If the Pure in Heart are blessed - the ones who are in such a happy state they should be envied - as Jesus said (Matt.5:8), then how come more people don't want to be pure?
Let's face it, the number of people who say their goal in life is to be pure is very slim these days. They'd rather be seen as a tough, no-nonsense person - a cross between an Avenger, a successful investor and an "Influencer". Any way they can get there is okay, because it's what you accumulate and how you're seen at the end that matters.
A clue to this is in the second part of Jesus' statement: "for they shall see God."
The pure in heart WANT to see God. They want to see His Glory in action, to know Him, to understand and even be like Him. People don't want to see God because they are not pure in heart, nor do they want to be.
The reality is that without purity, no-one will see God. He is indescribably powerful and glorious and only admits to His presence those whom He chooses to admit. His very presence is a "Consuming fire" (Heb.12:29), so everything impure gets burned away just by looking at Him. That was the challenge even for Moses. He talked with God, but God still said "You cannot see me and live!" (Exodus 33).
To get to such a state in life requires a radical change. As the Apostle Paul noted in Romans chapter 3, "All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God." Not one of us is pure. To try to approach Him in that condition is impossible. This is the kind of objection the disciples raised when Jesus described His humanly impossible standards for His followers: If you even LOOK at a woman with lust, you're already headed for destruction. It's a description He applied to all manner of aspects of life. Their standards and their hearts had to be better than the absolute best, most praised, most successful and most powerful people in society.
And most people with a hint of self-awareness realise they can never measure up to that kind of standard.
The disciples were regular men and women, just like you and me. So they answered the way we would: "But that's impossible!"
Jesus' response was what His life demonstrated, "With man this IS impossible, but with God all things are possible!" (Matt.19:26) He wasn't talking about having a great investment portfolio, houses, flying without wings or having power over others. He was talking about a radical change of heart - a change to an absolutely pure one.
The only way you and I can have this is if God provides it, because we can't. That's the paradox - we need to be pure in heart to want to see Him and we can't really want to unless our hearts have been purified!
That's the Good News about Jesus Christ and the Kingdom of Heaven. God always knew He had to make the first step and He always has. He sent Jesus Christ of His own volition and planning, because through Jesus Christ, we can see God partially now - and that makes us enviably happy, more than any celebrity, leader, or figure of the rich and powerful.
And in the future He has promised that we will continue to be ecstatically happy, forever, if we respond to Him with some humility, admit to our sinfulness - our imperfection - and receive the gift of His forgiveness and saving grace through His own Spirit placed in us, to change and purify our very hearts.
We were examining this beatitude and a number of scriptures that explain the verse in full during our last church service. It's astonishing the depth that Jesus imbued in each of these statements. Even though we are devoting messages each week to exploring just one beatitude at a time, we are still only scratching the surface of what the Bible and our lives with God have to say about these sayings of Jesus.
Come and hear what God has to say to you and to me. He wants to give you the opportunity to one day see Him, clearly, to know Him and, by His incredible gifts through His Son Jesus Christ, to actually become pure in heart as God Himself is. Join us and share in that blessing - that happiness - with other followers of Jesus Christ.
Our next services during the month of August are:
Saturday August 12
Saturday August 19
Saturday August 26
All services commence at 10 am, with arrival any time from 9:30 am. Venue is Ellenbrook Christian College, 'G' Block, with entry from the northern carpark.
If you are not local and are unable to attend, you can see our archived sermon series via our website (www.livingwaterschurch.online/sermons) or follow the link there to our YouTube channel.
If you have questions, feel free to chat online or contact us through the website (www.livingwaterschurch.online/contact). We're happy - blessed, as Jesus would say - to also meet in person to discuss your questions and needs.
The Next Beatitude
On August 12, we will be speaking about the next beatitude, "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called children of God."
Don't we need peace in this world?! It's impossible! Ah, yes, with man it is impossible, but with God all things are possible!
Join us and hear next time how you and I can be peacemakers and why we will, if we do so, be worthy of the title, "Child of God"