October 11, 2015 Speaker: Chris Hall Series: What HE Said: A Guide for Living in the Kingdom of God
Topic: Default Passage: Matthew 5:6–5:6
"Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied."
1. BLESSED (≠ Happiness)
I know some translations say “Happy are the…” but our contemporary use of “happy” does NOT line up with the intent of the original language.
When you think about your blessings--things you thank God for, we think about our family, health, job, etc--essentially the things that make us happy.
All of them are good things, gifts from above that make us happy. But what happens if they went away? You wouldn’t be as happy but would you still be “blessed”?
We need to separate the two words a little:
To be happy is a feeling. Feelings are subjective and change with circumstances.
To be blessed is a truth. Truth is objective. When God sees certain attributes in your life (in this case, "mourning”) He names you “blessed”.
…whether you feel blessed or not.
HUNGER & THIRST:
Hunger and thirst are universal among humans and are part of pre-fall creation order. We were created with an internal longing for something external. When it comes to food and water, God made us so that we would be forced to rely on Him for both. So hunger and thirst are part of the "good" things God made.
Jesus uses this universal longing that we all know very well to point us toward something we should feel related to...
Remember geomatry class? A right angle is 90 degree--not 89, not 91. Those would be "not right". That's what God's standard is. A perfect 90 degrees. Anything short of that is "not righteous".
*NOTE: There are no "participation trophies" for the pursuit of righteousness
It's a standard you and I both know we fall very far short of. It's not even close.
WILL BE SATISFIED:
Eat a good meal of "comfort food" and you feel full. That itch has been scratched. Jesus promises that when there is a genuine, internal longing for the righteousness of God, that longing will be satisfied.
That which is unrighteous (and knows it) will become righteous and it comes to us from outside us:
By grace, through faith in Jesus Christ
2. HOW WE GET THIS WRONG
We all have an internal longing but NOT for righteousness. We hunger and thirst for satisfaction and skip right over the righteousness part. That which we do pursue never truly satisfies.The result: We are chronically unsatisfied.
Just like Israel was. In 1 Corinthians 10:6-10 Paul says it's good for all Christians to look at Israel and how they responded to being freed from slavery. They almost immediately started grumbling about their circumstances--AFTER BEING FREE FROM OPPRESSIVE SLAVERY!
We too become too obsessed with what we don't have to every properly enjoy what we have.
Often because we can't put down our phones!
We keep looking through our phones at a world of other people and it's wrecking us.
- "Their life is so much more exicitng than mine!"
- "She is so much skinnier than me!"
- "I wish MY spouse was like that!"
- "If only ___________ (my house, status, kids, health, etc) were like theirs..."
It's wrecking ALL of us: 64% of americans are chronically dissatisfied with life!
That envy leads us even deeper into sinful thoughts and actions and demonstrates that...
WHEN YOU HUNGER AND THIRST FOR SATISFACTION YOU WILL NEVER TRULY BE SATISFIED
As we follow our longing deep enough we begin pointing an accusing finger at God and we eventually doubt His goodness, greatness and gloriousness.
And just like that sin has separated us from God.
3. HE KNOWS YOU
Psalm 139 describes (in beautiful language) just how intimately God knows your hearts, thought and motivations. That means He knows how little we hunger and thirst for His righteousness. As Jesus spoke the words of Matthew 5:6 He knew how much we doubt His goodness, greatness and gloriousness. He knows we are chronically dissatisfied.
- Since you don't live righteously, HE DID FOR YOU. Living a perfect, "90 degree" life.
- Since on your own you don't seek righteounsness...HE DIED for you and gave you His!
4. OUR RESPONSE
We have a couple choices:
1. PHOOEY! You can tell Jesus to keep His righteousness and you can keep on chasing money, power, sex, status, food and on and on and on or...
2. BELIEVE JESUS IS WHO HE SAYS HE IS.
Once you believe this, His kindness will lead you to repent and His grace will assure you to trust God's goodness, greatness, gloriousness AND graciousness. You will be comforted in a very real way as He fills you with His Holy Spirit! Did you hear that? YOU WILL BE FILLED!
Then the Holy Spirit will help you on your journey toward becoming more obedient, trusting and faithful. He will help you battle the power of sin in your life through the knowledge of knowing Christ paid the penalty for your sin. He will help you with your daily battle with sin through the promise of knowing one day you'll be saved from the presence of sin.
The Holy Spirit who fills you will even help you LEARN TO BE CONTENT!
We often quote Philippians 4:13 "I can do all things..." but it wasn't meant to inspire us to climb Mount Everest. If you read the couple verses before it you'll see what he's talking about:
"Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me."
Godly contentment is possible in Christ!
You will be satisfied. It's a promise that He will fulfill. Do you believe Him?