Matthew 5:1-12 New King James Version (NKJV)
1 And seeing the multitudes, He went up on a mountain, and when He was seated His disciples came to Him.
2 Then He opened His mouth and taught them, saying:
3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4 Blessed are those who mourn, For they shall be comforted.
5 Blessed are the meek, For they shall inherit the earth.
6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, For they shall be filled.
7 Blessed are the merciful, For they shall obtain mercy.
8 Blessed are the pure in heart, For they shall see God.
9 Blessed are the peacemakers, For they shall be called sons of God.
10 Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11 “Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake.
12 Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
Most religions - and people - desire to see God.
--Jacob said, "I'll not let You go," to God, "unless You bless me." God did. Jacob saw the Lord God.--"I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved" (Gen. 32:30). God changed, blessed him!
Moses saw God on the Holy Mount of Sinai, face aglow.
--Isaiah saw Him in His glory in His temple (Is. 6).
--So many others were blessed with God's presence.
While on earth Jesus' disciples saw God. He is God.
--Philip asked, "Lord, show us the Father," He replied, "Be who has seen Me has seen the Father. I am in the Father and the Father in Me" (John 14:9).
--Again, "Unless one is born again, he cannot see the the kingdom of God" (John 3:3). The saved see God!
Here in Matthew 5 Jesus tells how anyone may see God, "Blessed are the pure in heart, they shall see God."
Who is, by nature, "pure in heart?" Not us sinners.
--Just read the papers. Watch the world news.
--Or listen to the average conversation. Divisions.
--The Bible is true, "All have sinned" (Rom. 3:23).
--We all need a Savior. Jesus is that sinless One.
--We need to repent. To believe. To receive Him.
--Obey His Word, "Be born again .. clean because of the word I have spoken to you" (John 3:3; 15:3).
--Made clean and pure by-Jesus' death on the Cross.
From the greatest life, Jesus; the greatest book, the Bible; the greatest sermon, the Sermon on the Mount, come these familiar Beatitudes of Jesus in Matthew 5.
--All the "blesseds" for the average, like we are.
--These are worthy of familiarity, for God's grace.
--Verse 8 tells everyone how to see God, "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God." —Jesus came, gave us His Spirit, so we may see God.
--People need the Lord. Church. Each at our best.
Do others see God? In us? Are our words winsome?
--Our life holy? 0 God, cleanse, infill, use us all.
For many today, "holiness" is not a popular practice.
--It is fun, pleasure, that's popular - not God.
--Like the little girl, ran to father as he got home. "Daddy, Daddy, Mommy said a bad word to me today!"
--"That's not like your Mother. What's the bad word."
--The little girl said, "She told me to 'Obey!"
--To her - and some adults too - obey is a bad word.
--We don't like to obey. Obey God, or most anyone.
--God says, "Be holy, for I am holy" (I Peter 1:16).
--That's the way we will see God, is to obey Him.
The Apostles and disciples saw God, in Jesus on earth.
--Since He arose and ascended, Jesus may yet be seen.
--It is in His followers, growing in His likeness.
I have been asked, have I ever seen Jesus in person?
--No, I have not seen my Lord in Person.
--But I have seen Him in Spirit. Felt Him, at times.
--I have been where Jesus walked, in the Holy Lands.
--Prayed where He prayed. preached where Jesus did.
Though I have not seen Christ in Person, I expect to. I say to you, I have seen God in some of you.
--Those who suffer silently; reply kindly if rebuked.
--Those whose speech and attitude shows compassion.
--Demonstrates a feeling of understanding, empathy.
--Whose life is humble, gentle, kind, and godly.
The Bible shows us various ways to see the Lord God.
--In His marvelous, wonderful world of creation.
--God made the universe, and hangs it on, "nothing."
--"The heavens declare the glory of God, the (earth) shows His handiwork" (Psalm 19:1f).
We see God in His Word - the written Word, the Bible.
--God's "Word is a lamp to my feet .." (Psalm 119).
--We are to live "by every word .. of the Lord."
We best of all see God in the sinless life of Jesus.
--Jesus came to show us God - what He's like, can do.
--Jesus is the only Perfect One Who ever lived.
--Sent from God. Claimed deity and equality with God.
--Showed it by His cross, death, and resurrection.
On earth, what set Jesus apart, as our Messiah-God?
--He had no visible halo. Crown. Or regal robes.
--Looked much as we. Dressed, and lived, as we.
--Jesus didn't have a name-tag, I AM GOD. But He is.
--Jesus said, "I and My Father are one" (John 10:30).
What set Jesus apart as God was Christ's holiness.
--His love for all. His compassion, and kindness.
--As well as His power and willing to forgive, save.
--Study His life, everything affirms Jesus is God.
--The God who came down to "seek and save the lost."
--So all could "see God" and God be seen in all of us.
I recall a family who visited our church a few times.
--I came to their home. We had a fine family visit.
--She frankly told me, "We like your church, and its friendly people, your easy to understand sermons - but your church expects too much holiness, we were wanting a more liberal church."
I thanked her for her honesty, but explained a bit.
--"We're just sinners, saved, and seeking God's will, striving to follow the Lord Jesus and His Word.
--"We just teach and preach what Jesus taught."
--She mellowed a bit.. "We strive to see, show God."
--I urged the family to try us a while, longer.
--To bring Bibles, and follow along, "You'll like it".
No coercion, but God's Spirit must lead one to obey.
--We just sow the seed. Seek to spread the Gospel.
--As led by the Lord, to give the whole Gospel.
--Each individual much choose whom they will follow.
Remember the Western Union messenger boys? That's us.
--We are not the Messenger - that's God, the Lord.
--We are just the delivery boys that bring it.
A religion, church, that asks little, offers little.
--If we can be what God wants, we can do as He wills.
--One way to break a bad habit - is to drop it.
Our frequent prayer, "Lord, send a revival."
--How can we have a heaven-sent, life-change?
--May I share four essentials that bring revival?
First, revival is when all our sins are laid up. —Laid up on God's altar, in repentance, confession.
--Second, when all our prayers are prayed up.
--Praying for the grace of God to save loved ones.
--To save our friends, neighbors, all the world.
--To save our enemies, that they be our friends.
Third, revival is when all difference is made up.
--When marital problems - family or any - are solved!
--When, in love, forgiveness, patience, we at peace.
--When, by God's grace, we're ready to take blame.
--When, as Jesus says, we become "peacemakers."
Fourth, revival is when our tithes are paid up.
--We can get behind in offerings and tithes at times.
--Our degree of giving is a barometer of our faith.
--The God Who gives to man blesses the man or woman, who gives to God. Giving measures our love of God.
--We are to tithe "as God has prospered us."
--To lift our part of the load of church and mission.
--We should not expect to let others to pay it all.
Abraham Lincoln said, "You can't make a weak man strong, by making a strong man weak."
--It is proportionate giving that God blesses.
--And "the generous soul shall be made to prosper."
God says, "These people draw near to me with their mouth, and honor Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me" (Matthew 15:8). To see God, seek Him!
In the Old Testament through Revelation, God calls us to Himself, and His holiness .. and revival.
--"Behold, the Lord's hand is not shortened, that it cannot save, nor ear heavy that it cannot hear. But your iniquities have separated you from your God."
--As a result, "so that He will not hear" (Isa 59: if).
Let's join in humble devotion, claiming God's Word.
-"If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land" (II Chron 7:14). To see God!
Wilbert D. Gough, ThD., DD. 919