Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness.
Example: I have been BLESSED with a great family, good health, lots of money, smart kids, or a career I enjoy.
Do you want to be blessed according to Jesus? “Blessed are…”
Not the ways to become a Christian, but… signs of a transformed life.
Rings: The Beatitudes are a progression.
The first 3 are the acknowledgment of need, repentance and turning from sin, then in meekness submitting to…
1) God’s will 2) God’s word 3) God’s people
#4 Turning point: the Spirit of God births the next one…
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.” Matthew 5:6
First, what kind of righteousness are we talking about?
“What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith.”
1. Hunger for righteousness comes by faith
This Beatitude holds a promise. “…for they will be filled.”
Something that doesn’t yet exist requires faith to pursue.
Satisfaction lies in having the hunger.
2. Hunger for righteousness is not just doing the right thing.
It’s the heart that Jesus is after, not the actions.
It’s possible to “do the right thing” without being righteous.
“If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.” 1 Corinthians 13:1-3
When people are motivated out of love, the actions come naturally.
Example: When I was younger, I justified my actions by saying, “I’m not hurting anyone. Why do they care?” Take pornography…
It changes things when I think the girls are someone’s daughter, sister, a person God created.
(Review) Hunger for righteousness is not just doing the right thing.
3. Hunger is healthy
Example: When my Father was dying of cancer, his appetite was an indication of his health. “He ate a little something today! I think he’s doing better.”
A person who thinks they are SPIRITUALLY GOOD ENOUGH is spiritually sick.
Lacking spiritual hunger means lack of spiritual health.
4. The object of appetite sets the pursuit in life
Whatever you think will satisfy, will be your pursuit.
Example: Maybe it’s a healthy family, a spouse, a good reputation, or a great job.
Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me and for the gospel will save it. What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul?”
The good is the enemy of the best.
Jesus knows what REAL LIFE is… and what it’s not.
5. To know Christ is to want Christ
David talks about this and uses the analogy of tasting then eating…
“Taste and see that the Lord is good;
blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.” Psalm 34:8
Remember the progression: The first 3 are the acknowledgment of need, repentance and turning from sin, then in meekness submitting to…
“Fear the Lord, you his holy people, for those who fear him lack nothing.” Psalm 34:9
Notice: Blessed is the person who has a “hunger and thirst for…”
not the person who already is righteous.
6. Spiritual hunger and satisfaction exist simultaneously.
Paul says he knows what it’s like to be content and hungry at the same time.
“I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.”
Example: When you fall in love, there is a satisfaction that comes in finding that person. You feel like you’ve finally found what you’re looking for, but you want the person more and more.
7. Appetite can be changed
“…train yourself to be godly.” 1 Timothy 4:7b
Example: Daniel Fast from beginning to end, the appetite changes.
You will want more of whatever you feed yourself.
Change your appetite by…
1. Believing that Righteousness really satisfies.
- try it…
- Admitting that nothing will happen unless something happens.
2. Fasting from legitimate pleasures.
- voluntarily weakness
- exercising self-control
- you master the thing instead of it mastering you
- it will bring you freedom
3. Exercising the muscle of serving others.
- reach out of your comfort zone
- eyes off yourself
4. Pressing into Jesus when there is trouble…
“…blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.” Psalm 34:8b
- going anywhere else is to miss the opportunity.
5. Taking time to recognize progress.
- This will increase hope that it is possible and happening
- “I’ll always be this way.” and giving up.
- I’m not where I want to be but I’m not where I was.
Example: Most of your fears don’t come true. (what if I fail?)
“Today is the tomorrow I worried about yesterday.”
6. Realizing it’s “progress, not perfection”.
For a righteous man falls seven times, and rises again, But the wicked stumble in time of disaster and collapse.