NOTE: Study materials used for this message were taken from the following: "The Message of the Sermon on the Mount" Stott; "The Complete Biblical Study Library" Matthew. Since Michael King’s message "Assurance of Salvation" which I used for reference on part 1 only named the first 3 attitudes, the remainder I tried to create in order to build from one beatitude to the next. I also have power points for all the messages in this series, if you would like to use them, feel free to email me firstname.lastname@example.org.
BEATITUDES - PART III
TEXT: Matthew 5:8
Matthew 5:8 “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.”
1. Difficult to understand that not everyone is as eager to “see God“ as I am.
a. They want to “see God“ when they get to heaven
b. They have done what they need to do by asking the Lord into their heart and now they are set for eternity
c. God remains on the top shelf of their bookcase
On my bookshelves in my office are 3 types of books:
Shelves where I go to every week
Shelves where I go to once in a while
Shelves where books go to R.I.P.
2. We serve a God who is not a “top shelf“ God but one who wants and desires to play an active role in our lives.
In our decisions
In our discussions
In our joys
In our sorrows
In our bad times AND in our good ones as well
3. But how many of us hear these words “Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God“ and you will be honest with me and admit that in your mind you say something like:
“(yawn) Yea…yea….I know I‘m going to see Him when
I get to heaven. I‘ve heard all that before but I just
can‘t get too excited about it, I’ve got REAL LIFE things to think about that are higher on my priority list that that right now.”
4. When Jesus came onto the scene, He rocked their world! No one in the past had been able to “see God”. For that matter, very few people had even ever had a “personal” relationship with Him:
Moses in the wilderness talked to God as a friend
High Priests had entered the PRESENCE once a year
Abraham had an encounter with an Angel of the Lord
Shadrach, Meshach & Abednego danced in the furnace
5. But now Jesus was in effect telling His disciples and those who were listening that those who are pure in heart are blessed because they shall see God!
6. What hope! What promise! This was/is not only a future hope because Jesus, the Son of God was right in their midst when He spoke it!
7. We must look at the true meaning of what Jesus was telling His Disciples that day that transcends to us as Believers just as powerfully 2,000 years later.
Hebrews 13:8 “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever”
8. Biblically speaking, the “heart” is the site of humanity’s innermost being, the center of personality.
9. The rabbis were developing a complex system of laws for maintain ceremonial purification, which later comprised one of the divisions of the Mishnah. But all of those laws could bypass the most important purity of all, purity of the heart.
10. How does this fit into our “Be” Attitudes that we have been looking at in recent weeks?
#1 Attitude of Poverty
#2 Attitude of Humility
#3 Attitude of Submission
#4 Attitude of Yearning
#5 Attitude of Forgiveness
#6 Attitude of Transparency
11. How do we walk with an attitude of transparency both among one another and before God?
TRANSITION: An ATTITUDE OF TRANSPARENCY is essential in allowing Jesus Christ to shine forth from our lives. This transparency is attained by seeking to develop a purity in 3 areas of our lives, first of which is a PURITY IN OUR MOTIVES.
I. PURITY IN OUR MOTIVES
ILLUSTRATION: Elizabeth Elliot “Passion & Purity”
“When the will of God crosses the will of man, somebody has to die.”
1. Merriam Webster dictionary - Motive/Intention something (as a need or desire) that causes a person to act
2. The age old question of “Why do we do the things we do?”
3. Examining our motives/intentions is an important spiritual discipline.
4. Intentions come into play when we:
Say things with the intent to hurt someone
Manipulate by our emotions
Saying something in “jest” when we really mean it as truth
Doing something in order to get something in return whether it be attention, applause, recognition, position, etc.
I Corinthians 4:5 Therefore judge nothing before the appointed time; wait till the Lord comes. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of men’s hearts. At that time each will receive his praise from God.
5. We must learn to allow God to show us the areas of our lives in which we are living trying to fool ourselves into thinking that we are getting away with underlying motives.
6. God is looking on our hearts. He is desiring to reside, to come alongside and to reveal more of who He is, but He cannot as long as we are not striving toward developing a purity in our motives, thoughts and words.
ILLUSTRATION: D. L. Moody
“I believe firmly that the moment our hearts are emptied of pride and selfishness and ambition and everything that is contrary to God’s law, the Holy Spirit will fill every corner of our hearts. But if we are full of pride and conceit and ambition and the world, there is no room for the Spirit of God. We must be emptied before we can be filled.”
TRANSITION: Our lives need to become more and more transparent so that Jesus Christ can shine through us to the world. We’ve seen how this attitude of transparency is attained by seeking to develop a PURITY IN OUR MOTIVES (which deals mainly with our thinking) and second we need a PURITY IN OUR ACTIONS.
