25 Bible Verses on Having a Pure Heart


  • Psalm 12:6 ESV
    The words of the Lord are pure words,
        like silver refined in a furnace on the ground,
        purified seven times.
  • Psalm 19:8 ESV
    the precepts of the Lord are right,
        rejoicing the heart;
    the commandment of the Lord is pure,
        enlightening the eyes;
  • Psalm 24:4-5 ESV
    He who has clean hands and a pure heart,
        who does not lift up his soul to what is false
        and does not swear deceitfully.
    He will receive blessing from the Lord
        and righteousness from the God of his salvation.
  • Psalm 51:10 ESV
    Create in me a clean heart, O God,
        and renew a right spirit within me.
  • Psalm 73:1 ESV
    Truly God is good to Israel,
        to those who are pure in heart.
  • Psalm 119:9 ESV
    How can a young man keep his way pure?
        By guarding it according to your word.
  • Proverbs 15:26 ESV
    The thoughts of the wicked are an abomination to the Lord,
        but gracious words are pure.
  • Proverbs 16:2 ESV
    All the ways of a man are pure in his own eyes,
        but the Lord weighs the spirit.
  • Proverbs 20:11 ESV
    Even a child makes himself known by his acts,
        by whether his conduct is pure and upright.
  • Proverbs 21:8 ESV
    The way of the guilty is crooked,
        but the conduct of the pure is upright.
  • Matthew 5:8 ESV
    Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God
  • 2 Corinthians 7:1 ESV
    Since we have these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from every defilement of body[a] and spirit, bringing holiness to completion in the fear of God.
  • 2 Corinthians 11:2-3 ESV
    For I feel a divine jealousy for you, since I betrothed you to one husband,to present you as a pure virgin to Christ. But I am afraid that as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning, your thoughts will be led astray from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ.
  • Philippians 1:9-10 ESV
    And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more,with knowledge and all discernment, 10 so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ
  • Philippians 4:8 ESV
    Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.
  •  Timothy 1:5 ESV
    The aim of our charge is love that issues from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.
  • 1 Timothy 5:22 ESV
    Do not be hasty in the laying on of hands, nor take part in the sins of others; keep yourself pure.
  • 2 Timothy 2:22 ESV
    So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.
  • Titus 1:15 ESV
    To the pure, all things are pure, but to the defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure; but both their minds and their consciences are defiled.
  • Hebrews 10:22 ESV
    let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.
  • James 1:27 ESV
     Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visitorphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.
  • James 3:17 ESV
     But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere.
  •  1 Peter 1:22 ESV
     Having purified your souls by your obedience to the truth for a sincere brotherly love, love one another earnestly from a pure heart,
  • 1 John 3:3 ESV
    And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure.
  • Revelation 19:8 ESV

    it was granted her to clothe herself
        with fine linen, bright and pure”—

    for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints.

It’s A Dirty Job, But Somebody’s Got to Do it

It was as exciting as Christmas morning.

Our girls had been asking us for a Wii since last summer.  So, when a friend from church said he was selling his used Wii system, we knew this was too good an opportunity to pass up.

We surprised our daughters with it as a way to celebrate the end to their school year and my husband explained to the girls how proud we were of their hard work and their many achievements.

The girls jumped around the living room squealing and hugging us.  My oldest announced, “I just can’t stop thanking you enough!”

Giving good gifts to our children brings me incredible joy—to see them so excited, so grateful, so delighted to have the desire of their little hearts placed into their hands.  Matthew 7:11 tells us, “If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!”

If giving the perfect gift excites me, I can only imagine those moments of divine anticipation as God prepares to bless us.  Does He laugh as we dance around the room, full of thanks and praise?  Does He hug us as we humbly bow, so aware that we don’t deserve His gracious blessings?  Does He wipe away the tears of overwhelming gratitude?

We enjoyed just a taste of that pleasure as our girls popped in the first game and began to play.

