Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God
A pure heart is an innocent heart. Not innocent in regard to sin, but innocent in regard to having nothing to hide. Hidden agendas and self-centred manipulation of others are unfamiliar to the pure in heart. A pure heart is transparent. A pure heart reflects truth. The pure in heart do no harm and intend no evil.
The Lord hides His ‘pure in heart’ Bride in some unexpected places. I am close to someone who throughout his life has experienced more than his fair share of illness and suffering. As a result he struggles daily with rejection, misunderstanding and social isolation. Like the rest of us, he is far from perfect. Yet he is one of the most unassuming and transparent people I have ever known. He is unaware of it, but the unconditional love of God can literally beam out of him warming hearts like sunburst on a rainy day.
God creates these pure, transparent, hearts of gold through a process of refinement. “I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire that you may be rich…..” He says to His church (Rev. 3:18). In other words, He offers us a refinement that is costly but well worth the price.
Gold as it is found in nature is unrefined and impure. During the refinement process the raw gold is placed in a furnace and mixed with other materials that cause the impurities to rise to the surface so they can be removed. The purest gold, 24 karat, is also the most malleable and easily yielding gold.
The symbolic connection between purity and heat doesn’t stop there. Jesus taught that “everyone will be seasoned with fire, and every sacrifice will be seasoned with salt” (Mark 9:49). He was using a metaphor clearly understood by His hearers. In Hebrew custom, according to Levitical law, every religious sacrifice was sprinkled with salt before being offered to the Lord (Lev. 2:13). Salt was a purifying agent. Jesus was stating His disciples would be purified (seasoned) through refining fire in a similar way that the temple sacrifices were purified with salt. I am not talking here about salvation or purification from sin. This is about leaving behind our old ways and learning how to walk truthfully and transparently before God and each other.
Through the refining process a Bride emerges who is blameless as a dove, yet wise enough to deal with serpents (Matt. 10:16). We speak of the Bride being ‘without spot or wrinkle”, in other words flawless in her innocent beauty of character. When the apostle John was shown a vision of the Lamb’s Wife, the new Jerusalem, he saw in her a street of pure, unblemished, transparent gold (Rev. 21:21b).
The pure in heart “see” God because they have learned to become like little children in their response to Him. They have discovered they have a Father and His Name is Love.
At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, “Who then is greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” Then Jesus called a little child to Him, set him in the midst of them, and said, “Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. ( Mat. 18:1-4)
It is wise not to resist the refining process. The fruit of it is pure, uncontaminated ‘agape’ love. This is the same selfless, sacrificial, unconditional love the Father, Son and Holy Spirit share freely with each other.
Look for the pure in heart Bride smiling back at you among those who don’t quite ‘fit in’ to mainstream society. You may be delightfully surprised!
Could we with ink the ocean fill,
And were the skies of parchment made,
Were every stalk on earth a quill,
And every man a scribe by trade;
To write the love of God above
Would drain the ocean dry;
Nor could the scroll contain the whole,
Though stretched from sky to sky.
“This verse was pencilled on the wall of a narrow room in an insane asylum by a man said to have been demented. The profound lines were discovered when they laid him in his coffin”.
Thanks to David at Rough Hewn Ministries for the above quote.
Stay tuned for another Bride-Atude soon!
©Cheryl McGrath, Bread for the Bride, 2012
Bride-Atude One: The Joyful Poor
Bride-Atude Two: The Passionate Mourners
Bride-Atude Three: The Mighty Meek
Bride-Atude Four: The Dove Eyed Lovers
4 thoughts on “Bride-Atude Six: The Greatest in the Kingdom”
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Beautiful, thank you.