Sunday, October 2, 2016

Insights from today's message at Gastonia First Wesleyan - The Pure in Heart

We come this morning to the sixth beatitude which has to do with purity of heart and with seeing God. 

Whereas the promises associated with the previous beatitudes talk about belonging to the kingdom of heaven, inheriting the earth, being comforted, filled, and receiving mercy, this one says is certainly one of the greatest because it offers us the promise of seeing God. As with all the others, this beatitude fits in sequentially with the others. 

Those who have come to see their sinful state for what it is, they are the poor in spirit, they have mourned over their sins, been brought to the humility of recognizing their own inability to do anything about it and have thus hungered and thirsted for the righteousness of God and were consequently filled, as they received the bountiful mercy of God. This has brought them to the point of being saved, which means their sins were washed away and they have been made pure.

 As we seek to understand all that our Lord is saying to us in this text, there are several things we must consider.

First of all, I want us to consider what the heart is. What exactly is this heart to which Jesus refers? Certainly it is not the muscle which pumps blood through our bodies, it must be something more?

Then we need to ask ourselves what is this purity about which Jesus speaks. If the pure in heart enjoy a state of blessing and privilege, what does it mean to be pure?

And what does it mean to see God? Is the scripture speaking literally or metaphorically? What is it saying, and then how do we make the application of this text to our everyday experience?

Only those who have surrendered their hearts completely to Jesus that he may reign in them alone. Only those whose hearts are undefiled by their own evil—and by their own virtues too.      
                                         Dietrich Bonhoeffer The Cost of Discipleship

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