Devotional Thought for Today – 11/07/2020

PSALM 32 | CONFESSION & FORGIVENESS | RISE UP - YouTube

PSALM 32 

CONTEXT: Used as one of the early church’s penitential psalms (Pss 63851102130143), this thanksgiving psalm focuses on the forgiveness of sins. The psalmist begins by extolling the blessings of forgiveness (vv. 1–2). He then shares how he suffered until he acknowledged his sin and was forgiven (vv. 3–5). He encourages the godly to pray to God, who preserved him from trouble (vv. 6–7). Yahweh then speaks, encouraging people to follow His instruction and teaching (vv. 8–9). The psalmist concludes by encouraging the righteous to rejoice in Yahweh (vv. 10–11). Faithlife Study Bible, Ps. 32

I think their are three important points to make regarding this psalm I will try and be brief: 

v.1-2 Happy or blessed is the man whose sins are forgiven. As we noted in yesterdays devotional thought I can not remember ever meeting anyone who wants to be sad or unhappy. Here David says one key to happiness is confessing our sins and being forgiven by God.

Whose transgression is forgiven. We may lull the soul asleep with carnal delights, but the virtue of that opium will be soon spent. All those joys are but stolen waters, and bread eaten in secret–a poor sorry peace that dares not come to the light and endure the trial; a sorry peace that is soon disturbed by a few serious and sober thoughts of God and the world to come; but when once sin is pardoned, then you have true joy indeed. “Be of good cheer; thy sins be forgiven thee.” Mt 9:2. Thomas Manton.

v.6-7 Prayer can never be under emphasized. C. H. Spurgeon said of prayer, the very act of prayer is a blessing” It is a twofold blessing in fact, for it blesses the person one is praying for and you who are praying. 

 For this shall every one that is godly. We are here furnished with a fact which does not appear in the history of David. It is commonly supposed that after his grievous fall, till Nathan reproved him, he had been careless and stupefied; and this has often been adduced as a proof of the hardening nature of sin. But the thing was far otherwise. He was all the while tortured in his mind, yet unwilling to humble himself before God, and condemn himself before men, as he ought to have done. He kept silence and endeavoured to pass off the distress by time, palliation, and excuse. But the repression and concealment of his anguish preyed not only upon his peace, but his health, and endangered life itself. At length he was reduced to the deepest penitence, and threw himself, by an unqualified confession, on the compassion of God. For this shall every one that is godly pray unto thee. Here we see not only that all the godly pray, but every one of them prays for pardon. This is the very thing which our Saviour teaches his disciples: “When ye pray, say, Forgive us our trespasses.” And this praying does not only regard the manifestation of forgiving mercy, as some would have it, but the exercise of it. William Jay.

v.10-11 Wicked vs. Righteous no matter the perils of life the Love of God for His chosen people will never fail. This gives us cause to rejoice even in the worst of times and especially in the best. 

O sing unto this glittering glorious King.
O praise his name let every living thing;
Let heart and voice, like bells of silver, ring
The comfort that this day doth bring.
–Kinwellmersh, quoted by A. Moody Stuart.

What is it today you need to confess and be forgiven of to be truly happy? 

 

Saturday’s Military Devotional – Hungry and Thirsty

Logos.com

AMP and RVR 1960


CONTEXT:

AT first glance this may not seem the most logical verse for a “Military” devotional but bear with me through the next two sections and I hope I can convince you otherwise.

We have here a verse from the great text known by two distinct names. First it is part of the “Sermon on the Mount” , Matthew 5-7, which Jesus preached from a mountaintop for the first time educating the larger audience and not just his immediate disciples. 

It is also part of the sermon know as the “Beatitudes” , Matthew 5:3-11,  as each verse begins with “B”lessed. 


BREAKDOWN:

Blessed are they – I keep looking for them, but have yet to find that person who says “yes sir I get up every morning and pray I will be cursed.” That would be nuts, folks want to be BLESSED, and here in these Beatitudes Jesus tells us how we can be. 

which do hunger and thirst –  I dare say that all of us have been there done that. I mean at some point in our lives we have been hungry or thirsty. Whether it was self imposed or forced upon us in some manner we have all experienced it.  So you understand the craving the deep desire to fill the need for food and drink that Jesus is referring to here. 

after righteousness: – Yet Jesus is not speaking of the physical needs of man, that would be too simple to accomplish. (Do not lecture me on the staving of the world, if society as a whole was not depraved and corrupt, we could fix that quickly). Jesus was speaking of eternal hunger and thirst

for they shall be filled. –  This life and the nourishment thereof is only temporary, eventually we all die and then eternity in Heaven or Hell kicks in. Jesus is says which is more filling the stuff of the world or God?  

 


APPLICATION:

We all need physical nourishment to survive. When I was on active duty, back in the day MRE’s had like 3000+ calories or some crazy thing. The thought was if a soldier only got one a day they were good to go. Well anyone who serves(d) knows first most MRE’s suck, and “one a day” is a vitamin not a daily meal count. We need more to survive and be combat ready and efficient. 

The same holds true for God and or future.  Here in this verse Jesus is saying what nourishment for your eternal future are you eating daily? Are you reading His Word? Are You fellowshiping with like-minded believers? Are you propagating the kingdom by sharing the Gospel message? In others words are you Filling your Spiritual Bellies

 


Today’s Questions:

Say What?

Observation: What did I read? What struck you as most meaningful?

So What?

Interpretation: What does it mean? Overall and the most meaningful? Did it change your view on being HUNGRY and THIRSTY?  

Now What?

Application: How does it apply to me?

Then What?

Implementation: What do I do? How can I start living it out today?


OTHER RESOURCES:

Check out the series on our website: Daily Devotional – The Beatitudes by Thomas Watson Part by typing in the search box. 

 

Daily Devotional – The Beatitudes by Thomas Watson Part LX

Image result for Beatitudes
Image Depicting Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount

The Beatitudes

by Thomas Watson

An Exposition of Matthew 5:1-12 

“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” (v.8)

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.”
Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.”
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.”
“Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.”
“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.”
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.”
“Blessed are those who are persecuted, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven”

Heart Purity

Let us put ourselves on TRIAL whether we are pure-hearted or not. Here I shall show the signs of an impure heart; and then, signs of a pure heart.

See the misery of an IMPURE sinner.

He shall never be admitted to the blessed sight of God. Only the pure in heart shall see God. Such as live in sin, whose souls are dyed black with the filth of hell—they shall never come where God is. They shall have an affrighting vision of God—but not a beatific vision. They shall see the flaming sword and the burning lake—but not the mercy-seat! God in Scripture is sometimes called a ‘consuming fire’, sometimes the ‘Father of lights’. The wicked shall feel the fire—but not see the light. Impure souls shall be covered with shame and darkness as with a mantle, and shall never see the king’s face. Those who would not see God in his Word and ordinances—shall not see him in his glory.

Is there such a blessed privilege after this life? Then let me persuade all who hear me this day:

1. To get into Christ. We can come to God—only by Christ. Moses when he was in the rock saw God (Exodus 33:32). Only in this blessed rock, Christ—shall we see God.

2. To be purified people. It is only the pure in heart, who shall see God. It is only a clear eye, which can behold a bright transparent object. Only those who have their hearts cleansed from sin, can have this blessed sight of God. Sin is such a cloud as, if it is not removed, will forever hinder us from seeing the Sun of Righteousness. Christian, have you upon your heart ‘holiness to the Lord’? Then you shall see God. ‘There are many,’ says Augustine, ‘who want to go to heaven—but they will not take the holy way which alone leads there!’

There are several sorts of eyes which shall never see God—the ignorant eye, the unchaste eye, the scornful eye, the malicious eye, the covetous eye. If you would see God when you die, you must be purified people while you live! ‘We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him as He is. And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself just as He is pure.’ (1 John 3:2, 3).

