Summary: Jesus teaches us here that true happiness: 1. comes from having a pure heart (vs. 8). 2. comes from being a peacemaker (vs. 9). 3. can even come from being persecuted (vs. 10-12).
Jesus Wants to Give Us Heavenly Happiness (Part 3)
Sermon by Rick Crandall
Grayson Baptist Church - March 6, 2013
*Tonight we will take another look at the happiness the Lord wants all of us to have, remembering that the word "blessed" here in the Sermon on the Mount means "happy." God wants us to be happy. But He wants to give us true happiness, His heavenly happiness.
*We're not talking about the kind of happiness that evaporates as soon as someone cuts us off in traffic. It's not the kind of happiness that disappears when you stub your toe.
*God wants to give us the kind of happiness that can well up inside of us on the worst day of our lives. God wants to give us true happiness! And Jesus teaches us how to have it.
1. First tonight, the Lord teaches us that true happiness comes from having a pure heart.
*As Jesus said in vs. 8, "Blessed (or happy) are the pure in heart, for they shall see God." But what does it mean to have a pure heart?
*Alan Balatbat tells us that in Scripture our heart refers to our mind, will and emotions. Our heart determines our behavior, so Proverbs 4:23 instructs us to: "Keep (or guard) your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life."
*We need a pure heart, and Alan pointed out that "the Greek word translated 'pure' is 'katharos.' If that sounds like the word 'catharsis,' it should, because that's where we get our word 'catharsis.' It simply means 'to make pure by cleansing.' And it is used in counseling to refer to a cleansing of the mind or emotions." So a pure heart is a heart that has been cleansed. (1)
*But a "pure" heart also means an undivided heart. William Barclay explained that the word "'pure' was often used for the corn which had been sifted and cleansed of all chaff." When Jesus spoke about "the pure in heart," He was talking about a clean heart with undivided devotion to Him. (2)
*How are we going to get a heart like that? -- We will never get it on our own. Only Jesus Christ can give us a heart like that. So Church, in Revelation 1:5, Jesus Christ is "the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler over the kings of the earth" who "loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood."
*Jesus Christ died on the cross to take all of the punishment for all of our sins. And when we trust in Him, we are forgiven, pardoned, cleansed and made new. As the Apostle John said in 1 John 1:7, "If we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin."
*Jesus gives us a brand-new, pure heart when we receive Him as Lord and Savior, and wonderful things begin to happen. We start out as little baby Christians, so there is a lot of growing-up to do. But Jesus says, "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God." Alan Balatbat points out that: "The purer our hearts become, the more we will see of God in this life." (1)
*Can you see Jesus? -- I'm not talking about seeing with your physical eyes, but with the spiritual eyes of faith. Hebrews 2:9 says this to believers: "We see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, that He, by the grace of God, might taste death for everyone."
*Can you see Jesus? During the Christmas season of 1879, a newspaper reporter in Boston saw three little girls standing in front of a store-window full of toys. One of the girls was blind. Coming closer, reporter heard the other girls trying to describe the toys to their blind friend. He had never thought about how hard it would be to explain what something looks like to someone who has never been able to see, so he wrote a story about it for the local paper.
*Two weeks later this same reporter went to a service led by the great preacher, D.L. Moody. The reporter went hoping to hear something wrong in the sermon, so he could report it in the newspaper. But he was shocked to hear Mr. Moody use his own story of the three girls to illustrate a spiritual truth.
*Moody said: "Just as the blind girl could not visualize the toys, so an unsaved person cannot see Christ in all His Glory. But God opens the eyes of anyone who acknowledges his sin and accepts the Savior in humble faith." (3)