Matthew 5 v 8. Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God.
There is a very dramatic scene in Shakespeare’s play “Macbeth” when Lady Macbeth is observed at night sleep walking and “washing” her hands over and over in an attempt to clean them from the “blood” which only she can see on her hands. She keeps repeating over and over “out damned spot out” but no matter how often she cleans her hands it has no effect. The “blood” is still there and she knows it.
Those watching her think she has gone mad because they cannot see any blood on her hands. As far as they know she hasn’t murdered anyone or spilled blood– her hands are to all intents and purposes clean.
Her unconscious actions whilst asleep however betray the truth.
Lady Macbeth was to all intents and purposes a murderer. She had persuaded her husband to murder the King and now she was suffering from guilt and revealing through her actions what had previously been hidden in her heart. Her heart was certainly not pure as it was full of murderous thoughts, jealousy and scheming ambition. Consequently, her apparently clean hands were not really clean at all.
She was the ultimate hypocrite whose heart betrayed her.
The story of Lady Macbeth is rather an extreme example but I hope it might makes us stop and think and consider our own hearts and what motivates us. We can all put on a good show (myself included) but impurity in our thoughts and character will eventually come out no matter how much we might try to hide or pretend it’s not there.
Jesus taught his disciples that it wasn’t enough to just observe the religious rituals of the day because it was the evil thoughts which came out of their hearts which actually defiled them and shaped their actions.
Jesus had a lot to say about hypocrisy and wasn’t shy to challenge the religious people of the day.
I believe Jesus issues the same challenges to us, His followers today.
Jesus didn’t mince His words. He called the Pharisees “whitewashed” tombs and accused them of being too concerned with appearing holy to others but actually inside they were full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.
The religious leaders of the day were so meticulous in enforcing, and on the face of it obeying all the laws and traditions, but in practice they were not living out a pure life but were full of “extortion and self-indulgence”. The outside of the cup may have been clean but not the inside.
Matthew 5 v 8. Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God.
These words of Jesus show us that it must be possible to become pure in heart otherwise Jesus would be lying. I believe that Jesus is truth so this statement would on that principle be true.
The bible teaches us that we cannot be pure through our own efforts – it is impossible.
The Old Testament points us to the need for a Saviour. I believe that Jesus is that Saviour who makes this possible. Jesus is the only one who can make us clean from sin by His sacrifice on the Cross and His blood shed for us to cleanse us from sin.
The apostle Paul teaches us that “Jesus loved the church and gave himself for her that he might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of the Word in order to present her as a glorious church without spot or wrinkle or any such thing but that she should be holy and without blemish” i.e. pure.
Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross ensures that we can daily come and take hold of His blood to cleanse and purify us. However, we must not treat his sacrifice with contempt and pay lip service when we are convicted of sin. True repentance means turning away from sin. Changing our behavior. Replacing the old wrong behaviors and thoughts with the right and Godly ones.
I believe in the biblical promise that one day when we die in faith we will then be with and see God. To be absent from the body as Paul put it and present with the Lord. However, I think that Jesus’ promise that we will see God can be evidenced in our behavior in our everyday lives.
When we are hypocritical and our actions do not mirror what we say we believe or what God requires of us in his Word then we do not “see” God at work in our lives or in the lives of others around us.
However, when we submit ourselves to God and allow Him to work in us and to change us by the power of the Holy Spirit, then I believe we “see” God at work in the changes we experience in our character and motives. We become more Christ like in our attitudes and so we see God’s character reflected in us and our actions to others.
I know for myself and I am sure that others can testify to the changes that have taken place in them since becoming Christians. Some of the immediate changes in my behavior were more obvious and noticeable (my lifestyle changed dramatically when I came back to the Lord) and I think it can be the same for a lot of people. The lifestyle changes are usually the first to be seen.
However, some changes in character and behavior are a deeper work of the Holy Spirit especially if we are “blind” or don’t want to acknowledge those character flaws within us. This is when the Word of God and applying the Word is so important as we can use the Word to hold ourselves to account. 1 Peter 2 says “Lay aside all hypocrisy –desire the pure milk of the word that you may grow thereby” and Romans 12: “Let love be without hypocrisy”.
True Christian love in our hearts will show itself through our actions. These are certainly the days for action.
We are because of Covid 19 in a new day of opportunity in how we live out our Christian faith daily- the old pattern & structure of church attendance is not the same any more. We are not pew fillers and were never just meant to be “Sunday believers”. I believe we are now less “building focused” and more “body of Christ” focused.
