“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. Matthew 5:8
Some dreamers claim that in order to have a pure heart, people have to hide in a corner, enter a monastery or convent, or seek the solitude of the desert. They claim people shouldn’t think worldly thoughts or spend any time on secular matters. Instead, all their thoughts should be about heaven. These dreamers deceive both themselves and others with their mistaken notions. They lead people astray and do a lot of damage. They consider secular leaders and institutions to be evil. Yet these are the very things that ensure a law-abiding and orderly society. These leaders and institutions keep the world running and are established by God himself.
Scripture talks about having pure thoughts and a pure heart in a way that is consistent with being a spouse, loving and caring for your family, and doing everything a parent does. In fact, God insists that we fulfill these responsibilities. Whatever God commands can’t be impure. In fact, it’s this very purity that allows us to see god.
When a judge carries out his responsibilities and imposes a sentence, he isn’t acting on his own. He is carrying out God’s laws and commands. If he’s a Christian, he is performing a good, pure, and holy function. But a person in this position couldn’t do anything if their heart wasn’t pure. Even dirty and unpleasant work, such as shoveling manure or washing diapers, is pure and holy work if it comes from a pure heart.
In the late afternoon ofApril 18, 1521, in the city of Worms,Germany, Martin Luther, a 37 year-old Catholic monk was called to defend himself before Charles the Fifth, the Holy Roman Emperor. The speech he delivered that day, Here I Stand, marked the beginning of the Reformation, a critical turning point in Christian history that decisively altered the spiritual map of the world. In this recording, Max McLean introduces the events leading up to the Diet of Worms; Martin Luther’s prayer the night before he delivered his speech; Luther’s stirring defense; the Catholic church’s rebuttal; and, Luther’s final heartfelt response.