“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” (Matthew 5:3-11 ESV)
Focus of the Month: Jesus Teaches: The Sermon on the Mount/Beatitudes
Are you hungry? Thirsty? Where does your mind go first? …ice cream, chocolate-covered pretzels, juicy strawberries, popcorn, yeast rolls, bacon? Water, coffee, soda-pop, fruit smoothie? Or maybe you’re craving something else: opportunity, position, success, recognition, validation, relaxation…
Our desires and pursuits are endless. Daily we seek, balance, and feed our yearnings. What we feed grows, and what we ignore starves – in our flesh, our minds and our spirits. What we think about, we bring about. The things we study become our passion. The desires of our heart lead our lives.
So, what do you hunger and thirst for? What are you passionately pursuing? What are you desiring? And are you satisfied? Full? Fulfilled?
Jesus said, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied” (Matthew 5:6).
The dictionary describes righteousness as “acting in accord with divine or moral law; free from guilt or sin.” The Bible says Jesus was made to be sin for us so we could become the righteousness of God (2 Corinthians 5:21). In addition, we read, “For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes” (Romans 10:4) and righteousness “comes through faith in Christ” (Philippians 3:9). Further, Paul wrote in Romans 1:17 that faith in the Gospel reveals the the righteousness of God.
Therefore, righteousness is connected to faith in Jesus Christ, faith in God, faith in the Gospel. Here are a few Gospel truths Jesus shared:
John 4:13 – Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again.”
John 6:35 – Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to Me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in Me shall never thirst.”
Are you hungering and thirsting for righteousness – for God – for Jesus – for the Truth of the Living Word – in accord with divine law and free from sin? We will never be satisfied in any of our appetites until we make our first pursuit that of righteousness. For Jesus also said, “Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you” (Matthew 6:33).
As we seek Him, we find Him, and He establishes us in His righteousness. When we study His word, we are trained in His righteousness. His faithfulness satisfies our souls. As we behold Him in the beauty of His holiness, we become full of and reflect His righteousness.
Hunger and Thirst for righteousness. Seek Him with your whole heart. Thereby, be blessed and be satisfied. All other things will then be added unto you.
Holding Fast to Hope,
Scripture References: John 7:37; Isaiah 54:14; Hosea 10:12; 2 Timothy 3:16; Psalm 17:15, 63:5, 119:103.