II. PURITY IN OUR ACTIONS
ILLUSTRATION: Clark Tanner - “The Dwelling of God”
Can you fathom this? The God of the universe, who holds all things together by the word of His power, who fills all things and is bigger than the universe; bigger than time, literally lives in you. Calls you His dwelling place. What a magnificent creation you are! What high and wonderful privilege we have been given, to house the Holy Spirit of God!
Proverbs 16:1-5 To man belong the plans of the heart, but from the LORD comes the reply of the tongue. All a man’s ways seem innocent to him, but motives are weighed by the LORD. Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and your plans will succeed. The LORD works out everything for his own ends— even the wicked for a day of disaster. The LORD detests all the proud of heart. Be sure of this: They will not go unpunished.
The following true story is from the life of Louis XIV of France: One Sunday when he and his royal party arrived at church, no one was there except Archbishop Fenelon, the court preacher. Surprised to see all the vacant seats, the King inquired, "Where is everybody?"
Why isn’t anyone else present this morning?"
The minister answered "I announced that Your Majesty would not be here today, because I wanted you to see who came to the service just to flatter you and who came to worship God."
Most people do not have opportunities to be in meetings where such dignitaries are in attendance. Yet many of them go to church for reasons other than communing with the Lord, enjoying Christian fellowship, and being instructed from the Word. They may not be there to impress royalty, but their motives for coming are just as vain and selfish. Some think it’s good for business or that it enhances their social standing. Others put in an appearance to display their piety, and some merely attend out of a sense of duty. But not one of these actions truly brings honor to God.
2 Timothy 2:20-26 In a large house there are articles not only of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay; some are for noble purposes and some for ignoble. If a man cleanses himself from the latter, he will be an instrument for noble purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work. Flee the evil desires of youth, and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.
1. All of us are bound by time. It goes so quickly. We need more of it.
2. We must make the best use of the time we have.
Story of Mary & Martha when Jesus came to Bethany for dinner (Luke 10:38-42)
3. Mary & Martha
- both actions were positive
- we need servers - we need “reflectors“
- but Jesus said “Mary has chosen the good part, the
part which will not be taken from her”
4. We must not let our actions become substitutes for relationship with Him.
5. We must not let ourselves forget also that it isn’t only important that WE make it to heaven, but how many are we taking with us. How earnestly were we “about our Father’s business”?
Jesus at 12 in the temple
Caleb @ 80+ years old - tells Joshua, “Give me this mountain”
TRANSITION: In order to have an attitude of transparency in our lives, we must develop a PURITY IN OUR MOTIVES, a PURITY IN OUR ACTIONS and finally a PURITY IN OUR ALLEGIANCE.
III. PURITY IN OUR ALLEGIANCE
Psalm 24:3-6 Who may ascend the hill of the LORD ? Who may stand in his holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not lift up his soul to an idol or swear by what is false. He will receive blessing from the LORD and vindication from God his Savior. Such is the generation of those who seek him, who seek your face, O God of Jacob. Selah
An elderly man on the beach found a magic lamp. He picked it up and a genie appeared. "Because you have freed me," the genie said, "I will grant you a wish." The man thought for a moment and then responded, "My brother and I had a fight 30 years ago and he hasn’t spoken to me since. I wish that he’ll finally forgive me."
There was a thunderclap, and the genie declared, "Your wish has been granted.
You know," the genie continued, "most men would have asked for wealth or fame. But you only wanted the love of your brother. Is it because you are old and dying?"
"No way!" the man cried. "But my brother is, and he’s worth about $60 million."
2 Chronicles 28:9 "And you, my son Solomon, acknowledge the God of your father, and serve him with wholehearted devotion and with a willing mind, for the LORD searches every heart and understands every motive behind the thoughts. If you seek him, he will be found by you; but if you forsake him, he will reject you forever.
Matthew 5:8 “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.”
Jesus was right in their midst that day on the hillside and yet how many people actually “saw” Him?
Even His own Disciples
Those in His own city rejected Him
Thief on the cross
These are people who have missed Him and they still continue to miss Him. They don’t “see” Him
God wants to move again this day.
There are those who “hear” Him; who “see” Him and hunger and thirst after Him
There are those who as in the days of old, still choose to live ordinary lives; their life is too important to have it “bothered” with what God wants to do at the moment.
God wants to be allowed to develop a transparency in our lives; a purity of heart so that we ourselves as well as others can “see God” living and working in the hearts and lives of His followers today.
So that “none should perish”