I am not perfect by any means and some days the thoughts and motives of my heart are anything but pure. I would be lying if I said otherwise, but I love the fact that God’s grace is at work in my life. I take confidence from the fact that “He who has begun a good work in me will complete it” Phil 1:6.
It is difficult to acknowledge that our hearts might not be right before God and to humble ourselves.
There is an encouraging prayer in the Psalms – Psalm 51 –A prayer of repentance which can help us.
David acknowledged that he needed to be cleansed from his sins and that God “desires truth in the inward parts”. David certainly knew what he was talking about – the sinful desires of his heart had also led him to contrive a murder (rather like our fictional Lady Macbeth) which he then tried to cover up but God revealed the truth through his prophet, Nathan. David was truly repentant and experienced God’s redeeming love.
Can I encourage us all that our prayer to God this week is “Create in me a clean heart O’ God”.
If you have never read Psalm 55 then I recommend a read. It is an amazing Psalm. David just pours out the hurt, pain & anger he feels over being betrayed. You can really feel the pain behind the words. It is raw and real. He puts his broken heart out there and the emotion is tangible.
Why this Psalm is enlightening is that it’s not just any betrayal though.. it was the betrayal of a very close friend and equal. Someone David trusted completely who went to the temple with him. They worshipped together. Spiritual companions. They were of the same heart & mind as David or so he thought. David found out the truth though. His friend was not really his friend. He was out to destroy him. It cut him deeply to be betrayed by someone he trusted completely. As David said, if it was an enemy he could have coped with it. You know your enemies are against you but you expect your friends to have your back.
Imagine as a Christian being betrayed by your closest confidant at church. You have been going to church together for years, perhaps you came to faith together, walked the journey together, you think you know them, trust them, you have shared your heart with them and then you find out it was all a pretence. They weren’t your friend at all, they didn’t have your best interests at heart, they were actually working against you all the time. The shock, the pain, hurt, anger…you would feel it just as David felt it.
I believe Holy Spirit is warning us that we are going to see more of such betrayal being revealed in the body of Christ. We need to prepare our hearts. You may have already experienced it. Jesus warned believers about it in the last days that brothers & sisters etc. will betray each other, How will we deal with it if it happens to us and not compromise our faith. For our own sakes we can’t allow such betrayals to crush us and destroy trust of others and impact future Godly relationships. We can’t give into revenge or thoughts of revenge. David certainly wanted God to take vengeance. You read it in this Psalm. He gives voice to those thoughts.
The pain and hurt of such betrayal needs to be acknowledged and poured out to God. It will fester otherwise. It is important to guard our hearts so that bitterness and resentment do not take root and cause us and others even more trouble. Choosing to forgive others as Jesus forgives us is the test. God can help us to forgive through the power of the Holy Spirit working in us to do this. Without the Holy Spirit, I think it is impossible as our flesh will want to lash out and cause hurt as we have been hurt. We can trust God though to bring healing to the wounds and for justice and truth to be outworked. He is our shield and protector.
We can’t allow these painful experiences to drive us away from fellowship with other Christians. David wanted to just run away – verse 6 “oh that I had wings like a dove, I would fly away and be at rest.” and these things will want to make us run away too…run from everything even those people that truly love us and want the best for us. Betrayal can be a doorway for shame especially if someone has betrayed things about us to others that will cause people to judge us or treat us differently. Running away is not the answer. We won’t find any rest by drawing away and isolating ourselves. There will be a true godly friend who can draw alongside you at these difficult times. Help is there. Don’t reject those who want to help and love you at these times out of fear of the same thing happening. Learning to trust again.
There is something else I believe in this Psalm though that the Holy Spirit also reveals. In the midst of David’s brokenness & outpouring I read in verses 20-21 a prophetic word inspired by the Holy Spirit about the anti-christ and how he will operate and it’s a similar story.
“He has put forth his hands against those who were at peace with him; He has broken his covenant. The words of his mouth were smoother than butter, But war was in his heart; His words were softer than oil, Yet they were drawn swords”.
Anti-Christ will pretend to be a close friend & ally of Israel who will deceive Israel into making a peace treaty which will prove to be a deception. He will break that treaty mid way through and betray them. This is prophesied in other parts of scripture about a seven year peace treaty. Israel will feel utterly betrayed. Anti Christ is a flatterer and a deceiver. War and not peace is his true intention. The betrayal of David by a close friend shows us I think how anti christ will operate. Is Anti Christ a fellow worshipper or spiritual person? I don’t know but it provokes me to think about the possibility.
