Summary: The secret to happiness is to hunger and thirst for what is righteousness
I. This week I did something which I have never done before, fasting when many others know I am fasting.
A. When I have fasted before, it has been in secret following Christ’s teaching.
1. But whether we fast publically or privately, let me tell you, the hunger is a bit different than just being late for supper or lunch.
2. Fasting means doing without for one or more meals.
B. There is more than a bit of discomfort.
II. 6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. (NIV)
A. All Are Born With An Appetite
1. Adam and Eve ruled as Prince and Princess of Paradise had built-in satisfaction.
a. They didn’t have to go looking for nothing
b. They had built-in fulfillment based on their relationship and fellowship with God
2. They Began To Listen To Satan
a. Result: They got the fruit, but they lost the fellowship
b. They alienated themselves from the God; who made them
3. Subsequently, Everyone Born After Them With Their Back To God
a. All are yearning and crying to be right with God
b. We are craving to be reassembled and reconciled to “He that hath made us....”
B. We recognize the fact that we’re hungry, but not the fact that it’s a hunger for God!!!!
1. So Consequently, We Look For Satisfaction In All The Wrong Places
a. First of all, we look for satisfaction in the “Café Of Carnality”
b. Man-made menus; which does nothing for our appetite for God
2. It may excite you, but it won’t last
a. No satisfaction in a liquor bottle
b. No satisfaction in drugs
c. No satisfaction in lustful activities of the flesh
3. Ungodly Living Is Only Temporary Satisfaction
a. The pleasures of this world are like cotton candy: It looks good, tasty, and inviting; but when you bite into it, you discover it’s nothing but air!
b. I John 2:15-17 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. And the world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God abides forever. (NAS)
C. What is it that we hunger and thirst for in our lives?
1. Too often it is a thing or a person. But how many of us want God and His will first and foremost.
2. Not every form of hunger or starving for things will be satisfied.
a. The parable of the rich farmer who kept building bigger and bigger barns to store up riches.
b. How big is big enough when it comes to this physical world.
c. We are so impressed when someone says, “Now this is the highest sky scraper in the world or the biggest stadium in the world, or the fastest train or plane.”
3. But there is always something bigger.
a. Did you see where Wilt Chamberlain’s house is up for sale.
b. The house is huge. It is the ideal playboy mansion with a table
c. The house features six bedrooms, including a massive master suite that has been the focus of much gossip over the years.
d. Complete with a gym, office and billiard room, the suite has been wired so that residents can control the drapes, run a preheated bath and open the retractable, mirrored roof, all without getting out of bed.
e. Space was essential to the 7-foot-1-inch Lakers’ center.
f. The house spreads over more than 7,100 square feet and features 40-foot ceilings in some areas.
g. A playroom, spa and swimming pool round out this two-and-a-half acre property.
h. A table which seats 11 and weigh hundreds of pounds and needed an engineer to design.
i. But where is Wilt Chamberlain now?
4. What do we long for?
D. Those who are ravenous or famished for God and His will for their lives will be filled and satisfied.
1. St. Augustine, "Thou hast made us for thyself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it rests in thee."
2. He then attaches to it continual action.... (text) In the Greek, it is in the presence tense....“Blessed are they who are hungering; blessed are they who are thirsting....”
3. We Treat Religion Like Cafeteria Food
a. We settle for “Half-baked Holiness
b. “Burger King Religion...” “have it your way” with commotion and emotion.... but with little deep substance and meeting of the heart felt needs.
4. We need to be like Ezekiel and eat the scroll
a. Be like Jeremiah; “I found Your Word and I ate it....!”