8 Blessed are the pure in heart,
for they will see God.
It’s fascinating how Jesus connects purity with vision. Purity sharpens vision. Impurity clouds vision. In Hebrews 12:1-2 we are encouraged to “cast off every encumbrance and the sin that so easily entangles” so that we can “keep our eyes fixed on Jesus.” In his letter to the Ephesians, Paul prays for the eyes of our hearts to be opened.
The Book of Common Prayer offers us the “Collect for Purity,” a profound prayer worthy of etching onto our very souls.
Almighty God, to you all hearts are open, all desires known and from you no secrets are hid. Cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit that we may perfectly love you and worthily magnify your holy name, through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.
Purity of heart. It’s a kind of perfection that does not come from striving for it. It doesn’t come from trying harder to not sin. Purity of heart comes from a deep inner longing to see God. Purity of heart means luminous transparency. I love the way John Wesley talks about purity of heart in one of his thirteen sermons on the Sermon on the Mount.
“The pure in heart” are they whose hearts God has “purified even as he is pure”; who are purified, through faith in the blood of Jesus, from every unholy affection; who, being “cleansed from all filthiness of flesh and spirit, perfect holiness in the” loving “fear of God.” They are, through the power of his grace, purified from pride, by the deepest poverty of spirit; from anger, from every unkind or turbulent passion, by meekness and gentleness; from every desire but to please and enjoy God, to know and love him more and more, by that hunger and thirst after righteousness which now engrosses their whole soul: so that now they love the Lord their God with all their heart, and with all their soul, and mind, and strength.
So how about it? What if purity of heart doesn’t come from trying to be pure hearted. What if it comes from the wholehearted desire to see God? What difference would that make for you?
1. How deep is your desire to see God?
2. What difference would seeing God make in your life?
3. Are there particular sins or sin patterns in your life that cloud the clarity of your inner vision?
J.D. Walt, is a Bond Slave of the Lord Jesus Christ. firstname.lastname@example.org.