’An atheist was spending a quiet day fishing when suddenly his boat was attacked by the Loch Ness monster. In one easy flip, the beast tossed him and his boat high into the air. Then it opened its mouth to swallow both. As the man sailed head over heels, he cried out, “Oh, my God! Help me!” At once, the ferocious attack scene froze in place, and as the atheist hung in mid-air, a booming voice came down from the heavens, “I thought you didn’t believe in Me!” “Come on God, give me a break!!” the man pleaded. “Two minutes ago I didn’t believe in the Loch Ness monster either!”
God sometimes gets the short end of the stick because of the perception that He is a fictional Character. Or that we can’t see him with our eyes.
‘A teacher sent a boy outside the class with the instructions to make some observations and come back in and report what we saw. When he came back in, the teacher asked him, “Did you see the sky?” “Yes, ma’am,” he said. “What color was it?” “Blue,” he replied. “Were there clouds?” “Yes, ma’am.” “What color were they?” she asked. “Well, there some white and some gray,” he said. “Did you see the ground?” she asked. “Yes, ma’am, it was green in some places and brown in other places.” he answered. “Did you see God?” she asked. “No, ma’am, I didn’t,” he said. “Then, he must not exist,” declared the teacher.
A girl raised her hand and asked, “May I ask him some questions?” “Yes, you may,” said the teacher. The girl said, “Look around this room and tell me what you see.” The boy said, “Well, I see students, desks, papers, and the teacher.” “What color dress is the teacher wearing?” asked the girl. “Blue,” he replied. “Do you see her brain?” she asked. “No,” he replied. “Then it must not exist.” declared the girl.
But when we come to the true realization that He does exist, it’s hard to avoid the wizard of OZ Character whom we perceive to be hiding behind the curtain pulling all the strings trying to make us thing that he is bigger than he really is. We long to see God, but we are not able to now.
Mario Rubio is rolling a burrito when she notices skillet burns on the tortilla resembling the mournful face of Jesus Christ. Shortly thereafter, 8,000 curious pilgrims trek to the Rubios’ small stucco house in rural New Mexico to view the sacred icon. Mrs. Rubio leaves her house unlocked so that visitors may freely enter and examine the tortilla. (Newsweek, Aug. 14, 1978)
Oklahoma evangelist Oral Roberts spots a 900 foot Jesus straddling a hospital complex he is building next to his university. Roberts, interpreting the divine image as a plea for financial assistance, appeals to his followers and nets millions of dollars in donations. (Los Angeles Times, Oct. 8, 1992)
Christ appears, crucified, on a garage door in California and draws 8,000 visitors in one weekend. The image is later found to be caused by reflections from two street lights that had merged with shadows of a bush and a real-estate sign. (USA Today, April 12, 1989)
Seeing God is an idea that we as humans are attracted to Were these instances of people seeing God? I really doubt it. We miss God much of the time. This was a complaint that God has of us.
“Oh, how blind you are toward me! Why do you refuse to see? Isaiah 42:18
But Jesus tells us the pure in heart will see God.
- Impurity in my eyes will cause physical blindness.
A blind man walks into a store with his Seeing Eye dog. All of a sudden, he picks up the leash and begins swinging the dog over his head. The manager runs up to the man and asks, “What are you doing?” The blind man replies, “Just looking around.”
One day at a busy airport, the passengers on a commercial airliner are seated waiting for the pilot to show up so they can get under way.
The pilot and copilot finally appear in the rear of the plane and begin walking up to the cockpit through the center aisle. Both appear to be blind; the pilot is using a white cane, bumping into passengers’ right and left as he stumbles down the aisle. The copilot is using a guide dog. Both have their eyes covered with sunglasses.
At first, the passengers do not react thinking that it must be some sort of practical joke. After a few minutes though, the engines start revving, and the airplane begins moving down the runway.
The passengers look at each other with some uneasiness. They start whispering among themselves and look desperately to the stewardesses for reassurance.
Yet, the plane starts accelerating rapidly, and people begin panicking. Some passengers are praying, and as the plane gets closer and closer to the end of the runway, the voices are becoming more and more hysterical.
When the plane has less than twenty feet of runway left, there is a sudden change in the pitch of the shouts as everyone screams at once. At the very last moment, the plane lifts off and is airborne.
Up in the cockpit, the copilot breathes a sigh of relief and tells the pilot: “You know, one of these days the passengers aren’t going to scream, and we aren’t going to know when to take off!”
**Spiritually blind people have no moral navigational system they are completely at the mercy of others. We cannot see God.
- Impurity in my soul will cause spiritual blindness
- Sin blinds us to will of God in our life
B. Sin blinds us to the will of God for his church.
C. Sin blinds us to the will of God for this world
D. Sin blinds us to the reality of sin’s consequences.
“Blind Pharisees! First wash the inside of the cup, and then the outside will become clean, too.” Matthew 23:26
“So ignore them. They are blind guides leading the blind, and if one blind person guides another, they will both fall into a ditch.” Matthew 15:14
C. Only Jesus can cause me to see spiritually
“Then Jesus told him, ” I have come to give sight to the blind and to show those who think they see that they are blind.” John 9:39
- Only Jesus allows me to see God
“For when you see me, you are seeing the one who sent me.” John 12:45
“Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father and we will be satisfied.” Jesus replied, ‘Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father!” John 14:8-9
**Christ allows us into the presence of God. In the temple system, there was different courts or levels and there was a holy place and a most holy place where the presence of God was. Only the high priest could go to the holy place, only once a year. With Christ’s death, the temple curtain, separating the holy place from the most holy place was ripped in two. We can now (BECAUSE OF CHRIST) go into God’s presence.
