Friday, October 10, 2014

ICF Devotional

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

Sometimes I long to see God around me.  I feel despondent, lethargic, disconnected.  God seems absent.  He feels far away—unattainable.  I continue in my routine of going to church, reading my Bible and praying.  I am doing all the right things, yet God still seems so distant.  I wonder, at those times, how is my heart?  
Purity is a rare and beautiful quality.  It is a clean heart, free from sin.  There is no corrupt desire, no ulterior motive.  There is nothing that is clouding ones vision or blocking the understanding of truth.  It is not possible apart from God.  When Jesus said the pure in heart are blessed, this was exactly the opposite of how the Pharisees lived.  On the outside they followed every rule and looked pure, but on the inside—in their hearts—they were corrupt.  They could not see truth in the scripture or in Christ himself because their hearts were so blinded by selfish motive.  
How is my heart?  Does my heart have a tinge of bitterness in it, or unforgiveness or pride?  Are there sins that are blinding my heart to seeing God?  
Sin took away the pureness God intended.  It takes effort on our part to keep our hearts from from all blemishes, pure before God. When the prophet Nathan confronted David about his sin with Bathsheba, David poured out his soul to God asking to be forgiven and made pure again.  He recognized that without a pure heart, he would not see God.  Cleanse me with hyssop and I will be clean, wash me , and I will be whiter than snow.  Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones you have crushed rejoice.  Hide your face from my sins and blot out all my iniquity.  Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.  Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me.  Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.  Psalm 51:7-12
I want to see God.  I want to see Him around me as I wake up in the morning and look out the window at the sun filtering down through the trees.  I want to see God in my child’s laughter and in the compassion of a friend.  I want to see Him when I wake up and before I go to sleep.  I want to be accustomed to seeing God continually throughout my day.  And I want to know that I will see God later, in Glory.  
Can I see God?  Do I even take the time to notice that He is around me continually?  
I love the way The Message translates this verse.  It encourages me to pursue a pure heart so that I can live seeing God all around me.

You’re blessed when you get your inside world
—your mind and heart—
put right.
Then you can see God in the outside world.

Matthew 5:8

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