Let me turn myself to the PURE in heart.

1. Stand amazed at this privilege—that you who are worms crept out of the dust—should be admitted to the blessed sight of God, for all eternity! It was Moses’ prayer, ‘I beseech you, show me your glory’ (Exodus 33:18). The saints shall behold God’s glory! The pure in heart shall have the same blessedness that God himself has. For what is the blessedness of God—but the contemplating his own infinite glory and beauty!

2. Begin your sight of God here on earth. Let the eye of your faith be ever upon God. Moses by faith ‘saw him who is invisible’ (Hebrews 11:27). Often look upon him with believing eyes—whom you hope to see with glorified eyes. ‘My eyes are ever towards the Lord’ (Psalm 25:15). While others are looking towards the earth as if they would fetch all their comforts thence—let us look up to heaven! There is the best sight. The sight of God by faith would let in much joy to the soul. ‘You love Him, though you have not seen Him. And though not seeing Him now, you believe in Him and rejoice with inexpressible and glorious joy!’ (1 Peter 1:8).

3. Let this be a cordial, to revive the pure in heart. Be comforted with this—you shall shortly see God! The godly have many sights here on earth, which they do not desire to see. They see a body of death; they see evil and sin; they see unholy people wearing the mask of religion; they see the white devil. These sights occasion sorrow. But there is a blessed sight a-coming! ‘They shall see God!’ And in him, are all sparkling beauties and ravishing joys to be found!

4. Do not be discouraged at sufferings. All the hurt that affliction and death can do—is to give you a sight of God. As one said to his fellow-martyr, ‘One half-hour in glory, will make us forget all our pain!’ When the sun rises—all the dark shadows of the night flee away. When the pleasant beams of God’s countenance begin to shine upon the soul in heaven—then sorrows and sufferings shall be no more! The dark shadows of the night, shall fly away. The thoughts of this coming beatific vision, should carry a Christian full sail with joy through the waters of affliction! This made Job so willing to embrace death: ‘But as for me, I know that my Redeemer lives! And after my body has decayed, yet in my body I will see God! I will see him for myself. Yes, I will see him with my own eyes! I am overwhelmed at the thought!’ (Job 19:25-27)

Thus ends the text on Heart Purity next is the text Concerning Peaceableness

Daily Devotional – The Beatitudes by Thomas Watson Part LIX

Image result for Beatitudes
Image Depicting Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount

The Beatitudes

by Thomas Watson

An Exposition of Matthew 5:1-12 

“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” (v.8)

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.”
Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.”
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.”
“Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.”
“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.”
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.”
“Blessed are those who are persecuted, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven”

Heart Purity

Let us put ourselves on TRIAL whether we are pure-hearted or not. Here I shall show the signs of an impure heart; and then, signs of a pure heart.

The blessed PRIVILEGE of seeing God explained

“They shall see God!” Matthew 5:8

These words are linked to the former and they are a great incentive to heart-purity. The pure heart shall see the pure God. There is a double sight which the saints have of God.

1. In this life; that is, spiritually by the eye of faith. Faith sees God’s glorious attributes in the looking-glass of his Word. Faith beholds him showing forth himself through the lattice of his ordinances. Thus Moses saw him who was invisible (Hebrews 11:27). Believers see God’s glory as it were—veiled over. They behold his ‘back parts’ (Exodus 33:23).

2. In the life to come; and this glorious sight is meant in the text, ‘They shall see God.’ A glorious prospect! This divines call ‘the beatific vision’. At that day the veil will be pulled off, and God will show himself in all his glory to the soul, just as a king on a day of coronation, shows himself in all his royalty and magnificence. This sight of God, will be the heaven of heaven. We shall indeed have a sight of angels, and that will be sweet—but the quintessence of happiness and the diamond in the ring will be this—’We shall see God!’ It would be night in heaven, if the Sun of Righteousness did not shine there. It is the king’s presence, which makes the court. Absalom counted himself half-alive, unless he might see the king’s face (2 Samuel 14:32).

‘Blessed are the pure in heart—for they shall see God!’ This sight of God in glory is, first, partly mental and intellectual. We shall see him with the eyes of our mind.
But second, it is partly physical; not that we can with bodily eyes behold the bright essence of God. Indeed, some erroneously held that God had a visible shape and figure. As man was made in God’s image, so they thought that God was made in man’s image; but God is a Spirit (John 4:24), and being a Spirit, he is invisible (1 Timothy 1:17). He cannot be beheld by bodily eyes. ‘Whom no man has seen, nor can see’ (1 Timothy 6:16). A sight of his glory would overwhelm us. This wine is too strong for our weak heads.

But when I say our seeing of God in heaven is physical, my meaning is that we shall with bodily eyes behold Jesus Christ, through whom the glory of God, his wisdom, holiness, and mercy, shall shine forth to the soul. Put a back of steel to the glass—and you may see a face in it. So the human nature of Christ is as it were a back of steel through which we may see the glory of God (2 Corinthians 4:6). In this sense that scripture is to be understood, ‘With these eyes shall I see God’ (Job 19:26, 27).
Now concerning this blessed sight of God, it is so sublime and sweet, that I can only draw a dark shadow of it. We shall better understand it—when we come to heaven.

At present I shall lay down these nine MAXIMS concerning this beatific vision.

1. Our sight of God in heaven shall be a CLEAR sight. Here we see him ‘through a glass darkly’ (1 Corinthians 13:12). But through Christ we shall behold God in a very illustrious manner. God will unveil himself and show forth his glory—so far as the soul is capable to receive. If Adam had not sinned, it is probable that he would never have had such a clear sight of God—as the saints in glory shall have. ‘We shall see him as he is’ (1 John 3:2). Now we see him as he is not. There we shall see him ‘as he is’ in a very clear manner. ‘Then shall I know—even as also I am known’ (1 Corinthians 13:12), that is, ‘clearly’. Does not God know us clearly and fully? Then shall the saints know him (according to their capacity) as they are known. As their love to God, so their sight of God—shall be perfect.

2. This sight of God will be a TRANSCENDENT sight. It will surpass in glory. Such glittering beams shall sparkle forth from the Lord Jesus, as shall infinitely amaze and delight the eyes of the beholders! Imagine what a blessed sight it will be, to see Christ wearing the robe of our human nature and to see that nature sitting in glory above the angels. If God is so beautiful here in his ordinances, Word, prayer, sacraments; if there is such excellency in him when we see him by the eye of faith through the telescope of a promise, O what will it be when we shall see him ‘face to face’!
When Christ was transfigured on the mount, he was full of glory (Matthew 17:2). If his transfiguration was so glorious, what will his exaltation be! What a glorious time will it be when (as it was said of Mordecai) we shall see him in the presence of his Father, ‘arrayed in royal apparel, and with a great crown of gold upon his head’ (Esther 8:15). This will be glory beyond hyperbole! If the sun were ten thousand times brighter than it is—it could not so much as shadow out this glory. In the heavenly horizon we behold beauty in its first magnitude and highest elevation. There we shall ‘see the king in his glory’ (Isaiah 33:17). All lights are but eclipses, compared with that glorious vision. Apelles’ pencil could but blot it; angels’ tongues could but dishonor it.

3. This sight of God will be a TRANSFORMING sight. ‘We shall be like him’ (1 John 3:2). The saints shall be changed into glory. As when the light springs into a dark room, the room may be said to be changed from what it was; the saints shall so see God—as to be changed into his image! (Psalm 17:15). Here on earth, God’s people are blackened and sullied with infirmities—but in heaven they shall be as the dove covered with silver wings. They shall have some rays and beams of God’s glory shining in them. The crystal, by having the sun shine on it, sparkles and looks like the sun. Just so, the saints by beholding the brightness of God’s glory shall have a tincture of that glory upon them. Not that they shall partake of God’s very essence, for as the iron in the fire becomes fire—yet remains iron still, so the saints by beholding the luster of God’s majesty shall be glorious creatures—but yet creatures still.

