3/28 Daily in the Word

Blessed when Pure
by Dr. Paul Chappell
Matthew 5:8

Our availability to be used by God depends on our inner purity.

A farmer once had a large farm that expanded over many acres. On his farm was a creek, some hills, and many trees. But one tree was especially dear to him as it had been the tree he had played under as a child when his father had owned the farm. An old oak tree, it's branches stretched forth and provided shade enough for several people to stand under. The oak was in the center of his property and served as a landmark for guests seeking to find the farmer's land. One night a terrible storm rolled across the skies. Lightning bolted to the earth, thunder clapped in the heavens, and rain beat upon the grass. The farmer and his family huddled inside the farmhouse, riding out the torrential downpour and praying the farm was spared major damage.

The storm continued all night, but thankfully just as the sun rose, the skies cleared and the storm passed on. Seeking to assess the damage, the farmer set out from the farmhouse to inspect his land. The barn withstood the beating, and although some crops were wilted, things seemed to be in order, until he noticed the old oak tree. The winds and rain that did not collapse the barn had brought down the mighty oak, snapped in two as if it were a brittle branch. Upset, the farmer ran to get a closer look at the tree. While lamenting its fall, the farmer noticed strange holes in the bark of the tree. As he looked closer, he noticed tiny bugs crawling along the inside of the oak. What had happened was while the oak appeared strong and sturdy on the outside, inside tiny beetles were eating away the support of the tree. At the first major storm, the oak, without its support, succumbed to the outer pressures and tumbled.

The oak looked okay on the outside, but the inside had corroded long before the farmer noticed any damage. The same thing can happen to us as Christians. We may look good on the outside, even appear to be a faithful Christian, but if we are not careful to keep sin out of our hearts, soon our lives will fall apart at the first sign of a storm.

Preacher Robert Murray McCheyne once described the need for inner purity this way, "In great measure, according to the purity and perfections of the instrument, will be the success. It is not great talents God blesses so much as great likeness to Jesus. A holy minister is an awful weapon in the hand of God." Our availability to be used by God depends on our inner purity.

God wants to use you. He wants to show you His will and direct you to His blessings, but He can't guide you if you allow sin to corrode you from inside. God conveyed the importance of a pure heart to His disciples by telling them that those who have pure hearts will be able to enjoy the full joy of a life lived in service of God.

Notice Christ doesn't say those who live perfect lives will see God. God doesn't expect you to be perfect, but He does desire for you to keep a pure heart. That means when sin creeps into your life or you fall to temptation, don't allow it to stay in your life. Immediately repent of the sin and ask God's forgiveness. Keep short accounts with God.

Is there any sin in your heart? Have you neglected to repent of anything? Don't allow even one sin to remain unforgiven in your life. Make sure your heart is pure before God right now.

Daily Bible Reading
Judges 4-6 | Luke 4:31-44

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