Summary: In this world, we, as Christians, eat a whole lot of junk that the world says tastes really good.
One of the biggest challenges as a parent is to get your young child to eat right. They want to eat junk. When your child hits the preteen age, their favorite food is not broccoli but McDonald Chicken nuggets (for some reason all kids love McDonald chicken nuggets). Once again choosing something else over the right foods. And then, when they are in high school, they will select hot chips and a drink out of a vending machine over the balanced cafeteria lunch any day.
You come out of high school, and you don’t start immediately eating all the right things and cast aside all the things that are not the best food choices. My wife, Anne, is 73 years old and to this day, she would rather eat ice cream than a regular meal. So, let’s be honest; it is a struggle for most of us to eat right. And just because it is a struggle, we should not just give up and let the wrong things overtake us; we should challenge ourselves to eat the right things.
In this world, we, as Christians, eat a whole lot of junk that the world says tastes really good. The world puts before us filthy entertainment at the movie house and on our televisions and says to us this is really good and we eat it up. The world puts before us by the internet all types of temptations and says to us sit at the table and enjoy them. The world says drugs are not a problem; they will help you relax and unwind, and Christian people sit at the table and enjoy them.
It is a struggle not to eat all the tempting things the world puts before us and then tells us to come and eat. And just because it is a struggle, we should not just give up and let the wrong things overtake us; we should challenge ourselves to eat the right spiritual things. And that is precisely what Jesus tells us in our passage of Scripture today when he says, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.” Let’s read our Scripture and see what we can discover about our challenges.
Matthew 5:2-11 (NIV)
2 and he began to teach them, saying:
3 "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4 Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
5 Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.
6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.
7 Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.
8 Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
9 Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.
10 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11 "Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me.
THE CHALLENGE TO EAT RIGHT SPIRITUALLY IS THAT NOT EVERYONE FEELS COMPELLED TO DO SO.
6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness
Our Scripture did not say, “Blessed are every Christian because they hunger and thirst for righteousness.” Instead, it says, “Blessed are those.” Jesus says it is a limited group. Does Jesus pick and choose who will hunger and thirst for righteousness? Nowhere in the Scripture do I find that to be the case. When I was saved, and you were saved, we both got the Holy Spirit in His fullness. We both have the same opportunity to hunger and thirst for righteousness.
What I do find is that sometimes a Christian man or woman may long for all this world has to offer, and deaden their spiritual senses to the Holy Spirit that is calling him or her to hunger and thirst after the things of God.
Achan, from our story last week, longed for the gold and artifacts of Jericho after the Israelites laid siege to the city that he deadens his spiritual senses to the Word of God that was spoken through Joshua telling him not to take any objects from Jericho.
And then there was Lot’s wife who turned to look at Sodom and all that she was leaving behind even after the angel of God warned them not to turn and look. She hungered and thirsted for the world, not the things of God.
You may be thinking I don’t hunger and thirst for the things of God. What is going to make me hunger and thirst for righteousness? Let me tell you if you just finished eating a four-course meal, and before you get up from the table, the waiter begins bringing you another four-course meal, you probably are not going to eat it because you are full.