Summary: The Beatitudes: Building Blocks to Be Like Jesus #4
✎ Americans love to eat! Annually we spend over 4 trillion dollars on food (yes that was T trillion). About five percent of our food money goes for snacks; that’s a mere 20 billion dollars each year (amazing how our pocket change adds up). The proof of Americas love affair with food is in our expanding waist lines. According to the Federal Government, over 35% of Americans are overweight. Each year Americans jog some 17 million miles to burn off 1.7 billion calories. Seems to me that we are either going to have to run further or eat less.
The old saying goes, “You are what you eat.” I wonder what that would make some of us? This maxim applies not only to our physical body, but to our spiritual being as well. Throughout scripture we find the simple truth, “it’s what is on the inside that really counts.”
+ Matthew 12:34 You brood of vipers, how can you who are evil say anything good? For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks. (NIV)
+ Luke 6:45 The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks. (NIV)
Put simply we become what we eat. Whatever we feed our minds, whatever we seek to have fill our lives, whatever consumes our time and energy–these things determine who we really are.
For a moment look at Psalm 135:15-18. The Psalmist understood how this spiritual dynamic really worked. Why are your family or friends the way they are? Why do people say the things they say or do the things they do? The answer is found in what they feed their heart–what nourishes their spirit man.
+ Psalm 135:15-18 15The idols of the nations are silver and gold, made by the hands of men. 16They have mouths, but cannot speak, eyes, but they cannot see; 17they have ears, but cannot hear, nor is there breath in their mouths. 18Those who make them will be like them, and so will all who trust in them. (NIV)
What is the idol or would be “god” the people around us have set up for themselves? What do people fill their lives with; what captures their attention and their energy? Do they run after power and money? Is it status, fame, entertainment or pleasure they seek? These are the “idols” which they have made for themselves.
The would be “gods” people run after are lifeless; “they have no breath in their mouths;” likewise, the people who serve them remain spiritually dead. These idols have “ears, but cannot hear,” and their subjects are deaf to the truth. An idol has eyes but “cannot see” just as so many people are blind and unable to see.
This morning we want to take a close look at what satisfies our spiritual appetite. Do you feel spiritually hungry this morning? Is your soul thirsty? Has your spiritual hunger and thirst been satisfied, or are you still looking for something or someone to fill you?
Look with me this morning at Jesus’ fourth paradoxical statement of joy found in Matthew 5:6. In this “BE-ATTITUDE” Jesus shows us a necessary step to be like Him.
+ Matthew 5:6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. (NIV)
1. HUNGER AND THIRST IS A NATURAL REOCCURRING CYCLE OF LIFE.
One sign of being sick is to lose your appetite; you just don’t feel like eating. However, as a healthy individual you will regularly go to the cupboard or refrigerator to find something to eat, and with your meal or snack (and even between meals) you will pour yourself something to drink.
In the same way we all experience physical hunger and thirst, we also have a spiritual appetite. Throughout our lives we will experience this spiritual hunger, a longing and desire for something more.
The Bible says God has “set eternity in the hearts of men” (Ecclesiastes 3:11). God has placed within the heart of man a hunger and thirst for more than what this world can offer. We sense the eternal value of man, something only God can truly satisfy. Still people look to all kinds of things to fill their spiritual hunger only to go away still feeling empty. Before long their hunger and thirst returns and they look for more trying to satisfy their desire many different ways.
Many Americans today are living in a SPIRITUAL FAMINE. We have seen the images of children with bloated stomachs and dry cracked lips; individuals and communities who are starving to death because food and water are in such short supply. A spiritual famine affects people in much the same way.