The Pure in Heart Shall See God

Matthew 5:8  The Pure in Heart Shall See God

Psalm 24:3b-4a  Who is about to stand in the holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart.

If you want to be in God’s presence, if you want to see Him, if you want to stand before Him, there is a requirement. Only the pure in heart shall see God.

What is a pure heart? What makes something pure? It’s unmixed. Pure olive oil is only olive oil. Pure water is supposed to only be water. Pure fruit juice has only the fruit in it. It’s not mixed. A pure heart is only made up of one thing. What’s that?

The only ones with a pure heart are those who have received God’s gift of His perfect, pure love poured into their hearts by the Holy Spirit (Romans 5:5).

If our hearts are full of the love of God, then our hearts are pure. They become impure when we mix something else in there and love something else. If we do that, we’re disobeying the greatest commandment, to love the Lord your God with all your heart and mind and soul and strength. Then, we no longer have a pure heart. Then we are in trouble.

We can’t fellowship with someone if we can’t be with them. If we have no fellowship with God and can’t be in His presence, then we are in danger.

When the Lord shows you that you are loving something other than Him, fall on your face before Him and ask for mercy. Ask for forgiveness and ask Him to cleanse you from the sin. Hate whatever it is because you were having an affair. You were loving something other than your one true love. Ask Him to free you from it. He can and will. Jesus died to free us from sin, not just to forgive us our sins. Our salvation lies in our pure hearts. With man, it is impossible to have a pure heart, but with God, all things are possible.

Jude 1:24   [Jesus] is able to keep you from stumbling and [able] to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy.

He is able to do the blameless part. You do your part and just choose to love Him!

Prepare the Way of the Lord

Prepare The Way of the Lord

Malachi chapter three starts with a promise that God will send His messenger to prepare the way before Him. We know the messenger as John the Baptist, who prepared the way for Jesus by teaching people repentance. However, this chapter and what follows doesn’t seem to be about Christ’s first coming — not that God can’t fulfill the same Scripture in more than one way. This chapter is about the end. The following chapter, chapter four, speaks of the end judgment, the fearful great day of the Lord. That chapter ends with a promise that God will send His messenger beforehand, saying He will send Elijah to prepare the way so that God won’t utterly destroy them.

That’s the state Israel is in, in danger of utter destruction. And remember, you are Israel. There is a nation Israel, but we are of the people Israel, God’s chosen children. You are grafted in when adopted into God’s family.

Back to chapter three, though. Verse five says, “Then I will draw near to you for judgment.” THEN. What comes first? Verse three: He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver, and he will purify the sons of Levi and refine them like gold and silver, and they will bring offerings in righteousness to the Lord. (Malachi 3:3 ESV)

Before judgment, God will refine and purify His children so that their offerings will be righteous. And once our offerings are pleasing to Him, then He will come for judgment. He will prepare the way. He will prepare His people for His coming, for His judgment, by refining us. That’s what trials and troubles are for, what Tribulation is for, to prepare the way of the Lord, to bring down the mountains, lift up the valleys, make straight the crooked paths, and smooth out the rough parts.

It won’t be easy, though. Verse two: But who can endure the day of his coming, and who can stand when he appears? For he is like a refiner’s fire and like fullers’ soap. (Malachi 3:2 ESV)

Yet, we must endure. It is he who endures to the end that will be saved. But since He is doing the work of preparing us for His determined purposes, we can trust Him to sustain us through and only refine us as we need refining. God does not afflict willingly (Lamentations 3:33). He doesn’t want to harm anyone.  But because He loves us, He will give us what we need.

When God judges the earth, He will give people what they deserve. We want to be safely at His side at that point. We don’t want to get what we deserve. His mercy and grace says that by the blood of Jesus we don’t have to get what we deserve, hell, but we can live in His glorious presence forever. However, that glorious presence is HOLY and we must be holy and set apart to Him to dwell in His presence. That’s where the refiner’s fire comes in. We submit ourselves to God’s altar of Holy Fire to consecrate us, burn away the dross, what’s not of Him, until our hearts are pure before Him. It’s the pure in heart that shall see God.

