Summary: I believe that the greatest secret to Christian living is a healthy, hearty appetite for the things of God.

Beatitude Summer Sermon Series (5 of 9)

What Are You Hungry For? (Matt. 5.6)

July 19, 2015 CFBC, Chester, IL Dr. Mike Fogerson, Speaker

A I believe that the greatest secret to Christian living is a healthy, hearty appetite for the things of God.

1 In the last three messages we have learned about having a poor spirit, mourning what has made us poor (sin), and the call to be humble, gentle, meek toward others & to God.

a But what good is confessing/lamenting sin, acknowledging the truth about ourselves to God/others if we leave it there?

b Being poor in spirit, mourning, being gentle must lead to us wanting more righteousness.

c Matt. 5.3-6 NASB "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 gentle, for they shall inherit the earth. "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.”

aa There’s pain in v.3 (poor in spirit), there’s pain in v.4 (mourning), there is pain in v.5 (gentle/meek/humble), but after the pain of hungering & thirsting, there’s a comfort that comes in v.6.

bb In v.6, we’ve come to a place of reaching out to God.

2 The Beatitudes are both prescriptive and descriptive on how we enter the Kingdom and how we are to live once we are in the Kingdom.

a To enter the Kingdom we must be poor in spirit & as we live in the Kingdom we recognize our spiritual poverty.

aa To enter the Kingdom we must mourn over our sin, and as you continue in the Kingdom you will mourn over your sin.

bb To enter the Kingdom you must come in meekness, once you’re in the Kingdom meekness continues to be your attitude as God becomes more wonderful to you.

cc To enter the Kingdom you must hunger/thirst for righteousness, once your in the Kingdom you’ll continue to do the same.

b These attitudes are not “one and done”, but rather they are the normal patterns, attitudes, behavior of the new you.

aa There will be times when you are less faithful and sometimes downright disobedient to these elements of Kingdom life, but they are still part of your life.

bb They are how you entered the Kingdom and they are how you act once you’ve entered the Kingdom.

B “Blessed are those who hunger & thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.” (V.6)

1 We will be learning about the right thing for us to hunger & thirst after, but the Bible offers us many people who hungered/thirsted after the wrong things.

a Lucifer, Nebuchadnezzer, the rich fool (& others.)

aa They all had ambition, passion, drive and desire, hunger & thirst . . . but it was for the wrong thing.

bb All of these are great if they are focused on the right thing.

cc For example, Ambition says “I want to be a pastor, deacon, missionary, leader in the church.” Envy says, “I want you to be under me.

b What are we to hunger/thirst for? Righteousness.

aa Jesus is telling us we need righteousness like we need food & water.

bb Righteousness means to be right with God & the only real blessing/happiness in this life is to be right with Him.

2 This Righteousness has two legs: salvation & sanctification.

a Someone who hungers/thirsts for righteousness seeks salvation.

aa They see their sin, rebellion, seperated from a Holy God. (He’s broken, mournful, meek and wants to restore himself to God. Wants forgiveness so he hungers/thirsts after the righteousness that comes from salvation.

bb It’s a desire to be from self; free from the power, presence & penalty of sin.

cc I’ve describe how all of us who are saved came to being saved, knowing salvation. (We know that hunger!)

b Sanctification is the hunger/thirst for increasing holiness.

aa Wanting more of God, to know more and more of Jesus is the mark of a Christian.

bb We never think we don’t need another sermon, song, seminar, revival, conference, Sunday School, ministry . . . we never think we’ve “arrived.”

c I’ll illustrate Moses: Moses had been in the wilderness for 40 years, God called him. . . Moses saw God in the burning bush . . .Moses saw God’s hand in the plagues/parting of the Red Sea . . .Moses saw God as they moved/guided by the Shekinah glow of God in the sky. . . He saw God in water to drink/manna to eat. . . after Moses built the tabernacle in obedience to God, Moses said, “God I want to see your glory.”

aa We may think, “Come on Moses, enough is enough. You’ve seen a lot!” Moses would say, “But not enough.”

bb God took Moses to the mountain, showed him a flaming finger that wrote the 10 Commandments, when he came down from the mountain it still wasn’t enough for him . . .it was never enough!

cc He kept going back up, “ Then Moses said, "I pray You, show me Your glory!" Exodus 33:18 (NASB)

dd Moses never said, “Oh, I’ve had enough. Been there, done that.” Moses was always wanting more of God & that is the mark of child of the Kingdom!

d Philippians 3:13-14 (NASB) 13 Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

aa Just because your saved, your name is in the book IT DOESN’T MEAN YOUR DONE, ARRIVED.

bb No matter how much you love, you ought to love more: pray, pray more; obey, obey more; think like Christ, think like Christ more.

cc When Jesus said to hunger/thirst, He is saying to stay hungry & stay thirsty.

