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Summary: Fourth in a series of sermons on the Beatitudes - Developing Christian character

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Blessed Are Those Who Hunger & Thirst After Righteousness

INTRODUCTION

· IN THE ANTARCTIC SUMMER OF 1908-9, SIR ERNEST SHACKLETON AND THREE COMPANIONS ATTEMPTED TO TRAVEL TO THE SOUTH POLE FROM THEIR WINTER QUARTERS. THEY SET OFF WITH FOUR PONIES TO HELP CARRY THE LOAD. WEEKS LATER, THEIR PONIES DEAD, RATIONS ALL BUT EXHAUSTED, THEY TURNED BACK TOWARD THEIR BASE, THEIR GOAL NOT ACCOMPLISHED. ALTOGETHER, THEY TREKKED 127 DAYS. ON THE RETURN JOURNEY, AS SHACKLETON RECORDS IN THE HEART OF THE ANTARCTIC, THE TIME WAS SPENT TALKING ABOUT FOOD -- ELABORATE FEASTS, GOURMET DELIGHTS, SUMPTUOUS MENUS. AS THEY STAGGERED ALONG, SUFFERING FROM DYSENTERY, NOT KNOWING WHETHER THEY WOULD SURVIVE, EVERY WAKING HOUR WAS OCCUPIED WITH THOUGHTS OF EATING.

· We can understand Shackleton’s obsession with food, which offers a glimpse of the passion Jesus was talking about when he said, “Blessed are those who hunger & thirst after righteousness…”

· Working down thru the Beautitides as we look at the different characteristics that make up having a Christian character.

· Having a hunger & thirst for righteousness is something that will be seen different ways in our lives

· Attitude determines our behavior & character determines conduct

· How we do or do not hunger & thirst for righteousness will be shown in how we live

I. HAVING A DESIRE FOR HOLINESS RATHER THAN HAPPINESS

A. Sometimes we get confused & think God’s primary goal for us is happiness

1. Have a concept of God that makes Him like Santa Claus or Easter Bunny

or a genie who gives us everything we want just to be happy

2. Bad Theology – He wants His People to be holy

B. To be sure – joy will come

1. Peter – “joy unspeakable & full of glory”

2. Theme of Philippians is joy

3. Beatitudes – Blessed – a joy that is a deep internal joy, not dependent

outward circumstances

C. His purpose & desire is holiness – to be conformed into the image of Jesus

1. Ro 8:28-29: And will know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. For those God foreknew he predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.

2. When God calls you to himself, He’s working to develop the disposition of

Christ in your life

D. A hungering & thirsting after righteousness is shown in seeking the same thing – desiring the disposition of Christ formed in our lives

II. WILL BE SEEN IN OUR ATTITUDE TOWARD SIN

(IL) Little Johnny’s father caught him in telling a lie. Dad said, “Don’t you know

the difference between right & wrong?” Johnny told him that he did. His

dad said, “But you always choose the wrong!” Johnny said, “I know, dad.

And here you thought it was all guesswork.”

A. Laugh about it

1. Consider the number of jokes we hear about things like drunkeness,

sexual immorality, etc

2. Johnny above – dad said it was wrong, Johnny said it was guesswork,

God says it’s sin

B. Play around with it

1. Sometimes we want to see how close we can get to the line without

crossing over


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