To Hunger and Thirst after Righteousness
In this installment of our weekly lesson from the Sermon on the Mount, we note Jesus takes a change of direction. The first three Beatitudes have to do with emptying ourselves; to take upon ourselves the attribute of being poor in spirit, of mourning over our personal sin and the needs of others, and to become meek by loosing our selfish inclinations. These instructions have to do with emptying ourselves that we now might be available to God for feeding and nurturing our newly cleansed, newly re-focused souls.
What is Righteousness?
Is righteousness something we can gin-up on our own? The Bible has things to say about that.
- All our righteous acts are like filthy rags – Isaiah 64:3
- I hate, I despise your religious festivals; your assemblies are a stench to me – Amos 5:21
When He says to hunger and thirst after righteousness, does He mean that we can become righteous through our religious efforts? NO! God is firm in His position about the worthlessness of human religious efforts at purification. But note this. He is still demands of us to become like Him!
- It is written, be ye holy; for I am holy – 1 Peter 1:16 (KJV)
- Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect. – Matthew 5:46 (KJV)
But how can we reach perfect righteousness when:
- For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God – Romans 3:23
- The way of peace they do not know; there is no justice in their paths. They have turned them into crooked roads; no one who walks along them will know peace – Isaiah 59:8
All our ways are swervy – we do not know peace so the bridge between God’s requirement for perfection and complete righteousness is found in only in Jesus.
- God made Him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God – 2 Corinthians 5:21
- Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in my sinful nature a slave to the law of sin – Romans 7:25
So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law (this means I understand I need to act better) , but in my sinful nature remains slave to the law of sin – how I continue to act. – vile language, seeking sensual pleasures; having no shame at our actions with others.
- What is the source of quarrels and conflicts among you? Is not the source your pleasures that wage war in your members – James 4:1
- Let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us – Hebrew 12:1
This means we are to rethink those relationships and behaviors where modesty and decorum are thrown to the wind – it means higher standards of productivity in the workplace – it means a broadening generosity in the use of our time and resources to help others – it means seeking satisfaction in other than our former ways – this is the path to righteousness.
- But you, man of God, flee from sin and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness 1 Timothy 6:11
- But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well – Matthew 6:33
It is time to self-assess and clean up your act. Knock off the foolish behaviors – mature and grow wise in your spirituality – Its time for those of us at Restart Church to throw off the old sin which so easily entangles us to widen our reach – to share our giftedness – this is the path to righteousness.
For They Will Be Filled
What does Jesus promise with His invitation to hunger and thirst after righteousness? The promise is to be filled.
- Who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s – Psalm 103:5
- May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit – Romans 15:13
- Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us – Ephesians 3:20
To be filled is to live life as God intended. He fills us with the stuff of His design. We seek satisfaction in secular ways – but we are never satisfied. In this Beatitude, Christ instructs that we should become hungry to be become righteous – that we should hunger and thirst for it. Please check out the video to see these points expanded. Lord Bless You As You Go.