FAITHFUL WORDS Dr. Kenneth L. Faught A Lesson on Purity of Heart “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God” (Matthew 5:8). Have you ever seen God? Usually we think in terms of seeing God in nature, his acts of creation, in the Bible, his written word, in Jesus Christ, his Living Word, and in experience, his walk with us through the Holy Spirit. Is there a special place you like to go when you desire to see God? Jesus lists one requirement for seeing God- purity in heart. Most Biblical commentators see purity in heart as a matter of Christian character. We must be cleansed of our sins and set in a right relationship with God through Christ. We sing, “Have you been to Jesus for the cleansing power?” This is sometimes referred to as having a clean heart. Christian character is also a matter of the focused heart – the mind set on God. Soren Kierkegaard, the Danish philosopher/theologian wrote that “purity of heart is to will one thing.” We call it single-mindedness, and Jesus addressed it when he said, “Seek ye first the kingdom of God”. Is God who/what we want most and seek first? Beyond Christian character is the matter of spiritual clarity – “seeing God”. On the one hand, the Bible teaches that it is impossible to see God. “You cannot see my face; for no one shall see me and live” (Exodus 33:20). “No man has seen God at any time” (John 1:18.) The emphasis is upon the holiness of God. However, the Bible also speaks of the inevitability of seeing God. Jesus said, “He that hath seen me has seen the Father” (John 14:8-9). The writer of Revelation envisions a day when “every eye shall see him” (Revelation 1:7), and John writes that it is not until we see him that we shall be like him (1 John 3:2-3.) The pure life is not so much a matter of listing all the sinful things we don’t do, but rather the life that has been cleansed by Jesus, is focused on God, and sees with spiritual clarity the will and ways of God. Dr. Faught is Pastor of The LaFollette United Methodist Church.