"Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God."
"Create in me a clean heart, O God;
And renew a steadfast (right) spirit within me."
My wife and I have been blessed with a beautiful rancher house built in the 1960's. Frankly, it is the best house that I have ever lived in. Its previous owner had taken good care of the house - with the exception of the carpets.
You see, they had dogs. You could tell that the dogs had a few accidents on the carpets. Each room in the house, except for the kitchen and bathroom, had wall to wall carpeting. So, each room had a little evidence of a beloved pet.
At the time, we also had pets: Libby, our golden retriever, and Blaze our domestic longhair cat.
Actually, both had long hair, so something needed to be done in relation to these carpets - not only for the stains, not only because the carpets were worn, but also for the fact that these carpets were going to get worse - with likely more stains and way too much hair.
We decided to pull up the carpets - all of them - from each room. We knew there was a wood floor with promise under there - if we could just get to it.
If you've never done it - pulling up carpets is hard work! Attention to detail is a must, as well as having a strong back, durable knees, and tireless arms. Here's the process that we went through:
FIRST, we had to get everything off the floor - all furniture had to be moved to another room because we were doing one room at a time.
SECOND, we had to tear up the carpet, pulling up and out. This was a real "hands on" affair!
THIRD, we had to use our hammer's claw and flat head screw drivers to pull out all the staples and tack nails and the strips of board that they were nailed to and staples onto the floor. The cushioning foam that was underneath the carpets was also pulled up. What a mess!
FOURTH, we had to vacuum the floor pick up all the sandy debris from the old carpeting and to make sure that any nails and left over staples we had missed were removed from the site.
FIFTH, all the wood needed a good sanding which we did by hand with scads of sandpaper, then scrubbed and washed the floor - talk about elbow grease - and, let it dry.
SIXTH, came the floor finishing oils and varnish, giving it a shiny sheen with a new wood look and smell. We let it dry, and then buffed the floor with soft cloths.
FINALLY, the floor was ready for the furniture to be returned to it. We tried new furniture arrangements for a whole different look.
The process took about a week. When we were finished, my wife and I took a step back and admired the fruit of our labor.
We both said:
"Wow! What a difference!" We didn't know that such a beautiful floor was underneath that disgusting carpet - it's like we have a totally new house!"
When we become a Christian, our born again lives are just like the newly discovered wooden floors beneath that filthy carpet. Jesus says, "Blessed are the pure in heart . . ." What does that mean?
In the Greek, the word for 'pure' is 'katharos' - which means to be cleansed, to be made pure, innocent.
The word for heart in the Greek is 'kardia' - which means our whole being, our minds, and our spirits. Putting it all together we get:
"Blessed are those who get cleansed in both mind and spirit."
Simple enough? Okay, the second part of the verse reads:
"For they shall see God."
The word for 'see' in the Greek is 'horao'. It means to perceive, to behold, to perceive that a work has been done, and to behold the one who did it. It's just like taking up the carpet:
FIRST, we see the filth and the need for a change so we move the furniture of our lives by confession and repentence.
SECOND, we invite Jesus in WHo proceeds to tear up the old filthy rags that was our righteousness. Talk about a pierced-hand-on" affair!
THIRD, Jesus starts to clean up the mess in our lives by pulling us away from what we were stapled to, old strongholds, and old habits.
FOURTH, our souls are vacuumed of all the dirt of our past, present and future. Just like when he spit on the dirt to create new eyes for the blind man, we start to see more clearly as the dirt is wiped away from our eyes - falling away like scales off a fish.
FIFTH, we are washed and scrubbed by the Blood of the Lamb when we make Jesus both LORD and SAVIOR - accepting the substitution of His death on the cross.
SIXTH, the oil of the Holy Spirit seals us, guaranteeing the work will be preserved.
FINALLY, the furniture is placed in you. Your calling! Your priorities! Your new nature! You've been re-arranged!
Now, take a step back. Knowing what you were and what you are now, do you see the difference? Don't you appreciate all of His handiwork done in you? If you see His work, you see HIM!
Do you see Him alive in you? If you do, I bet that right now - YOU'RE BLESSED!
As I close, I leave you with one more little thought. It took God six days to create everything. It's taking Him the rest of your life to mold you into His image. Just think, we will be more magnificent than the whole of His Creation. Bet you didn't know what a beautiful floor you have inside of you!
How do you read? What do you think?