The Beatitudes: Purity

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Matthew 5:8

I heard a story recently about the president of a Fortune 500 corporation who was so impressed by a book entitled “Men and Women of God” that he called a downtown Chicago bookstore and ordered 350 copies of it to give to all the executives of his company. The bookstore sent back a message by computer which read: “We cannot find 350 Men and Women of God in Chicago. Try Los Angeles.” I wonder if they had any better luck in L.A. than they did in Chicago. I know that in this world men and women of God are sometimes hard to find.

Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. What is it to be pure in heart? Those whose moral being is free from contamination with sin, without divided interests or loyalties. To the pure, belongs the unclouded vision of God, which will reach consummation when Christ returns. I remember the words of Mae West, “I used to be Snow White — but I drifted.”

The problems is we all drift! We are sincere about our faith and we really try to be pure. We want our minds, motives, and principles to be pure. We even seek to have the external actions correct, because it is our desire to be holy in heart. The problem? We look on the outward appearance, but God looks on the heart.

Here, we are on Old Testament ground. The difference between outward and inward purity, and the acceptability of the latter only in the sight of God, is taught everywhere. Moses wanted to see the face of God: Exodus 33:20-22 But,” he said, “you cannot see my face, for no one may see me and live.” Then the LORD said, “There is a place near me where you may stand on a rock. When my glory passes by, I will put you in a cleft in the rock and cover you with my hand until I have passed by. To look on the face of God was to behold judgement!

To be able to look upon the face of God called for a perfect individual. Very few are recorded in scripture and even fewer living. There are only two verses about Enoch in scripture; Gen 5:23-24 Altogether, Enoch lived 365 years. Enoch walked with God; then he was no more, because God took him away.

Even though Moses couldn’t look upon the face of God he was changed by being in God’s presence. After he had gone to the top of the mountain many times, his face began to glow with the glory of God. His face glowed so bright that he had to wear a veil to keep from blinding people.

Jesus will conclude this fifth chapter of Matthew with a profound request of His listeners, Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect. How can we be perfect, how can we be pure in heart, when our nature is bent to sinning? If we are sinners, then is it implied that we will never see God? It is implied that all will see God, . That is, we will see God as a Judge, not as a Friend. Blessed are the pure in heart is an invitation to see God as a Friend.

All of us have the ability to rid ourselves of the dark and ugly side. 1 Cor 5:6 Your boasting is not good. Don’t you know that a little yeast works through the whole batch of dough? A farmer went each week to the Farmers’ Market to sell, among other things, the cottage cheese and apple butter made on his farm. He carried these in two large tubs, from which he ladled the cottage cheese or apple butter into smaller containers the customers brought. One day he got to the market and discovered he’d forgotten one ladle. He felt he had no choice but to use the one for both products. Before long he couldn’t tell which was which.

Pure in heart does not mean that we are perfect already. Pure in heart is the desire of our hearts to be pure. It is real and not fake. What type of diet do we have for Christ?

A man was driving through the country when he saw a sign in front of a country store: “Rabbit Burgers — 25 cents.” Intrigued by both the idea and the price, he stopped, went inside and purchased one. While he was eating, he spoke with the proprietor: “I stopped because I saw your sign and your price. Are these made completely from rabbit meat?” “They’re mostly rabbit,” the proprietor said. “What do you mean by ‘MOSTLY?'” “I put in a little mule, too.” “What do you mean by ‘A LITTLE’?” “Fifty – fifty,” replied the storekeeper. “What do you mean by ‘FIFTY – FIFTY’?” The storekeeper answered, “You know, you put in one rabbit and you put in one mule.”

Paul writes to the Church at Rome and says, For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. This issue is as simple as asking, “Are we even trying to be good?” A grandson asked to his grandfather: “In your day you didn’t have all these social diseases. What did you wear to have safe sex?” Grandfather answered, “A wedding ring.” To lie a little is not possible; whoever lies, lies a whole lie.

If you put a spoonful of wine in a barrel full of sewage you get sewage. If you put a spoonful of sewage in a barrel of wine, you get sewage. The food that enters the mind must be watched as closely as the food that enters the body.

If you want the heart to be pure, plant good seed. Christians should have more fun with their purity than the sinner does with sin. Reading the Bible is important. Being in the fellowship is important. Being accountable to the Church is important. Being in regular prayer is important. Being in service to one another is important. Because all of it is food for the Christian heart.

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