Devotions

Pure in Heart • Devotion #4: I Want That

“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” Matthew 5:8

There is a scene in Napoleon Dynamite where Uncle Rico is trying to sell a set of Tupperware-like products to a young couple. To motivate the potential buyers, he offers to throw in a small sailboat model (it was clearly something he picked up at the thrift store) if they will buy the 24-piece set. When the woman sees the sailboat, she leans over to her husband and whispers, “I want that.” I enjoy quoting that ridiculous line from that ridiculous movie anytime the opportunity presents itself.

It seems pretty messed up to use that illustration when thinking about the words of Jesus. However, as I read, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God” over and over, I could not help but sincerely and honestly think, “I want that.” I doubt I am alone in that thought either. I would guess if you are taking the time to read this devotion you would have similar feelings toward the words of Jesus in Matthew 5:8. 

I want to have a pure heart. I want to see God. The problem is found in Jeremiah 17:9, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?”We have impure hearts, and we are incapable of purifying our own hearts. Our greatest attempt to purify our hearts will still fall short of God’s perfect holiness. As Romans 3:23 points out, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”

There would have been “religious” people in the audience while Jesus was preaching this sermon. They were people that had given their entire lives to following religious laws, traditions, and rules. They saw themselves as pure and righteous before God because of their dedication to a system. The reality was, no matter how much “right” they did, they were still sinners and still fell short of God’s perfection. They had, as we have, an impure heart issue. The only hope for a pure heart is found through Jesus and the sacrifice He made with His life.

Many of the people listening to Jesus that day would reject His message and, later, His personal sacrifice as well. It kind of hits our pride to admit we are incapable of doing something on our own. The Gospel calls for us to admit we have a sin problem that we cannot fix on our own. We must believe Jesus paid the price to make our hearts pure before God. We must turn to Him to be made truly righteous. In God’s Word, we find the truth that those who trust in Christ “are justified by His grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by His blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness because in His divine forbearance He had passed over former sins. It was to show His righteousness at the present time, so that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus” (Romans 3:24-26).Have you turned to Jesus to make your heart pure? “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.”

There is a scene in Napoleon Dynamite where Uncle Rico is trying to sell a set of Tupperware-like products to a young couple. To motivate the potential buyers, he offers to throw in a small sailboat model (it was clearly something he picked up at the thrift store) if they will buy the 24-piece set. When the woman sees the sailboat, she leans over to her husband and whispers, “I want that.” I enjoy quoting that ridiculous line from that ridiculous movie anytime the opportunity presents itself.

It seems pretty messed up to use that illustration when thinking about the words of Jesus. However, as I read, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God” over and over, I could not help but sincerely and honestly think, “I want that.” I doubt I am alone in that thought either. I would guess if you are taking the time to read this devotion you would have similar feelings toward the words of Jesus in Matthew 5:8. 

I want to have a pure heart. I want to see God. The problem is found in Jeremiah 17:9, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?”We have impure hearts, and we are incapable of purifying our own hearts. Our greatest attempt to purify our hearts will still fall short of God’s perfect holiness. As Romans 3:23 points out, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”

There would have been “religious” people in the audience while Jesus was preaching this sermon. They were people that had given their entire lives to following religious laws, traditions, and rules. They saw themselves as pure and righteous before God because of their dedication to a system. The reality was, no matter how much “right” they did, they were still sinners and still fell short of God’s perfection. They had, as we have, an impure heart issue. The only hope for a pure heart is found through Jesus and the sacrifice He made with His life.

Many of the people listening to Jesus that day would reject His message and, later, His personal sacrifice as well. It kind of hits our pride to admit we are incapable of doing something on our own. The Gospel calls for us to admit we have a sin problem that we cannot fix on our own. We must believe Jesus paid the price to make our hearts pure before God. We must turn to Him to be made truly righteous. In God’s Word, we find the truth that those who trust in Christ “are justified by His grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by His blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness because in His divine forbearance He had passed over former sins. It was to show His righteousness at the present time, so that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus” (Romans 3:24-26).Have you turned to Jesus to make your heart pure? “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.”



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