Then the whining began when they couldn’t make their guy jump high enough after just one try.  The frustration kicked in when they didn’t know how to move their hand to make their bowling ball slide just the right way down the electronic alley. There were angry grunts and declarations that, “it’s too hard.”

Even worse, when the girls played a game together, there was the inevitable struggle over winning and losing graciously.  Apparently, kids are not innately “good sports.”  At first the winner was kind and encouraging; the loser begrudging and complaining.  Then the winner gloated.  The loser started declaring, “it’s not fair.”  It was war.

Overall, the girls still love this gift and they are getting better at it all the time.  As parents, though, there were some moments when we weren’t so sure this was such a good idea.  Our gift seemed to be bringing out the worst in them.

But the reality of parenting is that it’s a messy job.  And I’m not talking about potty training, dirty diapers and sickness.

We could shuffle along on the outskirts of our kids’ character and life would be pretty easy.  If we closed our eyes to their weaknesses and ignored their mistakes, this would all be more “fun.”

We’d be failures, though.

Sometimes we have to put on the big muddy rubber boots and wade into the mess in order to pull out the gunk that is sin and human nature and weakness.

We have to buy one toy and insist our kids learn to share.  We have to play games and teach losers how to lose and winners how to win.  We have to look in the face of a defeated child and remind her that the best things in life are worth working hard for and that giving up simply ensures failure.

It’s a dirty job, but someone’s got to do it—and that someone is us.

In the same way, the circumstances God gives us, the jobs He calls us to, the ministries He lays in our hand, the responsibilities He entrusts us with and the relationships He places in our lives often bring out the worst in us. They certainly do for me.  There are times that I am shocked and embarrassed when all my “uglies come out” (to quote Lysa TerKeurst).

God’s not surprised, though.  Our heavenly Father never shirks His parental job and uses these opportunities to deal with the sin that is bubbling to the surface of our hearts.

This is why “iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another” (Proverbs 27:17).  God uses conflict to mature us.

This is why we should “count it all joy, my brothers,when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing” (James 1:2-3).  Trials mold our character and make us more like Christ.

Spoiled children that we often are, we might think God always needs to give us the gift we so desire, the blessing we’ve been longing for, and the success we see others enjoying.  Yet, we’d never grow, never mature, never get one tiny bit closer to Jesus in a life free of conflict and trouble.

Proverbs 30:12 says, “Don’t imagine yourself to be quite presentable when you haven’t had a bath in weeks” (MSG).

We might at times do just that, walking around without any awareness of our own mess.  Then something like a Wii brings out the worst in us.  We want to give up.  We fight with our brother or sister.  We whine about how hard it is and how unfair.

Sometimes that’s a good thing–as long as we’re willing to let God scrub at us for a while and deal with the sin that surfaces.  Then we can enjoy the gifts He’s given fully and completely and He can laugh with us in delight and bless us with His favor.  It’s a dirty job and He’s just the One to do it.

You can read more devotionals on this topic here:

Heather King is a wife, mom, Bible Study teacher, writer for www.myfrienddebbie.com and worship leader.  Most importantly, she is a Christ follower with a desire to help others apply the Bible to everyday life with all its mess, noise, and busyness.  To read more devotionals by Heather King, click here.

Copyright © 2012 Heather King

What’s My Motivation?

For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.
Hebrews 4:12

It’s typically the actor’s question.  What’s my motivation?

Even though I’m not an actor, I’ve been asking myself the same thing.

Or perhaps it isn’t me asking at all, but God who is nudging my heart.

It’s when I worship.  What is my motivation for singing now?
It’s when I serve.  What is my motivation for this ministry?
It’s when I do Mom things and Wife things.  What is my motivation for caring for my family in this way?
It’s when I speak and write.  What is my motivation for saying this?

It’s easy to feel at times that our behavior and actions are all that matter, thinking that what we do pleases God.

