Matthew 5:8 – “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.”
1 Samuel 16:7 – “… For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.”
Around this time each year (we’ll see about this year!), children and teenagers are preparing to go back to school. Part of the getting ready to go back to school is getting all the needed supplies and the new back to school clothes. If you have been around a growing teenager, you know that what ended the year as pants could now be a pair of shorts with all their growing (I exaggerate slightly!) But, many students don’t just want clothes that fit, but clothes that fit in. For so many students the outward appearance defines who they are… it gives the appearance of what their hobbies are, how much money their family has, and what social group they want to belong to. There is a pressure and stress involved in this decision.
Looking through adult eyes, I understand the plight of the teenager, but also am not immune from wanting to be seen as having it all together. It can get so exhausting putting the right things in place, going to the right places, posting the right things to portray an image that I may want to have.
Jesus was well aware of our tendency to want to use our outward appearance to impress others. In fact, Jesus was aware that it was so dangerous to focus on the outward because we believe that it can change our inward morals and our identity. This is why through the scriptures, and in particular the Sermon on the Mount, that Jesus was continually focused on a person’s heart and what is in it rather than the standard being the outward behavior. Jesus was clear that our behavior is an overflow of what is happening in our heart. The beautiful thing about this is that we can rest in the fact that Jesus is the only one who can and wants to purify our hearts. This Sunday, we are going to look at our next Beatitude… blessed are the pure in heart.
In preparation for our time together, be sure to listen to the worship set and ask God to soften your heart to grow in His mercy.
Pastor of Next Generation & Discipleship
9:00 AM – Worship Service Online & On Campus (Lancaster Campus)
9:15 AM – Worship Service On Campus (Myerstown Campus)
11:00 AM – Worship Service Online & On Campus (Lancaster Campus)
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