Blessed are the pure in heart for, they will see God
Matthew chapter five, I’m going to read verses three through eight, which are the beatitudes, and we’re going to be focusing this morning in verse eight.
Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn for they will be comforted. Blessed are the meek for, they will inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness for they will be filled. Bless it are the merciful for, they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart for, they will see God let’s pray.
Lord. I worship you this morning that you want to be seen that it’s your pleasure to make yourself known to your children and that we can know you personally, we can do life with you. We can find the, the freedom of basking in the enjoyment of yourself. So Lord teach us what it means to be pure and heart that we can see God in Jesus name.
Amen. We’ve been looking at the sermon on the Mount, the upside down life is the series title that we’ve given to it. Uh, we’ve been looking initially at the beatitudes, these eight first emphases, the blesseds where Jesus is giving us the values of the kingdom life that he is talking about. This, this life that, that really turns life.
As we know it on its head, the beatitudes do that. They give us a world, turned upside down. Pastor Ben talked about this last time when he talked about the fifth, beatitude bless it. The merciful for they will be shown mercy in his message. He highlighted the fact that. This B attitude speaks to the world of power.
He mentioned how typically it is those in positions of power that are most responsible to show mercy. And this of course goes against our perspective of, of power. Power is revered because it gives you influence and prestige control power becomes something then to be protected and preserved and guarded.
It tends to manifest itself. Then in, in attitudes like greed or manipulation or self ambition, those are much more identifiable characteristics of people in power, us in power than showing mercy. Yet Jesus says in his kingdom power is an opportunity to be merciful. It is an opportunity in power as a leader, as a parent, as a boss, as an owner, to be mercy extenders, this bad attitude speaks to the world of power.
The bad attitude we’re looking at this morning speaks to the world of religion and spirituality, three aspects that we’re going to look at this morning of this concept of being pure in heart. Let’s look at them together. The first is simply where being pure or being clean is focused. The word being pure, uh, the pure in heart is actually the word pure means clean or unmixed.
And the first thing we find is where people often focus this purity or their sense of being clean. Now up to this point, Any Pharisees that were in the audience. And we know there were some in the audience would have been utterly befuddled by everything. Jesus has said. I mean, these five be attitudes he’s talking about just don’t make a lot of sense with their worldview of the faith.
But number six, he says this, or bless it, or the pure God. Finally, they’ve got something to fist bump Jesus about, they understand this concept, purity, unmixed stuff in your life, having your life clean. This is their whole company concept of spirituality and religiosity. And of course, for us, it isn’t that alien.
We talk about things about individuals who are godly and righteous of having cleanness cleanliness in their lives. We talk about dirty jokes. We talk about filthy behavior. We talk about foul language. We want to have clean records. We want to have a reputation that is spotless and decide idea of purity, of not having mixed stuff that, that dirties the mix is a valid when we understand it, the fact that purity is a priority was not a radical concept in Jesus’ day, in terms of religion, it was the primary reality to Pharisaical, religion.
Everyone recognized the need of having an unmixed life of purity. Back before my time, which you may wonder if you’re a young person, if there really was time before my time. But back when dinosaurs ruled the earth in a series of an a period of time called fundamentalism, there was a Diddy that came out and this was the Diddy.
And the people used to say, I don’t drink smoke or chew. And I don’t hang with the girls that do the first is, would have loved that kind of thing. I’m not going to do this. I’m not going to do this. I’m not going to do this. I’m not even going to hang with people do do this because I am living a pure life.
I am living an un-mic next life with uncleanliness. So Jesus is entering into the sweet spot of religious faith of his day. As he speaks this until he speaks the mindblower bless it, or the pure. In heart, see for the people of his day. And I would suggest for many of us today, and certainly the concept of religion today, cleanliness is about behavior.
The Pharisees were the best. They were the best at following the externals of the law. Their spiritual life was a checklist of things to maintain. Quite frankly, that can be true of our lives as well. That’s how we view spiritual life. It’s it’s I, I do the right things. I don’t do the wrong things. I check them off on for others.
