July 11, 2010
Blessed Are the Pure in Heart
“Blessed are the pure in heart, For they shall see God” (Matthew 5:8).
There are many things that must be purged from our hearts if we are to see God. Some of these things must be eliminated because they are impure. Others, while not morally unclean, must be removed simply because they draw our affections away from God. We must learn to love God with hearts that are whole and minds that are single. Our hearts must be purely given to God, without mixed motives or competing loyalties. Without a pure passion to see God, we will not do so.
Purity. Even in our day-to-day lives, there is a wonderful freedom that comes from pure devotion to God. We may not realize how much we've been weighed down and held back by the multitude of our lesser concerns until we finally put these things in their place and focus wholeheartedly on God. There is really nothing in the world quite as liberating as purity!
Power. Samuel Johnson observed that those “who attain to any excellence spend life in some one single pursuit, for excellence is not often gained on easier terms.” In a similar way, those who attain spiritual excellence are those who make God their “single pursuit.” Our focus must be the laser‑like concentration of the devout, not the weak glimmer of the indifferent.
Promise. The fervent hope of those who are pure in heart is that they “shall see God.” As goals go, this is the greatest one that we can contemplate. The enjoyment of God’s presence is the very purpose for which we were created. According to Jesus Christ, this promise can only be obtained by the pure in heart, but if anything is worth the price of purity, this is it. “Everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure” (1 John 3:3).
Each of these good things – the purity, the power, and the promise of single‑minded devotion – is available to every person. The truth by which God enables us to lead this kind of life is not so hard to understand that it is beyond our reach. If we forfeit the privilege of seeing God someday, it will not be for a lack of ability or opportunity. It will be for a failure to make life’s basic choice.
“Spiritual truth is discernable only to a pure heart, not to a keen intellect. It is not a question of profundity of intellect, but of purity of heart” (Oswald Chambers).