Summary: part of series on the Beatitudes
HOW TO REALLY BE BLESSED SERIES
A Series of Messages on the Beatitudes
Message #4: BLESSED ARE THEY WHO HUNGER AND THIRST AFTER RIGHTEOUSNESS
I. THE CHARACTER OF THIS APPETITE
A. The Source of Hunger
1. Not a desire for some outward system of religious ritual and rules so you can feel good about yourself (Mat. 5:20)
2. But a desire to have the character and even the person of Christ in you life to the point that you live a live of pursuit of that (see Mat. 6:33)
3. See Romans 10:1-4„³You can have a zeal for God and still miss Him because you have set out to establish your own righteousness and have not submitted to the righteous standards of Christ.
B. The Sense Of Hunger
1. A ¡§gnawing¡¨ feeling that something is missing. You may not be able to identify that it is hunger but you know, nevertheless, that it is there. (e.g.-a baby)
2. A knowledge of what you are experiencing and so you begin to satisfy the hunger with what ever you can but nothing really ¡§hits the spot.¡¨
3. You are hungry, you know it, and you know exactly what it is that you want. Nothing else will satisfy.
C. The Sorting Out Hunger
1. The ¡§fasters¡¨„³totally abstain from nourishment for various reasons
Spiritually„³They simply do not eat or drink.
2. The ¡§dieters¡¨„³only eat certain foods that will keep them from gaining weight; look for sugar-free food items; even go to the point of taking appetite suppressants so they will not be hungry
Spiritually„³don¡¦t want to become too fanatical
3. The ¡§snackers¡¨„³nibble on anything and everything but more often than not, stay hungry; always searching for something else on which to snack
Spiritually„³never lock into a steady diet of God¡¦s Word; chase new doctrines readily
4. The ¡§spoilers¡¨„³enjoy eating the sweets first at a meal or a snack between meals so that when the main course (the most nutritious part) of a meal comes, they are no longer hungry
Spiritually„³let the world ruin their appetite for God; love pleasure more than God
5. The ¡§nibblers¡¨„³very picky when it comes to eating; only eat a good portion of food when it suits them (i.e. it is their favorite)
Spiritually„³only enjoy their personally sugar-coated favorite truths in the Bible
6. The ¡§gobblers¡¨„³eat everything in sight; clean their plates and others people¡¦s plates if they can get away with it; absolutely love ¡§all you can eat¡¨ buffets
Spiritually„³absolutely love God¡¦s Word and growing as a Christian
¡§O taste and see that the Lord is good.¡¨ Psalm 34:8
II. THE CONSEQUENCE OF THIS APPETITE
God says, ¡§You will be filled!¡¨
Here is the picture¡Kyou are placed in the dining room of the largest buffet restaurant in the world and are allowed to continually feast there, day after day after day. The food never runs out and you can eat as often and as much as you want at no charge because the meal was completely paid for by the owner. It is not the idea of eating or drinking to the point that you are so satisfied you never want to eat again. It is the concept of being in a position to continually dine and being totally delighted with everything that is served! Now that is satisfaction!
That is what God wants to do for us. Here is the sad part¡K
I am the Lord they God¡Kopen thy mouth wide, and I will fill it. But my people would not hearken to my voice¡K¡¨
You have as much of God as you want. You are walking with Him as closely and as faithfully as you want to at this very moment. If you do not want to walk with Him tomorrow, He will not force Himself on you. If you do not want to feast at His table this week, it is your choice. You will, however, one day suffer the consequence. ALL CHOICES HAVE CONSEQUENCES. Ignore God now. Ignore Him this week. Go out on the town and party up. Live for the pleasure of the moment. Just remember that ¡§what you sow, you will reap.¡¨ Payday does come. Maybe not tomorrow, but it does come.