Summary: Examination of the sixth BE-Attitude: Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
PURSUING HAPPINESS: Beholding God’s Face
Matthew 5:8 “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God”
John 1: 1-5; 9-14
1. “The White Pearl Hotel sits on the beautiful Venetian Harbour of Kyrenia on the island of Cyprus. From its balconies and stunning rooftop terrace, you will enjoy some of the finest views in the whole of the Mediterranean. From sunrise to sunset, you will be absorbed by the wonderful panorama, featuring the crystal blue sea, the yachts and fishing boats twinkling in the marina and the Five Finger mountain range behind. Combined with the majesty of the Crusader castle of Kyrenia, the sights will take your breath away.” That’s a quote from the website for the White Pearl Hotel.
• Sights that take your breath away
• We’ve all experienced them in one place or another – Niagra Falls, Yellowstone National Park, Table Mountain in Cape Town, Morton, WA from a few thousand feet up in a hang glider – right Pat? The beautiful baby deer roaming freely through Vivian’s yard.
• We’ve all been lost for words over stunning sunrises and sunsets, the exquisite and intricate beauty of blossoms in our gardens, and the mind boggling miracle of holding in our arms our newborn child or grandchild.
• Beholding these beautiful and precious sights lifts our spirits, purifies our thought life, and floods our innermost selves with a deep sense of joy and well-being. We are blessed.
2. In the verses we read from Psalm 27 at the start of the service, David writes: “One thing have I asked of the Lord, that I will seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to inquire in his temple”. And then a few verses further on, “My heart says of you, ‘Seek his face!’ Your face, LORD, I will seek.”
• The chief passion of David’s heart was to behold God’s face – to gaze upon his beauty and his glory. What a passion to have! What singleness of heart and mind and purpose!
• David knew the truth that who and what we spend our time focusing on and gazing upon is a major determining factor in who we become and what flows from our lives.
• David certainly knew the joy and blessedness that comes from beholding the beauty of God.
• Have you been in that same place – where focusing on God’s glory and God’s beauty was your number one passion and desire?
3. But dear old David - at another time in his life - also knew the pain and the heartache and devastation that we bring on ourselves from fixing our gaze elsewhere than the glory of God.
• Late one spring afternoon, when his army was off fighting the Ammonites and instead of being on the battlefield with them, David was lazing on his couch and gazing from the top balcony and his eyes caught sight of the naked and beautiful Bathsheba, taking a bath.
• And instead of immediately getting out of there, he continued to gaze. And the longer he gazed, the stronger became his desire until it overpowered him and he gave orders for her to be sent to his bedroom.
• And the outcome of that act of beholding was Bathsheba’s pregnancy, the attempts to get Uriah drunk and go have a night with his wife, then the arranged death of Uriah to cover up his sin, and the eventual sickness and death of the child born out of that unholy union.
• Psalm 51 is David’s prayer of brokenness, contrition, and repentance, asking God to have mercy on him, purge him, wash him, and create within him a clean heart and that he might once again be restored to the joy of God’s presence.
• If we’ve known the joy of David’s experience in Psalm 27 – we’ve also surely known the heartache and sorrow resulting from our various sinful and lustful passions such as David describes in Psalm 51.
4. How would you describe the overriding passion of your life at this time? Where? On What? On whom are you directing your gaze?
5. We come this morning to the sixth Be-Attitude in Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount – His Operation Manual for the Christian Life – how we enter into God’s Kingdom and live a life that pleases and honors Him.
• We enter acknowledging our spiritual bankruptcy, mourning our sinfulness, humbly placing the strength of our lives in God’s hands, hungering and thirsting for His goodness and righteousness, extending to others the same mercy we have sought from God.
• And now we hear Jesus say, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God”.