Beliefs are the checklist. There’s purity of belief. I’ve I, man, I’m, I’m ruthless about having things that the T’s crossed and the I’s dotted course behaviors, important beliefs are important, but that’s not where Jesus is centering. The spiritual lifestyle of his kingdom. Jesus rather focus it on this thing.
He calls the heart level and where Jesus focused purity is not primarily focused on the arena of behavior. It is not primarily focused on the arena of beliefs. It is focused on the arena of worship. It is about what will be central in my life. He is saying, God wants to be unmixed with other things at the control center of your life.
It is purity of our heart. And so he says to the Pharisees on different occasions, Matthew 23, verse 25, he says woe to you, scribes and Pharisees. You hypocrites. For you clean the outside of the cup and the plate meaning has their own lives, but inside you’re full of greed and self-indulgence you blind Pharisee first clean.
It’s the same word, pure first purify, clean the inside of the cup that the outside also maybe clean. He talks about the whole matter of spiritual life. It is not primarily on the externals, but on the internal. Now just a sidebar here. It’s really easy for us to write off the Pharisees, right? I mean, who wants to be a Pharisee?
I mean, how many of you have as your model? Your goal in life is to be fair to say ethical. So anytime I start talking about the, the Pharisees it’s us and them, external guys, the legalistic guys, the performance related guys, however.
You know, desire to not get hung up on external religion. We need to remember another thing that Jesus said in Matthew 23. And here’s what he said. He say again, he’s, he’s talking to the Pharisee and he says, you tie and have neglected the weightier matters of the law justice and mercy and faithfulness.
These you are to have done without neglecting the former. What is he saying? You guys tie, then he doesn’t say that doesn’t matter. What matters is, is, is justice and mercy and kindness. No, he says, yes. Hi guys. That’s good. But the way we matters, the manner of the heart, you don’t do. Sue’s not saying that externals don’t matter.
He’s not saying that that obedience and faithfulness to the things of God don’t matter, but he is saying the spirit with which they are done is dramatically. Important. He’s saying that the most important is she is what is going on in your heart. Your motive matters, your desire matters, but he’s not saying obedience doesn’t matter to pure in heart means that the reason you tie the reason you do what you do is God-centered, that’s what he’s saying.
That God’s the focus it’s not to be seen by other people it’s not to, to, to, to Mark off your checkbook. It’s not because you’re scared to death that, you know, if you don’t do it, this might have no, you love God. He says, there’s this desire that, that the, that the pure unmixed heart’s spirit is. I want God to be in control.
I want God to be central in every part of your life. The problem with the Pharisees season, we’ll see this in chapter six is they were doing good things in order to be able to do a Facebook post about it. They wanted people to see, they wanted people to hear they wanted to be known. And he says this nullifies, the value of the whole work doesn’t mean the work was wrong,
but it means the spirit behind it corrupted. The whole thing in Jesus’ kingdom, the people are compelled. We are compelled to go heart deep to ask what is ruling my heart? What am I worshiping in the way I’m talking? The way I’m acting, the way I’m thinking, what we worship at the heart level. Is our God at that moment, this is the picture of, of, of spiritual life from cover to cover of the scripture that Jesus is addressing the level of the heart, because he says, what is ruling your heart is what matters.
It is an issue of worship. And he says, I don’t want mixed in there. Other things that hold your heart. I don’t want other mixed in gods. So what, what, what is this all about when he talks to the heart level? Well, back in Zika, chapter 14, Jesus, God gives a, a picture of, I think, a parallel perspective there.
He talks about this thing called idols of the heart. Things that become prominent to us that become centralized in our lives. And here’s what he says. And he’s equal chapter 14, verse five. God says, I’ll do this to recapture the hearts of the people of Israel who have all deserted me for their idols. He says, they’ve let other things control their hearts.
These things are mixed in. I want purity. I want devotion that is focused on me. It doesn’t mean they’ll ever screw up, but it means that trajectory of their heart is to come back and say, Lord, I want you to be God. I want you to be Lord. I want you to be the object of all my life, the trajectory of all that I’m doing in desiring.