4. This sight of God will be a JOYFUL sight. ‘You shall make me glad with the light of your countenance’ (Acts 2:28). After a sharp winter, how pleasant will it be to see the Sun of Righteousness displaying himself in all his glory! Does faith breed joy? ‘Even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy’ (1 Peter 1:8). If the joy of faith is such, what will the joy of vision be! The sight of Christ will amaze the eye with wonder, and ravish the heart with joy. If the face of a friend whom we entirely love so affects us and drives away sorrow—O how cheering will the sight of God be to the saints in heaven! Then indeed it may be said, ‘Your heart shall rejoice!’ (John 16:22). There are two things which will make the saints’ vision of God in heaven joyful.

[1] Through Jesus Christ, the dread and terror of the divine essence shall be taken away. Majesty shall appear in God to preserve reverence—but however, it will be a majesty clothed with beauty and tempered with sweetness, to excite joy in the saints. We shall see God as a friend, not as guilty Adam did, who was afraid, and hid himself (Genesis 3:10)—but as Queen Esther looked upon King Ahasuerus holding forth the golden scepter (Esther 5:2). Surely this sight of God will not be dreadful, but delightful!

[2] The saints shall not only have vision, but fruition. They shall so see God, as to enjoy him. True blessedness lies partly in the understanding—by seeing the glory of God richly displayed; and partly in the will—by a sweet delicious taste of it and acquiescence of the soul in it. We shall so see God—as to love him—and so love him as to be filled with him. The seeing of God implies fruition. ‘Enter into the joy of your Lord’ (Matthew 25:21) not only behold it—but enter into it. ‘In your light we shall see light’ (Psalm 36:9); there is vision. ‘At your right hand there are pleasures for evermore’ (Psalm 16:11); there is fruition. So great is the joy which flows from the sight of God—as will make the saints break forth into triumphant praises and hallelujahs.

5. This sight of God will be a SATISFYING sight. Cast three worlds into the heart, and they will not fill it—but the sight of God satisfies! ‘I shall be satisfied when I awake with your likeness’ (Psalm 17:15). Solomon says ‘The eye is never satisfied with seeing’ (Ecclesiastes 1:8). But there the eye will be satisfied with seeing. God, and nothing but God, can satisfy. The saints shall have their heads so full of knowledge, and their hearts so full of joy—that they shall have no lack.

6. This sight of God will be an UNWEARYING sight. Let a man see the rarest sight that is—he will soon be cloyed. When he comes into a garden and sees delightful walks, lovely arbours, pleasant flowers, within a little while he grows weary; but it is not so in heaven. There is no cloying there. We shall never be weary of seeing God, for the divine essence being infinite, there shall be every moment new and fresh delights springing forth from God into the glorified soul! The soul shall be full and satisfied—yet still desire more of God. So sweet will God be—that the more the saints behold God—the more they will be ravished with desire and delight!

7. This sight of God will be a BENEFICIAL sight. It will tend to the bettering and advantaging of the soul. Some colors, while they delight the eyes, hurt them. But this knowledge and vision of God, shall better the soul and tend to its infinite happiness. Eve’s looking upon the tree of knowledge, was harmful to her. But the saints can receive no detriment from the eternal beholding of God’s glory. This sight will be beneficial. The soul will never be in its perfection, until it comes to see God. This will be the crowning blessing.

8. This sight of God shall be PERPETUAL. Here we see objects awhile, and then our eyes grow dim and we need eye-glasses. But the saints shall always behold God. As there shall be no cloud upon God’s face, so the saints shall have no mote in their eye. Their sight shall never grow dim—but they shall be to all eternity looking on God, that beautiful and delightful object! O what a soul-ravishing sight will this be! God must make us able to bear it. We can no more endure a sight of glory—than a sight of wrath. But the saints in heaven, shall have their capacities enlarged, and they shall be made fit to receive the delightful beams of divine glory!

9. This sight of God will be an IMMEDIATE sight. There are some who deny that the soul is immediately after death admitted to the sight of God—but I assert that the saints shall have an immediate transition and passage from death to glory. As soon as death has closed their eyes—they shall see God. If the soul is not immediately after death translated to the beatific vision—then what becomes of the soul in that period of time, until the resurrection?

Does the soul go into torment? That cannot be, for the soul of a believer is a member of Christ’s mystical body, and if this soul should go to hell—a member of Christ might be for a time damned. But that is impossible.
Does the soul sleep in the body as some drowsily imagine? How then shall we make good sense of that scripture ‘We are willing rather to be absent from the body—and to be present with the Lord’?(2 Corinthians 5:8) If the soul at death is absent from the body, then it cannot sleep in the body.

Does the soul die? It appears that the soul of a believer after death, goes immediately to God. ‘This day shall you be with me in paradise’ (Luke 23:43). That word ‘with me’ shows clearly that the thief on the cross was translated to heaven. For there Christ was (Ephesians 4:10). And the word ‘this day’ shows that the thief on the cross had an immediate passage from the cross to paradise. Therefore, the souls of believers have an immediate vision of God after death. It is but winking—and they shall see God!

Daily Devotional – The Beatitudes by Thomas Watson Part LVIII

Image result for Beatitudes
Image Depicting Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount

The Beatitudes

by Thomas Watson

An Exposition of Matthew 5:1-12 

“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” (v.8)

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.”
Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.”
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.”
“Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.”
“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.”
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.”
“Blessed are those who are persecuted, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven”

Heart Purity

Let us put ourselves on TRIAL whether we are pure-hearted or not. Here I shall show the signs of an impure heart; and then, signs of a pure heart.

But how shall we attain to heart-purity? 

1. Often look into the Word of God. ‘Now you are clean, through the word’ (John 15:3). ‘Your word is very pure’ (Psalm 119:140). God’s Word is pure, not only for the matter of it—but the effect of it, because it makes us pure. ‘Sanctify them through your truth; your word is truth’ (John 17:17). By looking into this pure crystal—we are changed into the image of it. The Word is both a looking-glass to show us the spots of our souls—and a laver to wash them away! The Word breathes nothing but purity; it enlightens the mind; it consecrates the heart.

2. Go to the bath. There are two baths Christians should wash in.

[1] The bath of tears. Go into this bath. Peter had sullied and defiled himself with sin and he washed himself with penitential tears. Mary Magdalene, who was an impure sinner, ‘stood at Jesus’ feet weeping’ (Luke 7:38). Mary’s tears washed her heart—as well as Christ’s feet! Oh sinners, let your eyes be a fountain of tears! Weep for those sins which are so many as have passed all arithmetic. This water of contrition is healing and purifying.

[2] The bath of Christ’s blood. This is that ‘fountain opened for sin and uncleanness’ (Zechariah 13:1). A soul steeped in the brinish tears of repentance and bathed in the blood of Christ is made pure. This is that ‘spiritual washing’. All the legal washings and purifications were but types and emblems representing Christ’s blood. This blood whitens the black soul.

3. Get faith. It is a soul-cleansing grace. ‘Having purified their hearts by faith’ (Acts 15:9). The woman in the gospel who but touched the hem of Christ’s garment was healed. A touch of faith heals. If I believe Christ and all his merits are mine, how can I sin against him? We do not willingly injure those friends who, we believe, love us. Nothing can have a greater force and efficacy upon the heart to make it pure, than faith. Faith will remove mountains, the mountains of pride, lust, envy. Faith and the love of sin are incompatible.

