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Summary: TODAY WE EXAMINE THE FOURTH OF THE STATEMENTS, CONCERNING HUNGER AND THIRST. THESE ARE VERY DESPERATE STATES IN A PERSON’S LIFE. THIS TAKES US IN A DIFFERENT DIRECTION FROM THE OTHER THREE AS IT ASSUMES A CHANGE IN THE PERSONS SPIRITUAL LIFE.

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THE BLESSED HUNGER

WE ARE CONTINUING OUR THOUGHTS ON JESUS’ TEACHING IN THE BEATITUDES. THE FIRST THREE, THE POOR IN SPIRIT, THOSE WHO MOURN, AND THOSE WHO ARE MEEK, ARE DEALING WITH THE RECOGNITION OF OUR OWN SPIRITUAL CONDITION AND HOW IT SHOULD MAKE US FEEL. IT SHOULD ALWAYS BE NOTED THAT WE ARE NOT LEFT IN ANY OF THESE STATES, BUT THERE IS A WAY OF ESCAPE GIVEN BY OUR LORD.

TODAY WE EXAMINE THE FOURTH OF THE STATEMENTS, CONCERNING HUNGER AND THIRST. THESE ARE VERY DESPERATE STATES IN A PERSON’S LIFE. THIS TAKES US IN A DIFFERENT DIRECTION FROM THE OTHER THREE AS IT ASSUMES A CHANGE IN THE PERSONS SPIRITUAL LIFE.

I CAME ACCROSS THIS STORY OF A MAN WHO IS CRAWLING THROUGH THE SAHARA DESERT WHEN ANOTHER MAN RIDING ON A CAMEL APPROACHED HIM.

“WATER...PLEASE...CAN YOU GIVE ME... SOME WATER?” THE MAN ON THE CAMEL REPLIES, “I’M SORRY. I DON’T HAVE ANY WATER WITH ME. BUT I’D BE DELIGHTED TO SELL YOU A NECKTIE.” THE OTHER MAN RESPONDS, “I DON’T NEED A NECKTIE, I NEED WATER.”

BY NOW THE MAN HAD LOST ALL TRACK OF TIME, AND CRAWLS THROUGH THE DESERT FOR WHAT SEEMS LIKE DAYS. FINALLY, PARCHED WITH THIRST, HIS SKIN PEELING UNDER THE RELENTLESS SUN, HE HAPPENS UPON A RESTAURANT. WITH HIS LAST BIT OF STRENGTH HE STAGGERS TO THE DOOR AND GRABS ON TO THE HEAD WAITER. “WATER....CAN I GET....WATER?” THE WAITER SMILES AND SAYS, “I’M SORRY, SIR. NECKTIES REQUIRED.”

JESUS USES COMMON FEELINGS OF HUNGER AND THIRST TO TEACH HOW A REGENERATE PERSON SHOULD BEHAVE. THE BIBLE USES THESE ANALOGIES SEVERAL TIMES, AND IN FACT WE DO AS WELL. HOW MANY OF US HAVE SAID “I WANTED IT SO BAD I COULD TASTE IT.”

NO ONE WANTS TO BE HUNGRY OR THIRSTY. WE FEEL TERRIBLE WHEN WE SEE THE ADVERTISEMENTS ON T.V. OF STARVING CHILDREN OVERSEAS, AND WE TRY TO DO OUR PART SO THAT CHILDREN ARE NOT HUNGRY HERE.

JESUS WANTS US TO LOOK AT OUR SPIRITUAL APPETITES AND ASK IF THEY ARE BEING FILLED. ARE WE DOING WHAT WE NEED TO DO TO NOURISH OUR SPIRITUAL SOULS.

HUNGER AND THIRST ARE A PART OF OUR LIVES RIGHT FROM THE INFANT STAGE AND THE SAME IS TRUE FOR OUR SPIRITUAL LIVES.

