Purify Your Hearts

Posted by: on Mar 29, 2015 | No Comments

Another wonderful message from Pastor Jake.

Purify Your Hearts
by James Carroll Sanford

Purify Your HeartThis message is focused on those who are wavering in their purposes; whose hearts are not decidedly fixed, but who are halting between good and evil. The heart is not right in such persons. It is not settled and determined in favor of Christ, but vibrating between Him and the world. The proper business of such persons should be to cleanse their heart from disturbing influences that it might settle down in unwavering attachment to Christ and that which is good.

Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Be miserable and mourn and weep; let your laughter be turned into mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you.

James 4:8-10 [NASU]

8 Come close to God and He will come close to you. [Recognize that you are] sinners, get your soiled hands clean; [realize that you have been disloyal] wavering individuals with divided interests, and purify your hearts [of your spiritual adultery].
9 [As you draw near to God] be deeply penitent and grieve, even weep [over your disloyalty]. Let your laughter be turned to grief and your mirth to dejection and heartfelt shame [for your sins].
10 Humble yourselves [feeling very insignificant] in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you [He will lift you up and make your lives significant].

James 4:8-10 [AMP]

“Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.” This declaration contains a great and important principle in our relationship with God. If we desire the grace of God, we must come to Him and also desire fellowship with Him; we cannot hope for His mercy unless we approach Him through faith and ask of Him. We cannot literally come any nearer to God than we always are, for He is always present in and all about us; but we may come nearer in fellowship with Him. Approach HIM, in the name of Jesus, by faith and prayer, and He will draw near to you. When a soul sets out to seek God, God sets out to meet that soul; so that while we are drawing near to Him, He is drawing near to us. To draw near in fellowship we may approach Him by meditation on His character; we may draw near to Him in daily study of His word; and most important, draw near to Him through obedience. Our obedience is an expression of love and reverence toward Him. We can never hope for His grace while we prefer to remain at a distance from Him; none who in fact draw near to Him will find Him unwilling to bestow on them the blessings which they need.

Those who seek close fellowship with God must purify their hearts. That is, do not rest satisfied with a mere external reformation. Putting away your outward transgressions only is like a “whitewashed” tomb “full of dead men’s bones” (Matthew 23:27); there must be a deeper work than that; a work which reaches to the inner man, the soul, and which purifies the thoughts and affections. After all, it is our soul that we desire to be redeemed and saved. This agrees with all the requisitions of the Bible, and is in accordance with what must be the nature of God’s children. If the heart is wrong, nothing can be right. If, while we seek an external reformation only, we still give indulgence to the secret corruptions of the inner man, it is clear that we can have no true conversion, therefore, no true salvation.

James C Sanford

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