4. Breathe after the Spirit. He is called the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 1:13). He purifies the heart as lightning purifies the air. That we may see what a purifying virtue the Spirit has, he is compared to various things:

[1] The Spirit is compared to FIRE (Acts 2:3). Fire is of a purifying nature. It refines and cleans metals. It separates the dross from the gold. The Spirit of God in the heart refines and sanctifies it. He burns up the dross of sin.

[2] The Spirit is compared to WIND. ‘There came a sound from heaven as of a mighty rushing wind, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit’ (Acts 2:24). The wind purifies the air. When the air by reason of foggy vapors is unwholesome, the wind is a fan to winnow and purify it. Thus when the vapors of sin arise in the heart—vapors of pride and covetousness, earthly vapors—the Spirit of God arises and blows upon the soul and purges away these impure vapors. The spouse in the Canticles prays for a gale of the Spirit, that she might be made pure (4:16).

[3] The Spirit is compared to WATER. ‘He who believes on me, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water; but this spoke he of the Spirit’ (John 7:38, 39). The Spirit is like water, not only to make the soul fruitful, for it causes the desert to blossom as the rose (Isaiah 32:15; 35:1)—but the Spirit is like water to purify. Whereas, before, the heart of a sinner was unclean and whatever he touched had a tincture of impurity (Numbers 19:22), when once the Spirit comes into the heart, with his continual showers, he washes off the filthiness of it, making it pure and fit for God to dwell in.

5. Take heed of close converse and fellowship with the wicked. One vain mind makes another vain. One hard heart makes another. The stone in the body is not infectious—but the stone in the heart is. One profane person poisons another. Beware of the society of the wicked.

Some may object: But what hurt is in this? Did not Jesus converse with sinners? (Luke 5:29).

[1] There was a necessity for that. If Jesus had not come among sinners, how could any have been saved? He went among sinners—but not to join with them in their sins. He was not a companion of sinners—but a physician of sinners.

[2] Though Christ did converse with sinners, he could not be polluted with their sin. His divine nature was a sufficient antidote to preserve him from infection. Christ could be no more defiled with their sin—than the sun is defiled by shining on a dunghill. Sin could no more stick on Christ—than a burr on a crystal. The soil of his heart was so pure—that no viper of sin could breed there. But the case is altered with us. We have a storehouse of corruption within, and the least thing will increase this storehouse. Therefore it is dangerous mingling ourselves among the wicked. If we would be pure in heart—let us shun their society. He who would preserve his garment clean, avoids the dirt. The wicked are as the mire (Isaiah 57:20). The fresh waters running among the salt waters, taste brackish.

6. If you would be pure, walk with those who are pure. As the communion of the saints is in our Creed, so it should be in our company. ‘He who walks with the wise, shall be wise’ (Proverbs 13:20), and he who walks with the pure, shall be pure. The saints are like a bed of spices. By intermixing ourselves with them we shall partake of their savouriness. Association begets assimilation. Sometimes God blesses godly society, to the conversion of others.

7. Wait at the posts of wisdom’s doors. Reverence the Word preached. The Word of God sucked in by faith (Hebrews 4:2) transforms the heart into the likeness of it (Romans 6:17). The Word is a holy seed (James 1:18), which being cast into the heart makes it partake of the divine nature (2 Peter 1:4).

8. Pray for heart purity. Job propounds the question, ‘Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean?’ (Job 14:4; 15:14). God can do it. Out of an impure heart—he can produce grace. Pray that prayer of David, ‘Create in me a clean heart, O God’ (Psalm 51:10). Most men pray more for full purses, than pure hearts. We should pray for heart-purity fervently. It is a matter we are most nearly concerned in. ‘Without holiness no man shall see the Lord’ (Hebrews 12:14). Our prayer must be with sighs and groans (Romans 8:23-26). There must not only be elocution but affection. Jacob wrestled in prayer (Genesis 32:24). Hannah poured out her soul (1 Samuel 1:15). We often pray so coldly (our petitions even freezing between our lips), as if we would teach God to deny our prayers. We pray as if we did not care whether God heard us or not!

Oh Christian, be earnest with God for a pure heart! Lay your heart before the Lord and say, “Lord, You who have given me a heart, give me a pure heart. My heart is good for nothing as it is. It defiles everything it touches. Lord, I am not fit to live with this heart—for I cannot honor you; nor fit to die with it—for I cannot see you. Oh purge me with hyssop. Let Christ’s blood be sprinkled upon me. Let the Holy Spirit descend upon me. ‘Create in me a clean heart, O God’. You who bid me to give you my heart—Lord, make my heart pure and you shall have it!”

Daily Devotional – The Beatitudes by Thomas Watson Part LVII

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Image Depicting Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount

The Beatitudes

by Thomas Watson

An Exposition of Matthew 5:1-12 

“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” (v.8)

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.”
Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.”
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.”
“Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.”
“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.”
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.”
“Blessed are those who are persecuted, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven”

Heart Purity

Let us put ourselves on TRIAL whether we are pure-hearted or not. Here I shall show the signs of an impure heart; and then, signs of a pure heart.

II. I shall next show you the signs of a PURE heart. Continued

Let me persuade Christians to heart purity. The harlot ‘wipes her mouth’ (Proverbs 30:20). But that is not enough. ‘Wash your heart, O Jerusalem’ (Jeremiah 4:14). And here I shall lay down some arguments or motives to persuade to heart purity.

1. The NECESSITY of heart-purity.

[1] Heart-purity is necessary, in respect of OURSELVES. Until the heart is pure, all our holy things (that is, our religious duties) are polluted. They are but splendid sins! ‘Everything is pure to those whose hearts are pure. But nothing is pure to those who are corrupt and unbelieving, because their minds and consciences are defiled’ (Titus 1:15). Their offering is unclean. Under the law, if a man who was unclean by a dead body, and carried a piece of holy meat, the holy meat could not cleanse him—but the dead body polluted that. (Haggai 2:12,13). He who had the leprosy, whatever he touched was unclean. If he had touched the altar or sacrifice, the altar would not cleanse him—but he would defiled the altar. A filthy hand defiles the purest water. An impure heart defiles all religious duties—he drops poison upon them all. A pure stream running through muddy ground, is polluted. Just so, the holiest duties, running through an impure heart, are polluted. A sinner’s works are called ‘dead works’ (Hebrews 6:1). And those works which are dead cannot please God. A dead wife cannot please her husband.

[2] Heart purity is necessary, in respect of GOD. God is holy. Purity is the chief robe with which God adorns himself. ‘You are of purer eyes than to behold evil’ (Habakkuk 1:13). And will this holy God endure to have an impure heart come near him? Will a man lay a viper in his bosom! The holy God and the unrepentant sinner, cannot dwell together. None can dwell together but friends but there is no friendship between God and the sinner, both of them being of a contrary judgment and disposition. An impure heart is more odious to God than a serpent! God gave the serpent its venom—but Satan fills the heart with sin. ‘Satan has filled your heart!’ (Acts 5:3). The Lord abhors a sinner. He will not come near him, having his plague-sores running. ‘My soul loathed them!’ (Zechariah 11:8).

[3] Heart purity is necessary, in regard of ANGELS. They are pure creatures. The Cherubim, which typified the angels, were made of fine gold to denote the purity of their essence. No unholy thought enters into the angels, therefore there must be purity of heart that there may be some resemblance between us and them. What would unholy hearts do, among those pure angelic spirits?

[4] Heart purity is necessary, in regard of the GLORIFIED SAINTS. They are pure, being refined from all the dregs of sin. They are ‘spirits of just men made perfect’ (Hebrews 12:23). Now what would profane spirits do among ‘spirits made perfect’? I tell you, if you who wallow in your sins, could come near God and angels and spirits of men made perfect, and have a sight of their luster—you would soon wish yourselves out of their company. As a man who is dirty and in his rags, if he should stand before the king and his nobles and see them glistening in their cloth of gold and sparkling with their jewels—he would be ashamed of himself, and wish himself out of their presence.