But there’s another good promise apart from just surviving judgment and the great day of the Lord. When the way is prepared, the Lord whom we seek “will suddenly come to His temple.” It comes with the additional reassurance, “Behold, He is coming.”

We are God’s temple. I pray that He will come in His temple, His people, before He comes for them. We need the fullness of His life and all His promises being fulfilled in us to stand through the tribulation, to go through as overcomers, for our lives to be the righteous pleasing offerings that He desires.

Are You Friend of Foe?

You need to know if you are a friend of God or a foe.

Have you ever read the Psalms? Who is our God?

He forgives sin, yes.

He also delivers, provides abundantly, makes our hearts glad, defeats our enemies.

He rescues. He does it by sending His arrows and lightning and hailstones and coals of fire to vanquish the enemies.

He saves us from our strong enemy. He leads us and shows us the way to go.

He makes the wine to increase. He comforts. He bows the heavens to come down to us.

He blesses and gives us righteousness. He plucks us out of the net that’s trapped us. He lifts our heads and puts our feet on the rock, high above our enemies. He subdues them under our feet.

How far does God go for His children, for His friends?

What about Hezekiah’s story? The Assyrians are attacking. Hezekiah prays. Because he turned to God and prayed, God wipes out 180,000 Assyrian troops while the Israelites sleep.

That’s what He’ll do for His child who asks for help. It’s also what He’ll do to an enemy. He had 180,000 Assyrians killed.

It would be really good to know if you were a friend or foe.

Are you a friend of God? Do you believe you can ask for help and He’ll get angry enough with those coming against you that He’d wipe out an army for your sake?

The Bible says we’re enemies of God if we are sinners, if we are in the world.

What does the Bible say?

For many walk, of whom I often told you, and now tell you even weeping, that they are enemies of the cross of Christ, whose end is destruction, whose god is their appetite, and whose glory is in their shame, who set their minds on earthly things.

Philippians 3:18-19 NASB 1995

That’s a stark description of those who set their minds on the things of the flesh instead of on the things of the Spirit. Is your mind set on earthly things – job, money, entertainment, social media, sports, activities, food or other fleshly lusts, hobbies, books, knowledge, fashion, gossip, politics, dieting, health, exercise? It’s death.

Is your god your appetite? Can your appetite control you? Do you have a craving to do this or that, and then you do it? Your appetite is controlling you. It’s your god. You are submitting to it.

What’s your mind on when you wake up in the morning? What’s the first thing on your mind? If it’s not the Lord, something else has your heart. What do you talk about throughout the day? If it’s not the Lord, something else has your heart. What do you gravitate to when you are tired and worn or stressed? If it’s not the Lord, something else has become your god.

If you can’t get out of bed to pray, but can get up in the cold, dark morning to exercise, something else has your heart.

If you can’t find the time to read your Bible but can stream shows and movies, then something else has your heart.

Your thoughts are on the world.

Their end is destruction because they are enemies of the cross of Christ.

You may say you love God, but so did the Pharisees. God says, “Their lips praise me, but their hearts are far from me.”

You turn your heart to God by forsaking your sin. He will help you get it out of your life. You have to hate it and want it out. You have to choose to love God. Choose to love God.

This cuts off before his wife walks in. There are flowers where the computer was with a note that says, “Love you more.”

That’s what we need to say to God, not just with our Sunday praise songs, but with our daily choices. When that temptation looks you in the eye, you say back, “I love God, not you.” If it’s true, you’ll be able to walk away. It won’t have power over you. And God will smile at His friend.

For Me Not From Me

I asked the Lord what He wanted from me. I immediately knew that was the wrong question with the wrong attitude and said with a smile, “What do you want for me?”

He’s not after our sacrifice. He’s not after our suffering. He’s not after our obedience and worship for Himself. He’s after our hearts. He’s for us.

When He requires our worship, it’s for us.

When He requires obedience, it’s for us.

When He requires suffering, it’s for us.

When He requires sacrifice, it’s for us.

He’s not trying to get from us. He doesn’t need anything. We’re the needy ones. He’s doing everything for us. It’s what we need, so it’s what He wants for us.

Keep your thinking right toward God. He is for us, not against us.

He’s only good and always good.