Pastor Tim Burt
Jesus said, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.” Matthew 5:8 (NIV) Over the years, I’ve had many people ask me what that means. I hope this will help you!
I was recently in a shopping mall and walked into a sunglasses store. I was trying to find a pair I really liked. It seemed like they had endless options. They had many different kinds and colors of lenses that each created a different hue. As I peered through them, it was interesting to see how different things around me looked depending on the filter of the lens.
Life is like that. People observe life through many different filters. We see things through the lens of our hearts. We each have our own and they have been tinted (or tainted) by life experiences. Unfortunately, too many people see things through filters shaped by hurt, disappointment, and broken trust. If we see things through tainted filters of pain, everything we see and perceive becomes slightly off.
Relationships can influence us positively or negatively. God’s word warns us to be cautious in our associations as seen in Proverbs 22:24-25 (NIV) “Do not make friends with a hot-tempered man, do not associate with one easily angered, or you may learn his ways and get yourself ensnared.”
The hurts you experience in your life change and color the lens shaping your perspective and attitude. If you do not let God heal you from the hurts in your life, your perspective will become tainted in how you view everything! Too often, people that are hurting don’t realize it. They think everyone else is the problem when the problem is with them.
A while back I spent time with two different men who were dealing with some personal discontentment in their marriage and with our church. In both cases, neither of them was involved in serving others or giving the supply of their God-given gifting. Both were lacking in meaningful relationships in the church. There were past hurts that tainted their filter and left them with many negative perspectives. Because of that, they kept the church and the people in it at an arm’s length and kept from being involved. In each case, I invited and urged them to participate in a few things with me at church where they made some great relationships and ended up using their gifting. They both started to attend church more regularly, and they become more attentive in listening to and responding to the sermons preached! Before long, everything changed! They loved the church, and the people, and enjoyed the sermons more than ever before. Their marriages improved, their jobs became more successful, and life was simply seen through more pure eyes.
Getting rid of old hurts, forgiving, and moving forward toward a purpose-filled life for the Lord can do that. Miraculous things can happen when we follow God’s plan. Continuously forgiving and being healed from unforgiveness and moving forward is a part of God’s plan. I’ve talked with people who brag about being opinionated or cynical, or sarcastic. These are people that are hurting and I guarantee you their filters are tainted. They’re negatively influencing others when they actually think they’re funny or intelligent and helping others. They can be like a person carrying a communicable disease. Their negative influence infects those close to them.
Lamentations 3:22-23 NLT reminds us of how much we all need God’s mercy and how powerful and mighty it is to receive and to give it out in our life. It is what brings daily healing. It is what keeps our lens clear and our hearts pure. It helps us start each day afresh—even when we’ve really blown it the day before. It allows us to forgive ourselves, and to then in turn forgive others. It says, “The unfailing love of the LORD never ends! By his mercies we have been kept from complete destruction. Great is his faithfulness; His mercies begin afresh each day. I say to myself, “The LORD is my inheritance; therefore, I will hope in Him!”
If you have unforgiveness in your heart, you have on the wrong lenses. Putting on the right glasses with the right filter — knowing God’s mercy and forgiveness toward you so you forgive and have mercy also — will help purify your heart and perspective from being opinionated, cynical, and sarcastic. They’ll help you be merciful and full of grace like God is toward us. We ourselves must receive God’s mercy afresh each day. When we do, then we must give it so that we can be the light of God to others!
Jeremiah 17:14 (NLT) says, “Lord, if you heal me, I will be truly healed; if you save me, I will be truly saved. My praises are for you alone.” Luke 6:37 (NLT) says, “Do not judge others, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn others, or it will all come back against you. Forgive others, and you will be forgiven.” If you live this way and you’ll see the world through His eyes of love and mercy, you’ll be wearing the right filtered glasses and enjoy this life whiled being a blessing to those around you!
James 3:17-18 “But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure. It is also peace-loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others. It is FULL of MERCY and good deeds”
In His love,
Pastor Tim Burt
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