Why have I also flagged these verses. To show that God can still use us in such situations despite our brokenness and work through us for His glory. He can use you still. Don’t give up and allow the pain of betrayal to consume you. Instead rise up, believe in the gifts He has deposited within you and the ministry He has called you to. You are a gift to the body of Christ. Don’t let the enemy rob you of it and destroy your future.
There is an answer and hope in v 22 “Cast your burden on the Lord and He will sustain you. He shall never permit the righteous to be moved”. This promise to sustain you also means to nourish, bear, hold up, protect, support and defend you. God will do all this for you – give him the burden of betrayal and trust in His unfailing love.
I mentioned in my last post that whilst myself and two friends were praising God & praying recently at the Waseley Hills – the “high hills”- the Lord gave us 3 separate words. I have set them out in the order they were given to us. The first was a tongue & interpretation:
“For the Lord God Almighty says
“Awake, Awake, Awake, Awake, Awake, Awake my people. Look & Listen for the Lord God is on the move and He strides out across this nation.
Wake up, Wake up, Wake Up – Hear the bells, Hear the bells, Hear the bells – For the glory of the Lord is going to fall. The glory of the Lord is coming. The glory of the Lord as it sweeps across this nation.
The Lord says “Awake, Awake, Awake – Arise people of God. Arise people of God. Arise people of God & hear the voice of your Master.
The voice of your Master is calling to you. The Lord is calling to you he says “Arise, Arise, Arise My people. Arise, Arise, Arise – Give voice to Me.
For the glory of the Lord is shining upon this nation and here He comes. He is riding. he is riding on the wind. He is riding. He is coming to this nation.
The Lord says He is coming in power and the sword is going forth from His mouth and He is declaring His word over this nation and the Lord says – every knee will bow, every tongue will declare that He is Lord and He is God and He alone is worthy of all praise and honour and glory – to Him who sits on the throne forever and ever – All glory belongs to the Lamb Amen.
After this first word was given, we saw opposite us in the distance on the hillside a bright white light – it was so clear and we believe it was a sign from the Lord. The light was visible for some time whilst we continued to pray.
The second word then came to my friend:
“All My people will see Me in My glory (Jesus). I will shine. You will see Me. You will not miss Me coming because I will stand out and everybody will see Me and the truth will be declared in this nation. All the lies, all the hidden things I will bring forth and the truth will shine. My people will speak the truth out – they will bring the truth to everyone. I declare the truth of the Lord the word of God- that you are coming (Jesus) – you are coming” Amen.
The last word was then given:
“The Lord says “I will build My church and the gates of hell will not prevail. Satan your days are numbered. You have had your time. You have had your day but you will not prevail. I call to you My people to be aware, to be wise and to open your eyes and see. Do not follow that wide road, do not follow that wide empty road. Look for the narrow path that leads to Me, that leads to life. I am coming. I am going to be there with you and you will see Me in all My glory and your knees will bow and you will profess that I am Lord. I open My arms to you this day and I say “Come, Come to Me, Come to Me all you who are heavy laden, all you who are weary and you who are tired of this life and all you who are seeking. Come to Me. I am the answer. I am the way and the truth and the life. Come to Me.”
There is a scripture in Judges 5:12 which says “Wake up, Wake up Deborah! Wake up, wake up, break out in song! Arise, Barak! Take captive your captives, son of Abinoam”.
I believe that this is the word to us as believers in Christ at this time -it’s time to wake up, to be watchful, to rise up and take action for Jesus. Live out our faith where we are – right in the heart of our communities. Church is changing – it’s not about a building where we all meet. We are a body – connected to each other in Jesus Christ. We are powerful testimonies for Jesus – we are His witnesses. Let us encourage each other to live as Jesus wants us to live as His disciples and co-workers of the gospel. To be bold and voices for justice & truth.
Romans 13 11-14 “And do this, understanding the present time: the hour has already come for you to wake from your slumber, because our salvation now is nearer than when we first believed. The night is nearly over, the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armour of light. Let us behave decently as in the daytime, not carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy. Rather clothe yourself with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the flesh”.
Ephesians 5 8-20 “For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord. Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. It is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. Buy everything exposed by the light becomes visible – and everything that is illuminated becomes a light. This is why it is said “Wake up, sleeper, rise from the dead and Christ will shine on you.” Be very careful then how you live, not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another with psalms, hymns and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ”.
It is so important that we as Christians are awake and not asleep & that we are clothed in Christ – Jesus said if we are not awake then he will come as a thief and we will not know when he comes.
Revelation 3:3 “But if you do not wake up (or watch), I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what time I will come to you”.
