My first exposure to the true meaning in the Bible came through two college courses. Biblical and Classical Literature began by reading all 66 books of the Bible and ended with several classics like Beowulf. My second class, the Bible as Literature wasn’t as interesting. While examining the symbolism of the Bible with other ancient stories was educational, I don’t think my college professor went to seminary. These experiences taught me not to read too much into literature. Rather, take each piece in its original historical context. Perhaps, this may explain why Joshua urged readers of the Bible to meditate on God’s laws day and night so that important details are not missed or neglected.
“Blessed [anticipating God’s presence, spiritually mature] are the pure in heart [those with integrity, moral courage, and godly character], for they will see God,” Matthew 5:8.
In the first century, a spiritual leader entered the scene as a vivid story teller, using analogies called parables to captivate an audience. In the passage above, Jesus lists a series of beatitudes. According to Jesus, any individual who pursues these spiritual ambitions will be blessed by God. If anyone wants to develop a pure heart, three traits are necessary: godly character, integrity and moral courage. These values are a mindset, steps toward becoming spiritually mature. For those who stay the course, seeing God work in your life won’t be a concept that you read in a book. Rather, your eyes will be opened to the movement of the Holy Spirit altering, changing and transforming your life.
Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is, 1 John 3:2.
A disciple of Jesus makes an interesting connection in the passage above. As children, babies cling to their parents, relying on their mother’s milk for food and father’s leadership for direction. Jesus welcomed little children in his ministry, eager to bless, hold and interact with them. Yet, when children grow up, innocence is lost as negative adults begin to verbally squash a teenager’s dreams. John tells first century adults to live in anticipation of God’s promises in the Bible. Live by faith like children expecting to walk hand and hand with God in heaven. The key to making this a reality is developing a pure heart. As hearts become aligned with God’s will, you will see God move in America.
by Jay Mankus