Jesus begins his most famous teaching, The Sermon on the Mount, with the Beatitudes, meaning blessing. So over the next few weeks we’ll be sharing seven stories of God’s blessing in our lives.

“Blessed are those who are pure in heart, for they will see God.”
Matthew 5:8

I love the word ‘SINCERE’. It originates from the ancient marketplace, where dodgy traders would flog cracked and faulty clay pots by disguising the cracks with wax. Of course, as soon as the unsuspecting customer put their new cooking pot on the fire, the wax would melt, and they’d discover the flaws. So, in response, honest merchants started to display a sign above their pots that read “SINE CERE” – meaning “WITHOUT WAX”. What you see is what you get.

I’m grateful that, when Jesus speaks of the pure in heart, he’s not asking me to bring him a legally perfect heart, but rather a sincere, authentic and genuine heart that’s honest even about the flaws and brokenness. Hebrews 10:22 says, “Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience…” A sincere and pure heart says, “God, I am here without disguise or masks, I’m not trying to hide anything. You can see everything, including my mess and dysfunction.” God draws near to that kind of heart. He’s willing to have a face to face encounter with that person. He comes near to bring healing, cleansing, and restoration.

As David puts it in Psalm 51, God really desires truth in my inner parts; He create a pure heart in me and renews a right attitude within me. When my lips are singing worship songs or praying prayers that articulate absolute surrender and devotion, I need to consider whether my heart truly matches what my lips are praying and singing – and be honest with God if it doesn’t. When I’m sincere about this, God doesn’t leave me that way, but meets me where I am, deposits fresh truth in me and renews my attitude. Truly blessed are those who are pure in heart, for they will surely see and encounter God face to face.

Erik Jespersen and his wife Rebecca have been living missionally in Woking, Surrey for over 20 years. They co-lead the social transformation work of Emmaus Rd Church, and love creating spaces of safety and acceptance where the broken and marginalised can taste and see the goodness of God’s love. This has included founding The Lighthouse, a large derelict building now converted into a vibrant hub that serves those in need through a variety of projects. www.lighthousewoking.org  
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