“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” Matt. 5:8
Jesus is referring to internal purity, not external.
When living in Jerusalem, our Muslim and Jewish neighbors did not eat pork. When they went to a butcher for hamburger they expected “pure” hamburger. Meat is considered unclean if 99.99% hamburger and 0.01% pork. Purity requires 100%.
The Heart of the Matter
The heart has to do with motive or intent. David intended to construct a temple for God. Although not allowed to do the construction, the Lord recognized his heart for wanting to build.
“But the Lord told him, ‘You wanted to build the Temple to honor my name. Your intention is good’” (1 Kings 8:18)
His intentions were good.
My son Nate used to pick flowers for teachers when going to school. Some received a complete rose and some received just petals he found on the ground. Whether teachers received a complete flower or varied pieces, they appreciated the gesture. His intentions were good.
The Road to Heaven
A phrase commonly used is, “The road to Hell is paved with good intentions.”
According to this Beatitude the road to Heaven is paved with good intentions and is divinely blessed.
Success and Faithfulness
God measures the goodness and faithfulness of a person more than success. Citizens of the Kingdom want to hear one day, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”
You may not accomplish everything you set out to do but are your intentions good? Are you faithful?
In the speech “Citizenship in a Republic” Theodore Roosevelt said, “It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasm, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”
People in the arena have good intentions, they keep their heart clean.
By wanting to please Jesus heaven is experienced on earth, with a promise of seeing God.
In the days of castles and palaces, travelers would visit with hopes of seeing the king. Only those considered “friends of the king’s presence” were given an opportunity.
Those with good intentions are considered close companions of God, friends of His presence.
“If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face…” 2 Chronicles 7:14 (emphasis added)
Be pure in heart. Live life in the arena advancing the kingdom of God. Ask Jesus to give you strength to be faithful in every endeavor and demonstrate that you are a friend of the King’s presence.
What have you done in the name of good intentions? Share your comments below.