The Pure in Heart
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. -Matthew 5:8
Check out last week’s sermon here.
Pastor Mike shared how Matthew 5:8 both mines the depths of our neediness before God (to be pure in heart) and ascends the heights of the Christian’s great goal, seeing God.
Ponder these questions with me.
Question #1: What if my sin is worse than I think it is?
It certainly is. I can live a lifetime exhausting myself, striving to keep clean the parts of me that people see (Jesus calls this the outside of the cup (Matthew 23:25)). However, a lifetime of effort on my exterior isn’t even a warm-up compared to Jesus’ statement that my very heart must be pure in order to see God.
If my response is to look deeper into myself to fix my heart, I will always be found lacking. Every thought, motive, and desire are exposed before God. Is that a comforting thought? I can look exceptional to others while God peers into my heart and exposes my flaws. He even sees the sins I am blinded to.
So, if my sin is worse than I think it is, maybe, by God’s grace, I will end my efforts to earn God’s blessing by my own works (Galatians 2:16) rather than trusting in my own righteousness.
Question #2: What if I am fearful that seeing God one day will mean my judgment?
If the pure in heart see God, and I know I am unworthy when reflecting on my failures (external and internal sins), how can seeing God be anything but terrifying for me? Isn’t God’s wrath coming against my unrighteousness (my sin) (Romans 1:18)?
If you are fearful at the thought of seeing God one day, there may be a thought running through your mind. You may believe there is something in you that you need to fix in order for God to be pleased with you. “If only I could have more time to be ready to see God.” To that thought, remember how a pure heart is really achieved.
The formula for a Pure Heart: “Trust in God, through the work of Christ, who will do the impossible work in us by His grace.” -Pastor Mike
If you are fearful, turn to Jesus in rest and trust. He will sustain you. In Christ, you will stand before God with incredible joy–not terror. Truly, only in Jesus will anyone joyfully see God. In Jesus, you are an adopted son/daughter and God is, “Daddy” (Galatians 4:6). Seeing God will not mean your judgment; it will mean your completed transformation.
So, live now, looking and longing for a clearer vision of God. That vision of God (in His Word, in transformed saints, in His creation) is what is now changing you by the Spirit (2 Corinthians 3:18). Sing* and believe now,
“Jesus is all the world to me!” and,
“Grace that is greater than all my sin!” and,
“Oh that day when freed from sinning, I shall see Thy lovely face, Full arrayed in blood-washed linen, How I’ll sing Thy sovereign grace.”
Look to that day, now, longing to see God. In Jesus, seeing God will mean nothing but glory!
*Lyrics in the order they appear: Jesus Is All the World to Me by Will L. Thompson, 1904. Marvelous grace of our loving Lord by Julia H. Johnston, 1910. Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing by Robert Robinson, 1758.