Summary: pure in heart
Beatitude Series # 6
Eric A. Snyder, Minister, Farwell Church of Christ
Original date May 15, 1999
Revised June 3, 2001
’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. 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. And just pulling all the strings trying to make us thing that he is bigger than he really is.
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)
Turn to scripture
Seeing God is an idea that we as humans are attracted to
Were these instances of people seeing God? I really doubt it. But Jesus tells us in
When the Jesus said, "Blessed are the pure in heart", He was pronouncing blessedness on those who are pure at the very center of their being, at the very source of their every activity, not those who are merely pure on the surface. The bible says "the LORD sees not as man sees; for man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart."
I. THE PERCEPTION OF PURITY
We all perceive purity differently.
Sales of bottled water in this country have exploded in recent years, largely as a result of a public perception of purity driven by advertisements and packaging labels featuring pristine glaciers and crystal-clear mountain springs. But bottled water sold in the United States is not necessarily cleaner or safer than most tap water, according to a four-year scientific study recently made public by National Resource Development Center.