The Right Kind Of Heart Psalm 24:4

A pure heart. Psalm 24:4

When we were learning about the right kind of tongue we saw that we couldn’t have the right kind of tongue unless we had the right kind of heart. (Sermon on Psa_34:13 precedes this in the series.) But we can’t have the right kind of ears, or eyes, or hands, or feet, or memory either unless we first have the right kind of heart.

Now I wonder how this is? Well, you see it is because the heart is the very center of everything. It is like the mainspring of a watch. If that goes wrong everything else goes wrong. It is the heart that keeps all the other bits of the body alive. You could go on living if you lost an arm, or a leg, or an eye, but you couldn’t live without your heart.

So you see the most important thing of all is to have the right kind of heart. And what is the right kind of heart? There is only one, and it is the “pure heart.”

Now I want to explain first of all what we mean when we talk about the heart in this way. Perhaps you have thought of your heart as the part of your body which sends the blood through your veins. That is quite right; but we can think of the heart in another way. It is the bit of us with which we feel, the bit that loves and hates, the little house where our passions and desires live.

And what is it that makes the heart black and dirty? Well, you know that. It is sin. Sin is the great soiler and spoiler in the world. God never meant our hearts to be like that. He meant them to be pure and beautiful. But sin came into the world and spoiled them. When we are quite little there are just a few faint stains upon them, but as we grow older the spots grow blacker and deeper and uglier, until at last they cover up all the whiteness and all the beauty. Every time you are angry, or untruthful, every time you have a bad desire, a little stain goes on your heart, and these stains will increase as you grow older unless you can get your heart made pure again.

It is very sad to have our hearts growing blacker and blacker, but the worst part of it is that this blackness shuts us away from God; for it is only the pure in heart who see God.

How, then, are we going to get rid of the stains? We ourselves can never hope to make our hearts clean. If we tried every day from morning to night till we were old and grey-haired we could never do it. But God can do it if we give them into His keeping. He can wash them clean in the blood of His own Son, and He can keep them clean by giving us the Holy Spirit to dwell in them. He can take away all our bad desires, all our wicked thoughts, and He can put pure, sweet ones in their place.
I read the other day of a lady who was walking over an estate with a friend. They came to an old tumbledown cottage. The thatch was in holes, the windows were broken, the garden was a mass of weeds. But the lady said to her friend, “I wish you would let me have that cottage.” And the friend replied, “Oh, you can have it for nothing. It isn’t worth much, as you can see.” So the lady took the cottage. She turned out all the trash. She had the roof mended and the windows replaced. She had the walls papered and painted and hung with beautiful pictures. Then she set to work on the garden. She removed all the weeds and planted beautiful flowers in their stead. And when her friends came to see it they exclaimed, “What a sweet place!”

Boys and girls, that is what God can do with our hearts if we will let Him. He can turn out all the trash and change the ugliness into beauty. But we must let Him do it. He can’t do anything unless we give Him permission.

Don’t wait to have your hearts made clean until they are so black and foul that you cannot see the whiteness underneath. Jesus loves the heart of a little child. He loves to come and dwell in it.
Did you ever think why it was that Jesus loved the children so much? I think it was partly because they loved and trusted Him, but I think it was also because they were so pure. The Pharisees scorned Him, the crowds mocked Him, but the little children climbed on His knee and nestled in His arms. And that is where He wants all the little children to be today.

(The texts of the sermons in this series are Exo_23:9; 1Sa_3:10; Psa_24:4 (2), Psa_34:13; Pro_6:13; Mal_1:13; Luk_6:41; 1Pe_3:4; 1Pe_5:5.)

- James Hastings, Children's Great Texts Of The Bible