[5] Heart purity is necessary, in regard of HEAVEN. Heaven is a pure place. It is an ‘undefiled inheritance’ (1 Peter 1:4). No unclean beasts come into the heavenly ark! ‘Nothing evil will be allowed to enter!’ (Revelation 21:27). The Lord will not put the new wine of glory, into a musty impure heart! All these things considered, shows the necessity of heart purity.

2. It is the will of God that we should be pure in heart. ‘This is the will of God—your sanctification’ (1 Thessalonians 4:3). Are you low in the world? Perhaps it is not the will of God that you should be rich. But it is the will of God that you should be holy. ‘This is the will of God—your sanctification.’ Let God have his will by being holy—and you shall have your will by being happy. God’s will must either be fulfilled by us or upon us!

3. Purity of heart is the characteristic note of God’s people. ‘God is good to Israel—to those whose hearts are pure’ (Psalm 73:1). Heart-purity denominates us, the ‘Israel of God’. It is not profession which makes us the Israel of God. ‘Not all who are descended from Israel, are Israel’ (Romans 9:6). Purity of heart is the jewel which is hung only upon the elect! Chastity distinguishes a virtuous woman from a harlot. Just so, the true Christian is distinguished from the hypocrite—by his heart-purity. This is like the nobleman’s star, which is a peculiar ensign of honor, differing him from the vulgar. When the bright star of purity shines in a Christian’s heart, it distinguishes him from a formal professor.

4. Purity of heart makes us like God. It was Adam’s unhappiness once, that he aspired to be like God in omniscience; but we must endeavor to be like God in sanctity. God’s image consists in holiness. To those who do not have this image and superscription upon them, he will say ‘I never knew you!’ God delights in no heart but where he may see his own face and likeness. You cannot see your face in a looking-glass when it is dusty. God’s face cannot be seen in a dusty impure soul. A pure heart (like a clean looking-glass) gives forth some idea and representation of God. There is little comfort in being like God in other things besides purity. Are we like God in that we have a being? So have stones. Are we like him in that we have motion? So have stars. Are we like him in that we have life? So have trees and birds. Are we like him in that we have knowledge? So have devils. There is no likeness to God, which will prove comfortable and blissful—but our being like him in purity. God loves the pure in heart. Love is founded upon likeness.

5. The excellency of the heart, lies in the purity of it. Purity was the glory of the soul in innocence. The purer a thing is—the better. The purer the air is, and the more free from noxious vapors—the better it is. Pure water is most sweet. The purer the gold is, the more valuable. The purer the wine is when it is taken off from the lees and dregs—the more excellent it is. The more the soul is purified by grace and taken off from the lees and dregs of sin—the more precious in God’s eyes. The purer the heart is—the more spiritual it is; and the more spiritual it is—the more fit to entertain him who is pure Spirit.

6. God is good to the pure in heart. ‘God is good to Israel—to those whose hearts are pure’ (Psalm 73:1). We all desire that God should be good to us. It is the sick man’s prayer, ‘May the Lord be good to me’. God is good to those whose hearts are pure. But how is God good to them? Two ways—

[1] To those who are pure, all things are sanctified. ‘To the pure—all things are pure’ (Titus 1:15). Estate is sanctified, relations are sanctified—just as the temple sanctified the gold and the altar sanctified the offering. To the unclean—nothing is clean. Their table is a snare; and their devotions are sin. There is a curse entailed upon a wicked man (Deuteronomy 28:15-20)—but holiness removes the curse and cuts off the punishment. ‘To the pure all things are pure’.

[2] The pure-hearted have all things work for their good (Romans 8:28). Mercies and afflictions shall turn to their good. The most poisonous drug shall be medicinal. The most cross providence shall carry on the design of their salvation. Who then would not be pure in heart? ‘God is good to those who are pure in heart’.

7. Heart purity makes way for heaven. The pure in heart ‘shall see God’. Happiness is nothing but the quintessence of holiness. Purity of heart is heaven begun in a man. Holiness is called in Scripture ‘the anointing of God’ (1 John 2:27). Solomon was first anointed with the holy oil, and then he was made king (1 Kings 1:39). Just so, the people of God are first anointed with the oil of the Spirit and made pure in heart, and then the crown of glory is set upon their head. And is not purity to be highly valued? It lays a path for glory. ‘Purity of heart’ and ‘seeing of God’ are linked together.

8. Note the examples of those who have been eminent for heart-purity. The Lord Jesus was a pattern of purity. ‘Who of you convicts me of sin?’ (John 8:46). In this we are to imitate Christ. We are not to imitate him in raising the dead or in working miracles—but in being holy (1 Peter 1:16).
Besides this golden pattern of Christ, we are to write after the fair copy of those saints who have been of a dove-like purity. David was so pure in heart, that he was a man ‘after God’s heart’. Abraham was so purified by faith that he was one of God’s cabinet-counsel (Genesis 18:17). Moses was so holy that God spoke with him face to face. What were the rest of the patriarchs but so many plants of renown, flourishing in holiness? The fathers in the primitive church were exemplary for purity. Gregory Nazianzen, Basil, Augustine, they were so inlaid and adorned with purity, that envy itself could not tax them. We wish we had such saints as were in the primitive times, so just were they in their dealings, so decent in their attire, so true in their promises, so devout in their religion, so unblamable in their lives, that they were living sermons, walking Bibles, genuine pictures of Christ, and helped to keep up the credit of godliness in the world.

9. Heart-purity is the only jewel you can carry out of the world. Have you a child you delight in, or an estate? You can ‘carry nothing out of the world’ (1 Timothy 6:7). Purity of heart is the only commodity that can be with comfort transported. This is that which will stay longest with you. Usually we love those things which last longest. We prize a diamond or piece of gold above the most beautiful flower, because the flower is fading. Heart-purity has perpetuity! It will go with us beyond the grave!

Daily Devotional – The Beatitudes by Thomas Watson Part LVI

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Image Depicting Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount

The Beatitudes

by Thomas Watson

An Exposition of Matthew 5:1-12 

“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” (v.8)

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.”
Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.”
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.”
“Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.”
“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.”
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.”
“Blessed are those who are persecuted, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven”

Heart Purity

Let us put ourselves on TRIAL whether we are pure-hearted or not. Here I shall show the signs of an impure heart; and then, signs of a pure heart.

II. I shall next show you the signs of a PURE heart. Continued

4. A pure heart avoids the appearance of evil. ‘Abstain from all appearance of evil’ (1 Thessalonians 5:22). A pure heart avoids that which may be interpreted as evil. He who is loyal to his prince, not only forbears to have his hand in treason—but he takes heed of that which has an appearance of treason. A gracious heart is shy of that which looks like sin. When Joseph’s mistress took hold of him and said, ‘Lie with me!’—he left his garment in her hand and fled from her (Genesis 39:12). He avoided the appearance of evil. He would not be seen in her company. Thus a pure heart avoids whatever may have the suspicion of sin:

[1] A pure heart avoids the suspicion of sin—in regard of HIMSELF, and that two ways.
First, because the appearance of evil is oftentimes an occasion of evil. Dalliance is an appearance of evil, and many times occasions evil. Had Joseph been familiar with his mistress in a wanton sporting manner, he might in time have been drawn to commit immorality with her. Some out of novelty and curiosity have gone to hear mass, and afterwards have lent the idol not only their ear—but their knee! There are many who have gone with itching ears to hear false teachers, and have come home with the plague in their head! When Dinah would be gadding about, she lost her chastity (Genesis 34:2). A pure heart foreseeing the danger avoids the appearance of evil. It is dangerous to go near a hornet’s nest. The men who went near the furnace were burned (Daniel 3:22).

