How Do the Pure in Heart See God?
- Friday, January 28, 2005
How do the pure in heart see God?
"Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God" (Matthew 5:8).
"This verse means people that go all out, not halfway, will see God," says Matthew, age 9. Yes, God wants total devotion from his people. Lukewarm Christians make Jesus nauseated to the point of vomiting. I'm not making this up. Take a look at Revelation 3:16.
Have you ever been in love and heard the words "I just want to be friends"? Remember that sick, sinking feeling? You almost wish you'd heard "I never want to see you again." It's better to know where you stand than to be offered a halfhearted relationship.
"If your heart is good and doesn't think bad things, you shall see God," says William, 10. "But you also have to believe in Jesus, for works cannot take you to heaven." Yes, it's bad thinking that gets us into trouble. It's especially bad when you're counting on good deeds as your ticket for entrance into heaven's gates.
The religious leaders of Jesus' day upheld a tradition of literally thousands of laws created as a fence around the law given to Moses on Mount Sinai. The idea is that you won't steal a cookie if you can't reach the cookie jar. This resulted in a religion of rituals focused on outward cleanliness.
Jesus challenged the prevailing religious thought and practice when he pronounced blessings on the "pure in heart." In other words, cleanse the inner life, and the outer life will take care of itself. Or, as Augustine said, "Love and do what you will."
"Purity is special to God," says Anna, 9. "The pure are filled with joy." Yes, purity is special to God because he himself is pure. "Purity of heart is to will one thing," said Soren Kierkegaard. God has never deviated from his purpose of bringing everything into conformity with his Son. The new world order began when Jesus left heaven and invaded planet Earth as a baby born in a manger.
Apostle Paul presents Jesus as the new Adam, untainted by the fall of the first Adam. Purity of heart begins by becoming part of a new humanity, says Dave, 11: "It means that people who have accepted Christ and believed that he died on the cross and rose again will go to heaven when they die." Dave is confident because there's a resurrected man in heaven who is fully God sitting on a throne.
As the firstborn from among the dead, Jesus opened heaven's gates for all who trust in him. The pure one bore our impurities in his body when he hung on a cross.
"If you are pure in heart, you are blessed," says Madison, 10. "Being blessed will help you see God." When Moses asked to see God's glory, the Lord said no man could see him and live. The contrast between God's reply to Moses and Jesus' promise to the pure in heart is startling.
Purity of heart is absolute in the sense that Christians are once and for all forgiven because they've received the life that comes from believing in Jesus as Savior. But it's also relative in the sense of Christians needing to confess their sins to God to restore the closeness of fellowship that comes from being filled and led by the Spirit of God.
"The ones who are pure in heart will be rewarded," says Nicole, 10. "They love God very much and study his word."
Point to ponder: Allow the Lord to replace the confusion in your life with the joy that comes from purity of heart. Scripture to remember: "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God" (Matthew 5:8). Question to consider: Are you pure in heart or confused in the head?
Inspire your children by reading this column with them and visiting the Kids Talk About God Web site at www.KidsTalkAboutGod.org. Bible quotations are from the New King James Version. To find out more about Carey Kinsolving and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.
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