1 PETER 2:2-3:

LIKE NEWBORN BABIES, CRAVE PURE SPIRITUAL MILK, SO THAT BY IT YOU MAY GROW UP IN YOUR SALVATION, 3 NOW THAT YOU HAVE TASTED THAT THE LORD IS GOOD.

NOTE TWO THINGS FROM THIS VERSE, FIRST, WE ARE TO CRAVE SPIRITUAL MILK. I’VE BOTTLE FED MANY BABIES, AND ONE THING I FOUND OUT IS THAT IF YOU GET THAT NIPPLE CLOSE TO THEIR MOUTH, THEY WILL FIND IT. TEASE THEM WITH IT AND THEY GET MAD.

THE SECOND IS THIS, THE REASON THEY LIKE IT IS THAT THEY TRIED IT. THEY’VE TASTED IT AND LIKED IT. FEED A BABY STRAINED VEGETABLES AND STRAINED FRUIT, WHICH ONE DO THEY GO FOR, THE STRAINED FRUIT. YOU CAN’T FEED THEM FAST ENOUGH, THEY LIKE IT. THEY SPIT OUT THE VEGETABLES.

WHAT JESUS IS TELLING THE PEOPLE IS THAT AFTER THEY HAVE REPENTED, THERE SHOULD BE A NOTICEABLE CHANGE IN THEIR LIVES. THERE SHOULD BE A CRAVING FOR THE THINGS OF GOD, TO BE AROUND GOD’S PEOPLE, AN INSATIABLE APPETITE FOR GOD’S WORD, AND TO BE IN PRAYER.

I WANT TO CONSIDER THREE PARTS OF THIS BEATITUDE TODAY:

1. THE REQUIREMENT (HUNGER AND THIRST)

2. THE REASON (FOR RIGHTEOUSNESS)

3. THE REWARD (THEY WILL BE FILLED)

POINT ONE: THE REQUIREMENT (HUNGER AND THIRST)

TO HUNGER AND THIRST AS JESUS IS SPEAKING OF HERE IS TO HAVE A DEEP AND DESPERATE CRAVING FOR SPIRITUAL FOOD AND WATER.

PSALM 42:1-3:

AS THE DEER PANTS FOR STREAMS OF WATER, SO MY SOUL PANTS FOR YOU, MY GOD. 2 MY SOUL THIRSTS FOR GOD, FOR THE LIVING GOD. WHEN CAN I GO AND MEET WITH GOD? 3 MY TEARS HAVE BEEN MY FOOD DAY AND NIGHT, WHILE PEOPLE SAY TO ME ALL DAY LONG,

“WHERE IS YOUR GOD?

THE DESPERATION THE DEER FEELS HERE IS NATURAL. HE NEEDS WATER AND WILL NOT STOP SEARCHING UNTIL HIS NEED IS MET. THE PSALMIST EMPHASIZES THE DESPERATION BY SAYING THAT HE IS IN TEARS OF ANGUISH BECAUSE OF HIS SEARCH.

THAT BURNING DESIRE IS DESCRIBED BY THE MISSIONARY JIM ELLIOTT:

“GOD HAS HEMMED ME IN TO NOTHING, THAT I MAY HAVE NOTHING, DO NOTHING, WANT NOTHING, SAVE HIMSELF”.

THIS DESPERATION IS A NEEDED ASPECT IN OUR SPIRITUAL LIFE AS IT PROVIDES DIRECTION AND PURPOSE. THE MAN WHO IS STARVING TO DEATH DOES NOT WANT SOMETHING TO EAT, AND A NEW SUIT. THE WOMAN WHO IS DYING OF THIRST DOES NOT WANT A DRINK OF WATER AND A NEW CAR.

THE STORY IS TOLD OF A YOUNG MAN WHO CAME TO THE FAMOUS GREEK PHILOSOPHER SOCRATES AND TOLD HIM HE WANTED KNOWLEDGE. THE PHILOSOPHER TOLD THE YOUNG MAN TO FOLLOW HIM. HE LED THE YOUNG MAN TO THE OCEAN AND OUT INTO THE WATER.

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