My first Bible verse
The first scripture I ever learned
I'm thankful that memorizing Bible passages was a part of my childhood and education. It has been an important part of my foundation in Christian teachings.
The first Bible verse that I ever memorized was Matthew 5:8 -- "Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God." (KJV)
Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.
I was a young child when I first learned this passage of scripture. I was probably around 5 years old. I think it's a beautiful verse for a child to learn. It's not too long, it talks about positive values, and it's easy to understand.
I still remember, when I was a little girl, the spiritual feeling that this verse gave me and the desire to be loving toward God and other people.
Teach them diligently unto thy children
And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. -- Deuteronomy 6:7
Do your children do scripture memorization?
Purity of heart
What does it mean to us grown-ups?
The dictionary says that pure means: "(1): unmixed with any other matter ['pure gold'] (2): free from dust, dirt, or taint ['pure springwater']" (Merriam-Webster)
Definition #2 is obvious but so difficult. To have a clean heart, to purge ourselves of impurities in our thoughts and feelings. Through our own efforts it would be impossible. Only through the power of the Holy Ghost can it be done.
Definition #1 talks about being "unmixed". What this says to me is that we should strive to be single-minded in our desires and our priorities. My father says in sermons sometimes that the reason some people have a hard time following Jesus is because they haven't completely decided which they want the most: To follow God or to be rich? To be a disciple of Christ or to be popular?
James 4:8 says, " . . . purify your hearts, ye double minded." This reinforces the idea that being single-minded is what it means to be pure in heart.
To show the kind of commitment to Christ that He showed to us, we need to make our devotion to Him the clear priority in our lives. That purity in heart will help us to find direction in our lives more clearly and also make our lives a testimony to those around us.
An example of purity in heart: The prophet Daniel
The often quoted scripture about Daniel is in Daniel 1:8: "But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself."
This illustrates both definitions of purity. Daniel wanted to remain clean and undefiled, and he also made a decision to have established priorities.
In his lifetime, he did achieve worldly success and wealth, but he never forgot what was most important to him. He pursued his relationship with God with a singular focus.
Matthew 5:8 says that the pure in heart will "see God". This was definitely manifested in Daniel's life as he had actual prophetic visions.
Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life. - Proverbs 4:23
© 2010 Joan Hall