Summary: The Beatitudes exhibit the natural progression of the transformation that comes only through Jesus Christ and by the power of the Holy Spirit. Those who seek this transformation are "blessed" or "approved of God." True happiness in life comes when one r
Appetite for Righteousness The Beatitudes
Matthew 5:6 #4 of 8 in Series
An old French proverb says, "Every good meal starts with hunger."
Illustration: When Lisa and Brad got married, Lisa decided to be a nice wife and pack Brad’s lunch for him to take to work. The first day Brad opened his lunchbox and found one tiny little sandwich. Not more than a mouthful and he was hungry the rest of the day. That evening when he got home he told Lisa that the one sandwich had not been enough. The next day Brad opened his lunch and found two sandwiches, but still they were small and his stomach growled the rest of the afternoon. Once again, that evening he asked Lisa to pack a more substantial lunch. At lunch break on the third day, Brad found three sandwiches but being a hungry boy, he was still not satisfied. For a third time he asked Lisa for more lunch in his box. This time, though, Lisa became a little annoyed with Brad. She had tried so hard to please him and he just wasn’t being very appreciative of her efforts. So she took a whole loaf of bread, sliced it in half, and made one huge sandwich for his lunch that day. When Brad opened his lunchbox that day, he rolled his eyes and sighed, "Oh no. Back to only one sandwich!"
The Beatitudes exhibit the natural progression of the transformation that comes only through Jesus Christ and by the power of the Holy Spirit. Those who seek this transformation are "blessed" or "approved of God." True happiness in life comes when one receives God’s approval.
First in our series, we looked at the "poor in Spirit." The poor in Spirit are those who realize their "spiritual bankruptcy" and that they are totally dependent upon God.
Second, we looked at "spiritual mourning." Spiritual mourning is the natural response to poorness of Spirit as one realizes the ramifications of their sin.
Last week we looked at meekness and learned that this was anything but weakness. Meekness is defined as controlled power.
"Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness for they shall be filled." (Matthew 5:6)
I. What does it mean to hunger and thirst spiritually?
1. Hunger; (Greek)
(a) to hunger, be hungry
(b) to suffer want
(c) to be needy
(d) metaphorically to crave ardently, to seek with eager desire
2. Thirst; (Greek)
(a) to suffer from thirst
(b) figuratively, those who are said to thirst who painfully feel their want of, and eagerly long for, those things by which the soul is refreshed, supported, strengthened.
B. "Blessed are those who eagerly seek after righteousness as if their life depended upon it, like a man on the verge of starvation seeks after food."
II. An Appetite for Righteousness
A. Thirsting For God’s Presence and Power
1. One who does not know God is left with an empty place in their life that cannot be filled.
2. Psalm 42:1—2
B. Hungering for God’s Word
2. The word of God is perfect in leading us to righteousness.
3. 2 Timothy 3:16—17
4. Acts 17:11
C. An unquenchable desire for God’s House
1. Psalm 84:10
2. Worship does not satisfy our hunger for God; it whets our appetite.
3. Found in a church bulletin: To encourage everyone to attend worship services this year, every Sunday will be "No Excuse Sunday" and the following will be provided: Cots for those who say, "Sunday is my only day to sleep." Visine for those with tired eyes from watching TV too late on Saturday night. Steel helmets for those who say, "The roof would cave in if I ever came to church." Blankets for those who think the church is too cold. Fans for those who say it is too hot. Hearing Aids for those who say, "I can’t hear the preacher speak." Cotton balls for those who say, "The preacher is too loud." Score cards will be available for those who wish to list all the hypocrites present. There will be meals provided for those who can’t go to church and cook dinner also. Once section of the church will be devoted to trees and grass for those who seek God in nature. Finally, the church will be decorated with both Christmas poinsettias and Easter lilies for those who have never seen it without them.
"Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness for they shall be filled." (Matthew 5:6) "But seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you." (Matthew 6:33)
Mitchell Skelton, Minister
Midway church of Christ