Summary: If a person does not hunger for physical food they probably will not take time to eat and will die. If a person does not hunger for spiritual food they probably will not take time for spiritual food and will die spiritually. So, why don't we spend more time feasting on God's Word?

Hungering For Righteousness

Please stand with me as we go over our current memory Scripture:

Matthew 5:6-8

“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled. Blessed are the merciful, for they shall be shown mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.”

And our memory Scripture “refresher” verse is:

Isaiah 53:5-6

“He was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon Him, and by His wounds we are healed.

“All we like sheep have gone astray, we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.”

Today we will be reading from Matthew 5:1-12

What do you want most in life?

What is it that get’s you going in the morning?

What is the underlying current that directs your life?

- For the greedy it may be a promotion with a higher salary or a better investment plan.

- For the lazy it may be finding another government handout.

- For the intellectual it may be gaining more knowledge and with it a sense of educational superiority.

- For the handsome or beautiful it may be garnering more admiring looks and the thought that you are physically superior.

- For the faithful servant of the Most High God it should be “hungering and thirsting for righteousness …”

If you have ever been around a healthy infant you would know that they are very often “hungering and thirsting” for nourishment. That hunger and thirst is a driving force in their lives. Not only does it get them going in the morning but it also gets them going in all times of the day or night.

If they did not have this drive for nutrition within them they would encounter a condition called “failure to thrive”.

Way back in early 2012 we spent several weeks looking at the great truths found in the Beatitudes. And, as you know our current memory Scripture is Matthew 5:6-8 so today we will be taking another look at Matthew 5:6 which says, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled.”

And to get us focused, let’s go ahead and read Matthew 5:1-12

(Prayer for help)

In know this is odd but with today’s sermon we will be starting in the middle of the Beatitudes. In this case it is important to at least make a brief statement about the first three Beatitudes which precede Matthew 5:6.

In Matthew 5:3 it says, “Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of Heaven.”

When it says “poor in spirit” it is not talking about someone who is always depressed; someone who always finds the worst in any situation. Instead, it is talking about a person who realizes their true spiritual position of helplessness outside of Christ. This person knows that they have no righteousness of their own. As it says in the old hymn Rock of Ages, “In my hand no price I bring, simply to Thy cross I cling.”

In Matthew 5:4 it says, “Blessed are those who mourn for they shall be comforted.”

Here the mourner is mourning for the state of their soul. They may be born again and yet still constantly struggling with sin and the attraction that the world had on them before they were saved. They are mourning because they know they are not pleasing in the sight of the Lord and they cannot imagine ever hearing, “Well done, good and faithful servant. (Matthew 25:21)

In Matthew 5:5 it says, “Blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth.”

Here the believer is meek because they know that even though they are saved their actions are still not pleasing in the sight of God and there is nothing they can do on their own to change. They are meek because they know that in every single step of their growth in Christ they are fully dependent on the Holy Spirit for help. And, this dependence leads us to Matthew 5:6 where the “poor in spirit”, “mournful” and “meek” Christian can start to find help.

OK. So, let’s take just the first phrase of this verse …

Matthew 5:6a

“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness ...”

There are three segments we want to take a look at but let’s take them in reverse order, OK?

Matthew 5:6a

“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness ...”


So, let’s look at what righteousness is ….

Righteousness is, “Right standing with God”.

As long as we live in this world can we ever have a right standing with God; can we ever truly be righteous?

No. We can’t. Not on our own. We need help from God for that!

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