“Let us go right into the presence of God, with true hearts fully trusting him. For our evil consciences have been sprinkled with Christ’s blood to make us clean, and our bodies have been washed with pure water. Hebrews 10:22 (NLT)
Like the other promises associated with these Beatitudes, this one has both a present and future fulfillment.
1. There is a sense in which the “pure in heart” can have a vision of God while they are in this world (Hebrews 11:27).
2. The “pure in heart” see God as they survey the history of the world both past and present.
3. The “pure in heart” see God as He works through the circumstances of their lives as well as the lives of others.
4. The “pure in heart” see God as they sense His presence in their lives.
5. The “pure in heart” see God in the salvation of the lost.
1. Although it is nice to “see God” in a spiritual sense while we are in this world, and although there is a certain sense of satisfaction in that, we will one day see God “face to face” and will be completely satisfied as we awake with His image (Psalm 17:15).
2. 1 John 3:2; 1 Corinthians 13:12
3. It is the prospect of one day seeing the Lord face to face that leads to purity of heart (1 John 3:3).
IV. PURE IN AN UNPURE ENVIRONMENT
“For though your hearts were once full of darkness, now you are full of light from the Lord, and your behavior should show it!” Ephes. 5:8
Although a person may have experienced the initial cleansing of the soul through salvation, there still exists the need for a daily, practical cleansing of the heart and life.
It is important to foster purity in your life. I’m going to give you a few steps that will help to promote a spirit of purity in your daily life.
To be pure means we are to live out our lives with Proper Motives. It is to be Real, Genuine and Authentic before man and God. It means you are to act the same, regardless of who you’re with.
“Who Are You, Really ?” (In your inner depths, in your heart?)
If Jesus came to your home today to spend a day or two would you have to change things around because of him? I know you’d give your nicest room to such an honored Guest,
And all the food you’d serve to him would be the very best. And you’d keep assuring Him you’re glad to have him there, That having Him in your own home is a joy beyond compare. But when you saw Him standing there, could you go to the door, with arms outstretched to welcome Him, would your heart begin to soar? Or would you have to change some things before you let Him in, or hide some sinful things and place the Bible where they’d been? Would family conversation be continued at its current pace,
I wonder what would have to change if you saw Him face to face? Would you be glad to introduce Him to your closest friends, or would you wish they’d stay away until His visit ends? Would it cause embarrassment, these crazy things you do, If Jesus came to your own house, to spend some time with you?
It is to be Real, Genuine and Authentic before man and God. It means you are to act the same, regardless of whom you’re with. What do you look like beneath the surface? Do you bring the same person to church that lives in your house?
**A story is told of a traffic accident between a single man and single woman. At first they got out and argued, then decided to call the police. The woman was returning home from grocery shopping and invited the man to sit in her car to stay out of the cold. She started to flirt with him and he responded by telling her how pretty she was. She said they should celebrate this soon-to-be romantic occasion, so she popped open a bottle of wine and offered it to him. He guzzled down quite a bit of the wine and was confused when all of a sudden, she wasn’t thirsty and told him that she’d just wait until after the police arrive. (Beneath the surface, she had a hidden agenda) Us???
The Greek adjective katharos meant “clean” or “pure.” A “catharsis” is a purging or cleansing. Katharos often meant something that had been purged. In Mt. 5:8, it is this word that is translated “pure.” The need for a pure heart is emphasized often in the New Testament – e.g. Ac. 15:9; 1 Tim. 1:5; 2 Tim. 2:22; 1 Pt. 1:22.
- Purify My thoughts – Philippians 4:8
“Fix your thoughts on what is true and honorable and right. Think about things that are pure and lovely and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.” Philippians 4:8 (NLT)
Purity of heart isn’t going through the motions. It’s doing the right things with the right motives. With the right heart. It’s asking yourself before you do something- “what will God think of this?” “Is there consistency between what I say I believe and how I act?”
If we praise God on Sunday morning and act as though we’ve never met Him on Monday—then we’re like the hypocrites Jesus confronted and our praise is in vain.
B. Purify My actions
”Run from anything that stimulates youthful lust. Follow anything that makes you want to do right. Pursue faith and love and peace, and enjoy the companionship of those who call on the Lord with pure hearts.” 2 Timothy 2:22 (NLT)
*Even David knew the danger of having a divided heart. A divided heart results in an unstable life (James 1:8). 3. To be “pure in heart” our foremost desire must be to please the Lord and to follow Him, and nothing must be allowed to interfere with the fulfillment of that desire.
If we act all spiritual in here, in front of each other, but are devious and dishonest when no one is looking out there—we will get caught
If we caution our youth about sexual impurity and we sit online in front of a porno site—then we’re hypocrites and we are ourselves impure.
C. Purify My Service
Pure and lasting religion in the sight of God our Father means that we must care for orphans and widows in their troubles, and refuse to let the world corrupt us.” James 1:27 (NLT)
D. Purify My Influences
How can a young person stay pure? By obeying your word and following its rules.” Psalm 119:9 (NLT)