Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Thursday March 13, 2014 Matthew 5:8

Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. Matthew 5:8
When Moses asked to see God, he was hid in the cleft of a rock so that he could see the shadow of the Lord pass by.  That was in itself so very awesome – can you imagine?  And we have this promise from Jesus that we will see God. After Jeremiah17:19 tells us that the heart is deceitful above all things, how beautiful that God cleanses our heart with Christ’s blood… redeeming us and our hearts.   And then we can see Him.  As I surrendered my heart afresh to God yesterday, I saw Him at work in my life – providing for our family through the job He gave me.  I saw His kindness in the friend who picked up groceries for me when I had no time.  I saw Him – and His majesty - in the beauty of the warm sun peeking out from the cold clouds, and late in the evening in the gift of quiet after everyone had gone to sleep. Psalm 51:10 says, “Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.”  We are blessed, as our hearts are surrendered, pure, and ready to see Him.  I wonder how it will be that we will see Him today.   --Angie Kays-Burden


Linda Hood said...

Working with others who are suffering, as well as the challenges I have encountered to grow, I know all too well that an external change of behavior will be quite temporary without an internal shift of the heart. Searching for meanings on "pure of heart" I came across a very helpful sentence: Pure of heart perhaps represents that ideal state of mind of the person who longs to serve God and others for the sheer unselfish joy of honoring the Creator, and thus free of base motives. As I reflect on the condition of my own heart, I think one of the most painful experiences is to not be seen. When I enter into relationship with others or God with selfish desires and motives, I loose the ability to see the other as they truly are. It is during these moments where I can blame others or God, make others or God into whomever I would like them to be, etc. There are many options here - none of which see and love the true nature of the other I am in relationship with - as well as myself. It seems in these moments, negative emotions can surface in all parties involved including shame, guilt, anger, and an intense immediacy to get personal needs met in any way available. Today and days ahead, I will try to be aware of my hearts selfish needs, let go, and rest in and enjoy the Lord.

Linda W said...

Amen and amen. Sin corrupts our hearts, minds, and motives. A pure heart is a repentant, surrendered heart-- it frees me from the burden of being "god" in my own life and allows me to love others for their own sake, not mine. Author Ann Voskamp talks about "Holy, ordinary amazing grace"-- to be fully present in my own life--grateful for God's goodness all around me. The brain is like a muscle. If our internal dialog consists of frequent criticisms, offenses, and judgments, we'll miss so much of the good God has for us. Counting graces one by one trains our brains in the language of grace. No wonder Paul called it renewing our minds (Romans 12:2). A pure heart is free to meet others where they're at and love them in a way that is best for them.

Gladys said...

Your last sentence is exciting to me, Linda. And dead on as I see it. It is truly exciting to see God using us in this way. Meeting others where THEY are at and loving them in a way that is best for THEM. Oh, thank you Lord that you stick with us to help us keep trying to get this right! And oh the joy for all when we do! (Gladys's mom :)

Nikki Edleman said...

I really like the discussion here, for it speaks to the need to strip out the negativity and judgements we so easily allow to rule our hearts and minds when we meet other people, so that when we share a gaze with the "other", we see a glimpse of God.

Tracy said...

One of my favorite Bible teachers (I won't mention her name, but her initials are AKB) taught me a number of years ago that not having a clean heart, is our biggest impediment to hearing from God. In other words, if we are continuing in sin, whether unrepentant, or even unrecognized, we can not very well expect to hear clearly from God, and by extension I would assume, see Him or His hand at work in our lives. I know for myself one of my biggest challenges is to keep a clean heart; one that is not tainted by bitterness or unforgiveness. I also know that no amount of good actions or kind deeds on my part will make up for inward sin that I do not repent of (an impure heart.) you can't have it both ways.

Scripture tells us God is concerned with the state our heart above all else. While we may be able to fool other people (and sometimes even ourselves) with our outward actions, God knows our motives.
"The LORD doesn't see things the way you see them. People judge by the outward appearance but the LORD looks at the heart." 1 Samuel 16:7

For you are like whitewashed tombs—beautiful on the outside but filled on the inside with dead people’s bones and all sorts of impurity. Outwardly you look like righteous people, but inwardly your hearts are filled with hypocrisy and lawlessness. (Matthew 23:27, 28 NLT)

When we yield ourselves to God's will for us by emptying our hearts of what is not of God we open ourselves to be filled with what is of God, specifically: love.

If I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels, but didn’t love others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I understood all of God’s secret plans and possessed all knowledge, and if I had such faith that I could move mountains, but didn’t love others, I would be nothing. If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it; but if I didn’t love others, I would have gained nothing. (1 Corinthians 13:1-3 NLT)
I can't do this on my own. But I trust that as I become obedient to God's whispers and repent, by the power of the Holy Spirit, of what makes my heart impure, those whispers will become clearer communication. AND I will be able to see the God part of others. I so want to hear (and see) God! So I pray for myself and any others who may share my state, from the closing words of Psalm 139: Search me O Lord and know my heart. Try me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there be any wicked way in me and lead me in the way everlasting. AMEN!