Seventeenth Sunday after Trinity – Friday
Blessed are the pure in heart; for they shall see God. – Matthew 5:8.
The Prophet Isaiah says: “We are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags” (Isaiah 64:6). The Lord God also says: “The imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth” (Genesis 8:21). Does this also refer to true Christians, to God’s children?
Most assuredly, on account of their sinful flesh. The heart of true Christians is still smirched with sin; and they, more than all other men, know this and sincerely deplore this sad fact. But their sin is forgiven them. “The blood of Jesus Christ, [God’s] Son, cleanseth us from all sin” (I John 1:7). “Now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be, but we know that, when He shall appear, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as He is pure.” (I John 3:2-3).
There we have it. True Christians, the children of God, strive against all sin and uncleanness that dwells within them, and through the Holy Spirit, that dwells within them through the Word of God, they rule over sin. They are mindful of the pure and holy God, who in Christ is their dear Father, and they seek to be like Him. Are you not familiar with this? And thus they (we) are blessed people.
According to the new man, our heart is pure, but on account of our sinful flesh, our heart is still impure. But one day, when we shall see God in heaven, we shall be completely freed from the old man, and the glorious image of God shall be resplendent within our souls and be reflected therein in perfect purity. Yes, “blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.”
PRAYER – My God and Father, who through Jesus Christ hast adopted me as Thy dear child, and hast given me Thy Holy Spirit, working through Thy Word, that I may greatly rejoice in Him: mercifully give to me an abundant measure of Thy grace and power, that I may rule more and more over all the unclean desires of my depraved heart. Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. And finally let me see Thy face in the everlasting light of heaven, and be illumined by Thine image in perfect purity. Amen.
Oh, create a heart in me
That in Thee, my God, believeth
And o’er the iniquity
Of my sins most truly grieveth.
When dark hours of woe betide me,
In the wounds of Jesus hide me.
Hymn 411, 4.(TLH)