One of the intriguing messages of the beatitudes for me is found in Matthew 5:8, which reads, “Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God.”
As I grew up in the excitement and temptations of New York City in the late sixties through the early seventies, I often wondered will I ever really get to see God in heaven because I am having such a good time experiencing life. As I look back to those days, I understand that my heart was not as filthy as it could have been, because of my upbringing in the church, and for this I am thankful. Yet, it was not as pure as I felt God wanted it to be. In the years to come, I learned more and more through God’s message of Hope, Deliverance & Victory that with determination and the help of the Holy Spirit, my heart would be ok, because of the sufficiency of God’s grace.
Jesus taught that it is not enough to clean up our act on the outside, but it was necessary to be clean on the inside. In Matthew chapter 23, verses 25-26 Jesus said, “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean.
In the days of Jesus, the heart was the place of our secret in exposable desires, feeling, passions and thought known only by God that determines our destiny.
Matthew the 15th chapter verses 18-19 Jesus said, “But the things that come out of the mouth come from the heart, and these make a man ‘unclean’ For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander,
The truth is, we cannot reform and cleanse ourselves and make our hearts pure. God alone regenerates and justifies us by his grace.
God alone can cleanse our imaginations, thoughts, words, deeds, and desires to the point that we can enjoy fellowship with Him.
Only God regenerates and justifies us but, when it comes to our sanctification, we must be one hundred percent active.
Hebrews 12:14 says, “Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy. . .” Make every effort! That means we have some responsibility.
Justification is God’s act, regeneration is God’s act, but sanctification is a joint venture. In other word’s we must make an intentional effort to be Holy as God is Holy. And why? the Hebrew writer continues, “. . . without holiness no one will see the Lord.”
1st Peter 1:22 reads, “Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth, . . . love one another deeply, from the heart.” Every time we obey, we contribute to our sanctification.
The resulting promise says “For they shall see God.
Those who are pure in heart shall see God and enjoy fellowship with him forever. They alone shall be told, “Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world” (Matt. 25:34).
They alone shall be told, “Well done, good and faithful servant! . . . Come and share your master’s happiness!” (Matt. 25:23).
God’s people will see God, and the prayer of Jesus in John 17:24 will be fulfilled at that time: “Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am and see my glory.”
And in 1 John 3:2 we read “But we know that when he appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.”
In John 14:23 Jesus said, “If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him”
Heavenly Father, we thank you this day for your regenerating and justifying grace that makes us acceptable to you and for your Holy Spirit that helps us work out our soul salvation in our sanctification process. This not only cleanses us, but consecrates us to be your ambassadors of love, justice and healing. Grant us faith, wisdom, courage and strength to overcome the obstacles in our daily living so we can be pure in heart and stand in the awe of your presence. This we pray in the matchless name of Jesus your Son and our Savior, AMEN
Rev. Russell M. Morrow