Pure in Heart

Matthew 5:8 Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God.

The word pure means cleanness and purity. Psalm 24:3-4 “Who shall ascend into the hill of the Lord? or who shall stand in his holy place? He that hath clean hands and a pure heart who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity nor sworn deceitfully.” What does this mean, that those with pure hearts will enjoy the highest favor, they shall see God. How is purity attained, by obeying the gospel. How is it possible, in a sin sick world that we live in today, to walk in righteousness and keep a pure life? By knowing and obeying the Word of God. Purity is learned by cleansing thoughts, cleansing words and cleansing deeds. Philippians 4:8 ” Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of a good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” Psalm 19:14 ” Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength, and my redeemer.” The person who is striving to be pure in heart has four characteristics. 1) They love God and to do His will above all else. Matthew 22:37, James 4:4. 1 John 2:15.  2) They are not filled with hypocrisy and unholy motivations. Matthew 6:1  3) They fill their mind and heart with pure things. Psalm 77:12.  4) They strive to remain pure and undefiled. 1 Timothy 5:22, 1 John 3:3. Now, if you remember I said one beatitude leads to another. The poor in spirit realized they were a sinner, they mourned over sin because they feel the weight of their sin. Repentance leads to a changed nature which is meekness. This is where you begin to hunger and thirst and realize only God can satisfy and fill us, this is where we realize that God has shown us mercy and we must show mercy to everyone else, and this is where we realize that we need to live a pure life. It’s a progression in our spiritual life called sanctification. We become a little more like Christ everyday. Let’s face it, it seems like everyday there is a battle raging within us and that’s simply because our old nature, our sinful nature is still within us. Yes, we have a new nature when we come to Him, but there is still a battle. Galatians 5:17 ” For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary the one to the other; so that ye cannot do the things that ye would. So the question must be asked, who wins your battle? The old man or the new man! It all depends which nature you feed that day. If you fill yourself with the unpure worldly things you feed the old man, but if you fill yourself with pure Godly things you feed the spirit. And It’s time the Christian buries the old man completely and lives according to the spirit. We must be trying to live above sin with the help of the Holy Spirit in our lifes. We must be trying to live pure in heart, because that’s how we will see God. We must live a life free from hypocrisy, free from falsehood. A life knowing all is well between you and God. And it only comes to a person who has realized their sin, that has come to Christ for righteousness and realized that without purity we will never see God. (Read 1 Peter 1:13-16). So how healthy is your Christian walk? It is sin that defiles our character of being in the image of God. It defiles, pollutes, contaminates and blurs the reflection of God in us. The heart is desperately  wicked above all things, who can know it? So we must examine ourselves and if need be renewing our heart and purifying our deceitful heart. Paul says in 2 Corinthians 7:1 ” Having therefore these promises dearly beloved let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.”

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

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Obtaining Mercy

Matthew 5:7 “Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy”

In a world of self-seeking people, Jesus calls upon those who wish to gain mercy to be merciful. That’s a quality entirely concerned with the good of others. It comes from the realization of our own desperate need for mercy from God. To be merciful is a strong compassion or an outward manifestation of pity. Thus that tells us Christ calls us to have compassion and pity toward one another. We see Christ example of this as He says Father forgive them, for they know not what they do. We see through scripture Mercy is a part of God’s nature 2 Corinthians 1:3 ” Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all Comfort.” For us mercy is not just a feeling, but a characteristic that moves a person to action. Mercy demands that Christians do more than just pray for the lost, but that we take the gospel to them. (Matthew 9:36-38).  That we do more than feel sorry for the hungry, sick and downtrodden, but that we must try and meet their needs. (Galatians 6:10; James 2: 14-16). This beatitude is the cure for all bitterness, whether in your family your friends or whoever has done you wrong. For Christ says we must show mercy on all people if we want to obtain mercy, Many families have been broken apart because of bitterness but let this verse speak to you today, be merciful upon them and some one we be merciful towards you. The first few beatitudes dealt with how you are before God but starting with this one they begin to deal with how we are before our brothers and sisters and to those around us. He did speak of our inner attitude but now He speaks of the inner attitudes that manifest themselves outwardly. The world’s philosophy is that mercy is the weakness of the soul. The world emphasizes Rights! Its my right to do this, to do that. We want the right to do anything we want. But Christ teaches it is not about your right it is about there right.  In Romans chapter 1:29-31  we read a description of the city of Rome and those that lived within Rome. They described many things but we see the very last thing was unmerciful people. If you as a believer do not show mercy towards the physically and financially needful have we really received God’s mercy in our own lives. For you can’t receive it without displaying it in your life. Finally Matthew 18:21-35 tells us of the Parable of the unforgiving servant. In this, one owed the other an equivalent of $20 million dollars in today’s terms. His master came and he wiped the slate clean because he asked him for forgiveness and as soon as he went out of jail he found his friend that owed him the equivalent of $5000 dollars and he was unmerciful. The love of God was not there. He demanded his money. This is dangerous. This is what destroys us as Christians as we have seen  before through this study. We too were poor at one time, we were broken at one time, that we were empty at one time and relied on God to help us. And shame on us if we see the pitifulness of all humanity and don’t show mercy on them as Christ did us. If we do not have the desire within ourselves to have mercy upon a dying world, a poor world, if we don’t have it in our hearts to forgive one another and show mercy we are in a dangerous place spiritually! Blessed are the merciful. That is what Christ did for us when He became a man like you and I, so He could identify with you and I when we need Him and pour out His mercy into our lives. Now He is telling us to do the same in the world we live in. Can you be a merciful servant for Jesus Christ?

