Sermon Illustrations

Blessed Are Those Who Hunger And Thirst For Righteousness

"The Sermon on the Mount" explains the true intent of the law which cancels the natural responses of man and calls for supernatural behavior. Righteousness is an attribute of God.

Jesus gives Christians a glorious hope and reward that they can expect now as well as in eternity. "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled." (Matthew 5: 6) This goes well beyond the conventional and traditional teachings of the Scribes, Pharisees and many churches today. This righteousness only comes by the supernatural power of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit of God.

Jesus is speaking of a righteousness that is genuine to the core. This righteousness is not to be paraded before the eyes of others, but before God's eyes and seeks only praise from Him. Our Lord is wanting people to examine the trust of their lives. What are your treasures? Who is your master? For whom do you spend your life and energy? Is it for the world and the things in it? Is it for the flesh or the devil? Or do spend your efforts and strength on the cause of Christ?

Christians who hunger and thirst for God's integrity, virtue, purity of life and righteousness will be given it If they truly desire His correction in thinking, feeling and acting. He will give them a filling with the Holy Spirit so they can enjoy the righteousness of God. The Scripture says this is so.

Righteousness is everything God desires man to acknowledge and obey. Note, it is what God says, not what man thinks. When you have a genuine hunger and thirst for God's righteousness you will hate sin, your own most of all. Righteousness and sin are incompatible and Christians cannot love both. Being filled with God's righteousness begins with an inner longing to have sin cleansed from the heart and the righteousness of God residing down deep within. To hunger and thirst for righteousness is to desire with our entire being to live and walk the way God says to live and walk.

Jesus chose the words "hunger" and "thirst." Those are cravings common to all mankind. A man cannot satisfy his hunger for food for his entire life by eating just one meal. Neither can the human soul be satisfied by feeding on God's righteousness just one time. To be totally satisfied physically and spiritually man must feed himself daily; food and water for the flesh, the Word of God for the soul.

Jesus said, "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness..." British expositor Martyn Lloyd-Jones said this of hungering and thirsting after righteousness: "...I do not know of a better test that anyone can apply to himself or herself in this whole matter of the Christian profession than a verse like this. If this verse is to you one of the most blessed statements of the whole of Scripture you can be quite sure you are a Christian; if it is not, then you had better examine the foundations again."

True satisfaction for the soul comes following hungering and thirsting after God's righteousness. Seek Christ with all your heart, soul, mind and strength and you will be filled with the righteousness of God and enjoy the benefits of it.

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