Hungry and thirsty for God

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. (Matthew 5:6)

thThis teaching of Jesus is most important for what it doesn’t say. It doesn’t say “Blessed are the righteous.” That’s terribly good news for all of us.

This point is worth making, because many people would have assumed it would say, “Blessed are the righteous.” Righteous people go to church. Holy people are religious people. God blesses people who have their act together. After all, doesn’t the Bible say, “God helps those who help themselves?” (No, it doesn’t.)

God promotes righteousness, but when it comes to you and me, He rewards those who want it, not those who have it, and if they want it, it’s precisely because they know they don’t have it that they want it so badly.

Hungering and thirsting for righteousness tells you two things about the person who is blessed: 1) they aren’t righteous, and 2) they know they aren’t.

You only hunger for what you don’t have. These people God blesses know their sinfulness; they know they are not righteous, just as the Bible says, in them dwells no good thing (Romans 7:18). Still we want it. We want to please God with our whole heart. We are starving for a righteousness we know is beyond our grasp, and guess what, God blesses us with it.

But here is something that is true about all these beatitudes: you don’t just hunger once and then walk through the rest of your life filled; you don’t cry once and then you are comforted; you aren’t meek today and inheriting the earth tomorrow; you aren’t poor in spirit once and then you get heaven from there on out. These attitudes are constant states of being. We will always be hungering and thirsting for righteousness; we live in a constant awareness of our own spiritual need.

Actually, it fits the profile … spiritually impoverished, meek, broken, unrighteous people are the people God blesses. Why? Because they come to God empty and He fills them, day by day, moment by moment.

Heaven is going to be populated with people who don’t think they deserve to be there. Christians are flabbergasted people. The Gospel of Welcome promotes sinners. Believe me, you’ll love this group! Welcome in all those who know their need, and know that God has everything they long for.

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4 Responses to Hungry and thirsty for God

  1. Mark S. says:

    Wow! Thank-you very much Pastor John 4 today’s Catch… I luv it and got a few laughs & Amens over it too.
    I once had a or I should say I once tried to have a discission on Facebook when a gentleman wrote:
    the Bible say, “God helps those who help themselves?” I simular to Pastor John wrote: No, it doesn’t ‘say’ that – in fact if anything I think/believe it reads God helps them, that cannot help themselves – and boy
    oh boy you talk about an up-roar! you’d think i called people bad names….LOL
    One more Amen over this which i find a lot of truth in: Heaven is going to be populated with people
    who don’t think they deserve to be there. “

  2. Peter Leenheer says:

    The one really hard hitting question someone asked me was, “If you were standing in front of Jesus in heaven right now, what would you say to him?” My answer was sometimes I can hardly believe Lord Jesus that your grace is enough for me, and yet it is.

  3. I’ve had to learn how to apply this truth differently than I used to. It may have been my missiturpatation of what I grew up with but my thirst used to be for something unattainable. I would see Christians that had personality that I thought I should be like. Soft spoken gentle believers that try as I might I couldn’t become. I believed the transformation from hunger and thrusting would make me a different person. In some ways it does but I realize now God has to work with who I am. I believe we can become better at our Christianity and our walk but I don’t have to look and act like the motivational speaker the church brought in to inspire me or make me feel guilty.
    My focus has changed to how I treat others almost completely. I am not looking to excuse sin in my life but I have given up on being perfect by some supernatural transformation.
    I am not afraid of letting others meet the real me. faulted, insecure at times in my faith and a little rough around the edges.
    In all of that I pray they also see a guy that loves and accepts with no condemnation the place they are in their spiritual journey. I used to say I wish my Christian friends were as accepting as treated me as nice as my non-christian friends. I don’t think that is as true today as it was 30 years ago. In some ways the church is changing.
    I don’t want to be defined by my shortcomings as a believer but I don’t want to have to pretend like I don’t have them either. In that I feel freedom to hunger and thirst after righteousness.

  4. Pingback: You need Him more than you know « Minkyweasel World

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