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(Part 1)



November 1, 2011

Today’s readings:
Revelation 7:2-14
Psalm 24:1-6
1 John 3:1-3
Matthew 5:1-12

Because of God’s love, we have been saved through Jesus and have been restored to our relationship with the Father. “See what love the Father has bestowed on us that we may be called the children of God.” (1 Jn 3:1a). As God’s children, God intends that we reflect His image and likeness, in which we were created. The fullness of this happens when we finally make it to heaven, where we come face to face with our God. “Beloved, we are God’s children now; .... we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.” (1 Jn 3:2).

This is our hope. This is what we look to in eternity. This is the fullness of our restoration unto the Father. As such, God starts this process now. We are called to live pure. “Everyone who has this hope based on him makes himself pure, as he is pure.” (1 Jn 3:3).

In fact, it is such purity that is needed if we are to make it to heaven. “Who may go up the mountain of the Lord? We can stand in his holy place? The clean of hand and pure of heart” (Ps 24:3-4a). “Blessed are the clean of heart, for they will see God.” (Mt 5:8).

At the end of time, we hope to be counted among those who will stand “before the throne and before the Lamb, wearing white robes” (Rev 7:9b). A question will be asked: “Who are these wearing white robes, and where did they come from?” (Rev 7:13).

Who are these? They are those “who are not devoted to idols” and “are the people that love the Lord” (Ps 24:4b,6a). To live pure is to love God with our whole heart, mind, soul and strength. It is to have no other gods in our lives. It is to have no other priority but God and His work. It is to give ourselves wholeheartedly to Him and to a life in Him.

Who are these? They are those “that seek the face of the God of Jacob.” (Ps 24:6b). To live pure is to live for God, to worship Him, to desire to be possessed totally by Him. It is to entrust our lives to Him and to abandon ourselves to His mercy and care. It is to walk in the footsteps of Jesus as his disciples.
Who are these? They are the poor in spirit, those who mourn, the meek, they who hunger and thirst for righteousness, the merciful, the peacemakers, they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness (Mt 5:3-7,9-10). To live pure is to live the beatitudes.

Who are these? “These are the ones who have survived the time of great distress; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.” (Rev 7:14b). To live pure is to serve Christ and as a consequence suffer persecution, but always enduring and persevering. It is to embrace the cross of Christ. It is to willingly lay down our lives for the cause of Christ. It is to recognize the great privilege of suffering for Christ, knowing that such is redemptive, and thus we can even rejoice. “Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven.” (Mt 5:12a).

To live pure is to know, love and serve God in the here and now, and to see God in the hereafter.

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