Who may ascend into the hill of the Lord? . . . He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who has not lifted up his soul to falsehood and has not sworn deceitfully.
In the sixth Beatitude, Jesus talked about the clarity of purity. You know, we tend to see what we want to see. It is like that old saying: “If all you have is a hammer, then everything looks like a nail.” What is in our hearts determines what we see.
Jesus said, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God” (Matthew 5:8). A pure heart is an undivided heart–one that is singularly devoted to God in thoughts, feelings, and actions. For example, if I say I love my wife, then there should be no place in my heart to love somebody else’s wife. To love God with a pure heart means there is nothing competing with Him for your devotion.
Jesus said those who are pure in heart will see God. Those with impure hearts will see only sin and corruption, but the pure in heart will see the hand of God working in their lives.
Then Jesus moved on to the paternity test of peace. He said, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God” (v. 9). Peace has been described as that glorious moment when everybody stands around reloading. That is armistice, not peace. True peace means reconciliation–like the reconciliation God made between Himself and us. The Bible says we are born into this world separated from God, but God took the first step in establishing peace between Himself and us. Colossians 1:19-20 says, “It was the Father’s good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in [Christ], and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross.” There is only one way to be at peace with God, and that is by accepting the forgiveness He offers through the blood of Jesus Christ. Romans 5:1 says, “Having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
If you have really experienced that peace with God, then peace is part of your DNA, and you will do everything you can to be at peace with other people. Now, it is not always possible to be at peace with other people. Sometimes we do not have a choice. In Matthew 10:34, Jesus said, “I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.” I bet you have never seen that verse on a Christmas card! Jesus was saying truth is divisive, which means standing up for God’s truth will sometimes put you at odds with people. But Romans 12:18 says, “If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men.” God’s will is for you and me to be peacemakers where at all possible. If we are truly children of God, then we will seek peace.
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “Straight Talk About Your Happiness” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2022.
Scripture quotations taken from the (NASB®) New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. All rights reserved. www.lockman.org