We hand folks over to God’s mercy and show none ourselves.    George Eliot

 

A Hunger and Thirst after Righteousness

Matthew 5:6 Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness for they shall be filled.

Here we have Jesus teaching that the person who becomes poor in the spirit and realizes his spiritual weakness and has humbled himself and taken on meekness, will have an unquenchable desire to attain righteousness in the sight of God. Righteousness is the character or quality of being right and just not in the sight of man but in the sight of God. This righteousness is not merely an inner change but a change that directly affects the way we behave and have influence in this world. The only way to obtain this righteousness is by faith in Jesus Christ. (2 Corinthians 5:21). The word hunger is the same word used after Jesus fasted 40 days in the wilderness. It’s an intense hunger. A hunger that must be relived for survival. Thirst is the same, an extreme condition. We must yearn for righteousness in the way a starving person wants bread and water. I just wonder today how hungry and how thirsty we are for the things of God? We hunger and thirst for many other different things but it’s time the church gets back to being hungry for the truth. We have heard the saying you are what you eat. We realize that if  we eat a lot of junk food it will be a part of us and we become overweight. The same concept goes in our spiritual  realm. This concept  fits anything we do. If we continually feed upon violence, excitement or whatever else the world offers we become those things. Children are violent, why? They feed on violent movies, violent video games, and violent books. Their lives revolve around violence. I believe it’s time we start feeding this generation some righteousness. Some peace and happiness, feed them the things of God. The world may teach go after materialism and money, it may teach that we should all pursuit after them for happiness. But Christ teaches hunger and thirst after righteousness. Elvis Presley never understood this concept, as he left the Christian faith for worldly fame. In his heyday it is said his yearly income was $5 million a year. In his day that was a lot of money. In his first two years of stardom he brought in $100 million dollars. He had 3 jets, 2 Cadillacs, a Rolls-Royce, Lincoln Continental, a Buick and a Chrysler station wagon, a jeep a dune buggy a converted bus and 3 motorbikes.  His favorite and most famous was his 1960 Cadillac Limousine. The top of it was veneered and covered in pearl white veneer. The body was sprayed with 40 coats of specifically prepared paint that include crushed diamonds. All the metal trimmings were plated in 18 carat gold. Inside were 2 gold covered telephones, gold vanity case with a gold electric razor. An electric shoe buffer and a gold plated T.V., record player, amplifier, air conditioner and a refrigerator that was capable of making ice in 2 minutes solid. In the world’s terms He had everything, But do you know what he failed to recognize? That you are what you eat. And if you know he died in his death as a victim of his appetites.  So I ask you what do you hunger for? What is it that drives your life, that motivates you for living? Is it material or is it spiritual? Are we like the world in pursuit of possessions, or do we wake up every morning wanting to please the Lord? Hungering after the things of God. The promise to us today is those who come to find enough in Him to satisfy their spiritual hunger shall be forever filled. Take some time to read John 4: 10-14. It will tell you that Jesus Christ is more than enough. You won’t need these worldly possessions because you have Jesus.

To hunger and thirst after righteousness is when nothing in the world can fascinate us so much as being near to God.      Smith Wigglesworth 

Meekness Pt2

Mathew 5:5 “Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.