Revelation 16:15 – “Look, I come like a thief! Blessed is the one who stays awake (watches) and remains clothed, so as not to go naked and be shamefully exposed”
Isaiah 60:1 “Arise, Shine for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord rises upon you.”
Morning all – what another beautiful day it has been.
Creation – In the beginning God spoke. There is always as starting point for creativity. Your Father in Heaven is a Creator but satan is a counterfeit.
A counterfeit is a copy of the original & the unique creation. It is merely a copy. It looks appealing. It looks as though it will do the job, but it can never bring that true sense of satisfaction because it will never be as good as the original.
The original has a purpose unique to it. You are unique. You are a created being – You were made to give glory to your Father in Heaven. You are truly unique. There has and never will be a good enough copy of you. You are the original – God looked at you and said – It is GOOD. If God can say that about you – then please don’t say anything else about the beautiful human being that He has created you to be.
Stop living a counterfeit fake life, full of sin & deceit and start living the life which God created you to live. A life of freedom, holiness, joy, love – A life of grace, mercy & kindness. It is possible to throw off that old life & embrace a new life in Jesus Christ. He was the son who knew no sin – human yet divine. He is unique and there is none like Him. There is only one Jesus Christ the true son of God. Any other Jesus is just a counterfeit & a fake.
Don’t be fooled. There is no-one else who can make a way back to Father God in Heaven – Only the true son of God – Jesus Christ. He alone is the one true God. He alone is the one true path of righteousness & salvation. Believe in Him. The true King of Kings & Lord of Lords & do not be deceived by the counterfeits. They lead to death but Jesus leads to life and life in all its fullness.
God created you for a purpose. He loves you and cherishes you and longs to be reunited to you.
For God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten son so that whoever believes in Him will be saved.
John 3 16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
May your faith be genuine. My your love be true and may your heart not deceive you.
Believe in Jesus and be saved. Believe & be saved.
Alleluia to the Lamb of God – forever & ever. For He was slain but now He lives.
This is the word which God brought to my spirit some months ago. I have read a number of other blogs and words from fellow believers recently about this time of covid-19 being a time to re-set and I believe re-calibration is also part of re-setting.
God impressed on me that just a small re-calibration can actually make a massive difference. I believe at this time God is encouraging us to re-calibrate our thinking, behaviour and attitudes so that we align with His word. Such changes will have a massive impact in us and through us. Faith will arise as we see the changes and the effects of those changes.
I pray that God will reveal what needs re-calibrating in our lives and mindsets to bring us in line and keep us in line with His Word and Truth and the Gospel so we are not in error but accurate in Him.
Calibration – Is the act of adjusting an instrument to keep it accurate.
2 Thessalonians 3 v 1 “Finally, brethren pray for us that the word of the Lord may run swiftly and be glorified just as it is with you”.
These are the words that the Lord has spoken to my heart today. This is the day for the release of an acceleration of the powerful message of the good news of Jesus Christ. That it will run swiftly now as the apostle Paul said through our cities, our communities and through our families.
The word of God to run swiftly as horses through the nation – Let it run swiftly and be glorified.
Let it be shouted from the rooftops – There is Good News. There is hope – His name is JESUS.
He died for your sins. He rose again & conquered death so that you may live with Him and be with Him in his kingdom. He is the only saviour who can restore you to relationship with your loving Father in Heaven.
Believe in Him. Turn from your wicked ways. Believe in Him and in the power of His death & resurrection and be saved. Today is the day of salvation. Today is the day to believe. Cast away all doubt & fear and put your faith in Him.
He will never let you down. Turn from darkness to the light. Turn from death to live in Him. May you hear His word today.
Let the message of salvation run swiftly through the whole earth. Amen.
2 Thessalonians 3 v 1 “Finally, brethren pray for us that the word of the Lord may run swiftly and be glorified just as it is with you”.
Let us pray that that the word of God and the message of salvation in Jesus Christ will run swiftly through the nations of the earth today. That we will be bold to speak it out. That we will be bearers of that message and will speak it and testify of it.
There is hope and His name is Jesus Christ. He alone is the hope for our nations. That people’s hearts will be softened to receive the message of salvation, that their minds will be set free to hear His word & that the Holy Spirit will bring conviction of sins to men’s hearts and lead them to the truth that is Jesus Christ.
I heard the Lord say this to my spirit this morning – This is the generation that will see Me come in power amongst them. My Holy Spirit is being poured forth now in a mighty way. It will be like a flood that will go across the earth to meet and minister to those in need. My people will rise up in power. They will go about My business and they will see the miraculous provision and power of their God in whom they trust.
