Summary: To want righteousness more than anything else.

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.

Hunger and Thirst are powerful motivators. "Hunger and thirst" vividly express desire. The sons of Korah cried, "My soul thirsts for God, for the living God" (Ps 42:2; cf. 63:1) for the deepest spiritual famine is hunger for the word of God (Amos 8:11-14).

When Jesus spoke these words, He wasn’t originally speaking to well fed Americans. The people of Palestine not only lived in an occupied land where the very best of everything went to the occupier not the occupies. Moreover, the people he spoke to weren’t the upper crust, or the middle class, they were the laborers, the fisherman, the carpenters and the farmers. He was talking to people who knew what it was to go to bed hungry, not just a craving for food but a gnawing hunger. The hunger that Christ spoke about wasn’t just a Big Mac attack in the original language it meant hungry to the point of starving and thirsty to the point of death. Christ is trying to convey the thought that the quest for righteousness is not some idle task that you do when there’s nothing on TV and you have nothing better to do with your time.

The story is told of the young man who came to Socrates and told him that he wanted knowledge. "Follow me" the philosopher told the student and led him to the edge of the ocean and into the water, without warning Socrates grabbed the young man and plunged him beneath the water and held him there until the struggling stopped. He dragged the boy to the shore, left him gasping on the sand and returned to the market place. When the boy recovered, he sought out the teacher again and asked him why he tried to drown him. Socrates replied, "When you were under the water what did you want more then anything?" The reply of course was "air". Socrates responded by saying, "When you crave knowledge like you craved air, then you won’t need me or anyone else to guide you."

Do we desire God and His word more than we do food? Do we desire a relationship with God more than we desire Money, air, or water? Those who hunger for righteousness, a real relationship with God more than anything else, those will be satisfied. In Chapter 6 Jesus asks, MT 6:25 "Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?

Do we desire, crave for, God’s word and a deep personal relationship with Him, more than anything else

At the Well in Samaria Jesus sets the example for us when He says, “My food is to do the will of my Father.” Why be concerned for food that becomes waste, when we can have real food, spiritual food that will help us to have a deeper, more personal relationship with God. If righteousness was at the top of everyone’s list at this congregation, how much impact could we have on our community?

If everyone in attendance, this morning in congregations all across America had righteousness as their #1 priority what impact would it have on the Nation?

It has to start here, it has to start with us.

DTR (define the relationship)

Notice I did not say attendance, tithes, prayer, suits, or even participation, I said righteousness. What is righteousness?

1. What it is not!

a. Legalism

b. About Self

c. About how passages you can quote but the quality of the passages that change our lives

d. Attendance

Those who see righteousness this way are the ones Isaiah speaks of in Chapter 29:13 "These people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship of me is made up only of rules taught by men.

How about us? What are we here for this morning? If we are challenged in our thinking or our living by the Word are we willing to change? This is important for us to do right now. DTR (define the relationship)

How important is it for us to get this? Our eternity is at stake. Jesus said in Matthew 7 22 Many will say to me on that day, `Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?' 23 Then I will tell them plainly, `I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!'

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