26 Mar He Chose to be Pure in Heart (Forty Days with Jesus – Day 33, Mar 26)
Read Matthew 5:2-12
Thought for the Day: Jesus calls us to stand together!
Roddie Edmonds gave his life to Jesus at Vestal Methodist Church in Tennessee before enlisting in the Army in 1941. Serving as a master sergeant in the Battle of the Bulge, Edmonds was captured with 1200+ other U.S. soldiers by Nazi soldiers. As the most senior officer imprisoned at the POW camp, Edmonds was immediately put in charge of his fellow soldiers. After a few days, a high-ranking Nazi officer asked Edmonds to send the 200 Jewish-American soldiers out separately. Quickly realizing what was going on, Sergeant Edmonds talked with his other men and devised a plan. Instead of sending the Jewish soldiers out separately, Edmonds walked out with all 1200 men together and told the officer, “We’re all Jews here.” Seeing the American soldiers standing together, the Nazi officer gave in and left them alone.
In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus made it clear: “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” How do we know when we are pure of heart? Jesus calls us to stand together. Instead of letting fears or agendas divide us, we are invited to learn the importance of standing together with those who have been put in our lives. A Purity of heart requires courage. Sergeant Edmonds knew that standing together with his men was risky. Jesus knew that staying peaceful and refusing to lead an insurrection against Rome would make the people mad. Still, He did not choose the easy path; He chose the right path. Jesus chose to be pure in heart.
In a time of seemingly unprecedented division, we encounter countless opportunities to stand together with Jesus. If we want to live lives of faith, we need to have courage. Today, let’s see that we are not called to do the convenient thing. We are called to do what is right and stay pure in heart.
Reflect & Pray – Am I willing to stand with Jesus? Am I willing to let go of destructive division and instead stay pure in heart? God, please remove the obstacles that keep me from following You today!