The heart is more than a bodily organ

Published 8:17 am Tuesday, July 25, 2023

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From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham

Dear Rev. Graham: There isn’t much said these days about “the pure-hearted.” We are surrounded by a vile environment filled with hatred and corruption, filling hearts with fear. When I go just about anywhere, it’s hard to find many smiles or acts of kindness. If I extend kindness to someone, it seems difficult for them to receive. – P.H.

Dear P.H.: The heart is more than a bodily organ. It’s called the seat of emotions. Fear, love, courage, anger, sorrow, and hatred are ascribed to the heart. It’s come to stand for the center of the mortal, spiritual, and intellectual life of a person. The heart is said to be the seat of a person’s conscience and life.
When Jesus comes into our hearts, it means that Christ is the center of our emotions; therefore, our love toward God must be pure. The center of our motives must be pure and yielded to Christ. We’re to be pure in love, pure in motive, and pure in desire. This is why Jesus said, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God” (Matthew 5:8).
The true meaning of the word “pure” has often been used to mean unadulterated or unmixed. For instance, pure gold is not mixed with any other metal; pure milk is not watered down. When we are pure in heart, we have a single-minded devotion to God; our minds will not be mixed with those things that are not right.
Jesus spoke with the Pharisees about this very subject, but they failed to understand purity. They focused on the “outside in” (the appearance) rather than the “inside out” (the heart). Their superficial religion was powerless to cleanse their hearts from filth and corruption – and the Pharisees were not happy men. God looks deeper than the outside. The Bible proclaims: “Whatever things are pure … meditate on these things” (Philippians 4:8).
(This column is based on the words and writings of the late Rev. Billy Graham.)

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