A Pure Heart

Today’s lesson focuses on the importance of having a pure heart. How often do we as a society judge others by their outward appearance?  Get real honest with yourself, how often do you do that?  Today’s lesson will show that what is inside, a pure heart is the most important thing we can have.  GOD honors a pure heart. God does not judge us by what we look like outwardly, but he looks at our hearts to see our motives and our sincerity.

Handout:  A Pure Heart

In this lesson, we will look back at the story of David and how GOD ordained him to be king over all of Israel when he was just a young shepherd boy.  This story begins in the book of Samuel when the LORD tells The Prophet Samuel to go to a man named Jesse, that He had chosen one of Jesse’s sons to be the next king of Israel. 

1 Samuel 16:4 “And Samuel did that which the LORD spake, and came to Bethlehem.  And the elders of the town trembled at his coming, and said, Comest thou peaceably?

1 Samuel 16:5 “And he said, Peaceable: I am come to sacrifice unto the LORD: sanctify yourselves, and come with me to the sacrifice.  And he sanctified Jesse and his sons, and called them to the sacrifice.
1 Samuel 16:6 “And it came to pass, when they were come, that they were come, that he looked on Eliab, and said, Surely the LORD’S anointed is before him.”

1 Samuel 16:7 “But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward 
appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart.    

Reading on we see that Samuel goes through each of Jesse’s sons and each time the LORD says no, this is not the one.  Samuel asks Jesse, are these all the sons you have, Jesse informs him that he does have another son, the youngest that was a keeper of the sheep.  We find that this son’s name was David and it so happened that David did have a beautiful countenance, however this is not the reason he was chosen by GOD.  He was chosen because of his heart.  David was a man after GOD’S own heart.  We know that because in earlier chapters when Samuel is telling the current king who was Saul, that his kingdom would not continue, and that the LORD was looking for a  man after his on heart, thus God chose David.

1Samuel 13:14 “But now thy kingdom shall not continue: the LORD hath sought him a man after his own heart, and the LORD hath commanded him to be captain over his people, because thou hast not kept that which the LORD commanded thee.”

1 Samuel 18:14 “And David behaved himself wisely in all his ways; and the LORD was with him.”

Did David ever sin?  Yes he did.  He was human. However, The Bible says that David’s heart was always perfect toward the LORD; He never turned to idols or other gods.  David repented for the things he had done wrong. 

1 Kings 11:4 “For it came to pass, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned away his heart after other gods: and his heart was not perfect with the LORD his God, as was the heart of David his father.”

We can strive to live in obedience to God.  We show our love for God by trusting and obeying Him.  We can strive to have a pure and perfect heart with the LORD all the days of our lives.  When we do make mistakes or sin, we need to always ask God to forgive us and help us not fall again while trying our best.  We need to keep communication open and daily with the FATHER.

We are never to judge others based on material things or outward appearances.  You never know what you might miss out on by doing so.  I will tell you a story I read that was such a blessing.  I pray it will bless your heart as well.
The story is told by the person that experienced it.

"Our house was directly across the street from the clinic entrance of 
Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore. We lived downstairs and rented the 
upstairs rooms to out patients at the clinic. 

One summer evening as I was fixing supper, there was a knock at the door. 
I opened it to see a truly awful looking man. 'Why, he's hardly taller 
than my eight-year-old,' I thought as I stared at the stooped, shriveled 
body. But the appalling thing was his face, lopsided from swelling, red 
and raw. 

Yet his voice was pleasant as he said, 'Good evening. I've come to see if 
you've a room for just one night. I came for a treatment this morning 
from the eastern shore, and there's no bus 'til morning.' 

He told me he'd been hunting for a room since noon but with no success, 
no one seemed to have a room. 'I guess it's my face... I know it looks 
terrible, but my doctor says with a few more treatments...' 

For a moment I hesitated, but his next words convinced me: 'I could sleep 
in this rocking chair on the porch. My bus leaves early in the morning.' 

I told him we would find him a bed, but to rest on the porch. I went 
inside and finished getting supper. When we were ready, I asked the old 
man if he would join us. 'No thank you. I have plenty.' And he held up a 
brown paper bag. 

When I had finished the dishes, I went out on the porch to talk with him 
a few minutes. It didn't take a long time to see that this old man had an 
over-sized heart crowded into that tiny body. He told me he fished for a 
living to support his daughter, her five children, and her husband, who 
was hopelessly crippled from a back injury. 