Second, because the appearance of evil may eclipse his good name. A good name is a precious ointment. It is better than ‘fine gold’ (Proverbs 22:1). It commends us to God and angels, which riches cannot do. Now a godly man avoids the appearance of evil—lest he wounds his good name. What comfort can there be of life, when the name lies buried?

[2] A pure heart avoids the suspicion of sin—out of reverence and respect to the holiness of GOD. God hates the very appearance of evil. God abhors hypocrites because they have no more than the appearance of good—and he is angry with his children if they have so much as the appearance of evil. A gracious heart knows God is a jealous God and cannot endure that his people should border upon sin. Therefore he keeps aloof from sin, and will not come near the smell of infection.

[3] A pure heart avoids the very appearance of sin—in regard of the GODLY. The appearance of evil may scandalize a weak brother. A gracious heart is not only fearful lest he should defile his own conscience—but lest he should offend his brother’s conscience. Were it only an indifferent thing—yet if it is an appearance of evil and may grieve another—we are to forbear (1 Corinthians 10:25-28). For ‘when we sin against the brethren and wound their weak conscience, we sin against Christ’ (1 Corinthians 8:12). The weak Christian is a member of Christ. Therefore the sinning against a member—is a sinning against Christ.

[4] A pure heart avoids the very appearance of evil—in regard of the WICKED. The apostle would have us walk wisely towards unbelievers. (1 Thessalonians 4:12). The wicked watch for our halting. How glad would they be of anything to reproach religion! Professors are placed as stars in the highest orb of the church, and if there is but the appearance of any eccentric, or irregular motion, the wicked would presently open their mouths with a fresh cry against piety. Now to a godly heart the fame and honor of the gospel is so dear that he had rather die than incriminate or eclipse it.

By this then let us try ourselves whether we are pure in heart—do we avoid the least appearance of sin? Alas, how many run themselves into the occasions of sin! They tempt the devil to tempt them! Some go to plays and comedies—the very fuel and temptation to lust! Others frequent heretical meetings, and truly God often in just judgment leaves them to the acts of sin, who do not avoid the appearance of sin. ‘They were mingled among the heathen and learned their works’ (Psalm 106:35). Pure hearts flee the occasion of sin! John would not endure the company of the heretic Cerinthus. Polycarp would have no conference with Marcion the heretic—but called him ‘the devil’s firstborn’. Basil says that the Christians in his time avoided the meetings of heretics as the ‘very schools of error’. Oh, avoid the appearance of evil. The apostle bids us to follow those things which are ‘of good report’ (Philippians 4:8).

5. A pure heart performs holy duties in a holy manner. This holy manner, or due order, consists in three things:

[1] Preparing the heart before a duty. An unholy heart does not care how it rushes upon an ordinance. It comes without preparation and goes away without profit. The pure heart is a prepared heart. It dresses itself, before it comes to a duty—by examination and prayer. When the earth is prepared—then it is fit to receive the seed. When the instrument is prepared and tuned—then it is fit for music.

[2] Watching the heart in a duty. A holy heart labors to be affected and wrought upon by the Spirit. His heart burns within him. There was no sacrifice without fire. A pure saint labors to have his heart broken in a duty (Psalm 51:17). The incense, when it was broken, cast the sweetest savor. Impure souls care not in what a dead or perfunctory manner they serve God (Ezekiel 33:31). They pray more out of fashion, than out of faith. They are no more affected with an ordinance, than the dead in the church graveyard. God complains of offering up the blind (Malachi 1:8). And is it not as bad to offer up the dead? O Christian, say to yourself, How can this deadness of heart, stand with pureness of heart? Do not dead things putrefy?

[3] Outward reverence. Purity of heart will express itself by the reverend posture of the body—the lifting up of the eye and hand, the bending the knee. When God gave the law, ‘the mount was on fire and trembled’ (Exodus 19:18). The reason was that the people might prostrate themselves more reverently before the Lord. The ark wherein the law was put, was carried upon poles, so that the Levites might not touch it—to show what reverence God would have about holy things (Exodus 25:11, 14). We must not only offer up our souls—but our bodies (Romans 12:1). The Lord takes notice what posture and gesture we use in his worship. If a man were to deliver a petition to the king, would he deliver it with a foolish jest? The careless irreverence of some would make us think they did not much regard whether God heard them or not. We are run from one extreme to another, from superstition to irreverence. Let Christians think of the dreadful majesty of God who is present. ‘How dreadful is this place! This is none other but the house of God and this is the gate of heaven!’ (Genesis 28:17). The blessed angels ‘cover their faces crying, Holy, holy holy’ (Isaiah 6:3). A holy heart will have a holy posture.

6. A pure heart will have a pure LIFE. ‘Let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God’. (2 Corinthians 7:1). Where there is a holy heart, there will be a holy life. Some bless God they have good hearts—but their lives are evil. ‘There is a generation that are pure in their own eyes, and yet is not washed from their filthiness’ (Proverbs 30:12). If the stream is corrupt—we may suspect the spring-head to be impure. Aaron was called the saint of the Lord (Psalm 106:16). He had not only a holy heart—but there was a golden plate on his forehead on which was written ‘Holiness to the Lord’. Purity must not only be woven into the heart—but engraved upon the life! Grace is most beautiful when it shines abroad with its golden beams. The clock has not only its motion within—but the hand moves outside upon the dial. Just so, pureness of heart, shows itself upon the dial of the life.

[1] A pure soul TALKS of God (Psalm 37:30). His heart is seen in his tongue. He who is pure in heart—his mouth is full of heaven.

[2] A pure soul WALKS with God (Genesis 6:9). He is still doing angel’s work, praising God, serving God. He lives as Christ did upon earth. Holy duties are the Jacob’s ladder by which he is still ascending to heaven. Purity of heart and life, are in Scripture made twins. ‘I will put my Spirit within you’—there is purity of heart. ‘And cause you to walk in my statutes’—there is purity of life (Ezekiel 36:27). Shall we account them pure, whose life is not in heaven (Philippians 3:20)—but rather in hell? ‘Shall I count them pure—who have wicked balances and a bag of deceitful weights?’ (Micah 6:11). How justly may others reproach religion when they see it kicked down with our unholy feet! A pure heart has a golden frontispiece. Grace, like new wine, will have vent; it can be no more concealed than lost. The saints are called ‘jewels’ (Malachi 3:17), because of that shining luster which they cast in the eyes of others!

7. A pure heart is so in love with purity that nothing can draw him off from it.

[1] Let others reproach purity, he loves it. As David, when he danced before the ark, and Michal scoffed. David replied, ‘if this is to be vile—I will yet be more vile!’ (2 Samuel 6:22). So says a pure heart: ‘If to follow after holiness is to be vile—I will yet be more vile!’ The more others deride holiness, the more a gracious soul burns in love and zeal to it. If a man had an inheritance befallen him, would he be laughed out of it? What is a Christian the worse for another’s reproach? A blind man’s disparaging a diamond does not make it sparkle the less!

[2] Let others persecute holiness, a pure heart will pursue it. Holiness is the queen every gracious soul is espoused to—and he will rather die than be divorced. Paul would be holy, ‘though bonds and persecutions awaited him’ (Acts 20:23). The way of religion is often thorny and bloody—but a gracious heart prefers inward purity before outward peace. I have heard of one who, having a jewel he much prized, the king sent for his jewel. ‘Tell the king’ (says he) ‘I honor his Majesty—but I will rather lose my life than part with my jewel.’ He who is enriched with the jewel of holiness, will rather die than part with this jewel. When his honor and riches will do him no good—his holiness will end in bliss, ‘You have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life

Daily Devotional – The Beatitudes by Thomas Watson Part LV

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Image Depicting Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount

The Beatitudes

by Thomas Watson

An Exposition of Matthew 5:1-12 

“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” (v.8)

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.”
Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.”
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.”
“Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.”
“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.”
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.”
“Blessed are those who are persecuted, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven”

Heart Purity

Let us put ourselves on TRIAL whether we are pure-hearted or not. Here I shall show the signs of an impure heart; and then, signs of a pure heart.