C Unsaved people hunger/thirst for fulfillment in the wrong places. (Peter compared it to a dog that licks up its own vomit or a pig that wallows in its own filth (2 Peter 2.22).

1 The entire populations was created with a hunger for God, but when lost people try to satisfy that hunger with the wrong things.

a The prophet Isaiah calls these wrong things “what is not bread” (Is. 55.20).

aa Jesus knew people were hungry so He offered Himself to them as bread; knew they were thirst so Himself as water.

bb 1 John 2.15-16 (NASB) “ Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world.”

cc Nothing that we try to satisfy ourselves in this world abides forever.

b What are you hungry/thirsty for? (Power, praise, possessions, pleasure OR are you looking for the real source?)

aa Your answer determines whether or not you are in the Kingdom.

bb The blessed hunger & thirst for righteousness.

c Jesus said happiness is brokeness, happiness is mourning, meekness, hungering & thirsting after righteousness.

aa The world is breaking its back to gain things, yet if they came into God’s Kingdom on His terms, they would get it all anyway.

bb James 4:1-2 (NASB) 1 What is the source of quarrels and conflicts among you? Is not the source your pleasures that wage war in your members? 2 You lust and do not have; so you commit murder. You are envious and cannot obtain; so you fight and quarrel. You do not have because you do not ask.

cc People are running themselves ragged to get what God wants to give them.

d The Lord is telling all of us, “I’ll give you everything you want. I’ll give you the Kingdom, comfort, fill your life with everything you need. I’ll give you the whole earth. You can have the whole deal if you’ll just come on My conditions.

2 Once you believe God’s promise, we don’t have to work, we inherit.”

a I read the Bible this way, “You’re my child. You’ll inherit the earth.”

aa So why should I spend all my trying to gain it on my own? (Makes no sense. It’s going to be mine anyway!)

bb I don’t mind other people borrowing it for a while . . . it’s all coming back to me, based on His promise.

b In Gen. 26, Isaac went from well to well to well, every time he dug a well, somebody threw a fit and took it from him.

aa Finally, he dug a well that nobody contested and he named it, “Rehoboth, for he said, ‘At last the Lord has made room for us’” (Gen. 26.22).

bb He knew God would take care of him . . . he could be unselfish & this is THE point of the whole Sermon on the Mount.

cc It only becomes yours at His hand & with that heart/mind, spirit, you can have right ambition.

c If you’re saying, “Look, all I want is Your righteousness, God. All I want is to be meek before You. All I want is for Your Kingdom on Your terms,” His promise is that you shall inherit everything in the end . . .EVERYTHING.

aa Paul said it like this to the Corinthians, “All things belong to you (1 Cor. 3.22).

bb As long as we try to satisfy the things from our own hands we’ll never be truly satisfied.

D Major V. Gilbert in his book, The Last Crusade, described the thirst of his men as they suffered in the Palestinian desert in WWI.

Our heads ached. Our eyes became bloodshot and dim in the blinding glare . . .Our tongues began to swell . . . our lips turned to a purplish black and burst. Those who dropped out of the column were never seen again, but the desperate force battle on the Sheria. There were wells at Sheria, and had they been unable to take the place by nightfall, thousands were doomed to die of thirst.

We fought that day as men fight for their lives. We entered Sheria’s station on the heels of the retreating Turks. The first objects which met our view were the great stone cisterns full of cold, clear drinking water . . . It took four hours before the last man had his drink of water . . . I believe that we all learned our first real Bible lesson that march from Beersheba to the Sheria wells. If such were our thirst for God and for righteousness, for His will in our lives, a consuming, all-embracing, preoccupying desire, how rich in the fruit of the Spirit would we be.”