So how do we know that something is idolized in our life? What is there that, that demarcates and idle, and I’d like to share three things. And this is again, a far broader study than this morning would allow, however, I think it’s foundational understanding when he says don’t have unmixed things, ruling your heart.
Well, how, how do we get them to be there? Number one, we love something more than God. There’s a commercial. Um, probably was a couple of years ago now, but it used to be during all the ball games. It was a, it was an, a beer commercial. And a guy was sitting in a, in a bar outside, actually on the street, outside tables, on the sidewalk with his girlfriend.
And he’s got his dog at his feet and he’s, they’ve got the beer on the table with them. And, and she’s asking him this question, she’s trying to test his devotion. And she said, if there was a fire, would you save me first? Or your mom? He says, babe, I’d save you. She says, secondly, if there was a fire, would you save me or your dog first?
And he looks down at the dog and the dog looks up sort of a sad expression. And he says, babe, I I’d save you. And then she says, the kicker, would you save me or your beer? And it’s met with too long, a moment of silence. And the next thing you see is her storming off away. Why? Because she found out what it captured, this guy’s heart.
In his case, a bottle of beer, he was devoted to it. What you love is what holds your heart. It’s what you feel. You can’t live without Chuck Swindoll tells the story of one time talking to Corrie 10, boom and Corrie 10 boom, who wrote the hiding play of the story of the cutting place about her and. Had lived through the Holocaust, loved Christ and late in her life was meeting with chucks and doll, a pastor.
And she said to him, Chuck, hold nothing tightly, whatever you hold tightly, God will have to pry open your hand to take it out of your hand, that he can be the central reality in life. Jesus is saying, I want to be first in my kingdom. Purity of heart means there’s not a whole bunch. There’s not other stuff that’s, that’s mixed in that.
That is dearest to you.
There were a number of people were told during the days of Jesus, among the religious leaders that believed in him, but in John 12, that makes this sobering statement. It says.
Get the exact phrase. They, they did not openly evolve their faith in him because, and here’s the phrase. They loved the praise of men more than the praise of God that was mixed in their hearts were not to Christ enough. Something else ruled their hearts to refuse to act with integrity at work is to say, I love my job more than Christ to refuse to break off a relationship that you know, that God is prompting you to do is to say, I love that person more than Jesus to say that I am refusing to give means you love your financial security more than Christ.
He is saying. Purity of heart. That, that, that devotion to me is unmixed with other things. The second thing that tells us that something has been mixed in as a God in our hearts is that we trust it more than God, Isaiah 44 verse 17 says this, he’s talking about an idol maker. And he says, he makes a God, his idol.
He bows down to it and worships, he prays to it and says, save me. You are my God. And we would laugh at the picture of building something and then saying, okay, we bow down and now save me. But what he’s saying is when we have an idol in our heart, we’re doing the same thing, trusting it. It’s what we are, depending on I watched a recent video.
Somebody in our church gave me to watch, and it was about a, it was a guy speaking on the, on the subject of finances and it was only about 10 minute videos. Maybe maybe 15, it was really powerful. And basically he was just doing it sort of a winsome way. He was showing a history of, of, of America and basically presenting the fact, which we probably all know that basically the way that we Americans live is unique in world history.
Basically the average American lives at a level of the aristocracy and in past generations, I mean, it is without precedent. We are the most wealthy, uh, uh, civilization in the history of the world. This is without dispute yet. And this was the thought that just was striking to me. We are the nation that has the greatest debt personally, as well as nationally in the history of the world.
There is no question. The greed is our national sin. Now there are others. But the reality he was trying to say is we are astonishingly
addicted to financial security and protecting ourselves. And even beyond buying beyond what we really can afford
trust in money is just one of many things. And I’m just, I’m going to say this because I do believe this is an issue that we, as Christians have to take some ownership of
at every level of your life. You will find reasons to not trust God with your money. And by that, I’m partly saying giving. Well, I can’t really give now because you know, at every level of your life, you will find reasons I’m speaking now to, to younger adults will certainly I can’t give now because I’m paying off college loans will then you’ll find I can’t give now because we’re saving for our first house and then you’ll find, well, I can’t give now because we need a bigger house.