II. I shall next show you the signs of a PURE heart.

1. A SINCERE heart is a pure heart. ‘In whose spirit there is no deceit’ (Psalm 32:2). There are four characters of a sincere-hearted Christian.

[1] A sincere heart serves God with the whole heart.

First, he serves God with the heart. The hypocrite does but make a show of obedience. ‘You are always on their lips—but far from their hearts’ (Jeremiah 12:2). There may be a fair complexion when the lungs and vitals are diseased. The hypocrite is fair to look on. He has a devout eye—but a hollow heart. But he who is sincere, his inside is his best side! In the law God would have ‘the inner parts’ offered up (Leviticus 4:11). A good Christian gives God ‘the inner parts’. When he prays—his heart prays. ‘Hannah prayed in her heart’ (1 Samuel 1:13). In his thanksgiving the heart is the chief instrument of praise (Psalm 111:1). Then is the sweetest music when we ‘make melody in our hearts to the Lord’ (Ephesians 5:19).

Secondly, the sincere Christian serves God with the ‘whole heart’ (Psalm 119:2). Hypocrites have a double heart (Psalm 12:2)—a heart for God, and a heart for sin. ‘Their heart is divided’ (Hosea 10:2). God loves a broken heart—but not a divided heart. An upright heart is a whole heart. The full stream and torrent of the affections runs out after God. A sincere heart ‘follows God fully’ (Numbers 14:24).

[2] A sincere heart is willing to come under a trial. ‘Search me, O God, and try me’ (Psalm 139:23). That metal is to be suspected which men are afraid to bring to the touchstone. A sound heart likes the touchstone of the Word. It is for a searching ministry. Hypocrites fly from the light of truth; they fly from that light which would reveal their sin. They hate that physic of the Word which, meeting with their ill humours, begins to make them sick, and trouble their conscience. A gracious soul loves that preaching best, which makes a heart-anatomy.

[3] A man of sincere heart, dares not act in the least against his conscience. He is the most magnanimous—yet the most cautious. He is bold in suffering (Proverbs 28:1) but fearful of sin (Genesis 39:9). He dares not get an estate by sinful shifts, or rise upon the ruins of another. Jacob got his father’s blessing by fraud—but that is not the way to get God’s blessing.

[4] A sincere heart is a suspicious heart. The hypocrite suspects others of sin—but has charitable thoughts of himself! The sincere Christian has charitable thoughts of others—and suspects himself of sin. He calls himself often to account: “O my soul, have you any evidences for heaven? Is there no flaw in your evidences? You may mistake common grace—for saving grace. Weeds in the cornfields look like flowers. The foolish virgins’ lamps looked as if they had oil in them. O my soul, is it not so with you?” The man of sincere soul, being ever jealous, plays the critic upon himself and so traverses things in the court of conscience as if he were presently to be cited to God’s bar. This is to be pure in heart.

2. A pure heart breathes after PURITY. If God should stretch out the golden scepter and say to him, ‘Ask, and it shall be given you—up to half the kingdom’, he would say, “Lord, give me a pure heart! Let my heart have this inscription—Holiness to the Lord. Let my heart be your temple for you to dwell in. Lord, what would I do in heaven with this unholy heart? What converse could I have with You?” A gracious soul is so in love with purity—that he prizes a pure heart above all blessings.

[1] He prizes a pure heart above RICHES. He knows that he may be clothed in purple and fine linen—and yet go to hell. He is content to be poor—so long as he may be pure. He knows heart-purity is a special certificate of God’s love. ‘The pure in heart’ shall see God.

[2] He prizes a pure heart above GIFTS. Gifts do not at all commend us in God’s eye. A pure heart is the jewel! ‘O woman, great is your faith!’ (Matthew 15:28). It was not her rhetorical language Christ was taken with—but her faith. Hypocrites have had rare gifts. Saul had the spirit of prophecy. Judas no doubt could make an elegant oration. Hypocrites have come into God’s church loaded with the Egyptian gold of human learning. There may be illumination without sanctification. A small diamond is better than a great deal of brass. A little grace excels the most flourishing abilities. Now if the out-goings of your soul are after holiness—you desire a pure heart, rather than an eloquent tongue. You have the oil of the Spirit poured on you and you shall be crowned with a glorious sight of God.

3. A pure heart abhors all SIN. A man may forbear and forsake sin—yet not have a pure heart.

[1] A man may FORBEAR sin—for lack of occasion to sin. He may forbear sin as one may hold his breath while he dives under water, and then take breath again. The gunpowder makes no noise until the fire is put to it. The clock stands still until the weights are put on. Let a temptation come, which is like the hanging on of the weights, and the heart goes as fast in sin as ever!

[2] He may forbear sin—for fear of the penalty. A man forbears a dish he loves—for fear it should bring his disease upon him of the stone or gout. There is conflict in a sinner between the passions of desire—and fear. Desire spurs him on to sin—but fear as a curb and bit checks him. Nor is it the crookedness of the serpent he fears—but the sting of the serpent!

[3] He may forbear sin—out of a design. He has a plot in hand and his sin might spoil his plot. Some rich heir would fly out in excess—but he behaves properly, to prevent being cut off from the inheritance. How good was Joash while Jehoiada the priest lived! Prudence as well as conscience may restrain from sin.
Again, a man may FORSAKE sin—yet not have a pure heart. It is a great matter, I confess, to forsake sin. So dear is sin to men, that they will part with the fruit of their body for the sin of their souls. Sin is the Delilah that bewitches, and it is much to see men divorced from it. There may be a forsaking of sin—yet no heart purity. Sin may be forsaken upon wrong principles.

[1] A man may forsake sin, from MORALITY. Moral arguments may suppress sin. I have read of a debauched heathen who, hearing Socrates read an ethical lecture on virtue and vice—he went away changed and no more followed his former vices. Cato, Seneca, Aristides, seeing beauty in virtue, led unblamable lives.

[2] A man may forsake sin, from POLICY. A man may forsake sin, not out of respect to God’s glory—but his own credit. Vice will waste his estate, eclipse the honor of his family, therefore out of policy he will divorce his sin.

[3] A man may forsake sin, from NECESSITY. Perhaps he cannot follow the trade of sin any longer. The adulterer is grown old, the drunkard has become too poor. His heart is toward sin—but either his purse fails him or his strength; as a man who loves hunting—but his prison-fetters will not allow him to follow the sport. This man, who is necessitated to put a stop to sin—does not so much forsake sin, as sin forsakes him.
But he is pure in God’s eye, who abhors sin. ‘I hate every false way’ (Psalm 119:104). This is excellent indeed, because now the love of sin is crucified. A hypocrite may leave sin—yet love it; as the serpent sheds her coat—yet keeps her sting. But when a man can say he abhors sin—now is sin killed in the root. A pure heart abstains from sin—as a man does from a dish that he has an antipathy against. This is a sign of a new nature—when a man hates what he once loved! And because he hates sin, therefore he fights against it with the ‘sword of the Spirit’—as a man who hates a serpent seeks the destruction of it.

