Summary: From the Sermon on the Mount series, it deals with the 4th beatitude. It takes a look at all the wrong places people look to find satisfaction, along with the secret of satisfaction that comes out of God's word. A satisfied life is a life lived for Christ
The Sermon on the Mount
“Living A Satisfied Life”
Watching commercials gives some insight into how Jesus taught lessons in His day. Advertisers pay millions of dollars to put their slogans and images before us, because they know it works. They know that if they can get their slogan or image into our heads it’ll influence our choices. It’s called buying real estate in the mind.
Madison Avenue actually has a two-part plan to accomplish this strategy. First they make the suggestion that our world is incomplete without their product. Second they give that same image over and over again, to where we believe that the idea to buy their product comes from our own thoughts.
Jesus understood the power of an image connected to an idea because He created us. When you think about it, one of the most powerful images over the past two millenniums is the cross.
Jesus used such images in His teachings, like a mustard see, a lamp on a lampstand, a city set upon a hill, a hidden pearl, a lost coin, and to hunger and thirst. These are powerful images that reveal ideas Jesus wanted to get across about His purpose.
This idea and image of hunger and thirst is what drives us to McDonalds or a restaurant. It’s an image we face everyday. Through this image Jesus is teaching us the secret of a healthy spiritual life, which begins with a passion, a hunger and thirst for God.
This is at the heart of our next, or the fourth beatitude.
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled.” (Matthew 5:6 NKJV)
You may be thinking, “Dennis, this talks about a hunger and a thirst for righteousness, not God.” And that’s good; we should always make sure that what’s said matches the Scriptures. To hunger and thirst for righteousness is to hunger and thirst for God, because only God is righteous. And it’s only through our relationship with God that we can be righteous.
And so what we need is a spiritual appetite for God.
The words, “hunger” and “thirst” mean to be famished, and to greatly long for something. So to hunger and thirst for God isn’t taking a bite and a sip, rather it’s consuming everything that is of God. It’s a craving after God to put Him first.
We could then paraphrase this beatitude saying,
“Blessed are those who want all there is of God. They’re not satisfied with a little blessing, but want God to be their everything and the center of their lives.”
There remains inside everyone a hunger and thirst for God. It’s what the Psalmist brings out in Psalm 42.
“As the deer pants for the water brooks, so pants my soul for You, O God.” (Psalm 42:1 NKJV)
Augustine said, “Out hearts are restless ‘till we find our rest in Thee.”
C.S. Lewis says that we all have within us this “God-shaped hole.”
Today we say, “My life is empty,” “I’m bored and restless,” or “Something’s missing in my life.” It’s what I cried out saying, “There’s got to be more to life than this?”
People are no longer satisfied because they’re looking for satisfaction in all the wrong places.
1. Look for Satisfaction in Pleasure
This is seen in what it’s tied to, and that’s the word, “if,” “If I could just.” And we attach to it everything that we think we want and desire. But the Bible says,
“All things are full of labor; man cannot express it. The eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor the ear filled with hearing.” (Ecclesiastes 1:8 NKJV)
Advertisers thrive on this hunger for happiness. They give us slogans like, “The taste that satisfies.” But if this were true we’d only eat one Lays potato chip, or drink just one cup of coffee.
How many of us go to the kitchen open the refrigerator door and just stand there looking? We’re hungry but we don’t know what we want. So we end up snacking because we never get our hunger satisfied.
People are like that in their spiritual lives. They know they’re hungry and thirsty for God but end up snacking on anything religious or spiritual. Or they fill their lives up with what are unsatisfying, that is, alcohol, drugs, gambling, and sexual immorality.
In short they’re looking for spiritual satisfaction through worldly means.
2. Look for Satisfaction in Performance
“What do people get for all the toil and anxious striving with which they labor under the sun? All their days their work is grief and pain; even at night their minds do not rest.” (Ecclesiastes 2:22-23 NIV)
There’s a myth that says success will bring satisfaction. But it’s a myth, because after the thrill of winning comes the emptiness of fading glory. You see they can’t keep it going, age and competition catches up with us all.