Summary: 1- We must hunger and thirst 2- We must strive for purity
INTRO.- ILL.- There was this preacher who was an avid golfer. Every chance he got, he could be found on the golf course swinging away. It was an obsession. One Sunday was a picture-perfect day for golfing. The sun was out, no clouds in the sky, and the temperature was just right. The preacher was in a quandary as to what to do. The urge to play golf overcame him. He called an assistant and told him that he was sick and could not attend church. Then he packed up the car, and drove three hours to a golf course where no one would recognize him. Happily, he began to play the course.
An angel up above was watching the preacher and was quite perturbed. He went to God and said, "Look at the preacher. He should be punished for what he’s doing." God nodded in agreement.
The preacher teed up on the first hole. He swung, and the ball sailed effortlessly through the air and landed right in the cup three hundred and fifty yards away. A perfect hole-in-one. The preacher was amazed and excited. The angel was a little shocked. He turned to God and said, "Begging Your pardon, but I thought you were going to punish him."
God smiled. "Think about it -- who can he tell?"
Brothers and sisters, we all need to have a proper attitude toward God and one step in the right direction is to honor Him on the Lord’s Day.
Acts 20:7 “On the first day of the week we came together to break bread. Paul spoke to the people and, because he intended to leave the next day, kept on talking until midnight.”
Heb. 10:25 “Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
Some Christians do give up meeting together on the Lord’s Day but not for the same reasons some of the early Christians did. They may have given up meeting because of persecution or physical circumstances that hindered them.
Many people give up meeting today because of other reasons, but certainly not because of persecution. Often, it’s simply because they have too many earthly irons in the fire and God is left out of the picture!
ILL.- The young man poured out his heart’s devotion on paper as he wrote to the girl of his dreams: “Darling: I would climb the highest mountain, swim the widest stream, cross the burning desert, and die at the stake for you. P.S. I will see you on Saturday—if it doesn’t rain.”
That sounds like some people when it comes to going to church. If it rains or if there is any kind of bad weather, let’s just stay home. Or if there is something else we’d rather do, let’s go do the other thing. “I love you, Lord, but not that much.”
ILL.- One day the telephone rang in the preacher’s office of the Washington church, which President Franklin Roosevelt attended. An eager voice inquired, “Tell me, do you expect the President to be in church this Sunday?”
“That,” the preacher explained patiently, “I cannot promise. But we expect God to be there, and we fancy that will be incentive enough for a reasonably large attendance.”
Brothers and sisters, knowing that the Lord wants to meet us on the Lord’s Day should be enough motivation to be in church every Sunday. God should always be our ultimate motivator in life and no matter what we’re talking about!
And wanting to meet Him in worship should be our constant desire. Such a desire will help to produce a blessed attitude toward God.
PROP.- In our beatitude text, we want to consider two verses that deal with our attitude toward God. And how to have a blessed attitude toward God.
I. WE MUST HUNGER AND THIRST AFTER HIM
Matt. 5:6 “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.”
ILL.- When my older brother Larry was 16 years old I remembering him saying, “I want a car so bad I can taste it.” He had a big hunger for a car. He ended up getting an old 1951 Chevy! Some car!
ILL.- I like cars, pretty cars, fast, cars. I think I got my hunger for cars from my older brother. I’ve bought a few new cars in my lifetime but only one that I really liked. In fact, it was the only new car I ever ordered. It was a 1968 Pontiac Firebird, 400 CI, 4-speed on the floor. A pretty blue color. And I took care of that car like it was a brand new baby. I washed it every day and waxed once every week.