Blessed Are Those Who Hunger And Thirst For Righteousness. Mathew 5 Bible Study

Mathew 5:6 says, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness for they shall be filled.” True righteousness is not just about our acts, it is an inward reality. Jesus rebukes the Pharisees who did many righteous acts because they were hypocrites with impure motives. They did it to gain the recognition of man and wanted to be considered pious. Their righteousness was indeed like filthy rags. True righteousness comes from Christ alone. We are made righteous through our faith in Jesus. We must stay in a place of pursuing that righteousness that only Christ can give.

Hunger and thirst provoke me to action. When I am hungry or thirsty, getting something to eat and drink becomes a primary concern. Everything else becomes secondary in my quest to satisfy that desire for food and drink. When I am hungry and thirsty for righteousness, I have a deep desire for the more of God. I don’t make excuses for why I can’t pursue the one who makes me righteous. My hunger for the more of Him creates a desperation that causes me to hurdle over the excuses so that I can sit at His feet. He fills me and at the same time leaves me longing for more.  I want to remain in that place of hungering and thirsting for righteousness, how about you?

 

Blessed Are The Meek. Mathew 5 Bible Study

Mathew 5:5 says, “Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.” Gentleness and humility are synonymous with meekness. The meek don’t insist on their own rights, they are willing to put the needs of others before their own. Contrary to what culture may teach, meekness is not weakness, it is strength under control.  Jesus is the epitome of meekness.  As Jesus was being arrested before His crucifixion, one of His disciples tried to retaliate by cutting off the High Priest servant’s ear. Jesus rebuked this disciple who was trying to defend Him. He reminded his disciple that he could have easily asked his father to send thousands of angels to protect Him in that moment (Mathew 26:53).  But Jesus chose not to. Isaiah 53:7 tells us of Jesus’ response to suffering for sins He did not commit.  It says, “He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth.”   Even though He was innocent and did not deserve to die, Jesus was focused on our need for salvation.  He was submitted to the will of the father, even to the point of death. That’s strength under control.

Verses like these sure make me pause,

and think

and repent.

Because let me tell you, I can write a book on how to insist on your own rights, be prideful, and how to defend yourself when others do you wrong.  I really can. However, the word of God shows me what I should be, and I am so grateful for grace that makes it possible!  I am praying to be meek, how about you?

Be Blessed,

Anika

Blessed Are Those Who Mourn. Mathew 5 Bible Study

Mathew 5:4 reads, “blessed are those who mourn for they will be comforted.”  This mourning here refers to a deep remorse for sin, your sins and the sins of others.   Mourners don’t try to tame or make excuses for their sins. They know that sin displeases God so in humility they bring it to Him with a desire for change.  When I am grieving, comfort is something that I long for because it gives me hope.  Jesus promises that those who mourn over their sins will be comforted.  A part of that comfort is His forgiveness of sin.  1 John 1:9 lets us know that “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”  When I stay in that place of being deeply grieved about sin, I also have the promise of eternal life. Revelation 21:4 reminds us that, “He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.”  What a sweet promise for an everlasting comfort for those who mourn.

It saddens me because we live in a day where sin is embraced and even celebrated. We have become masters at packaging and accepting the very thing that God detests.  We are dancing in a time that we should be mourning.   What would happen if we had more mourning over sin, would the power of God not manifest as He promised?  Would we not see more captives being set free?  God did promise in 2 Chronicles 7:14 that He would hear the prayers of the mourners and comfort them through forgiving their sins and healing their land.  I think it is time we started mourning, don’t you agree?

Be Blessed,

Anika

PS-Click on this link to read about the previous beatitude, the poor in spirit.

Blessed Are The Poor In Spirit. Mathew 5 Bible Study

Mathew 5:3 says, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”  This is a scripture that on the surface doesn’t seem too appealing.  Who in their right mind would want to be poor?  But that’s just it, in the kingdom of God, we must lose our mind and gain the mind of Christ. Poverty of spirit means to be fully aware of your need for God.  In other words, the poor in spirit realize that without God, they are spiritually bankrupt.  There is an utter dependence and desperation for God’s presence. The poor in spirit wears humility as a fragrance because they are fully aware that they are nothing without God.  This is the total opposite of what the world tells us we should do and be.  In this world, we are told that we can figure it out on our own, we are strong and smart enough.  We are applauded for our independence and our ability to pull ourselves up by our own bootstraps.  However, the poor in spirit shun this worldly mindset and without shame they cry out for the more of God.

This poverty that Jesus is referring to is one that leads you to a richness that money could never buy. Those who are poor in spirit has the kingdom of heaven as an inheritance, and that my friend is true prosperity.  The kingdom of heaven refers to the reign and rule of God, both now and in the time to come. How powerful is that?! Jesus says that when I am poor in spirit and acknowledge my need for Him, I have access to this reign and rule…it’s my inheritance!  This then gives me power over the enemy and guarantees me the victory EVERY SINGLE TIME, regardless of my circumstance.

My question for you is, are you poor enough?

Be Blessed,

Anika

Looking For A Good Photographer?

