INTRODUCTION: Have you ever looked forward to going to some new place special for a meal, planned for it for several weeks, anticipated how good it would be, only to be greatly disappointed for a meal. Or, really enjoy a meal, tell everyone that you wouldn’t be able to eat for a month, only to go home and get the urge for a “midnight snack” later on in the evening?
All of us have desires that we seek to fulfill. These things can never be finally and completely satisfied. But Jesus promises that the person who hungers and thirsts after righteousness will be satisfied.
I. HOW DOES HUNGER AND THIRST FOR RIGHTEOUSNESS RELATE TO THE REST OF THE BEATITUDES?
A. Verses Three through Six deal with the attitudes that are necessary for a person to be accepted by God.
1. In verse three we see a person who realizes that they are unable to save themselves, that they are wretched and sinful. But this quality alone, without the other beatitudes will not lead one to Christ.
2. But when we add the second beatitude we can see that the spiritual man will not only realize his spiritual poverty, but will also mourn over that sinful condition and desire to have God’s healing of his sin sickness.
3. The meek will gladly be willing to submit their lives to the will of God.
4. This will naturally create this hunger to do the will of the Lord.
B. Verses Seven through Ten deals with those attitudes which cause a person to continue in the love of God.
1. As we are merciful, God continues to forgive us.
2. Because we have been forgiven by God, we will try to live as pure morally as possible.
3. Christians will always seek to work to keep peace among his brethren, even as God is a God of peace.
II. WHAT SHOULD WE BE HUNGRY AND THIRSTY FOR?4. Because Christian follows Christ faithfully, they can expect to be persecuted.
A. Physically, hunger and thirst are two of those things essential for continued survival and well being.
1. Hunger, thirst, shelter, clothing, intimacy, etc. have all been provided by God.
2. We must eat and drink. Shelter and clothing are essential for survival in a hostile world. Intimacy is essential for our continued emotional well-being.
3. All of these things are good and wholesome, when channeled in the proper avenues.
B. Jesus is saying -
1. Desire to both know and do the will of the Lord, a desire so strong that it is like the person whose throat is parched for water or whose stomach is aching for food.
2. 1 Peter 2:2,3 - “As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby: If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious.”
3. Psalm 63:1 - “O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is;”
4. Psalm 107:9-“For he satisfieth the longing soul, and filleth the hungry soul with goodness.”
5. John 4:34 - “Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work.”
C. What are the implications of hungering and thirsting after righteousness?
1. One who hungers and thirsts after righteousness will always seek to do the will of God.
a. 1 John 3:7 - Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous.
b. Matthew 7:21
2. One who hungers and thirsts after righteousness will always put the Lord first in his life.
a. Matthew 6:33 - “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”
3. One who hungers and thirsts after righteousness will always study diligently from God’s will so that he may know how to live a life of righteousness.
a. Psalm 1:1,2 - “Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.”
b. Psalm 19:9, 10 - “The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.
c. 2 Tim 2:15 - “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” (NKJV)
III. WHAT IS THE BLESSING RECEIVED BY THOSE WHO “HUNGER AND THIRST AFTER RIGHTEOUS”? - “THEY SHALL BE FILLED.”d. Matthew 4:4 - “But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.”
A. With every other yearning in life there is never a real lasting fulfillment.
1. If we hunger for food, we will hunger again after a fine meal. If we thirst, we will be thirst again soon after drinking our “fill.”
2. The same is true with all those things people turn to in an effort to fill the spiritual void in their lives. Gluttony, alcohol, tobacco, drugs, illicit sex, all may fill a temporary void, but will never truly satisfy. They will leave the person crippled and dependent.
B. But a person who truly hungers after God’s righteous will be satisfied deep down to their soul.
1. John 6:35 - “And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.”
2. John 15:11 - “These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.”
3. The sweet Psalmist David declares the joy of spiritual contentment.
CONCLUSION: People will do some strange things if they are hungry enough It is not uncommon to steal in order to eat. In a military survival course you are taught to eat bugs, worms, all kinds of plants, things that you would never eat if well fed. Stranded, starving survivors have even been known to eat each other in order to live. I’ve heard of elderly persons eating dog food because it is all they have to eat. How hungry are you spiritually? Are you starving to do God’s will? If so, you will not stumble over the Gospel Plan of Salvation, which includes faith, repentance, confession of Christ, and baptism into Christ. As a Christian you will never object to doing whatever God wants you to do to be pleasing to His will. How hungry are you?a. Psalm 23:5 - “Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.”
Copyright 1999 by Grady
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