• Matt Beaney

#281 – WHAT IS THE HEART? (8/2/21)


This week we are considering the sixth Beatitude,

“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.” (Matthew 5:8)

We can define a pure heart as unmixed or sincere in its devotion to God. It’s authenticity. It’s doing things to be seen by God rather than doing things to be seen by people.


Today, we are considering what the heart is.

The heart is the centre of our being. It’s like the source of a river. The condition of our hearts will determine the course of our lives. Our lives, in fact, reveal the condition of our hearts. Jesus taught,

“Make a tree good and its fruit will be good, or make a tree bad and its fruit will be bad, for a tree is recognised by its fruit. You brood of vipers, how can you who are evil say anything good? For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of. A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him.” (Matthew 12:33-35)

The ‘fruit’ - behaviour, attitudes, beliefs…’ of our lives, like a tree, reveal our deepest nature. To be a Christian is not a change of behaviour! It’s a change of behaviour due to a transformed heart!

Rich warren describes the heart as,

‘The Bible uses the term heart to describe the bundle of desires, hopes, interests, ambitions, dreams, and affections you have. Your heart represents the source of all your motivations – what you love to do and what you care about most.’

The bible teaches that when one receives Jesus, they receive a renewed heart. Their desires are transformed by this ‘new creation’ that they have undergone. Jeremiah predicted a new era when God would change people’s hearts by the Spirit. This ‘New Covenant’ era began after Jesus poured out His Spirit at Pentecost. God had promised,

“This is the covenant I will make with them after that time, says the Lord. I will put my laws in their hearts, and I will write them on their minds.” (Hebrews 10:16)


RESPONSE

Jesus said, ‘Blessed are the pure in heart…’ If you have received Jesus as Lord and Saviour, that is the work of the Spirit changing your heart. If you desire to serve Him every day, that is the work of the Spirit in your heart - you are “Blessed”! Let’s respond with thankfulness for our renewed heart.


If you've found this blog helpful, please feel free to share it.



COMMUNITY GROUP STUDY - BLESSED ARE THE PURE IN HEART


Notices

It might be good to begin with notices. Please share from this week’s Church News.

In particular, if you are married, do sign up for our marriage evening on 13th February.


Suggested opener/Ice-breaker

Are there circumstances in which you feel that you have to put on a 'show' - you are tempted to be inauthentic?


Introduction - please share in your group

This week in our discipleship series, we are considering the sixth of the Beatitudes,

“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.” (Matthew 5:8)

We can define a pure heart as unmixed or sincere in its devotion to God. It’s authenticity. It’s doing things to be seen by God rather than doing things to be seen by people.


Jesus regularly pointed to the religious leaders of his day as those who looked good on the outside, but who were doing their acts for a show; they were often not pure in heart! Jesus said of them,

“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of the bones of the dead and everything unclean. In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness.” (Matthew 23:27-28

We are often more concerned about the outward, but Jesus is most concerned for the hidden - the motives of the heart. Jesus urges us,

“Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven. (Matthew 6:1)

On Sunday we were encouraged to move from an attitude which says, 'I want to be seen by people to be...' to 'I want to be seen by God to be'.


Discussion questions

1. Did God speak to you about anything in particular from Sunday's message or the blogs this week?

2. On Sunday we were encouraged to move from an attitude which says, 'I want to be seen by people to be...' to 'I want to be seen by God to be'. What does this mean and what does it mean for you personally?

2. Read Matthew 6:1. What are the various things that we can do as a show?

4. Read Psalm 51:10, 17 and pray for one another.


Investing and inviting

1) Who has God put into your life that we could pray for together?

2) How are you planning to 'invest and invite'?


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