A good photographer not only knows how to work his camera and have a good eye, he also needs to be personable.  The personality of the photographer makes a huge difference in the outcome of the shot.  If I am not comfortable with the person taking the pictures, it shows in the final product.  It is for this reason why I am here to recommend an excellent photographer, Ronald Coulter.  Over the years, he has captured many special moments for our family and he is great with kids and adults alike.  He does it with such love and care. It warms my heart to look back on some of the shots he captured.  He is kind and one of the most patient people I know. If you are looking a for a great photographer, I highly recommend him.  Please visit his site for more details.

Be Blessed,

Anika

How To Wait On The Promises Of God

Let me just put this out there from the beginning, waiting on the promises of God can be hard. REALLY HARD.  Waiting can be hard for many reasons, BUT God is not to be blamed for any of them.  In our humanity, we can be fickle and waver in our trust of God, not because he isn’t faithful but because at times we lack faith. God has taught me a few lessons on how to wait for His promises to manifest and as mentioned in this post, I wanted to share them with you. This of course is not an exhaustive list.  I pray these points bless and encourage you as you wait.

How to wait on the promises of God

1.       First identify what the promise is, not what you want it to be, but what God has spoken. We hear the personal promises God make to others and we may try to claim those promises for ourselves. We then become frustrated when they don’t come to pass. So, let me get this right, you are mad that God didn’t give you what He didn’t promise…think about that one.  It is imperative that we take the time to truly discern what God is saying to us.  Once we know, then we stand and wait with great expectation.

2.       Don’t Fill in the blanks in areas that God has remained silent (dates, location, etc.…). Sometimes God makes us promises and we then take it upon ourselves to set a timeline and plan out scenarios for when and how the promise should manifest.  It is so important for us to not speak where God is silent as we wait on the promise.  Don’t put words in God’s mouth, this will only lead to frustration and confusion.  You can’t force the hand of God to make the promise play out at the time and the way you think it should. Be patient.  He is God, you are not.  Don’t let your impatience cause you to run ahead of God.  Impatience always leads to a bigger mess. For a quick refresher on this point, read the story of Hagar and Sarah.  Enough said.  

3.       As you wait, have your spiritual eyes and ears open for ways that God is confirming that He is going to fulfill the promise (dreams, prophetic words, visions, etc.).  God is just so sweet to me. For years, I have been waiting on certain promises to manifest.  Just when I become weary in waiting He sends me a “hold on I am going to do it” sign.  As of late, I have been more aware of those signs, but I wonder how many I missed in the past because of my complaining and doubt.  If we are not spiritually in tune and get caught up in complaining and doubting, we can miss the ways that God sends confirmation.

4.       Feed your faith for the promise.  Simply put, get your daily dose of faith by getting in the word to be reminded of the faithfulness of God.  Focus on scriptures that highlight His faithfulness.  Don’t know any? Google the term “scriptures on the faithfulness of God.”  No excuses.  Read bible stories of those who had to wait on the promises of God. I also encourage you to remind yourself of your own testimonies, the times He delivered on what He promised. The faithfulness of God is not what should be on trial as we wait.  Instead we should cross examine our doubts.

5.       Don’t let what you see or don’t see cause you to doubt.  Listen, we are called to walk by faith and not by sight.  Many of us know this scripture but we seem to do the opposite of what it says in the process of waiting.  Many of us have seen God move in miraculous ways.  However, we quickly get spiritual amnesia and doubt that He will do what He has promised.  God has given us enough proof that He is trust worthy. For the record, He is not pleased when we doubt, because He has shown us otherwise.  Read God’s response to the children of Israel doubting after they saw so many miraculous signs in Numbers 14: 11-12 for a fresh reminder.

6.       Don’t become so obsessed with the promise that you forget about the promise keeper.  This is a subtle one.  It is easy to make an idol of the promise and forget that the one that deserves our worship is the promise keeper.  God sometimes delays the promise so that we can learn that He is enough.  Let me tell you, once that promise manifest, you are still going to need God.  The promise in and of itself is not what brings ultimate satisfaction, only an ongoing relationship with God can do that.

7.       Shift your perspective and celebrate the fact that the process is meant to perfect you, not destroy you. In the process of waiting we learn lessons that positions us to possess the promise.  Getting the promise prematurely can prove to be detrimental.  You are not as ready as you think you are for the promise. Calm down, sit in class, be an attentive student and take notes so you can pass the final exam.  Every lesson in the classroom of waiting is intentional, don’t miss it!  Stop whining and start thanking God for perfecting you.

8.       PRAISE AS YOU WAIT! My praise is a bold declaration that I believe I will see what has been promised.  Praise when you don’t feel like it.  Praise louder than your doubts.  Praise beyond your disappointment.  Praise to strengthen your knees that have become feeble while waiting.  Praise to magnify God.  Praise because He who promised is faithful!

 As mentioned above, this is not an exhaustive list, these are just some things I have learned as I wait on God.  How do you wait on the promises of God?  Leave me a comment below, I would love to hear from you.

Be Blessed,

Anika