In Matthew 5:8 Jesus says: “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.”
The words “pure in heart” imply being clean before God. He’s not talking about taking a shower. He’s talking about holiness and integrity in God’s eyes. By adding the words “in heart,” Jesus is emphasizing the inner aspect of being pure.
These people “will see God.” That’s no small thing. In Exodus 33:20 we’re told that no one can see God’s face and live. Even the great Moses gets tucked into a cleft in a rock as God’s glory passes by so that he doesn’t drop dead! (v.22)
But those who are pure in heart will (future tense) see God.
We live in a world that celebrates filth, moral relativity, vanity and violence—in the music, movies and media we consume; in bedrooms; in public debate; the list goes on.
And it’s very easy for all of this to seep through our porous senses and sully our hearts, downgrading the standards to which Jesus calls us. His standards shape our lives with more fulfillment, more beauty, more joy, more love, and more purpose… not less.
So be counter-cultural. Go against the grain.
The irony is that many people today think that because they “do whatever they want,” that they’re being cool or rebellious. Many people build a personal identity around the idea of “bucking the trend” and “making their own rules.” But that kind of thinking and living is now the norm. There’s actually nothing unique or interesting about it.
True uniqueness—true “alternative living” in these modern times—is purity and holiness before God.
So how do we talk? How do we view other people? What is our standard for right and wrong? What is our posture before a holy, loving, and righteous God?
Do we want lives with more fulfillment, beauty, joy, love, and purpose… or less?
“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.”
By Matthew Ruttan
–THIS SUNDAY: If you don’t have a church home I invite you to our live-stream at Westminster this Sunday at 10:01am. Here’s the theme of my sermon: We live our lives based on what we think is true. So in an age of information overload, how do we know what’s true? Jesus has some powerful and clarifying thoughts in Matthew 7 for us to consider. Click here to sign up for an automatic email reminder on Sunday mornings linking you to our YouTube live-stream.
–“Up!” is published 5 days a week (Monday-Friday) and returns on June 22.
–Bible quotes are from the NIV.