Summary: Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled
The Beauty of Hunger
1st Secret: Poverty is beautiful.
2nd Secret: Brokenness brings healing.
3rd Secret: Selflessness is rewarding.
a. Conformity to God’s law
b. Moral or personal piety
c. Making things right
d. Being right
Righteousness focuses on the relationship, not the rules!
3 things you yearn for:
“They will eat but not be satisfied.” Hosea 4:9 HCSB
Here’s our dirty little secret: We’re hungry for the wrong stuff.
We’re talking about living a life of supreme happiness. This is what Jesus offers those who follow Him. It’s a state of being. It’s not based on emotion. It’s not based on favorable circumstances. The supreme happiness Jesus lays out here is for those who follow Him and who follow His instructions.
I said this before: if you are a Christ-follower and your life is not marked with supreme happiness, there are some secrets you need to discover. Jesus revealed those secrets in the Sermon on the Mount. The problem is that our own secrets keep us from discovering those secrets.
1ST SECRET: POVERTY IS BEAUTIFUL. Jesus says, “Those who are poor in Spirit will be supremely happy.” To be poor in spirit means that you realize and accept your spiritual bankruptcy. It’s saying, “God, I ain’t got nothin’!” But our own personal secret that keeps us from discovering that secret is that we don’t want to admit that. Denial of our moral bankruptcy keeps us from living this life of supreme happiness.
2ND SECRET: BROKENNESS BRINGS HEALING. Jesus says, “Those who mourn will be comforted.” When I see myself for the wretched sinner that I am, truly see my moral bankruptcy, then brokenness occurs. And brokenness invites God to bring healing to my soul. My secret, my problem is that I instinctively fear the consequences of my sin, so I try to hide it rather than come clean about it. Rick Warren says were only as sick as our secrets. Dealing properly with our hurts, habits, and hangups is critical to a life of supreme happiness.
That’s why I’ve said many times that I wished every one who comes to Rush Creek would be a part of our Celebrate Recovery ministry (LOGO). Every Friday night they gather to help folks like you and me find healing and hope and to sort out these secrets.
Last week Marty discussed the 3rd secret Jesus revealed about this life of supreme happiness: 3RD SECRET: SELFLESSNESS IS REWARDING. The humility we display towards God in the 1st two secrets now finds its way into our relationships. When someone insults us or takes advantage of us, what do we want to do? We want to strike back! But Jesus says: Those who are meek and gentle will inherit great rewards. A couple of months ago, I was pulling off I-20 up here at Bowen and this Lexus kind of cut me off. My observation is that Lexus drivers feel they own the road. So, what did I do? Did I employ this selflessness Jesus speaks of? Heck No! I floorboarded the gas, sped around them and pulled in front of them. Just as I hit my peak speed, a motor cycle cop turned on his little light, pulled me over, and gave me a ticket! I got a reward all right, but it was not what Jesus was talking about. The opposite of meekness and gentleness is selfishness—and it robs us daily of the blessings God has for us.
Now today we turn our attention on the 4th beatitude. Read along with me in your study Bibles. Jesus says, “THOSE WHO HUNGER AND THIRST FOR RIGHTEOUSNESS ARE BLESSED, FOR THEY WILL BE FILLED.” MATTHEW 5:6 HCSB (leave on screen)
Now as you look at this verse what stands out to you? As you are learning to be a self-feeder, you learn to find the key words and phrases in a verse or passage that unlock the meaning. What would be the key phrase here? Righteousness. Everything in this verse centers on that. Those who hunger and thirst for it are filled.
So let’s talk a bit about righteousness. It appears more than 180 times in the New Testament. It appears 40 times in the book of Romans alone. Jesus uses the term 4 times just in this 5th chapter of Matthew. When you think of righteousness, what do you think of? In his book, THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO JESUS (BOOK COVER), Chris Seay sites a survey taken by George Barna. The survey revealed that over 90% of church goers didn’t know what righteousness is. So, let’s take a multiple choice quiz:
RIGHTEOUSNESS: (BUILD THIS SLIDE)
a. CONFORMITY TO GOD’S LAW
b. MORAL OR PERSONAL PIETY
c. MAKING THINGS RIGHT