Blessed Are The Pure In Heart Part 1. Mathew 5 Bible Study

Mathew 5:8 states, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.”
When we think of purity we think of something without blemish.  However, purity of heart is not about being perfect, it is about being consistent and sincere in my pursuit of the one who will continue the work of perfecting me until the day of His return (Philippians 1:6).  This was a hard truth for me to understand because I have a natural bent to please, especially those in authority.  I recently had an ugly cry session with God and I was repenting and felt so broken over the wrong attitude that I had the previous day. I felt like I disappointed Him.  God gently reminded me that my willingness to not make excuses or be comfortable with my sinful behavior the previous day is what makes my heart pure.  I had to pause and really soak in such an affirming truth from my father.  As long as we live in the flesh, the pure in heart will make mistakes BUT they are quick to humble themselves and repent of their sins.  They are more grieved that they sinned against God and are not just sorry because of the consequences that follow. The pure in heart do not abuse the grace of God and use it as an excuse to keep on sinning. Instead, they use grace as a stepping stool to be delivered from sin.

Purity of heart speaks to inner purity.  It’s a heart that is dedicated to God, one that seeks to please Him, a heart that is honest, and fully devoted to Him. A pure heart is one that says, “I don’t care what man thinks of me, I only want to please you, my allegiance is to you, and it is not divided.” Their constant song is that of the psalmist in Psalm 51:10, “create in me a clean heart and purify me.”

We must resist the temptation to be like the Pharisees who were more concerned about looking good on the outside.  Jesus calls them out  in Mathew 23:27 and tells them they are like whitewashed tombs-beautiful on the outside but filled on the inside with dead people’s bones and all sort of impurity.  He goes on to say in verse 28, “you try to look like upright people outwardly but inside your hearts are filled with hypocrisy and lawlessness.”  OUCH! Jesus uses such language of disdain, but this lets us know how serious He is about us pursuing purity of heart.

Let us pray and pursue purity of heart!

Be Blessed

Anika

1 Minute No Bake Sugar Free Coconut Dessert

I enjoy cooking. Baking? Not so much. Don’t get me wrong, it is not that I don’t enjoy desserts.  On the contrary, I love them, which sometimes get me in trouble, but that is another story for another day.  Baking can feel so tedious and leaves little room for mistakes.  Have you ever put too much baking soda in a baking recipe before?  Don’t ask me how I know, but the end result is disgusting and unfixable-yes that is a word.  I accidentally made up this recipe when I decided to significantly reduce my sugar intake.  This recipe was birth from sheer desperation for a guilt free treat that would satisfy my sweet tooth and not take a long time to prepare.

If you are lover of coconut, quick recipes, and despise the side effects of eating too much sugar then this is for you.  Give it a try and let me know what you think.

1 Minute No Bake Sugar Free Coconut Dessert

2 Tbsp unsweetened coconut chips or shredded coconut

1 tsp Fiber Yum

1/4 tsp cinnamon

Mix all ingredients in a bowl and enjoy!

Ps- it probably will take more time to say the name of the recipe than the time it takes to actually make it.  What can I say, I am a word girl.

 

 

 

New Season

And just like that I have entered into a new season of life.   A lot has changed.

My husband and I started a new church plant.

My firstborn is in high school and my youngest is in Kindergarten. The conversations I have to have with both of them blows me away.

I am hearing God in a way that I have never heard Him before and what  He tells me is not always comfortable or convenient.

I am being challenged to steward my gifts well and be intentional about pursuing what God has placed inside of me.  No more holding back, no more excuses.

I must confess that I am still trying to find my rhythm for my new NOW.  Trying to operate the way I did a few months ago just makes everything off key.    I like comfort and I like having a routine.  But the longer I live, the more I realize that seasons are constantly changing and if I insist on holding on to what is familiar,  I will remain stuck.    I have been experiencing a strange and uncomfortable tension.  I have cried a few times because this is all so unfamiliar to me, and so uncomfortable.  But at the same time I long for the New that God is doing in my NOW.  It’s  a strange, beautiful, painful, giddy kind of thing that is going on inside of me.  I am being stretched…yet again!

Yes, I have moments of frustration but it is undeniable that  I, we, were wired for continuous growth.  Growth requires a willingness to embrace change, to embrace the unfamiliar and become uncomfortable.  I have heard that comfort can become a death sentence-death to dreams and purpose. I am a life kind of girl so I am choosing to say yes to the change, yes to the unfamiliar, yes to discomfort, yes to the growing pains.

In this season I ask you to pray for me as I embrace growth!  How about you,  are you in a new season, and how have you been responding to the change?

Ecclesiastes 3:1 NKJV

To everything there is a season,
A time for every purpose under heaven

Curry Salmon And Cauliflower Rice Recipe

There are some recipes that JUST get the job done.  This coconut curry salmon and cauliflower rice recipe happens to get the job done and is also absolutely delicious. Not only is this dish delicious but it is also super easy to make, sounds like a winner to me.   If you decide to make it, I invite you to leave me a comment and let me know how much you loved it!

Coconut Curry Salmon & Cauliflower Rice

Cauliflower Rice

Ingredients

1 bag frozen rice cauliflower

1 TB cooking fat of choice (I used Kerry gold butter)

½ cup bell peppers & onions (I used the frozen bell pepper/onion mix from Trader Joes)

Directions

Combine all the above ingredients on baking sheet

Cook in oven at 400 degrees for 25 minutes

Coconut Curry Salmon

Ingredients

3 salmon fillets

1 Tbsp cooking fat

½ cup fresh basil leaves

3 Tbsp curry powder

3 Tbsp turmeric

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp black pepper

1 can coconut milk

1 can coconut cream

2 cups cooked bell pepper

 

Directions

  1. Cook salmon fillets on high heat for approx. 4 minutes
  2. Add coconut milk and coconut cream and all the remaining ingredients. Stir to combine all the ingredients. Cook for an additional 5 minutes.
  3. Serve over cauliflower rice

Blessed Are The Merciful. Mathew 5 Bible Study

Mathew 5:7 says, “Blessed are the merciful for they shall receive mercy.”  None of us are without guilt, not one.  Romans 3:23 reminds us that all of us have sinned and have fallen short of God’s glorious standards.   We have all done things that deserved the wrath of God, but His mercy rescues us.  Mercy is simply withholding the punishment that is deserved.  The passage in Mathew 5:7 reminds us that to get mercy from God, we must give it to others. This is nonnegotiable.  The parable that Jesus told of the unforgiving debtor in Mathew 18:21-35 is a sobering reminder of this truth. It is quite prideful to come and ask God to show us mercy but deny those who have offended or hurt us of that same privilege. How hypocritical.  We live in a fallen world, so we will get hurt by others and the temptation to withhold forgiveness and mercy is ever present.  But the stakes are too high if we choose not to be merciful to others because to be in fellowship with God both now and later, we need His mercy!

 

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?