Blessed “Be” attitudes :: Be Pure (in heart)

Matthew 5:3-12 lists eight Beatitudes that were spoken of by Jesus. Jesus said, “Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.” (Matthew 5:8)

To be blessed, one must have an attitude of being pure (in heart).

The Creator God is not interested in an outward showing of piety or penance as many doctrines of men and world religions prescribe, but God is interested in inward purity i.e., purity of the heart. When the scribes and Pharisees in an accusatory manner questioned Jesus that his disciples did not wash their hands before breaking bread, Jesus astutely yet sternly cautioned them of their double standard and hypocrisy, and expressed a fundamental truth, that it is not what one consumes that defiles a man, but what comes from within (from the heart) (Matthew 15:11). Later when his disciples approached him and asked him if he was offended by the Pharisees and sought clarification of his response, he asked them “Are you also yet without understanding?” before explaining that out of the heart proceeds evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies; things which defile a man (Matthew 15:19-20).

So if by nature our heart is prone to defile, then how is it that one can be pure in heart? To be pure means to be untainted, unstained, unblameable, unreproveable, without spot or wrinkle. In other words, to be pure is to be set apart and it is to be holy. This is an impossible edict for man to accomplish by his/her own efforts. No matter how impressive and thorough a self-help program prescribes, no one can be holy by his or her own accord, for in sin are we conceived (Psalm 51:5). There is one only Way to be holy. Jesus said He is THE WAY (John 14:6). The Bible teaches us that Jesus, who is the image of the invisible God, can present us unblameable and unreproveable in the sight of God (Colossians 1:22), because he who knew no sin, became sin for us, and died in our stead, so we can be imputed the righteousness (purity/holiness) of God (2 Corinthians 5:21). In other words, only Jesus can make us holy i.e., only Jesus can make our hearts pure and clean; without spot or wrinkle. King David’s recognized that out of his heart came thoughts of – evil and murder toward Bathsheba’s husband Uriah, – adultery and fornication (extramarital sex) with Bathsheba, – stealing Uriah’s wife, – false witness and lying (covering the murderous plot of Uriah’s death) and – blasphemies (for what David had done displeased the Lord) (2 Samuel 11). Upon this recognition, king David repented and sought that God would create in him a clean (pure) heart; one that is holy and blameless, in God’s sight. When we repent of our sins, believing in Jesus Christ, he makes us a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17), replacing our old heart that defiles with one that is pure and clean (Ezekiel 36:26). Those who are pure in heart are those who have recognized that Jesus is the Only Way to Holiness and have repented asking Him to create in them a clean/pure heart. These are blessed for they shall see God.

What does it mean that one shall see God? God is Spirit (John 4:24),  God is invisible (1 Timothy 1:17), God dwells in an unapproachable light, which no man can see, nor has seen (1 Timothy 6:16).  Then how can God be seen? There is a multi-faceted answer to this which we find in the Bible. First, Jesus is the image of the invisible God, in whom the fullness of God dwells (Colossians 1:15,19). Second, Jesus said, He is THE LIGHT of the world (John 8:12). Third, when we walk in the light, desiring to be pure (in heart), repenting of our sins, believing in Jesus and asking Him to create in us a clean heart, we have fellowship with God as He is light and is in the light now approachable through Jesus, for Jesus said, all who see me (have fellowship with me) have seen God (the Father) (John 14:8-11). Fourth, all who have believed in Jesus, have been delivered from the power of darkness and been translated to the kingdom of Jesus Christ, God’s dear Son (Colossians 1:13), and they shall see God face to face, when He establishes His kingdom on new earth (Revelation 22:4). We see God now through Jesus Christ, we will later see God in Christ, face to face.

Point(s) to ponder:
1. God is pleading, “Come now, let us reason together, though your sins are like scarlet, I will wash you whiter than snow.” (Isaiah 1:18). The vilest offender (of whom I am chief) is not out of the reasoning and reach of God. Reason with Him. Reach out to God.
2. Have you/I heard God’s plea and have we repented of our sins, asking Him to create in us a clean/pure heart? For without holiness, no man shall see the Lord (Hebrews 12:29) and Only Jesus Christ can make you/I holy, unblameable and unreproveable.
3. God opened the heart (understanding) of Lydia so she could believe in Jesus and be baptized into His kingdom of light (Acts 16:14). Ask God to open your heart (of understanding) so that it can be made pure!

Matthew 5:8 (KJV)
8 Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.

Hebrews 12:14 (KJV)
14 Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:

Colossians 1:12-23 (KJV)
Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light:
Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son [Jesus Christ]:
In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:
Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:
For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:
And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.
And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.
For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell;
And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.
And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled
In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight:
If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister;

Water – satisfying and purifying LORD

The fourth and final element in our series is Water.

Recently as I watched an episode of  “I shouldn’t be alive” covering the lives of certain folks lost at sea, and how their desires for water after the second or third day started to drive some members delusional leading eventually to their death as they hallucinated seeing land in the open ocean and trying to swim to it. This got me thinking about the length of term that one could possibly stay alive without drinking water and from the Holy Scriptures I read that for a period of forty days and forty nights, Moses did not eat any bread or drink water (Deuteronomy 9:9) as he went up to the mountain to receive the tablets of the covenant of the LORD. I wondered as to how Moses could have stayed alive and without being able to rationalize in a human sense, how this could have been possible, I had to remind myself of the words of Jesus, that man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God (Matthew 4:4) and that Jesus is the giver of living water and whoever drank of him shall thirst no more (John 4:14). It was the Water from the Rock (Jesus) that sustained and saved the Israelites as they trekked toward the promised land, led by God’s servant, Moses. (Numbers 20:7-11)

Water not only satisfy one’s thirst, but it also purifies (Number 31:23). When Naaman the leper immersed himself in water, his skin was purified and he was made into a new creation with skin as if it was like that of a child (2 Kings 5:14).

Just as water is essential for physical survival, Jesus, the Living water is essential for Spiritual survival. Despite the fact that the human body is composed 90% of water, we still need water to live. Despite the fact that we are made in the image of God, we need the expressed image of invisible God (Colossians 1:15), who is Jesus Christ to live eternally (John 3:16).

Jesus is THE ELEMENT, the LIVING WATER that satisfies and purifies us making us a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17) when we believe in Him.

The Name is Image of the invisible God

Even though identical twins resemble one another, they are distinct in their genetic makeup and fingerprints. There is not a single person in the world who is the same as you are. The only way you can find an exact representation of yourself is to look at your reflected image in a mirror.

The writer to the Hebrews affirms that the Person (essence) of God is expressed in Jesus (Hebrews 1:3). Jesus Himself said that whoever has seen Him has seen the Father (John 14:9). This only accentuates the fact that Jesus is God, the one and Only God.

Jesus is the expressed fullness of God (Colossians 1:19). The Apostle Paul writes to those in Colosse that Jesus is the image of the invisible God. Apostle Paul was eloquently saying that if God was to look into a mirror, He would see Jesus.

We are expected to become perfect and attain the full measure of the fullness of Christ (Ephesians 4:13). In other words, we are to reflect the essence of Jesus in our lives. So the question is whether we are a mirror image of Jesus to those who are seeking to see God? And more importantly,  if Jesus was to look into a mirror, would He see you, would He see me?

Colossians 1:15 (KJV)
15 Who (Jesus) is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:

Ephesians 4:11-13 (KJV)
And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;
For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:
Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: