Summary: Sixth in my Being the Believing series through the Beatitudes
Pure is More!
Kent Hughes, in his commentary on the Sermon on the Mount, relates the story of Anna Mae Pennica, a sixty-two-year-old woman who had been blind since birth. At age forty-seven she married a man she met in Braille class; and for the first fifteen years of their marriage he did the seeing for both of them until he completely lost his vision to retinitis pigmentosa. Mrs. Pennica had never seen the green of spring or the blue of a winter sky. Yet because she had grown up in a loving, supportive family, she never felt resentful about her handicap and always exuded a remarkably cheerful spirit.
Then in October 1981 Dr. Thomas Pettit of the Jules Stein Eye Institute of the University of California at Los Angeles performed surgery to remove the rare congenital cataracts from the lens of her left eye-and Mrs. Pennica saw for the first time ever! She said that she found that everything was “so much bigger and brighter” than she ever imagined. While she immediately recognized her husband and others she had known well, other acquaintances were taller or shorter, heavier or skinnier than she had pictured them.
Since that day Mrs. Pennica has hardly been able to wait to wake up in the morning, splash her eyes with water, put on her glasses, and enjoy the changing morning light. Her vision is almost 20/30-good enough to pass a driver’s test.
Can you even imagine? Oh how many graces of God we often take for granted. Think what it must have been like for a 62 year old lady to watch the sunrise for the very first time? To enjoy the sunset on the ocean as birds fly by? Or to gaze into the eyes of your lover, to wink at your child or watch a football game?
Seeing is glorious, it is a miracle really.
With this story and thought in mind, let us read our next beatitude from Matthew chapter 5 verse 8 where Jesus says:
“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” –Mt. 5:8:
There are only three points that I want us to consider this morning as we look at this verse: A devotion to purity, the depth of purity and our desire for purity, first:
1. A devotion to purity: First of all, what is purity? The original root word used here for purity conveyed several meanings: removing bacteria from water and alloy from metal, getting rid of unmixed feelings to achieve clarity and to banish evil to enjoy freedom.
So, purity would be getting to the point in your life where you have achieved clarity and focus on the things of God by banishing evil from your life to enjoy the freedom in Christ He longs for you to have. Do this and you will be assured a power-filled victorious Christian life that will make a difference in this world by bringing the glory of God to this world!
I know what you are thinking, “Oh, is that all Pastor?” You don’t know the boss I have to work for. Or the issues we are battling at home, or the pain I experience every day of my life.
Wouldn’t we all like to get our flesh (feelings, emotions, desires, temptations, sins, aches, pains, scars, hurts, baggage), wouldn’t we all like to put all of those things on the altar, kill them, put them in a locked box, bury them deep in the ground and be able to walk away and live for Christ unhindered?! THAT is exactly what the Bible tells us to do every day! Look at Galatians 5:24 “And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.” –Gal. 5:24 What does this mean? It means you have to get to the point where Matthew 5:4 “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted” is prevalent in your life! Remember, when we fall in love with THE LOVE (Jesus Christ), our lives are marked with love for that KIND of love. And, when He hurts, we hurt and what hurts Him the most is when our disobedience (sin) stops our lives from bringing Him glory. So, we must get angry at our sin, take it out to the woodshed, beat it down, stand over it and declare “Today I will be serving MY Lord and there is NO room for you”, then turn around and walk away in victory!
D.L. Moody listened to a revival one night and heard the evangelist make this statement “The world has yet to see what God can do with a man fully consecrated to him.” Later, Moody travelled back to the states and when he took that first step off the ship onto the dock he said repeated that line “The world has yet to see what God can do with a man fully consecrated to him.” And then he added, “by God’s help, I aim to be that man.”