He didn't tell it by way of complaint; in fact, every other sentence was 
preface with thanks to God for a blessing. He was grateful that no pain 
accompanied his disease, which was apparently a form of skin cancer. He 
thanked God for giving him the strength to keep going. 

At bedtime, we put a camp cot in the children's room for him. When I got 
up in the morning, the bed linens were neatly folded and the little man 
was out on the porch. 

He refused breakfast, but just before he left for his bus, haltingly, as 
if asking a great favor, he said, Could I please come back and stay the 
next time I have a treatment? I won't put you out a bit. I can sleep fine 
in a chair.' He paused a moment and then added, 'Your children made me 
feel at home. 

Grownups are bothered by my face, but children don't seem to mind.' I 
told him he was welcome to come again. 

And on his next trip he arrived a little after seven in the morning. 

As a gift, he brought a big fish and a quart of the largest oysters I had 
ever seen. He said he had shucked them that morning before he left so 
that they'd be nice and fresh. I knew his bus left at 4:00 a.m. and I 
wondered what time he had to get up in order to do this for us. 

In the years he came to stay overnight with us there was never a time 
that he did not bring us fish or oysters or vegetables from his garden.

Other times we received packages in the mail, always by special delivery; 
fish and oysters packed in a box of fresh young spinach or kale, every 
leaf carefully washed. Knowing that he must walk three miles to mail 
these, and knowing how little money he had made the gifts doubly 

When I received these little remembrances, I often thought of a comment 
our next-door neighbor made after he left that first morning. 

'Did you keep that awful looking man last night? I turned him away! You 
can lose roomers by putting up such people!' 

Maybe we did lose roomers once or twice. But oh! If only they could have seen 
how beautiful he really was inside, if only they could have known him, perhaps 
their illnesses would have been easier to bear. 

I know our family always will be grateful to have known him; from him we 
learned what it was to accept the bad without complaint and the good with 
gratitude to God. 

Recently I was visiting a friend, who has a greenhouse, as she showed me 
her flowers; we came to the most beautiful one of all, a golden 
chrysanthemum, bursting with blooms. But to my great surprise, it was 
growing in an old dented, rusty bucket. I thought to myself, 'If this 
were my plant, I'd put it in the loveliest container I had!' 

My friend changed my mind. 'I ran short of pots,' she explained, and 
knowing how beautiful this flower is, I thought it wouldn't matter 
if I put it in this old pail because it’s beauty far out shined the container.  
Besides, it's just for a little while, till I can put it out in the garden where it will really shine.' 
She must have wondered why I laughed so delightedly, but I was imagining just such a scene in heaven. 

'Here's an especially beautiful one,' God might have said when he came to 
the soul of the sweet old fisherman. This one is so beautiful it won't matter if he is in this small body, his beauty far outshines the container, besides, it’s only for a little while.
All this happened long ago -- and now, in God's garden, how tall this 
lovely soul must stand.  How this one’s beauty must really shine!

Praise the LORD that HE does not look at the things man looks at. 

There is nothing wrong with outward beauty and trying to present ourselves and look the best we can.  However, we must not make that the most important thing.  We must see the importance of having a pure heart before the LORD.  We must not miss out on blessings from God and closeness with Him simply because we were more worried about our outward appearances and trying to please man or to fit in to man’s “idea” of beauty, or be accepted.  We must also see the inward beauty in others around us and see them as God would have us see them, in love and respect.  We must not miss out on GODS divine plan for our lives worrying about things that are not that important.  It is more important to be beautiful to God and please him than it is to please man. 

2 Chronicles 16:9 “For the eyes of the LORD run to and for throughout the whole earth, to shew Himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward HIM.

Proverbs 31:30 “Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised.”

Matthew 5:8 “ Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see GOD.

Dear righteous Heavenly FATHER...
Thank you so much for who YOU are...there is none like You.  You are almighty, Holy, and righteous.  FATHER we come to you sincerely now, asking you to create in us a pure heart...a heart that makes you delight.  We ask for help in not worrying so much about this outward part...but we understand that what is inside is the most important.  Father we want to be healthy, but I know that if we are not right inside all the other doesn't matter.  Please help us see what true beauty is and please mold us to be what you see as beautiful and help us withstand whatever may come during that process.  We love you so much lovely Father.  Please help and lead us in your direction.  In JESUS lovely, holy name...AMEN!
Thank You FATHER…

(January 5, 2019)