The very first verse I have ever memorized in the Bible is Matthew 5:8. It is one of the Beatitudes that Jesus gave in the Sermon on the Mount:
Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God.
I memorized this verse back when I was just starting to get closer to God. I memorized it because I wanted a constant reminder of what I wanted. I wanted to see God in everything and to spend eternity with him. As well as how to get it; have a pure heart. It was my helping tool to try and live as purely as I could as I was afraid I was not pure enough. I am not going to lie, back at the beginning of my closer walk with God, I struggled with my sinful nature. I still do. I know we all do. But back then, I was afraid God would turn his back on me for it. That he would get tired of forgiving me, that he would not show any mercy towards me anymore. I was afraid I would never get to see him and spend eternity with him. Crazy I know, but haven’t we all gone through that point before? Because we know we are naturally born sinners. Sinners that want to please themselves at times instead of God.
Because we have that sinful nature, we need to battle it every day. Every day we need God to cleanse us and equip us to face the temptations to come. We need to be created anew each day, so to speak. So that we have room for better thoughts and desires. Because what we fill ourselves with is ultimately how we will act. Asking God to cleanse us, equip us, and renew a steadfast spirit in us will result in more Godly conduct.
Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.Psalm 51:10
Not only should we continually ask God for cleansing and renewal each day, but we should also take steps ourselves. We need to make it a point to spend time with God in prayer and his Word each day. The closer we get to him, and grow in him, the more we become like Jesus. We will be more motivated to resist temptation, keep morally pure, and become free from the corruption of sin. Then it becomes a loop because the more we resist and keep morally pure the more we will become like Jesus.
“But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. All who have this hope in him purify themselves just as he is pure” 1 John 3:2b-3
God loves us. He loves and forgives us. If he did not, why would he help us each day? Why would he send his one and only Son to die for us? His love and forgiveness free us from the shackles of sin. The more we ask for his help and the closer we walk with him, the more we become like Jesus. Jesus never had eyes for himself. Instead, he had eyes for others and met their needs. Yeah, we will always struggle with sin until the day we become sinless like Jesus, the day eternity comes. But we are equipped to fight our sinful nature, to put God before ourselves, and to put others before ourselves too.
“Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for each other, love one another deeply, from the heart” 1 Peter 1:22
I recently bought a book I am going to read here shortly. It is “The Beatitudes” by Charles Spurgeon. He points out that when one’s heart is clean, they will see God in all of nature, throughout scripture, and in the body of Christ (the church). The pure in heart see God because they appreciate and understand his attributes and character. So, tell me. Do you see God shining through another person? Do you see Him out by the water or hiking the mountains? Please tell me that you see him in the Bible?!
If you were like me, worried that you were not pure enough to see God, or that he will no longer forgive you. Know that that is not true. You are loved and forgiven. Ask for his help daily to resist sin. Get closer to him. You will start becoming more like him, putting others and God before yourself. Don’t you already see him? I am going to leave you with this quote to ponder and think about.
It is safe to tell the pure in heart that they shall see God, for only the pure in heart want to.C. S. Lewis
Featured Image by Tim Wildsmith on Unsplash