1 Jesus was talking about hunger/thirst to people who understood this kind of want.

a Hunger (starving), Thirst (genuine thirst) in the present participle . . . the one who are hungering, who are thirsting.

aa When I came to Jesus I was hungry/thirsty and now that I’ve found Him, I’m hungry/thirsty for more of Him.

bb The more I know Him, the more I want to know about Him.

bb If you don’t hunger/thirst for righteousness, there is a question whether you are even in the Kingdom.

b R.C.H. Lenski said, “The hungering and this thirsting continues, and in fact increases in the very act of being satisfied.”

J.N. Darby, early Plymouth Brethern movement, “To be hungry is not enough. I must be really starving to know what is in God’ heart toward me. When the prodigal son was hungry, he went to feed on the husks with the hogs. When he was starving, he went to his father.”

aa Not until we’re starving for God will we ever be satisfied.

bb When we know Him more, we’ll want more. (Paradox). We are satisfied but never satisfied.

2 My wife makes the best cupcakes I’ve ever put in my mouth. I’ll eat until I’m stuffed . . .but I want more.

a I’m full, but I always want more because what I’ve already eaten makes me desire it.

b So it is with righteousness, we are filled, and the filling is so sweet/so rich that we want more.

c Just because we’ve been filled, moved, felt His presence a few times . . . we think we’ve got it.

aa Some Christians run after some kind of ecstasy, experience, spiritual feeling . . . run to seminars, conferences, services, preachers to get something fresh . . . then they start all over again.

bb They try to get satisfied with anything & everything, but being satisfied is a by-product of hungering & thirsting for righteousness.

cc We don’t need more church, services, better preacher, better choir, . . . more of His Righteousness.

dd Brokeness, mourning, gentle spirit, hungering/thirsting after God.

E How do we know if we’re truly hungering and thirsting after righteousness.

1 Are you satisfied with yourself?

a The Puritans used to say, “He has the most need of righteousness who least wants it.”

aa Do you know your messed up? Wretched?

bb Or are you so self-righteous that you thing everybody else is wrong and you’re right?

b Do you feel the constant pain of always falling short?

2 Does the world satisfy you? (Things, stuff.)

a Are you only happy when things/stuff come your way?

b A hunger for righteousness will be satisfied with nothing else than God.

3 Do you have an appetite for the Word of God?

a Jeremiah 15:16 (NASB) “Your words were found and I ate them, And Your words became for me a joy and the delight of my heart; For I have been called by Your name, O LORD God of hosts.”

b If you hunger/thirst for righteousness you’ll have an appetite for His Word and you’ll devour it.

c If your hungering & thirsting for righteousness, maybe you are a kingdom kid who’s being sinful OR maybe your not in the Kingdom at all. (Either way your forfeiting blessing)

4 Are the things of God sweet to you?

a Prov. 27.7, “To a famished man any bitter thing is sweet.”

aa I can always tell someone who is after the heart of God because they find His hand even in disaster.

bb Personally, I’ve found God to be at His sweetest when I’m going through hell. . . because I know He’s going through the fires with me.

b Thomas Watson, “The one who hungers and thirsts after righteousness can feed on the myrrh of the gospel as well as the honey.”

5 Is your hunger & thirst unconditional?

a Remember the story of the wealthy young man who told Jesus that he wanted to ether the Kingdom, but wasn’t willing to give up his possessions?

aa His hunger was conditional . . . & he was never filled.

bb Do you say, “I want Christ and my sin. Christ and my pride. Christ and my way. Christ and my illicit relationship. Christ and my cheating/gossiping/lying/covetousness?

b Ever hear one of those commercials for a new prescription. (Black Toe)

aa “Consult with your doctor if you have changes in mood, behavior or thoughts of suicide. Certain patients have an increased risk of death. Call your doctor if you develop fever, stiff muscles and confusion, as these might a life-threatening reaction. If you have uncontrollable muscle movements, these could be come permanent. High blood sugar has been reported and in extreme cases can lead to coma or death. Tell your doctor if you have a history of low white blood cell count or history of seizures. Your doctor should check for cataracts. Other risks include increases in cholesterol and triglycerides, weight gain, dizziness when standing, drowsiness and impaired judgement.”

bb The commercial ended with, “This sickness does not have to consume you.” . . . I wanted to add “but the cure might kill you!”

c Our disease is sin, and our cure is Jesus. Side-effects?

aa Make you hungry, increase your thirst.

bb John 6.33, 33

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Mike Fogerson