Summary: Are you satisfied by an ordinary life or hungry for God?
An appetite for godliness
“What does God expect of me?”
“How should a Christian act under pressure?”
“Am I pleasing the Lord and honoring Him?”
Answers to these questions can be found throughout the Bible, but there is one section of the Word, where Jesus Himself answers these questions and more! I invite you to open your Bible to the wisdom of the Sermon on the Mount. His amazing words are found in Matthew 5.
Jesus opens his sermon with a series of saying we call the “Beatitudes.”
As He begins his message about the way that person who is part of the Kingdom lives, he talks about radical choices that lead to deep contentment and fulfillment.
A. "You are blessed when you’re at the end of your rope. With less of you there is more of God and His rule.
B. You are blessed when you feel you’ve lost what is most dear to you. Only then can you be embraced by the One most dear to you.
C. You’re blessed when you’re content with just who you are- no more, no less. That’s the moment you find yourselves proud owners of everything that can’t be bought. The Message, a translation by Eugene Peterson.
Our text today is short, but loaded with challenge. I want us to concentrate our attention on just one of the “blessed” verses this morning.
TEXT - Matthew 5:6
When Jesus spoke those words, the people gathered on that hillside in Galilee understood them much differently than most of us in this room understand them today! We know little of the kind of hunger He used to make his point. He was preaching to people who did not have supermarkets and abundant and varied food supplies. Most of those who heard him, knew what it was to go several days with little or nothing to eat when supplies ran short, or money ran out!
He was speaking to people who did not know what it was to open the faucet and enjoy clean water in abundance. They had to carry the water they used from a local source. It could be contaminated and sometimes made them sick! They knew the a kind of hunger that made men desperate!
The word that Jesus used which our Bibles translate as ‘hunger,’ is a word that indicates something closer to the word - famished! “Blessed are those who are famished, desperately hungry, for God’s righteousness - for He will make them full!”
Do you realize that hunger is a good thing?
No, of course, it is not good that people go hungry, but it is a good thing to get hungry! A lack of appetite is always a signal that something is wrong with us - physically or emotionally. Healthy people get hungry because their body needs fuel to function! God created the hunger trigger in these bodies of ours so that we would motivated to fuel up, so that we would not starve to death!
God also created us to hunger for Him!
Human beings yearn to know a god! The impulse to worship is universal. The desire for meaning and purpose in life, to love and be loved, is put in each one of us by God. One does not have to be Christian, to hunger for God. He created us to know Him, to love Him, to serve Him. But, when sin entered the creation, the hunger for God and good, was re-directed towards other gods, towards junk soul food that can never really satisfy.
Think again about physical hunger.
Like everything other appetite that He created in us, we have abused and misused our appetites. Many of sin against our bodies and God in our eating habits that border on gluttony! Food, in America, is relatively inexpensive and abundant, so much so that we are becoming a fat nation, confronted with myriad health problems- many, if not most, rooted in eating too much of the wrong kinds of food!
We consume vast amounts of cheap, fat-filled, sugary, and calorie-laden foods that do not really satisfy our hunger, causing us to eat more, much more than we need to consume.
ill- Ever sit down with a bag of chips and eat the whole thing?
Despite the fact that an 8 ounce bag of potato chips contains about 1200 calories,
or about half the daily calories required by an average person, hunger is never really satisfied by that kind of ‘food.’ Despite being ’full’ we still ’feel’ hungry.
The situation is much the same when we consider the hunger of our soul. We are created with a longing for God. We hunger for meaning, purpose, and hope but often attempt to satisfy that hunger with ’junk’ food.
Americans pursue endless pleasure,
seek distraction in entertainment,
buy things to gain status or to become more attractive, and