Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Be-getting

Now, back to our regularly scheduled programming.

"Blessed are the pure in heart..." Matthew 5: 8
 I know more about this today than I did a week ago.  Maybe that's why there was an interruption in my writing about this Beatitude.  I have a stronger appreciation for the necessity of my heart being strong and true than I did last Thursday night.  A heart with plaque and gunk and all kinds of stuff built up inside of it has no more chance of being the solid foundation of the human body necessary for life than an un-level foundation has of holding up a house.  But clear, 'gorgeous' arteries and that most brilliant of muscles working exactly as it was created to work is the plumbline of a body.  Being literally pure in heart is what keeps us alive.  That's the truth as I've learned it this week.

But, as we know, as all believers know, the heart isn't merely the physical center of the body, but the foundation of a person's feeling, believing, conduct, behavior and, most importantly, where the Holy Spirit dwells.  The purity of this Beatitude is primarily related to our relationship with God. Being pure in heart doesn't merely mean being pure in behavior but to being fully turned toward Him. To being TRUE to Him. That is, these words are less about moral purity and more about a person's single-hearted loyalty to God because if your heart is pure--is true and square--your whole body will be.  Your brain (where your selfish thoughts reside), your limbs (where your selfishness acts) and even your hormones (where your lusts are) are put right when you are pure in heart--True to Him.

There are people around you who are single-heartedly devoted to Him.  I know there are.  There are around me.  You meet them sometimes.  They're different than other people, even from other believers.  There's just a light in them that shines a little more brightly.  It's like nothing gets in the way of their love for Him.  I don't mean they never sin or that they don't have bad days. But they stay true, even in the hard times. In fact, the hard times simply make them lean more deeply on Him. As far back as I've been walking with Christ, pure-in-heart, true people have attracted me like magnets.  I think of Paul saying in Philippians, "Imitate me as I imitate Christ." That's what I've always done with such people.  I've sought them out, made it my aim to practice what they modeled.  I've sat in their company and learned by listening to them praying.  The pure in heart don't always know what they are, you know.  That's the beauty of them.  Often they think, with Paul, "God came to save sinners, me chief among them."  But I know. We all know. They're saints. That's the good, old-fashioned, New Testament word for them.  And because Christianity is a be-getting faith, the very best way to become a pure-in-heart saint is to be or get with those who are--those with whom we can pray, study, fellowship and simply be in His presence.

Because...they see God.  And I don't know about you, but if I could distill all my deepest longings into four words, it would be these, "I want to see Jesus." So the promise of this Beatitude, and the truth of what saints experience is everything to me.  It's all there is.

The promise of this Beatitude is just this profound: " They will see God." Jesus actually promises that those who are centered on seeking God in all aspects of their lives: relationships, work and play will see and know Him.  Jeremiah 29: 13 says, "If you seek me, you will find me, if you seek me with all your heart."

So seek Him...in those around you in whom you see His face shine most brightly.  His countenance upon their cheeks.  And make it your aim to be or get with them as often as you can.  In them, and by what they teach you, you will see God.

And it will be everything. Of that I am certain. As certain as I am of my own heart.

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