September 1, 2021
Thank you for your support in praying each Wednesday for our prodigals and for revival. While prayer involves making requests of God, it is much more than that. Prayer, like talking, is our means of communication with God, and therefore integral to a healthy relationship.
There is no relationship as important as the one we have with our God. Prayer helps us to clarify our motives, and to keep our hearts focused on the greatness of our God. It relates to this sixth beatitude that Jesus highlights in the Sermon on the Mount.
“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God” (Matthew 5:8).
To be pure in heart is to be clean, clear, unmixed, sincere, genuine, honest, and blameless. It is the condition of the heart that enables us to see God for who He really is.
To be pure in heart means to be wholly surrendered to God. We all struggle with self-will. It dominated our lives before we trusted Christ, but now we have the ability through the power of the Holy Spirit to live in submission to Christ and His desires. “His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness” (2 Peter 1:3).
To be pure in heart implies a single-mindedness. James says that a double-minded person is unstable. To be double-minded is to live with two conflicting goals, to have mixed purposes. The pure in heart have a single-hearted goal of glorifying God. “So that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ” (2 Thessalonians 1:12).
To be pure in heart is to have motives that are sincere. In other words, there are no ulterior motives. We do what we do because we love Jesus! “For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died” (2 Corinthians 5:14).
When the heart is not clean, our vision is blurred. Sin obstructs. Sin hinders. Sin blinds. When sin comes into our hearts it keeps us from beholding the beauty of our God. When we do sin, we need to turn from it, acknowledge it, confess it, and enjoy the cleansing power of the cross. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).
The pure in heart will see God.
When your heart is pure, you will see God in His creation. When you view a glorious sunset, or a vast ocean, or a colorful plant, or a cute little kitten, you see not just the beauty of the event or thing, the beauty and wonder of our God in His creation and thus worship ensues (Psalm 19).
When your heart is pure, you will see God in His Word. Some view the Bible as a collection of truths, or a list of rules, or a moral guide. The pure in heart see God and His Christ on every page. It is more than learning the truths of Scripture, rather, it’s getting to know the Author in a personal and intimate way. “And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself” (Luke 24:27).
When your heart is pure, you will see God in the good times of life. While our world is groaning under the curse of sin, the goodness of God still shines through in daily circumstances.
A kind word from a stranger. A helping hand from a friend. A captivating book. A tasty steak. A good night's sleep. His blessings are endless.
“As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy” (1 Timothy 6:17).
When your heart is pure, you will see God in the trials and difficulties. They may not be easy or pleasant, but in them you see that God is with you.
“But now thus says the LORD, he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you” (Isaiah 43:1-2). You sense His hand upon you, leading, guiding, helping.
When your heart is pure, you will see God in His people. For God is working in all of us and seeking to transform us into the image of His Son. As we live, as we grow, as we develop, the reflection of our Savior increases. “And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit” (2 Corinthians 3:18).
Thankfully, there is coming a day when those made pure by the blood of Christ will see God in person. We will behold His greatness as never before. “They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads” (Revelation 22:4).
May we all be encouraged.
Love in Christ,
Bryan and Rachel