Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. (Matthew 5:8)

BeautyThere is a place on the North Cascades Highway that opens up to a stunning view. Diablo Lake, with its intense turquoise hue from the glacial streams that feed it, stretches out below in heart-stopping beauty. As I was passing it on a beautiful clear day it was hard to pay attention to the road. Thankfully there are numerous overlooks, like the one from which the picture above was taken. Such beauty!

GorgeWe have had numerous guests visit us from China this summer. We like to take them on the historic Columbia River Highway. There is a place on that highway called the Portland Women’s Forum State Scenic Overlook at Chanticleer Point where you can look deep into the Columbia Gorge. When one of our guests saw it she responded spontaneously with arms outstretched and her face towards the sky. Her act of worship captured the beauty of the human heart responding to the beauty of Creation.

Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” A pure heart — unmasked, genuine, transparent, authentic — with an innocence that is able to respond to what He is doing — will see God. Because God can be seen in everything that surrounds us — Creation, our circumstance, our trials, our relationships, His Word. He is at work in all of it if we will look with expectation and trust. The psalmists spoke of gazing upon His beauty…

One thing have I asked of the LORD, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to inquire in his temple. (Psalm 27:4)

It is the reality of the Spirit-filled life that the Artist unfolds His handiwork before us. He invites us to see a world of beauty that would escape our awareness were it not for His revelation. And He invites us to see Him. More than that, He invites us to be transformed into His image as we gaze more intently.

Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit. (2 Corinthians 3:17-18)

Oh to have the kind of pure heart that can always see Him… to have this kind of freedom of the Spirit…  to be transformed by Him to His image!

About marknicklas

Mark Nicklas is a husband, father, son and follower of Jesus Christ. He is a pastor at Beaverton Foursquare Church and an adjunct professor at Multnomah University, where he earned his doctorate in Cultural Engagement. Like Jacob wrestled with God at Jabbok, this site is a place for talking about the identity of the church with respect to the cultures we live in. You are invited to share the journey.
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