As we have seen from past blogs the world says blessed are the rich, but Christ says blessed are the poor. The world says blessed are the happy but Christ says blessed are they that mourn. And here the world says blessed are the strong but Christ says blessed are the meek. Christ teaching turned the philosophy of the world upside down. He didn’t teach it was blessed to be first but yet the last shall be first. He says it’s better to give than receive. He says the least in the kingdom is greater than the greatest on earth. He taught it was better to serve than rule. The group of people Christ was speaking to in His message were people like the Pharisees, Sadducees and the zealots. They were a group of people who were spiritually proud, they knew how to be self-sufficient, they knew how to be religious. They thought they were the in group and the only groups going to heaven. So we can see why verse 5 stepped on there toes, the Pharisees believed that God by His Messiah was going to supernaturally bring upon the earth the Kingdom of God. The zealots, went by any cost to try and take the Kingdom by force, they would establish it by rebellion from within. So you can imagine these groups who were looking to establish the kingdom by force, by a fight when they heard Jesus say Blessed are the meek; for they shall inherit the earth. Many things probably went through their mind. What kind of Messiah was this? What kind of deliver is this? What kind of followers is this man going to attract? A bunch of sissies, a bunch of weak and meek people. What a fit they must of had, to the point that they couldn’t accept His teachings or Him as the Messiah. Their view was of the world, a Messiah strong, powerful, not meek and lowly. They could not understand that God has chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty. (1 Corinthians 1:26-27). They missed the point entirely! God will use the meek, He doesn’t need superstars. Where does this fit in with us today. Meekness is a self-emptying, self-humility, it’s self-brokenness before God. Meekness is when Joseph who is high in command in Egypt, sees his brothers that forsook him, sold him into slavery come begging for food because of famine and helping them. Today we hold grudges, we tell them to get away, but Joseph was meek. Meekness says I will never defend my name but I’ll die defending God. I think we have it wrong today, we don’t seek out the unlovable, the down and outers because of the reputation it would give us, but meekness draws us to those people. It doesn’t matter race, age or gender, meekness is humbling yourself to win others to Christ. Finally, meekness brings inheritance of the earth. The zealots wanted a military Messiah, the Pharisees a miraculous Messiah that would bring the kingdom by miracles. The Sadducees wanted a materialistic Messiah, no afterlife, all that mattered was here and now. But Jesus said your getting a meek Messiah. And only those that are meek will inherit the Kingdom. One day we will rule and reign. Only through meekness. I encourage you to live the way of Christ and not the way of the world. The World is ready to fight at the drop of a hat. But as Christians remember meekness is Power under control. Your in charge but your not a dictator your a servent of all. Don’t miss the point! Bow yourself down and do something for God.

Blessed are the Meek

Mathew 5:5 “Blessed are the meek; for they shall inherit the earth.

In our society those who are weak and unable to defend themselves or care for themselves are often looked down upon. Most people think of such weakness as meekness. But meekness is not timidness, shyness or even being a coward. The bible shows that the Godly attribute of meekness rather than weakness is strength under disciplined control. Meekness is defined “inwrought grace of the soul, the temperament of spirit in which we accept God’s dealings with us as good, and therefore without disputing or resisting. Or in other words power under control. It is used when wild animals were tamed and thus made useful. William Barclay describes it as gentleness, but behind the gentleness there is a strength of steel, for the chief characteristic of the man is perfect control. It is not a spineless gentleness or passive quitism. It is strength under control. Galatians 5:23 Meekness, temperance against such there is no law. Meekness is closely related to humility. ( Ephesians 4:2; Colossians 3:12; 2 Corinthians 10:1). The bible is full of men who were considered meek. Abraham in Genesis 13: 8-9, Esau in Genesis 33:4-9, Moses in Numbers 12:3 and Numbers 16:22, Jesus Christ in Matthew 11:29 and 1 Peter 2:23. But lets see if you can pass the meekness test. 1) Am I meek before God, Humbly submitting to His will, Psalms 25:9. 2) Do I meekly receive the word of God or do I resist it, James 1:21. 3) Do I meekly/humbly do good deeds, James 3:13. 4) Am I meek before my fellow man, 1 Timothy 6:11, Titus 3:1-2.  5) Do I deal meekly with unbelievers, 2 Timothy 2:25, 1 Peter 3:15. 6) Do I deal meekly with brothers and sisters in Christ, Galatians 6:1. I wonder if you passed, if you deal with people in the spirit of meekness you did. If you stay under control with people than you did. Now remember meekness is not possible unless you are poor in the spirit and it’s not possible until you come to the place of mourning. Do you have self-control? Do you make peace not war? How do you respond to criticism? Meekness is the next step in your salvation. We must realize there’s sin, poor in the spirit. We must be sorrowful and repent, we mourn. Than we must have a changed spirit, that is meekness. The meek are humble, they are gentle, they maintain patience despite offenses and has no room for vengeance. Did you still pass the test or maybe rethink some of your answers? It’s not as easy as we think. But always remember the meek will have all the blessings that God provides, Blessings in this life. And Blessings in the life to come. Every spiritual blessing in Christ comes to the meek. Including an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that fadeth not away. It’s reserved for you. Psalms 149:4 “For the Lord taketh pleasure in his people: he will beautify the meek with salvation.”