In the Lord’s Prayer, Jesus taught us to focus on God’s glory in all our prayers. He wanted us to freely present our petitions to Him but surround them with defense of His reputation and praise for His power and inestimable beauty. In this Beatitude, He said that those who do this can rest in the assurance that they will actually, in some mysterious way, see the living God. “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God” (Matthew 5:8).
Thomas Watson and Martyn Lloyd-Jones both agreed that the purity spoken of here includes sincerity and a pursuit of holiness. Of course, it is a matter of the heart–the very center of our being, what constitutes our true self, the source of what we really love and seek after. What we truly love determines how we act, thus the inclusion of holy living guided by the instructions and examples found in Scripture. “Without holiness, no one shall see the LORD.”
If the glory of God fills our prayers and evaluates our loves and desires, then this sincerity and singleness of purpose will lead to our being blessed even with a face to face relationship with God.
Now look at the order of the Beatitudes. Everything begins with that acknowledgement of our sin, the surprise at seeing how wretched and self-centered we really are. So we mourn and become more meek and less self-oriented. And we want to do what is right–to find out what pleases God, not just what pleases ourselves or others. Then we seek to relieve others captured by their sins and suffering because of them and the awfulness of this world. You can see how none of this is just a passive, “let go and let God” approach to how we think and live, but takes constant repentance , cleaning, and forgiveness. So the need of “forgives us our trespasses…”
Imagine seeing God! Even Moses was not allowed to see Him face to face. But, the assurance here is that those who seek God’s glory through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ will. Do you pray “Our Father, who art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come..”? Do you order your life around the single purpose of living in a way that magnifies the beauty of the triune God? “Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven….For thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory forever.”
FOR THE CHILDREN
Adults make things so complicated. Even a child is know by his doings whether he does what is right or not. Children lie and bully one another. They know it is wrong. Catch them in it and bring it to their hearts. What is it you are loving here—power over another? Look what that shows about you. Does it make you sad that you are like that deep inside? Will God forgive you? How can you be kind and merciful to your playmate? You will not always get an answer. Posing the question is worth it. an awkward silence penetrates. Tell of a time your heart was broken by your own sin, how you did not seek the glory of God. Children love to hear our stories.
Keep them working on memorization of the Lord’s Prayer and the Beatitudes. If you speak English as your primary language, I think it is nice to memorize them in the King James Version because of the connection with historic Protestantism that gives them. Of course, that is just an opinion from a history teacher!