Our family is beginning to grow and then you’ll find I’ve got to save for, for college bills and my girls are getting married and then you’ll find you need money to travel, to do things, to be with your family because your kids are scattered. And then you’ll find you need money to save for your retirement.
You’ve got to have the nest egg. You will always find reasons at every stage of life to say this isn’t a good time. It’s just not.
But what he’s saying to us is money along with other things, but money. And our response to it. If we’re trusting in our money, that has become a mixed in idolatry. And he sang my people. The kingdom is marked by purity of heart. There’s one God, there’s one person. There’s one thing they lean into and trust.
That’s why he says in Matthew chapter six, nobody can serve two masters either. You’ll hate the one and love the other, or you’ll be devoted to the one and despise the other. You can’t serve both God and money, which leads to the third thing. An idol is something that we love more than God. It is a something we trust in the place of God.
And it is something we serve in the place or more than God. Romans one 25 says it this way. They worshiped and served, created things more than the creator. Idols make demands on us. They require sacrifice and servants and service. We become their servants. Athletes will risk, health and reputation taking banned substances, serving the idol of making it to the next level.
People compromise their integrity, do business practices. They know that a wrong that they would never have considered imagining themselves doing in order to meet the demands of a position, which they can’t bear to lose. It has become what they trust in, in men. It becomes what they serve. Young women do harm to their emotional and physical health and serving the elusive God of beauty and a hundred other examples could be given Rebecca pepper says it this way, whatever controls us is our Lord.
The person who seeks power is controlled by power. The person who seeks acceptance is controlled by the people he or she wants to please, we do not control ourselves. We are controlled by whatever is the Lord of our lives. Jesus says to have our lives pure at the heart level. Unmixed is that we have one Lord Christ is Lord.
He is the one we love most. He is the one we trust most. He is the one we then serve most. All right, I’m going to go quick on these other things. What being clean involves. It means not being controlled by other things. So just been talking about that, but basically our lives are to have Jesus at the control center.
Not, not every second. I mean, ideally, but we won’t, but the trajectory of our life is clearly toward Jesus. We’re under his Spirit’s control, not other things, other people, but it also means that we are not compartmentalized in our lives. Pure of heart. Again means we don’t have mixtures of Lordship where Christ is over certain parts and then other parts.
Not so much, Chris ocean liners are like this. They have a thing there they’re intentionally compartmentalized. The Titanic was, was built that way. And as any great ship, it has different compartments. And the reason is when one of the compartments is compromised by a leak. The water may pour in there, but it doesn’t have access to the other compartments.
What happened to the Titanic was in the front of that in the bow where you see the blue, what has taken place was a, they scraped against a big iceberg and it actually ripped a number of those compartments over open. What happened, the water poured in, and there was enough weight that the ship began to tilt down.
And on top of those compartments, there was an opening. Nobody imagined they would fill up with water. They filled up with water and they began to spill one after another, after another, until the entire ship went down the picture. Of a ship is the idea that, that we should be compartmentalized. That’s how we naturally live our lives.
This part I’ll have this part, I’ll have this part. And, and, and it’s what the Pharisees would do. And externally, they were doing a lot of good things. They would give him their money. He said, it’s pretty commendable. They were tithing regularly. But as far as how they treated people, as far as how they viewed themselves, there were parts of their lives that were utterly compartmentalised away from God.
And they were absolutely serving other things. We can serve greed. We can serve lust. We can serve, uh, allow compartments that are, that are built around bitterness. There can be relationships in there that are compartments and say, well, well, I love God and I want God to be Lord of my life, but. But not this compartment, not this part.
And our lives can be compartmentalized. We can allow envy. And one of the compartments, Jesus is saying, I want the whole boat. I want the whole heart.
I want to be Lord of all. And he says in my kingdom, purity is not just the external stuff. It’s not that that’s not important, but that’s actually an outflow of hearts that are yielded to me and belong to me. So what does being clean in this sense? Unmixed in our hearts, what does it produce? They will see God, John 14.
