Personal: Blessed Are the Pure in Heart (v8)
v8 – “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.” This is connected to being poor in spirit.
While the rich in spirit and the rich period have many answers, many options, the poor in spirit don’t have all the answers and they don’t have many options. If life could be symbolized by a dozen eggs and faith in Christ is a basket, then the poor in spirit have put all their eggs in the basket called Faith. They really have no hope in anything else.
The phrase, “pure in heart,” has a similar flavor as poor in spirit. Pure in heart refers to moral purity so blessed are those who maintain purity of action and thought and motive. But that’s not all. Pure in heart also has the connotation of wholehearted devotion, untainted, undivided devotion. There is a singlemindedness that flows from a person whose heart is pure. Meaning, he has put all his eggs in God’s basket.
Isn’t that what it means to be a disciple of Christ? We’ve forsaken all to follow him. In other words, we’ve put all our eggs in Christ’s basket. Hypocrisy is when you say you’ve put all your eggs in God’s basket, but in actuality, you’ve reserved a half dozen eggs and placed them in a bunch of other baskets. You’ve hedged your bets. Such a person lacks purity of heart because his or her heart is divided.
Are you “all in” when it comes to Christian life? Or, are you holding back? Simple self-assessment. If you are holding back, you’re not pure in heart. And you will be forfeiting the blessing of God. One who is pure in heart will display wholeness because they’re all in. They have no contingency plans, no backups. I’m all in. I have hope in none other than Jesus Christ.
Personal: Blessed Are Those Who Hunger and Thirst for Righteousness (v6)
Blessing from God comes to those who are poor in spirit and pure in heart. And blessing from God is also linked to v6 – “those who hunger and thirst for righteousness.”
If you are hungry, what do you do? You eat. What do you do if you are thirsty? You drink. Spiritually speaking, what if you are hungry or thirsty in your soul? You go to God. You pray. You open up your Bible. Most of us can go a few hours and then our brain gives us a trigger, I’m hungry or I’m thirsty. Or our stomach growls. Or our throat is parched. Those are signs. Your body is trying to get your attention so that you know that your tank is low. It’s time to replenish.
Even our biology, the way we would die after a few weeks without food, or worse, a few days without water, our biology communicates that we are frail.
What about your spiritual life? Wouldn’t you know – by design, our souls are equally frail. Do you find it easy to go a several days, several weeks and even several months without cracking your Bible open or praying? If so, then according to this text, your life is not blessed by God. You can have food in the refrigerator, and money in the bank account, but your life is just a shell of a life. You are living a spiritually anemic life and it’s no wonder there is no strength, nor vitality. Because you haven’t been feeding on God’s Word and drinking in His presence and seeking His face in prayer.
More specifically, what are we to hunger and thirst for? Righteousness. There are two kinds of righteousness: personal and societal. Because of our sin, we hunger and thirst to be righteous personally. To be in right standing before God. We desire to have our sins covered and pardoned. And this is not a one-time forgiveness, but we repent daily so that we can be forgiven daily.
Also, when we look at the sins in the world, we long for God’s righteousness, we long for God to establish things like justice and fairness and equality. And this longing points to the Second Coming of Christ when Jesus will come to establish, not a spiritual kingdom in heaven, way up there in the clouds, but a real kingdom on earth, a new heaven and a new earth. In essence, heaven will come crashing down to earth permanently and heaven and earth will be one. A new creation will be established. A new kingdom where Christ reigns supreme. Instead of selfishness and greed and war and poverty reigning in the world, this new kingdom on earth will be a place of humility and love and peace and justice for all.
Earlier I mentioned the phrase – “already, but not yet.” If you are believer, then you’ve already tasted what it’s like to be a citizen in the kingdom of God, but you know it’s not yet fully realized. You’ve got your passport but maybe you’re still on the plane on the way to the destination. You’ve tasted the Lord’s goodness. You’ve seen it. It’s personal, it’s something you’ve experienced in your heart, but it comes and goes. You’ve seen the kingdom of God in crystal high-def clarity one moment and then the next moment, it’s analog TV. The picture is fuzzy. It gets out of focus quite often because of sin.
Every believer is supposed to display what’s it like to be a citizen in this kind of future kingdom to the world as a foreshadowing of what is to come. When believers are gathered, we are supposed to be a foretaste, a pocket of this kingdom of God in the midst of the kingdom of man. Churches, we are supposed to be pockets of heaven, here and now on earth, displaying the qualities of lives blessed by God. So that others may seek God and enter for themselves.
Like an appetizer before a big feast, the fried calamari or egg rolls come out and what happens? Your saliva glands are activated. The appetizer functions to jumpstart and whet your appetite for the steak and lobster on the way. When we’ve tasted a bit of Christ and a bit of what it means to live in his kingdom, we want more of it. Our spiritual palates have tasted and seen that the Lord is good and we want the main course to come.
But because Christ has not yet come, we have to wait for the main entree and that is why we are in a perpetual state of hunger and thirst for righteousness.