And if that was the true test, maybe some of us would be earning easy A’s in this life.

God, however, is always more interested in our heart than in the activity of our hands. 

The prophet Jeremiah wrote, “I the LORD search the heart and examine the mind,
to reward each person according to their conduct, according to what their deeds deserve” (Jeremiah 17:10).  Our conduct and deeds are not judged on their own.  Instead, God penetrates the closed-off, hidden portions of our hearts and minds.  He seeks out our motivation for all that we do.

He asks questions.

In Mark 10, two brothers and a blind man both came to Jesus with requests and instead of performing immediate miracles or making instant promises, Jesus asked them each the same question.

It’s a question that’s all about motives.

James and John, the fiery sons of Zebedee, started out tentatively, “‘Teacher,’ they said, ‘we want you to do for us whatever we ask.'”

Jesus was no fool.  He asked them for specifics.  “What do you want me to do for you?” (Mark 10:36).

What could their request be?  What was their deep-down true desire?  What motivated their service?

For these two brothers, the truth was an ugly one. They desired self-exaltation and personal glory.  “They replied, ‘Let one of us sit at your right and the other at your left in your glory” (Mark 10:37).

We serve because of the attention and praise it brings.  We want to be told how great we are and to feel proud of being your followers!  We want to be your right and left-hand guys, with all of the power and status that entails.

Jesus denied their request, teaching the disciples instead that God’s Kingdom doesn’t function with the same hierarchy as earthly realms.

“Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all.  For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Mark 10:43-45).

Does a desire for attention and praise motivate us in the same way?  If you allowed God to ask you that question right now—What do you want me to do for you?—how would you answer?

Would you want material provision?
Would you want physical comfort or worldly success?
Would you want to feel like the best mom, wife, employee, daughter, friend?
Would you desire ministry impact and, if so, for what purpose—to feed your pride, to make you feel valued, to give you special status in God’s Kingdom?

Or do you desire His glory?  Do you desire greater intimacy with God?
Do you long to see?

That’s what blind Bartimaeus wanted.  Just verses after Jesus’s motivational chat with James and John, Jesus met this blind beggar.

When he heard that Jesus was in town, Bartimaeus cried out loudly in desperation.  He shouted, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” (Mark 10:47)

Have mercy!  That means, “I know I don’t deserve anything from You, but I ask because You are compassionate.”

Daniel prayed in this same way when he said, “We do not make requests of you because we are righteous, but because of your great mercy” (Daniel 9:18).

From the beginning, Bartimaeus’s request was different than the Zebedee brothers, who asked for status in heaven because they felt their earthly service merited it.

But Bartimaeus knew we don’t earn God’s gifts to us.

So the blind man screamed out for Jesus’s attention and Jesus, hearing his cries, called Bartimaeus over.  Then He asked the question: What do you want me to do for you? (Mark 10:51).

What was it Bartimaeous wanted?  A place in Jesus’ kingdom?  A seat near the throne in heaven?  A place in Jesus’ inner circle here on earth now?

No.  “The blind man said, ‘Rabbi, I want to see.” (Mark 10:51).

Immediately, Jesus healed him because of his faith. Then Bartimaeus did the only thing possible when Christ delivers you; he followed Jesus down the road.

What do you want God to do for you?  How painful this question can truly be when we allow Him to weigh our motives, revealing the impurities there.

Are we seeking God’s glory in all things?  Are we longing and searching to see God in every situation?  Or are we out for ourselves, for what we think we need, for what will fulfill us, for what will make us happy, and for what will satisfy our pride?

What’s your motivation?

Heather King is a wife, mom, Bible Study teacher, writer for www.myfrienddebbie.com and worship leader.  Most importantly, she is a Christ follower with a desire to help others apply the Bible to everyday life with all its mess, noise, and busyness.  To read more devotionals by Heather King, click here.

Copyright © 2011 Heather King