Finally brothers and sisters, …whatever is pure…
Today we look at what it means to be pure. How does one think purely? When we look around today, we don’t see much that is pure, morally speaking. Purity must be a conscious choice that is empowered by the Holy Spirit’s work in our hearts. We are told to take every thought captive and bring into submission to Jesus. (2 Corinthians 10:5b) Sometimes that takes a lot of concentrated effort. Following our choice with obedience, the Holy Spirit helps us, guides us and empowers us to discipline our mind, will and emotions. In the end, it is well worth it. James tells us “when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.” (James 1:3-4) New Living Translation.
Paul sums up what it means to be pure when he writes to Timothy. “ Shun youthful lusts and flee from them, and aim at and pursue righteousness (all that is virtuous and good, right living, conformity to the will of God in thought, word, and deed); [and aim at and pursue] faith, love, [and] peace (harmony and concord with others) in fellowship with all [Christians], who call upon the Lord out of a pure heart. (Amplified Bible – Lockman) 2 Timothy 2:22-23.
The psalmist asks the same question that’s on our mind.
How is it possible to have a pure heart? Who can do this? Thankfully he also gives us the answer.
Psalms 24:3-5 (NASB)
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,
Who has not lifted up his soul to falsehood
And has not sworn deceitfully.
5 He shall receive a blessing from the Lord
And righteousness from the God of his salvation.
6 This is the generation of those who seek Him,
Who seek Your face—even Jacob. Selah.
James simplifies it for us even more when he writes in his letter.
“If anyone thinks himself to be religious, and yet does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this man’s religion is worthless. 27 Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world.” James 1:26-27 (NASB)
Whatever is pure…think on these things. I hope the scriptures I listed will give you a deeper understanding of Philippians 4:8.
I am not there. It is a process. We should be working towards it each day. As one pastor used to tell us, it is a lifelong, daily process.
Pursue it with your whole heart and you will find peace.
Still treading with Jesus,