Stephanie Pavlantos: The Pure in Heart Sees God Everywhere
How blessed are the pure in heart! For they will see God.~Matthew 5:8 CJB
I read a great quote on the Beatitudes by Skip Moen, Ph.D. He says, “[A Beatitude] is not a “blessing” that implies one party granting a favor to another party. A Beatitude is really a macarism, an announcement of an existing state, a status of happiness. https://skipmoen.com/2018/02/character-1/
Today, we will explore the sixth Beatitude of Matthew 5. As said above, these are not blessings over you or me, but a state of happiness when understanding that we are nothing more than beggars in need of the Lord, when we mourn over our sin when we look inward to see what keeps us from God when we are desperate to be righteous like Jesus, and when we are merciful and compassionate to others.
We cannot look at the Bible through the lens of the world or even with our American knowledge. We must look at it through the eyes of our Father. As we dig a little deeper while depending on the help of the Holy Spirit we will understand as much as He allows.
However, this is not the happiness the world teaches, but the happiness of a child of the Father.
I remember reading an article about the “sinfulness” of the seven deadly sins. The majority of the people polled did not regard pride as a sin. But yet, according to the Bible, God hates pride.
In my research of this Beatitude, the Delitzsch Hebrew Gospels put it this way:
O the gladness of the pure in heart! For they will behold God.~Matthew 5:8 CJB
I don’t know about you, but I struggle daily to have a pure heart. If it were pure, I wouldn’t have to seek forgiveness when I have the wrong attitude, or when I feel envy, jealousy, or anger.
The word Jesus would have used is the Hebrew word tahor, which means clean. This word has the connotation of cleansing. To be clean, someone must do the cleaning.
We can see this in John 15 as well.
I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit.~John 15:1-2 ESV
In John 15:2, we see the word prunes. This is the Greek word kathairó, meaning clean or cleansed–the same Greek word used for pure in this Beatitude. God is the gardener who prunes the Vine of the extra weight of dead or overgrown branches (us).
A pure heart is a pruned heart. It is a heart that has allowed God to make it clean. No heart becomes clean on its own; we have a part in the process of cleansing as well. The Bible tells us:
The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?~Jeremiah 17:9
What is our part in the process of having a clean heart? We must surrender it to God so He can prune it. Google’s dictionary describes pruning as, “Trim (a tree, shrub, or bush) by cutting away dead or overgrown branches or stems, especially to increase fruitfulness and growth.”
How does our heart become dead and overgrown?
By the cares of this world, hurts, wounds, and the desires of our flesh. The Lord prunes us because He loves us–He wants our hearts to be fruitful and our lives to look like Jesus as we walk with Him.
So what is the promise to those willing to have their hearts pruned?
To see or behold God. This is not future tense.
This is now.
The pure in heart will see God everywhere. They will see Him at work around us. They will not have to wait until Heaven, they will see Him moving here on earth.
Think about that. Why do some see God at work around them, and others don’t? Why do some ask where is God? Could it be related to the condition of our heart?
I was in a meeting about the Church and the current culture of disunity and division. At the end of the meeting, someone asked, “Do we have a clear picture of what a healthy follower of Jesus looks like?”
The answer was so clear to me…Yes!
The healthy follower of Jesus is the one who is in a state of happiness because they are living as Jesus told us to within the Beatitudes.
Remember, Jesus blesses you because He loves you, but you are a happy or blessed one because you do what He says.
Are you a healthy and happy follower of Christ?
Heavenly Father, I love You and want to please You. Help me be more like Jesus by cleansing my heart. Give me the strength to do what is right. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Genre: Bible study
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