“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” (Matthew 5:8)
We continue our focus on the Beatitudes, wherein Jesus outlined eight circumstances of blessedness for believers. (Matthew 5:3-12) Jesus states in today’s Beatitude that those who are pure in heart are blessed (experiencing God’s favor), and they will see God.
Whether it’s pure water or pure gold, folks value things that are unadulterated. In fact, one’s ultimate wellbeing relies on standards of purity. What, then, could be more important than the purity of a person’s heart, leading to the ability to see God? In the sixth Beatitude Jesus uses simple, succinct words to reflect the illustrative language of the Psalmist.
According to David in Psalm 24:3-6, the person permitted to “ascend the hill of the Lord” and “stand in his holy place,” must be, “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.” David continues: “He will receive blessing from the Lord and righteousness from the God of his salvation. Such . . . seek the face of the God of Jacob.”
In spite of our best efforts, however, we find that we cannot achieve a heart of single-minded integrity and purity through our own endeavors. Scriptures attest in Isaiah 53:6, “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned—every one—to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him [Jesus] the iniquity of us all.” The free gift of salvation is ours only when we humbly repent of our sins and receive redemption through Jesus’ sacrificial death on our behalf. (Romans 6:23)
Like David, we find ourselves pleading for pure hearts before God. “Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.” (Psalm 51:10, NIV) Jesus identified humanity’s fundamental problem in Matthew 6:24 (AMP): “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon [money, possessions, fame, status, or whatever is valued more than the Lord].” God must hold primary place in our hearts as we “seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness.” (Matthew 6:33)
Dear Lord, forgive us and grant us single-minded purity of heart in trusting you. We thank you that salvation through Jesus’ righteousness covers us, rendering us pure and undefiled before you. Bowing in worship at heaven’s throne, we will see “the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” (2 Corinthians 4:6) We will see God. Hallelujah!
Kay Henry is a columnist for the Claremore Progress. All Bible quotations are from “The Holy Bible, English Standard Version” (ESV), unless otherwise noted.