Mathew 5:8 states, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.”
When we think of purity we think of something without blemish. However, purity of heart is not about being perfect, it is about being consistent and sincere in my pursuit of the one who will continue the work of perfecting me until the day of His return (Philippians 1:6). This was a hard truth for me to understand because I have a natural bent to please, especially those in authority. I recently had an ugly cry session with God and I was repenting and felt so broken over the wrong attitude that I had the previous day. I felt like I disappointed Him. God gently reminded me that my willingness to not make excuses or be comfortable with my sinful behavior the previous day is what makes my heart pure. I had to pause and really soak in such an affirming truth from my father. As long as we live in the flesh, the pure in heart will make mistakes BUT they are quick to humble themselves and repent of their sins. They are more grieved that they sinned against God and are not just sorry because of the consequences that follow. The pure in heart do not abuse the grace of God and use it as an excuse to keep on sinning. Instead, they use grace as a stepping stool to be delivered from sin.
Purity of heart speaks to inner purity. It’s a heart that is dedicated to God, one that seeks to please Him, a heart that is honest, and fully devoted to Him. A pure heart is one that says, “I don’t care what man thinks of me, I only want to please you, my allegiance is to you, and it is not divided.” Their constant song is that of the psalmist in Psalm 51:10, “create in me a clean heart and purify me.”
We must resist the temptation to be like the Pharisees who were more concerned about looking good on the outside. Jesus calls them out in Mathew 23:27 and tells them they are like whitewashed tombs-beautiful on the outside but filled on the inside with dead people’s bones and all sort of impurity. He goes on to say in verse 28, “you try to look like upright people outwardly but inside your hearts are filled with hypocrisy and lawlessness.” OUCH! Jesus uses such language of disdain, but this lets us know how serious He is about us pursuing purity of heart.
Let us pray and pursue purity of heart!
Mathew 5:7 says, “Blessed are the merciful for they shall receive mercy.” None of us are without guilt, not one. Romans 3:23 reminds us that all of us have sinned and have fallen short of God’s glorious standards. We have all done things that deserved the wrath of God, but His mercy rescues us. Mercy is simply withholding the punishment that is deserved. The passage in Mathew 5:7 reminds us that to get mercy from God, we must give it to others. This is nonnegotiable. The parable that Jesus told of the unforgiving debtor in Mathew 18:21-35 is a sobering reminder of this truth. It is quite prideful to come and ask God to show us mercy but deny those who have offended or hurt us of that same privilege. How hypocritical. We live in a fallen world, so we will get hurt by others and the temptation to withhold forgiveness and mercy is ever present. But the stakes are too high if we choose not to be merciful to others because to be in fellowship with God both now and later, we need His mercy!
Mathew 5:6 says, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness for they shall be filled.” True righteousness is not just about our acts, it is an inward reality. Jesus rebukes the Pharisees who did many righteous acts because they were hypocrites with impure motives. They did it to gain the recognition of man and wanted to be considered pious. Their righteousness was indeed like filthy rags. True righteousness comes from Christ alone. We are made righteous through our faith in Jesus. We must stay in a place of pursuing that righteousness that only Christ can give.
Hunger and thirst provoke me to action. When I am hungry or thirsty, getting something to eat and drink becomes a primary concern. Everything else becomes secondary in my quest to satisfy that desire for food and drink. When I am hungry and thirsty for righteousness, I have a deep desire for the more of God. I don’t make excuses for why I can’t pursue the one who makes me righteous. My hunger for the more of Him creates a desperation that causes me to hurdle over the excuses so that I can sit at His feet. He fills me and at the same time leaves me longing for more. I want to remain in that place of hungering and thirsting for righteousness, how about you?
Mathew 5:5 says, “Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.” Gentleness and humility are synonymous with meekness. The meek don’t insist on their own rights, they are willing to put the needs of others before their own. Contrary to what culture may teach, meekness is not weakness, it is strength under control. Jesus is the epitome of meekness. As Jesus was being arrested before His crucifixion, one of His disciples tried to retaliate by cutting off the High Priest servant’s ear. Jesus rebuked this disciple who was trying to defend Him. He reminded his disciple that he could have easily asked his father to send thousands of angels to protect Him in that moment (Mathew 26:53). But Jesus chose not to. Isaiah 53:7 tells us of Jesus’ response to suffering for sins He did not commit. It says, “He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth.” Even though He was innocent and did not deserve to die, Jesus was focused on our need for salvation. He was submitted to the will of the father, even to the point of death. That’s strength under control.
Verses like these sure make me pause,
Because let me tell you, I can write a book on how to insist on your own rights, be prideful, and how to defend yourself when others do you wrong. I really can. However, the word of God shows me what I should be, and I am so grateful for grace that makes it possible! I am praying to be meek, how about you?
Mathew 5:4 reads, “blessed are those who mourn for they will be comforted.” This mourning here refers to a deep remorse for sin, your sins and the sins of others. Mourners don’t try to tame or make excuses for their sins. They know that sin displeases God so in humility they bring it to Him with a desire for change. When I am grieving, comfort is something that I long for because it gives me hope. Jesus promises that those who mourn over their sins will be comforted. A part of that comfort is His forgiveness of sin. 1 John 1:9 lets us know that “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” When I stay in that place of being deeply grieved about sin, I also have the promise of eternal life. Revelation 21:4 reminds us that, “He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.” What a sweet promise for an everlasting comfort for those who mourn.
It saddens me because we live in a day where sin is embraced and even celebrated. We have become masters at packaging and accepting the very thing that God detests. We are dancing in a time that we should be mourning. What would happen if we had more mourning over sin, would the power of God not manifest as He promised? Would we not see more captives being set free? God did promise in 2 Chronicles 7:14 that He would hear the prayers of the mourners and comfort them through forgiving their sins and healing their land. I think it is time we started mourning, don’t you agree?
PS-Click on this link to read about the previous beatitude, the poor in spirit.
Mathew 5:3 says, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” This is a scripture that on the surface doesn’t seem too appealing. Who in their right mind would want to be poor? But that’s just it, in the kingdom of God, we must lose our mind and gain the mind of Christ. Poverty of spirit means to be fully aware of your need for God. In other words, the poor in spirit realize that without God, they are spiritually bankrupt. There is an utter dependence and desperation for God’s presence. The poor in spirit wears humility as a fragrance because they are fully aware that they are nothing without God. This is the total opposite of what the world tells us we should do and be. In this world, we are told that we can figure it out on our own, we are strong and smart enough. We are applauded for our independence and our ability to pull ourselves up by our own bootstraps. However, the poor in spirit shun this worldly mindset and without shame they cry out for the more of God.
This poverty that Jesus is referring to is one that leads you to a richness that money could never buy. Those who are poor in spirit has the kingdom of heaven as an inheritance, and that my friend is true prosperity. The kingdom of heaven refers to the reign and rule of God, both now and in the time to come. How powerful is that?! Jesus says that when I am poor in spirit and acknowledge my need for Him, I have access to this reign and rule…it’s my inheritance! This then gives me power over the enemy and guarantees me the victory EVERY SINGLE TIME, regardless of my circumstance.
My question for you is, are you poor enough?