Beware the evil one. Beware the fraudster who comes to deceive and lead astray. Stay in the place of intimacy so that you know the person of the Holy Spirit. He is the one friend who will lead and guide you into all truth. Do not fear, for I am with you even to the end. I will never forsake you. Be ready to do good at all times. Silver and gold you may not have but what I can give you is worth much more and brings life in all its fullness and not death.
This is the generation that will rise up now and do great and mighty deeds for their King. Speak out My word with boldness. Send forth My word with power and declare that this is the day the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad. I will lift up a shout of praise and with my eyes I will see my victory over the evil one. He will flee before me. The wicked will take cover and hide before the coming of My saints as they rise in power. Their shout will go up before the whole earth as they rise in unity to bring down the strongholds of the wicked ones and ride out into the wide places and build My kingdom. A kingdom that will never fall. A kingdom that will last forever.
For these are the days that My Spirit is now to be poured out in greater measure. Be filled to overflowing My children. Be filled to overflowing that My power & My spirit flow through you for My honour & My glory. Be at one with Me and at one with each other. Move as one. All hell will try to stop you but it has no power over you, for I have stripped it of its power and I have placed authority in your hands and My power goes forth. It goes forth like lightning and see its trail across the earth. All eyes will see and ears will hear of the exploits of My children. They will now start to explode into the news and all will start to see My wonder working power at work in all the nations of the earth. Amen.
I have not spoken in secret, In a dark place of the earth;
I did not say to the seed of Jacob,
Seek Me in vain,
I, the Lord speak righteousness,
I declare things that are right.
Assemble yourselves and come;
Draw near together,
You who have escaped from the nations.
They have no knowledge, who carry the wood of their carved image,
and pray to a god that cannot save.
Tell and bring forth your case;
yes let them take counsel together.
Who has declared this from ancient time?
Who has told it from that time?
Have not I the Lord?
And there is no other God besides Me,
A Just God and a Saviour:
There is none beside Me;
Look to me and be saved,
All you ends of the earth!
For I am God and there is no other.
I believe that there is only one true God in heaven whose son is Jesus Christ who died and rose again and has conquered sin and death.
He alone is able to save us from our sins.
Look to God in these days and put your trust in His unfailing love & mercy.
He is a merciful & gracious God. Cry out to Him for help and He will surely hear you and answer you.
There is none other able to stretch forth His hand from heaven and save us apart from Him. Trust in Him and He will not let you down.
Psalm 9: 9 “The Lord also will be a refuge for the oppressed. A refuge in times of trouble. And those who know Your name will put their trust in you: For you Lord, have not forsaken those who see You.”
God’s glory and righteousness will be revealed.
I pray and ask God to arise in these times and have mercy on us, to move on our behalf and to save us from this dreadful disease Covid 19 which is ravaging the nations and killing people.
Rescue us O Lord we ask as there is no-one who can help us at this time to stop this disease and miraculously deliver and heal us.
There is only you who can do this. Only you Oh Lord who have the power to do this.
Show your mighty power in these days. Hear our prayers God through the precious name of your son Jesus Christ who makes intercession on our behalf before Your throne.
v19 “Arise O Lord; Do not let man prevail, let the nations be judged in your sight. Put them in fear O Lord, that the nations may know themselves to be but men”.
I believe that the Lord is releasing a Cyrus anointing for these days. There are already those that the Lord is using throughout the nations operating under this anointing but I believe a further release of this anointing is being released. The Lord is releasing this anointing on those He has called according to His purposes and plans for such a time as this. I declare forth the word of God today for all those who have been called and named by God for such a time as this to rise up and go forward into all that God has for you to do. I stand in faith in agreement with His word which says:
Isaiah 45: “Thus says, the Lord to His anointed – To Cyrus whose right hand I have held:
to subdue nations before him;
to loose the amour of kings;
to open before him the double doors, so that the gates will not be shut:
I will go before you;
And make the crooked places straight;
I will break in pieces the gates of bronze
and cut the bars of iron.
I will give you the treasures of darkness
and Hidden riches of secret places,
That you may know that I, the Lord, who call you by your name, Am the God of Israel.
For Jacob My servant’s sake,
And Israel My elect,
I have even called you by your name; I have named you, though you have not known Me.
I am the Lord and there is no other; There is no God besides Me.
I will gird you though you have not known me;
That they may know from the rising of the sun to its setting
That there is none besides me. I am the Lord and there is no other; I form the light and create darkness, I make peace and create calamity, I the lord do all these things.
Rain down you heavens, from above, And let the skies pour down righteousness; Let the earth open, let them bring forth salvation, and let righteousness spring up together.