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Summary: God wants us to hunger and thirst after Him (4th Beatitude)

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness for they will be filled. (Matthew 5:6)

1Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil. 2After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. 3The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.” 4Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” (Matthew 4:1-4)

Later, knowing that all was now completed, and so that the Scripture would be fulfilled, Jesus said, "I am thirsty." (John 19:28)

Recently, our family returned to some familiar memories and a week of nostalgia for me personally. Webster’s tells us that nostalgia means, a longing for familiar or beloved circumstances that are now remote or irretrievable.

Sun Lakes is the Palm Springs of Eastern Washington - 95° during the day, breezy nights, a light show at Grand Coulee Dam, swimming, fishing, and hunting snipes at night (someday my kids will catch on). Things have changed in the 30 years since I was a boy from Everett/Seattle, Washington vacationing at Sun Lakes. The hayrides and high dives have yielded to espresso stands and a new playground.

A local pastor took us fishing at a nearby lake. We drove about three miles east of his church, down a gravel road, through two cattle gates, and ended up out in the middle of nowhere. The lake couldn’t have been more than 300 yards by 400 yards, but it was deep enough for Dad to be concerned about a six-year-old falling in. A small rowboat lying overturned on a nearby shore became our fishing vessel.

That day the lake yielded fish of all kinds and sizes (crappie, catfish, and bass), but the greatest catch was a day of memories. My three boys (Kenny, 14; Jesse, 8; and Joseph, 6) each caught dozens of fish as we played catch-and-release. What a joy to watch them reel in their catch and laugh as they cast out for another one. Dinner that night was extra delicious as we ate a couple of bass they had caught. My heart was full that night, knowing my boys were making memories that would last a lifetime.

The sad news is that I have taken my kids fishing so little that it took half the day for them to catch on. It even took squeamish Dad a few times before we could properly remove the hook from the fish’s mouth. Now my boys are hooked. They want to fish - often. But if I don’t get them some poles, tackle boxes, and bobbers soon the memory and longing for fishing will fade.

What is true of my boys’ longing for fishing is even truer of our longing for spiritual matters. Each of us are created by God to hunger and thirst for righteousness, and, like fishing, if we don’t experience and cultivate it often, it will fade.

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness for they will be filled. (Matthew 5:6)

Let me open today’s message by asking you a penetrating question: “When was the last time you did anything for the first time for Jesus’ sake?” Has your Christianity become so predictable that you can’t remember experiencing something new and fresh in the Spirit of God?

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