Jesus said it this way. Whoever has my commandments and keeps them. He is the one who loves me and he loves him. He will be loved by my father and I will love him and manifest myself to him. I will make myself known to him. When you surrender your heart to the Lord, you will see God. He makes himself known to us
last couple of weeks. Um, I was, uh, uh, especially about 10 days ago, I was just really overwhelmed with responsibilities and stuff on every level of my life and, and we in our community group, um, which I, Marin Alita community group of young marrieds. And I asked one of the girls to bring a question, um, Jay that we can all interact with.
And it ended up being the entire focus of the night and her question, which I didn’t know she was going to do this to me. But the question was it asked this with the cross that God is allowing you to bear. Now, the burdens you have, are you responding with a spirit of gratitude or grumbling? Okay. And I, of course, this was the worst question to come at this moment.
And I found out the question the afternoon of that Wednesday and couldn’t get out of going. I was in charge. So I went and I had to sit there. And again, our groups real, we talk real and Marianne wasn’t with me that night. She had just gotten her second vaccine and she wasn’t feeling well. And that was true.
But in the course of the night, I had to point to the chair and say, Marin’s not here because she doesn’t really want to be with me right now because she’s afraid I’m going to be upset with something she says, because somehow it will be a reflection on now we’ve done a lot for a long time with these guys and they know us and they know the dirt and they know the, that was, that was the reason that that’s what I was bringing.
I was agitated and upset. And so any little thing that might cause me to have more, to carry and more burdens to bear, but I’m saying that is this. After that Wednesday night, when the Lord just reached out, grabbed me around the throat. I repented. I turned to the Lord, gave him all those things. One after another, all these silly things that are just eating me up one after another, I yielded them and I cannot overstate the incredible freedom with Christ.
The joy of the Lord that the Psalm four said this, this is one of our nighttime readings Varian. And I had recently. And I just thought that is so true. It says, but I know the Lord has set apart. The godly for himself. The Lord hears when I called him some four or five, you says these people they’re mine.
I want them to drink it. The well of my goodness. I want them to find comfort and satisfaction and contentment and joy in me. He says, don’t settle for other things. You’re trusting in your own resources, trusting in something else, loving something else fearful because of other things, I don’t know where you are, but I guess this is a bunch of you online or in this room right now that will say, am I quiet?
Hardly my living in the joy of the Lord. Am I living where, where my whole, the whole trajectory of my life is just enjoying God,
if you’d say no. Can I just say this to you? He delights to reach people to reach out to you. If you are he delights to say, come yield, surrender, give it to me. Because when you do that, you open the door for you to see me. That’s what he’s saying. Right? Bless it are the pure in heart. Four, they see God, the alternative is those who are living with unmixed.
God’s ruling their heart, their own resources, their own strength, money, whatever else he says, you miss the joy of embracing and experiencing and seeing me, it’s why Jesus said, if you love me, keep my commandments because not only will I be the door, be open for me to express my love juices. I will make myself known to you.
You’ll have all of me, but you won’t have all of me. If you’ve got other gods that are pushing their way in. If your heart is mixed,
it’s different ways. We’ve gone with this series on the beatitudes. Some really feeling prompted to just talk about the beauty of God. It is the beauty of God that is behind this sermon. But this sermon also is a challenge. It’s a challenge to surrender. Say, Lord, I’m not living pure. I’m not living unmixed mixed.
There’s other things, ruling my heart. There’s other things grasping at me. There’s other things that I love. There’s other things I’m serving. There’s other things I’m depending on, but right here right now, I want to say, God, I give him, I surrender. I want you to take it. I all those things. So I’ve asked the worship team this morning and they’re going to come after I finished praying.
And they’re going to lead us in a song that expresses that desire. I surrender Lord. It is stunning to us it over and over and over. As you watch us wander away as you watch us fill our lives with other things, as we, as we fight against your Lordship in certain areas of her life. Every time
when we show that small inclination to say, Lord, I want to yield. I want to surrender. I want to give it over to you. You seem to just delight, loving on us and making yourself known to a Scott. There are people here this morning that aren’t seeing you because of other things that are mixed into their lives.
Lord, may this moment, this song be the expression of their hearts in Jesus’ name. I pray.