in them. Only those who do not stain their hearts with their own evil, but also not with their own good.
A pure heart is the simple heart of a child, who does not know about good and evil, the heart of Adam before the fall, the heart in which the will of Jesus rules instead of one's own conscience.... A pure heart is pure of good and evil; it belongs entirely and undivided to Christ; it looks only to him, who goes on ahead. Those alone will see God who in this life have looked only to Jesus Christ, the Son of God. Their hearts are free of defiling images; they are not pulled back and forth by the various wishes and intentions of their own. Their hearts are fully absorbed in seeing God. They will see God whose hearts mirror the image of Jesus Christ.
"Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God." Matthew 5:8
Questions to Ponder
How is it possible to live in our complex world and still give your heart "completely" to Jesus?
What does it mean to say that people can "stain their hearts...with their own good"?
How would those whose "hearts mirror the image of Jesus Christ" relate to other people, both friends and strangers?
Who shall ascend the hill of the Lord?
And who shall stand in his holy place?
Those who have clean hands and pure hearts,
who do not lift up their souls to what is false,
and do not swear deceitfully.
They will receive blessing from the Lord,
and vindication from the God of their salvation. Psalm 24:3-5
Bonhoeffer wrote that: "A pure heart is the simple heart of a child..." Think back to when you were a child. How did you see things differently as a child than you do now as an adult?
What, if any, are the "defiling images" that stand between you and the vision of God? How might you begin to cleanse your heart of them?
What, if any, are your various "wishes and intentions" that pull you "back and forth" and prevent you from seeing God? How might you begin to become free of them?
Pray for all the children that you know (and then pray for all children) that they would be protected from the "defiling images" culture tries to entice them with.
Prayer for Today
Lord, help me to will one thing: to belong entirely and undividedly to you.
40-Day Journey with Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Copyright © 2007 Augsburg Books, imprint of Augsburg Fortress.