Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. (Matthew 5:8 NIV)
Absolute purity is a rarity in our world. I once got to handle a bar of gold that was 99.9999% gold. This means that there was .0001% of something else in the gold. That bar of gold is probably the closest I’ve ever come to purity, but it wasn’t pure.
The word translated pure in this beatitude means both clean, as in free from dirt, and unmixed, as in made from a single substance. Our hearts are neither clean, nor unmixed. There is only one way I know to deal with this condition and move toward the purity of heart that Jesus desires for us. We have to tell the truth.
“This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. 6 If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth. 7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin. 8 If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word is not in us.” (1 John 1:5-10 NIV)
Notice how John starts. God is pure, He is all light and no darkness. We cannot purify ourselves, but we can make a choice to be cleaned up. It is a simple choice to choose to admit we’re dirty. It is simple, but not easy. It seems that everything in us wants to claim that we’re clean. Maybe that is because we prefer using the “I’m cleaner than” standard. We almost always make the wrong comparison, and this is a way of lying to ourselves. If we walk into the pure light of Jesus, we would immediately see how dirty we really are. Telling the truth brings us into the cleansing power of the blood of Jesus.
There is another benefit to telling the truth. John tells us that when we tell the truth about our sin, we can have fellowship with one another. It has been said that we are only as sick as our secrets. Secrets separate, and truth confessed opens the door for intimacy. We watched the movie “Same Kind of Different as Me” yesterday. Early in the movie there is a relational crisis for the married couple at the center of the plot. The husband confesses to the wife that he has had an affair. She is devastated, but then does something very wise. She asks if there is anything else, and there is. After revealing the final secret, they can begin rebuilding their relationship. Truth often hurts, but it is the only path to healing.
- What does David know about himself?
- What does David know about God?
- What is David’s desire?
- What action flows out of his understanding of himself and God?
- What is your desire?
2 Timothy 2:20-22
- What might a gold or silver vessel be used for? What about a wood or clay vessel?
- Which kind of vessel would you prefer to be?
- What do you need to do to become this kind of vessel?
- What do you need to do to remain this kind of vessel?
1 John 1:5-10
- What is necessary to have fellowship, an intimate relationship, with God?
- What does God provide to make this relationship possible?
- What do you need to provide?
- In what areas of your life are you not telling God the truth?
- How are secrets or lies impacting your relationships?
- What do you need to help you change this?
The Cure: What if God isn’t who you think He is and neither are you? by Bruce McNicol and Bill Thrall
Bold Love by Dan B Allender and Tremper Longman
The Message of the Sermon on the Mount by John Stott
The Gospel of Matthew Volume I (The New Daily Study Bible) by William Barclay
Matthew: A Commentary. Volume 1: The Christbook, Matthew 1-12 by Frederick Dale Bruner
FOR MORE FAMILY, SMALL GROUP, AND CHURCH RESOURCES GO TO: The Beatitudes on mygrandmatime.com.