What Verse Would I Write?

My friend Sarah Dyer responded to my post about Hebrews 11 and the signatures and verses in my Bible by quoting 1 Corinthians 15:58 as her verse and asking me what verse I would write.

I would write Matthew 5:8 — “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.”

There are two things that I am utterly incapable of explaining to you: how desperately I want to be pure in heart and how desperately impure my heart is.  It would be vain for me to try to fathom the depths of either.

To me, Matthew 5:8 is one of the most beautiful verses in all of Scripture.

I love that it was Jesus who said those words.  He was so pure and He lived His life with such rugged beauty.  And when He spoke, it was awesome.  It was like the rain: Sometimes His words drenched you with overwhelming grace and blessing so that you were mesmerized by the sheer wonder of who He was and what He came to do.  And sometimes His words were like storm-rain that’s driven sideways by a wind so strong it soaks you with fear.  I love reading Jesus’ words in the Bible.

I love that He calls the pure in heart “blessed” (makarios: “happy”).  If you’re a new creation in Christ, you cannot imagine being happy without being pure in heart.  How could I ever be happy with an impure heart?  How could I ever consider myself blessed in the sight of God without being pure?

I love the concept of being “pure in heart.”  The phrase itself hits me as though I just walked up to the edge of the Grand Canyon for the first time.  This is stunning.  This is massive.  This is beautiful.  This is real Christianity.  This is what I want to be, and I would give anything to be it.  My heart gets twisted in knots when I meditate on Matthew 5:8, because what I passionately long to be is the same thing that I am decidedly not.  But I am driven by Jesus’ words and the example of His life to pursue it — to press on.

I love that Jesus promises that the pure in heart shall see God.  If ever there was a compelling and reasonable and inspiring and invigorating reason to pursue something, this is it.  Blood, sweat, and tears in pursuing heart-purity is the only rational response to this kind of promise.  They shall see God.

I love Matthew 5:8.


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