General Messages > COVID-19 Pandemic Sharing
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Shared: 18 July 20
These notes below can be useful for you to follow along while you listen to the audio message.
Detailed Notes: COV007 17.7.20
Pure in heart 2
Should we be satisfied if we manage not to be fearful, anxious, worried, learn to keep ourselves occupied, healthy, survive this pandemic? – what many are trying to do.
No. We should look to the Lord to help us to learn what He wants to teach us during this period, and grow in the Lord.
Some may feel Covid19 pandemic threatens our personal spiritual health, well-being and the outworking of church life. We need not feel threatened in this way.
It is important we understand what is vital, essential for spiritual health, well-being and a life truly pleasing to God
What I have been sharing with you during this period can help us to respond well
It is feasible to have an abiding sense of true well-being and security – under all circumstances.
In the last message, I considered with you a vital area we must pay attention to if we want to fare well in life, serve the Lord well and live a life truly pleasing to God: pure in heart.
Why is it crucial for believers to continually look to the Lord to help us nurture a heart that is increasingly pure in meaning and quality?
Why does the apostle Paul tell us the goal of his instruction is love from a pure heart…1 Tim.1:5?
Why does the Lord Jesus tell us: Blessed are the pure in heart: Matt. 5:8?
The answer is obvious if we see clearly the scriptural revelation and teaching on this area of truth.
Being pure in heart is of utmost importance.
It is very important and helpful to be deeply impressed with this area of truth.
Biblical revelation tells us:
The heart is the source of the positive and negative moral meaning of our thoughts, words and deeds
The heart of a person reveals the real character of the person, and the moral, spiritual quality and meaning in a person’s heart defines the person
The true worth and meaning in a person is the hidden person of the heart - the moral and spiritual state of the person.
The emphasis in the teaching of the Lord Jesus and the Scriptures is the reality in the heart and what proceeds from the heart.
One who is pure in heart is a person whose heart is washed, cleansed and consecrated to God.
Two major aspects
1. State of heart: clean, cleansed, no stain, defilement
2. Direction of heart: intent, purpose, will, what motivates us
Being pure in heart is the foundational basis of a life of spiritual health, growth, witness, fruitfulness, and a meaningful part in participation in the fulfilment of God's purposes.
The Lord Jesus teaches us:
“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
The pure in heart will enjoy God's blessings, approval
I now want to consider further with you how we can nurture a heart that is increasingly pure in meaning and quality.
We must take note right from the outset:
It is not possible for man to be pure in heart apart from the Cross and God's gracious working in our lives
Non-believers, before conversion
1 And you were dead in your trespasses and sins,
2 in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience.
3 Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest.
1. State of heart: stained, darkened by sin, walking in sin
2. Wrong direction: not God and His righteousness but disobedience, selfish intent, indulging the desires of the flesh, under the influence of the forces of darkness.
To be reconciled to God, experience salvation, God’s renewal, we must respond positively to God working in our hearts to bring about:
1. Change of direction:
2. State of heart: cleansed - by the blood of the Lord Jesus
This was the ministry entrusted to the apostle Paul by the Lord Jesus when He appeared to Paul on the road to Damascus:
15 “And I said, ‘Who are You, Lord?’ And the Lord said,
‘I am Jesus whom you are persecuting.
16 ‘But get up and stand on your feet; for this purpose I have appeared to you, to appoint you a minister and a witness not only to the things which you have seen, but also to the things in which I will appear to you;
17 rescuing you from the Jewish people and from the Gentiles, to whom I am sending you,
18 to open their eyes so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the dominion of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who have been sanctified by faith in Me.’
19 “So, King Agrippa, I did not prove disobedient to the heavenly vision, (Paul's ministry)
Therefore, brethren, since we have confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus,
Need to carry on, maintain and nurture a heart that is increasingly pure in meaning and quality
1. By continuing in right direction of heart - immersing ourselves in truth, God and His righteousness
8 Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.
9 The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.
The attitude of heart and approach to life:
With all our heart we seek the Lord, seek to understand, absorb and apply the teaching of the Scriptures and live out the will of God and what God is saying to us
1 How blessed are those whose way is blameless,
Who walk in the law of the Lord.
2 How blessed are those who observe His testimonies,
Who seek Him with all their heart. (seek God earnestly)
9 How can a young man keep his way pure?
By keeping it according to Your word.
(God's teaching, will, is pure)
10 With all my heart I have sought You;
Do not let me wander from Your commandments.
11 Your word I have treasured in my heart,
(precious, value God's instructions, will)
That I may not sin against You.
33 Teach me, O Lord, the way of Your statutes,
(eager to learn - from the Lord)
And I shall observe it to the end. (commitment)
34 Give me understanding, that I may observe Your law
And keep it with all my heart. (commitment)
2. Maintain clean heart, clean account
1 John 1:9
If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
1. We need not carry the burden of guilt
2. Acceptable service must flow from pure, clean heart
13 For if the blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer sprinkling those who have been defiled sanctify for the cleansing of the flesh,
14 how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?
To maintain a pure heart, it is crucial we maintain a repentant and contrite spirit throughout our time on earth.
→ sensitive to, able to recognise failure
→ acknowledge, repent, ask God for forgiveness → cleansed.
love from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith – how we live:
1 Tim. 1:5: But the goal of our instruction is love from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.
→ increasingly conformed to the image of Christ.
Without purity of heart we cannot have deep fellowship with the pure, holy God - depth of fellowship corresponds with degree of purity of heart.
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God
3 Who may ascend into the hill of the Lord?
And who may stand in His holy place?
4 He who has clean hands and a pure heart,
(heart and conduct, outward expressions)
Who has not lifted up his soul to falsehood
And has not sworn deceitfully.
God is light, and in Him there is no darkness.
We are to walk in the light → fellowship with God and brethren.
1 John 1:5–7
5 This is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you, that God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all.
6 If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth;
7 but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.
(such a life is described as ‘walk in the Light’ – yet need for cleansing – because such a life is not perfect – not without failures, stumbling)
2 Corinthians 6:14–18
14 Do not be bound together with unbelievers;
for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness,
or what fellowship has light with darkness?
15 Or what harmony has Christ with Belial,
or what has a believer in common with an unbeliever?
16 Or what agreement has the temple of God with idols?
For we are the temple of the living God; just as God said,
“I will dwell in them and walk among them;
And I will be their God, and they shall be My people.
17 “Therefore, come out from their midst and be separate,” says the Lord.
“And do not touch what is unclean; And I will welcome you.
18 “And I will be a father to you, And you shall be sons and daughters to Me,” Says the Lord Almighty.
What partnership have righteousness and lawlessness?
What fellowship has light with darkness?
We are the temple of the living God…God dwells in us…
Therefore…be separate, and do not touch what is unclean…
We will end today's sharing with Paul's exhortation in:
12 So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling;
13 for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.
14 Do all things without grumbling or disputing;
15 so that you will prove yourselves to be blameless and innocent, children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world,
(Jesus: You are the light of the world – dark, fallen world)
16 holding fast (margin: Or forth) the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I will have reason to glory because I did not run in vain nor toil in vain.
We need to be prayerful, vigilant and alert
The spirit may be willing but the flesh is weak
But it is feasible to live an overcoming life – in Christ
We must learn to abide in Christ and He in us
Next sharing: the Lord willing, I will consider further with you: having a pure heart is an essential, integral part of faring well in important aspects of our lives – our knowledge of God and relationship with God, the fullness of the Spirit, guidance, effective prayer, readiness to meet the Lord.
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General Messages > COVID-19 Pandemic Sharing
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