Welcome to week five of my series on The Beatitudes.
The Sermon on the Mount teachings are a demonstration of what we should be living as Christ followers. Jesus set the tone early on in His ministry regarding what He was about and what it meant to be His disciple and have a Kingdom mindset. These teachings are the foundation for what Jesus modeled and would be doing for the next three years of His earthly ministry, and what He longs for us His followers to do as well.
The Beatitudes are the good news of the Gospel of the Kingdom that Jesus preached for the here and now and also for the Kingdom to come. I look forward to diving in deeper to each one of the 8 Beatitudes in the weeks to come.
In case you missed the previous weeks, and want to catch up, please click on the pictures below.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they will be filled. Matthew 5:6
For Easter, in collaboration with our church’s worship director, I wrote a drama titled “The Search for Significance.” The basis of the drama and the questions we wanted to address through our live play during this year’s Easter Service, were:
What was I created to do?
Do I have a purpose and destiny?
If so how do I even begin to understand what it is?
Does my ordinary life have significance in the big picture of things?
The whole search for significance, will only end in true happiness when we understand one thing: We were created for one reason and one reason only: To bring Glory to God.
Bring the ones who are called by My name;
the ones I made, shaped, and created for My profound glory.” (Isaiah 43:7 The Voice)
We need to hunger and thirst for the only One who can truly make a difference in our lives. Many hunger and thirst for the wrong things, the perfect job, house, family, church. Truer yet, is the fact that there are many in America have no idea of what it means to have a sustained physical hunger or thirst for nutritional sustenance.
Mother Theresa once said,
“People in India are physically hungry. People in America are spiritually hungry. That makes people in India better off, because American’s don’t realize why they are starving.”
Eternal One: If you are thirsty, come here;
come, there’s water for all.
Whoever is poor and penniless can still
come and buy the food I sell.
There’s no cost—here, have some food, hearty and delicious,
and beverages, pure and good.
I don’t understand why you spend your money for things that don’t nourish
or work so hard for what leaves you empty.
Attend to Me and eat what is good;
enjoy the richest, most delectable of things. (Isaiah 55:1-2 The Voice)
Has a nation ever exchanged its gods for some others,
even if they weren’t really gods in the first place?
But My beloved people have done just that: they have exchanged their glory
to pursue worthless idols in their vain attempt for greater prosperity.
Be horrified, O you heavens, at this appalling betrayal.
Cringe in horror and be repulsed.
13 My people are guilty of two evils:
They have abandoned Me, the spring of living waters;
And instead, they have settled for dead and stagnant water
from cracked, leaky cisterns of their own making. (Jeremiah 2:11-13 The Voice)
Many today are driven by the wrong things. Materialism, Guilt, anger, resentment, fear, approval, lust, etc. Life is more than work; it is more than food; it is more than sleep. It is more than any stuff.
Instead of being driven by “the stuff” we need to be driven by and to the One who created us. Life is about Jesus, what He did for us and all the God has in mind for us.
King Solomon was one of the wealthiest kings to ever live and one of the wisest ones as well. After observing the ways people searched for meaning in their lives apart from God, he wrote,
“I have seen all the things that are done under the sun; all of them are meaningless, a chasing after the wind” (Ecclesiastes 1:14).
The Bible teaches that finding our purpose in anything other than God will always leave us unfulfilled, unsatisfied, and hungry and thirsty.
Jesus uses this illustration of hungering and thirsting after Him and His righteousness because we need both food and water to live. Food and water are to the body, what Jesus and His righteousness are to our spiritual walk with God.
The righteousness Jesus is talking about here is just and right Godly living. He’s talking about seeking a relationship with God. It’s not about being perfect, but allowing God to perfect us in the process of our hungering and thirsting after Him. When we do this, then God can apply Jesus Christ’s righteousness to us. This righteousness was legally bought with the price Jesus paid on the cross and therefore we can be legally acquitted from our sin. (the penalty of which is death.)
Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and then all these things will be given to you too (Matthew 6:33 The Voice).
Being a follower of Jesus, is meant to be about relationship with Him. He wants us to desire, long for, seek after and passionately pursue a right relationship Him.
There is a story that I found which may seem pretty extreme, but gives a good life lesson and a word picture explanation of this verse:
A young student went to his spiritual teacher and asked the question, “Master, how can I truly find God?” The teacher asked the student to accompany him to the river which ran by the village and invited him to go into the water.
When they got to the middle of the stream, the teacher said, “Please immerse yourself in the water.” The student did as he was instructed, whereupon the teacher put his hands on the young man’s head and held him under the water. Immediately the student began to struggle. The master continued to hold him under.
The student was thrashing and beating the water and air with his arms. Still, the master held him under the water. Finally, the student was released and shot up from the water, lungs aching and gasping for air.
The teacher waited for a few moments and then said, “When you desire God to the same level you just desired to breathe, then you shall truly find God.”
My soul is dry and thirsts for You, True God,
as a deer thirsts for water.
I long for the True God who lives.
When can I stand before Him and feel His comfort?
(Psalm 42:1,2 The Voice)
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Do you wonder if God still speaks today? Do you wonder if He would ever speak to you personally? Do you long to hear the voice of God in your life?
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God is speaking, Can you Hear Him?
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