Martin Lloyd-Jones tells the story of a Hindu trader in India who once asked a missionary, "What do you put on your face to make it shine?" With surprise the man of God answered, "I don't put anything on it!" His questioner began to lose patience and said emphatically, "Yes, you do! All of you who believe in Jesus seem to have it. I've seen it in the towns of Agra and Surat, and even in the city of Bombay." Suddenly the Christian understood, and his face glowed even more as he said, "Now I know what you mean, and I will tell you the secret. It's not something we put on from the outside but something that comes from within. It's the reflection of the light of God in our hearts.”
I like that. It’s not what we put on the outside, but what comes from the inside, in our hearts. And it makes us shine. What an attitude! What would you call someone who has been so changed on the inside that it shows on the outside? Jesus calls it “pure in heart.” He says, “Blessed are the pure in heart, For they shall see God.”
How can we become pure in heart? , The answer to that question is found in the beatitudes we've been studying. True Christianity isn't a matter of reformed behavior, but allowing Jesus to live His pure and holy life in and through us. It's becoming poor in spirit, realizing that we're nothing without God. It's mourning our true spiritual condition, damaged and wrecked by sin. It's humbling our lives before God, realizing who we are in light of who he is. It's hungering and thirsting for the deep spiritual satisfaction that only God can provide as we trust in his Son. It's learning to be merciful and gracious to others because God has been merciful and gracious to us.
It's learning to pray like David out of our brokenness, "Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from thy presence. Take not thy Holy Spirit from me. Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation." And when we come to God, in humility, in our brokenness, taking off the masks, God can and God will make us pure in heart by His grace alone. We will “see God” working in and through us.
What does your outward life show about your inward purity?