Friday, July 12, 2013

Hunger and Thirst

Matthew 5:6

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,  for they will be filled.

This is the fourth of the beatitudes from Matthew 5.  Initial reading of the verse makes us think and know how it can be applied.  Our own physical appetites for food when we are hungry and water when we are thirsty, testify to our understanding the Lord in this statement.  He pronounces blessing on us when we actually have a hunger and a thirst for righteousness, along with the promise that we will be filled. 

What does it mean to you, right now, to be hungry and thirsty for righteousness?  In an online article, Carey Kinsolving asked a group of kids that same question. A 6 year-old says it means,  "If you do right, you won't get hungry or thirsty."  Another 10 year-old child sees it like this, "It means that people who want righteousness thirst for it like water."

So I ask again, "What does it mean to you, right now, to be hungry and thirsty for righteousness?"

The question stirs in my mind an old Western movie. The cowboy is walking across the desert, carrying an empty canteen. His water supply is depleted yet he stumbles and crawls through the hot sand in search of water. He is desperate. Nothing will satisfy nor save him unless he finds water immediately. He drags on in his search, using every ounce of strength from his weakened condition to find the water he needs. 

Another way of asking the question, "Have you ever been that thirsty for righteousness?"  Even those of us who have been Christians for years must readily admit we haven't.  We say we want to do right things and want to know God's love and forgiveness, and occasionally will be motivated to share the gospel with others. 

Jesus would have us to know the primary desire of our hearts should center around the righteousness of God, just like a starving man needs food, or our cowboy in the desert needs water.  He wants us to share in an intimate communion with himself and the Father that brings ultimate satisfaction to the souls of men. The body of Christ needs people who recognize this truth and are seriously motivated to seek righteousness. 

And remember the promise, given to those who have this hunger and thirst. It is promised by the Lord himself.  They shall be filled.  That promise excites me. The very idea that we Christians can live out our earthly lives realizing daily the fullness of God and his righteousness, all because we are always hungry and thirsty for more of Him. 


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