Verse of the Day Devotion: Matthew 5:8
“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” – Matthew 5:8
This verse is part of what is called the beatitudes, which Jesus declared in His sermon on the mount. This same sense is found in the Psalms. David declared the following, “Who may ascend into the hill of the LORD? And who may stand in His holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, Who has not lifted up his soul to falsehood And has not sworn deceitfully. He shall receive a blessing from the LORD And righteousness from the God of his salvation.” Psalm 24:3-5. David states that the one who has clean hands and a pure heart. By clean hands is the idea of walking upright and working righteousness. Pure heart has the idea of one who not only does righteous deeds, but whose heart is pure and devoted to God. He is one who conscientiously fulfils his promises. In essence, he is more focused on walking with God, spending time with Him, making Him the focus of His life rather than on doing the outward actions of the law.
This beatitude demands from us a deep examination of our hearts. Is the work we do done out of humble servitude to God, or out of self-aggrandizement? Is it done to make ourselves look good, or to honor God? What is our motives for what we do? If our hearts are pure, it will not be to make us look good, but to serve those who need our help in service to God. Our prayer and bible reading should focus on communing with God? Again, is He the focus? As stated above, a pure heart understands He is everything and we are to lift Him up in everything we do or say; everything we do should be to bring glory to God.
So, what is meant here when Jesus said, ‘for they shall see God?’ This can be difficult. Everyone will see God eventually in the end. The question then is, who will see God here? My answer is those who know Him. Let me give an analogy I think will help lay out what I think this means. When a non-believer looks into the sky at night, he sees many pinpoints of light. They see stars, planets and other bodies out there which, many will say, came into existence without a god. They do not see God in the sky for they do not believe He exists. When a believer looks up there, they see the handiwork of God, how He created everything and placed it all into motion, including all life.
In like manner, those who are devoted completely to God sees Him in everything. When praying, they see Him on the other side of the conversation. When they study the scriptures, they see Him teaching them the truth found in them. When they are going through trials, they see Him by their side, helping them through. No matter what happens or what they do, they see God in the process. Now, I would never say God will not give a vision of Himself to anyone. However, many never see a vision of Him, but they see Him in everything in their lives, the good times and the hard time.
Remember what Jesus said just prior to His ascension. “And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:18-20. He sent us out to make disciples of all nations, doing His work here on the earth. He may have ascended into heaven, but He is with us always. And if we look at everything with a pure heart and true devotion to Him, we will see Him everywhere we go.
William Funkhouser MDiv, ThD, Founder and President of True Devotion Ministries.