Daily Devotional – The Beatitudes by Thomas Watson Part LIV

Image result for Beatitudes
Image Depicting Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount

The Beatitudes

by Thomas Watson

An Exposition of Matthew 5:1-12 

“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” (v.8)

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.”
Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.”
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.”
“Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.”
“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.”
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.”
“Blessed are those who are persecuted, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven”

Heart Purity

Let us put ourselves on TRIAL whether we are pure-hearted or not. Here I shall show the signs of an impure heart; and then, signs of a pure heart.

I. Signs of an IMPURE heart – Continued

4. An UNBELIEVING heart is an impure heart. The Scripture calls it expressly ‘an evil heart of unbelief’ (Hebrews 3:12). An unbelieving heart is evil in the highest degree. It is full of the poison of hell. Unbelief is the foul medley of all sins—the root and receptacle of sin.

[1] Unbelief is a God-affronting sin. It puts the lie upon God. It calls in question his power (Psalm 78:19), mercy and truth. ‘The one who does not believe God, is actually calling God a liar’ (1 John 5:10). Can a greater affront be cast upon the God of glory! It makes us trust to second causes, which is setting the creature in the place of God. ‘Asa in his disease sought not to the Lord—but to the physicians’ (2 Chronicles 16:12). He relied more on the physician than upon God. Saul seeks to the witch of Endor. O high affront, to lean upon the reed and neglect the Rock of Ages!

[2] Unbelief hardens the heart. These two sins are linked together. ‘He upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart’ (Mark 16:14). Unbelief breeds the stone of the heart. He who does not believe God’s threatenings—will never fear him. He who does not believe God’s promises—will never love him. What is said of the Leviathan, is true of the unbeliever. ‘Its heart is as hard as rock, as hard as a millstone’ (Job 41:24). Unbelief first pollutes the heart—and then hardens it!

[3] Unbelief breeds hypocrisy. Professors do not believe that God is a jealous God, and will call them to account. Therefore it is they put on a mask of religion and are saints in jest, that they may play the devil in earnest (2 Timothy 3:4, 5). They pretend to worship God—but Self is the idol they worship. Like rowers—they look one way and row another. The unbeliever is the greatest hypocrite.

[4] Unbelief causes the fear of men. ‘Fear is proof of a baseborn soul’. Fear is a debasing thing. It unmans a man. It makes him afraid to be godly. The fearful man studies rather compliance, than conscience. ‘The fear of man brings a snare’ (Proverbs 29:25). What made Abraham equivocate, David pretend to be mad, and Peter deny Christ? Was it not their fear? And whence does fear spring—but from unbelief? Therefore the Scripture joins them together. ‘The fearful and unbelieving’ (Revelation 21:8).

[5] Unbelief is the root of apostasy. ‘an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God’ (Hebrews 3:12). What is the reason those who seemed once zealous—now despise God, and leave off prayer in their families? Is it not their unbelief? They believed not that God is, and that he is a rewarder of those who diligently seek him (Hebrews 11:6). Infidelity is the cause of apostasy. In the Greek, ‘apistia’ (unbelief) leads to ‘apostasia’ (apostasy). And if unbelief is the breeder and fomenter of so much sin, then the unbelieving heart must needs be an impure heart.

5. A COVETOUS heart is an impure heart. The earth is the most impure element. The purity of the heart lies in the spirituality of it, and what is more opposite to spiritualness than earthiness? Covetousness is ‘the root of all evil’ (1 Timothy 6:10). ‘To what cost do you drive mortal hearts—you accursed lust for gold!’

[1] Covetousness is the root of discontent. Why do any repine at their condition—but because they think they do not have enough? The Greek word for covetousness signifies an immoderate desire of getting. Because the covetous man is never satisfied, his heart frets in discontent and impatience.

[2] Covetousness is the root of theft. Achan’s covetous heart made him steal that wedge of gold—which served to cleave asunder his soul from God (Joshua 7:21).

[3] Covetousness is the root of treason. It made Judas betray Christ. ‘How much will you pay me to betray Jesus to you?’ (Matthew 26:15). Absalom’s covetousness made him attempt to pluck the crown from his father’s head. He who is a Demas, will soon prove a Judas. ‘Men shall be covetous’ (2 Timothy 3:2), and it follows in the next verse, ‘traitors’. Where covetousness is in the preface, treason will be in the conclusion.

[4] Covetousness is the root of murder. Why did Ahab stone Naboth to death but to possess his vineyard? (1 Kings 21:13). Covetousness has made many swim to the crown in blood. And can the heart be pure, when the ‘hands are full of blood’? (Isaiah 1:15).

[5] Covetousness is the root of perjury. ‘Men shall be covetous, and it follows, ‘trucebreakers’ (2 Timothy 3:2, 3). For love of money will take a false oath and break a just oath. He who lives a Midas, will die a perjurer.

[6] Covetousness is the root of necromancy. Why do people indent with the devil—but for money? They study the black art—for yellow gold. Alexander the Sixth pawned his soul to the devil for a popedom.

[7] Covetousness is the root of fraud and theft. Such as would be over-rich, will overreach. It is the covetous hand which holds false weights (Amos 8:5).

[8] Covetousness is the root of bribery and injustice. It makes the courts of law, ‘great places of robbery’, as Augustine speaks. At Athens, court cases were bought and sold for money.

[9] Covetousness is the cause of uncleanness. The Scripture mentions ‘the hire of a whore’ (Deuteronomy 23:18). For money both conscience and chastity are sold.

[10] Covetousness is the root of idolatry: ‘Covetousness which is idolatry’ (Colossians 3:5). The covetous person bows down to the image of gold. His money is his god, for he puts his trust in it. Money is his creator. When he has abundance of wealth, then he thinks he is made. Money is his redeemer. If he is in any strait or trouble, he flies to his money and that must redeem him. Money is his comforter. When he is sad he counts over his money and with this golden harp he drives away the evil spirit. When you see a covetous man, you may say, “There goes an idolater!”

[11] Covetousness is the cause of unprofitableness under the means of grace. In the parable, the thorns choked the seed (Matthew 13:7). This is the reason the Word preached does no more good. The seed often falls among thorns. Thousands of sermons lie buried in earthly hearts!

[12] Covetousness is the root of selfishness and stinginess. It hinders hospitality. A covetous man has a withered hand. He cannot reach it out to clothe or feed those who are in need. The covetous person is so sordid, that if his estate may flourish he is content to let his name lie dead and buried. What a cursed sin is avarice! And can he be pure in heart—who has such a ‘root of bitterness’ growing in him? We may as well say that the body is pure which is full of plague-sores.

6. Those hearts are impure which are ‘haters of purity’ (Micah 3:2). They ‘hate knowledge’ (Proverbs 1:29). Some things in nature have an antipathy; the serpent will not come near the boughs of the wild ash. There is an antipathy in a carnal heart against holiness; and when hatred is boiled up to malice—it is dangerous. Thus Julian maliciously opposed holiness. Receiving a mortal wound when in battle, he threw up a handful of his blood into the air in indignation saying, ‘O Galilean, you have overcome me!’

7. He who scoffs at purity, has an impure heart. ‘There shall come in the last days scoffers’ (Luke 16:14; 2. Peter 3:3). There are some who make a jeer of religion. It is a sign of an Ishmael spirit to scoff at holiness. Are we not commanded to be perfect as God is perfect? (Matthew 5:48). One would wonder that those who dare open their mouths in derision against holiness—the earth does not open her mouth to swallow them up as it did Korah and Dathan. These are devils covered over with flesh! They have damnation written on their foreheads! Lucian who in the time of the Emperor Trajan had professed religion, afterwards became so profane as to make a mock at the Christians and by his jeers and taunts went about to destroy religion. At last he himself was rent asunder and devoured by dogs. When the scab of the leper appeared, he was to be shut out of the camp (Leviticus 13:8, 46). Those who flout at religion, if God does not give them repentance, are sure to be shut out of the camp of heaven