Summary: We must crave for the right thing, reprioritize our lives, abide in God’s will, void anything that will hinder and expect God’s promise
One time while we were traveling, my son Jesse told me that he was reading about the temptation of Christ. I asked, “What have you read so far?” He told me how Satan tempted Jesus to turn stones to bread. I then asked, “What did Jesus say in response.” Jesse answered, “Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.” I prodded him, “What did Jesus mean by that?” Jesse answered with such child-like confidence, “Of course, you would die if you only eat bread.”
Seriously, what Jesus meant was that if we need food for our physical survival, how much more the word of God for our spiritual survival. That is why Jesus declared, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.” The word “filled” means “satisfied.” This morning we will talk about “How to be Satisfied.”
First, we have to realize that we are “poor in spirit,” that is, we need God. Second we have to “mourn” or respond with repentance. That deals with our relationship with God. Then, we become “meek” or humble. That deals with our relationship with people. Then we “hunger and thirst for righteousness”.
In his message “How to be Hungry,” Dr. John MacArthur Jr. wrote, “Both hunger and thirst are intense desires. The concept Christ spoke of… was a more powerful concept in His culture than it is in ours. For the most part we don’t know what it really means to hunger or thirst. Most of us have never experienced a drought.” But the original audience of Jesus knew what it really means to be hungry or famished and to be thirsty or parched or dehydrated. The word for “hunger” means “to famish” and the word “thirst” means “to parch” or “to long for ardently.” In short, to hunger and thirst means to crave intensely. To make it easy for us to remember, let us look at the acronym C-R-A-V-E.
“C” stands for CRAVE for the right thing. Jesus said, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness…” People crave for all the wrong things. We crave for power, money and attention. We are to crave for the right thing. In the Greek, there is an article before the word righteousness. We are not just to pursue any righteousness, not just the righteousness of men or of the world. We are to crave for “the righteousness” of God. Now what does it mean to hunger and thirst for righteousness?
When we put our faith in our Lord as our Savior, we were made righteous. “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” The New Living Translation goes like this: “For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ.” In Christ, we were made right with God. Technically, we call it “positional righteousness.” But that is not the righteousness that Jesus told us to hunger and thirst for.
What does it mean then to crave for righteousness? The Good News Bible goes like this: “Happy are those whose greatest desire is to do what God requires”. Your greatest desire is to follow the Lord. Technically, we call it “practical righteousness.”
Now, positional righteousness deals with who you are in Christ. Practical righteousness deals with what we do for Him. If we are made right with God, we will live right for God.
If a person claims to be a believer and yet he does not even have the desire to live for the Lord, we can actually doubt his claim that he is a believer. 1 John 3:6 says, “So everyone who lives in union with Christ does not continue to sin; but whoever continues to sin has never seen him or known him.” So the question is, “Are we craving for the right thing? Do we hunger and thirst for righteousness?”
“R” stands for REPRIORITIZE your life. If we really crave for the right thing, we will make it our top priority. As I’ve said, we tend to crave for the wrong things. Now it is not a sin to work or earn money. But if we pursue money at the expense of our principles, when we compromise or pay bribes or cheat on our taxes to earn more, when we neglect our families or our health, then we got our priorities all wrong. We work to live, not live to work. That’s why the Lord Jesus said, “So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” What does it mean to seek first his kingdom and his righteousness? The New Living Translation goes like this: “you live for him and make the Kingdom of God your primary concern.” Your life revolves around obeying God.