God’s Presence

“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.” (Matthew 5:8-9)

Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. -Hebrews 10:22

Being “pure in heart” is the most comprehensive of all the beatitudes. Those who are pure in heart are inwardly clean from sin through faith in the Lord Jesus. David writes: He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not lift up his soul to an idol or swear by what is false. He will receive blessing from the LORD and vindication from God his Savior. (Psalm 24:4-5) Purity of heart and clean hands are what we lift up to God; nothing soiled or alloyed, rather uncontaminated and clear. Clean hands refer to right actions and a pure heart refers to the correct motives behind the action. We exhibit a proper attitude and will. True Christianity lies within the heart–in the purity of a heart that is cleansed from evil. The heart is used figuratively in Scripture as the seat of our desires, feelings, affections, and passions. The “pure in heart” refer to those whose lives inwardly conform to God’s Law in motive, desire, and thought. It is into the heart of the believer that God sends the Spirit of His Son. Scripture confirms this in the following verses:

I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge–that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. -Ephesians 3:16-19

O Jerusalem, wash the evil from your heart and be saved. How long will you harbor wicked thoughts? (Jeremiah 4:14) Because you are sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba, Father.” (Galatians 4:6)

The life of the heart is a hidden life, although Scripture tells us that one’s actions are typically a very good heart indicator. God alone is the perfect discerner of the hearts of all people. He searches the private and concealed. We never fool Him. We are told in Scripture:

For the eyes of the LORD range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him. (2 Chronicles 16:9) “I the LORD search the heart and examine the mind, to reward a man according to his conduct, according to what his deeds deserve.” (Jeremiah 17:10) Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account. (Hebrews 4:13)

Jesus tells us the pure in heart will have the benefit of seeing God–seeing His hand in circumstances, seeing His Spirit move for His child’s benefit. We see with spiritual eyesight. It is the perfection of the soul’s happiness to see God. Seeing God is a comprehensive comfort, but only those who are “pure in heart” see Him. What pleasure would an unregenerate soul have in seeing a Holy God?

“This knowledge [of our own sinfulness], though it strikes man with terror and overwhelms him with despair, is nevertheless necessary for us in order that, stripped of our own righteousness, cast down from confidence in our own power, deprived of all expectation of life, we may learn through the knowledge of our own poverty, misery and disgrace to prostrate ourselves before the Lord, and by the awareness of our own wickedness, powerlessness, and ruin may give all credit for holiness, power and salvation to him.” -John Calvin

Jesus tells us that “peacemakers” are blessed as well. Those whose lives breathe peace into circumstances, rather than contention, aggression, hostility, or assertiveness. The peacemakers’ lives delight in love and peace. Peacemakers preserve peace as well as seek to recover it when it is broken. Those who are “peacemakers”, Jesus tells us, will be called “sons of God.” Paul tells us we are to seek to live at peace with everyone:

If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. (Romans 12:18)

Take It to Heart

“Peacemakers are people who breathe grace. They draw continually on the goodness and power of Jesus Christ, and then they bring His love, mercy, forgiveness, strength and wisdom to the conflicts of daily life. God delights to breathe His grace through peacemakers and use them to dissipate anger, improve understanding, promote justice and encourage repentance and restoration.” (Ken Sande)

But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness.
(James 3:17-18)

PreviousNext