When was the last time you were hungry or even thirsty? I mean…really thirsty? Like…I really need a drink of water but you are no where near being able to have a drink. Most of us have the ability to get up, go to our kitchen, grab a glass and fill it with water, or we pull our car through a drive-through and order a super size drink to quench our thirst. Our definition of thirsty is very short lived. We have a need that we can fill immediately. Sometimes we eat because it’s time to eat, not because our body says we are hungry. Do we even know what it means to be hungry?
This week I have been studying the 4th Beatitude that Jesus gave on the Sermon on the Mount. “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be satisfied” Matthew 5:6. It has really made me stop and think about what He is saying to us in this verse. In the past I have read “The Beatitudes” like a list of rules to follow. If I seek righteousness, I will be satisfied. I think the Pharisees thought that too. They knew the law upside and down and even made up new laws on top of the laws just to be even more righteous, but they continued to be unsatisfied. They really thought that they could earn favor and self-righteousness became a reason to pass judgment on to others. They were missing the point. Just like we miss the point of being hungry and thirsty. Do we understand what it means?
I know there are children on the other side of the world that understand it. They go for days without a meal and when they do eat it’s the same rice they had three days prior. There are even children in our own communities that understand hunger. Many of them get their only meal of the day from the school system and when summer comes the fear of how will they eat becomes a real living nightmare.
Fortunately, there are beautiful non-profits and volunteers that work to feed these children in the countries far away and in our communities today. PRAISE GOD! Let’s think about these children being fed. When they eat they understand what it means to be satisfied. They depend on others for their food. Many of them are left as orphans because their parents did not survive the hunger or the epidemic that swept their land, a truly heartbreaking situation that most of us can’t really comprehend. So what does this have to do with Matthew 5:6?
What if we read it in reverse? What if when we are in Christ we are satisfied. We understand that there is nothing more we can do. Satisfaction in the Lord is when we are flat on our face, we are at the end of ourselves. Satisfaction comes when we there is nothing else, no one else to turn to but to Christ. When we need Him, we thirst and hunger for Him. We get on our knees and humble ourselves. We repent of our sin and we seek righteousness and then we are SATISFIED. We are happy in Him! Oh dear friends, there is no where else I want to be then at His feet. He is faithful to satisfy all of His children. No matter how far we have strayed He welcomes us home when we return to Him. There is no sin too big to be forgiven. Jesus hates the sin but oh how He LOVES the sinner. Just this week I was discussing the story of when Jesus forgave the Aulterous Woman in John 8 with my oldest (at Youth last night they studied the same passage and Catherine said she had chill bumps…LOVE LOVE LOVE when this happens). When you have some time check the story out. There is so much love, forgiveness, redemption and grace in this story. The Pharisees brought in a woman that had committed adultery. She was guilty. They wanted to stone her to death and they asked Jesus what he thought. He drew a line in the sand and stood up and said to them, “If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.” No one could throw a stone. Her life was pardoned and they walked away. But don’t miss this important part of the story…Jesus asked the woman, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”She responded with no sir. Jesus says, “Then neither do I condemn you, GO now and leave your life of sin.” There was a command after there was forgiveness and grace. GO and SIN no more! Here’s the thing that we are seeing in our world today. There are a lot of pointing fingers and condemning in our midst. No one can condemn but Christ alone, and Christ ALWAYS forgives when there is repentance and a heart pursuing righteousness. He satisfies us and our life of sin is no longer desired. We recognize our sin for what it is and we stop making excuses for it. We stop diminishing it and we start to live a life sold out in bringing Him glory! That’s the life I want to live. I want to die to self, to the flesh, to the things of this world and I want to live a life sold out for Him. He died so that I might live! He died so that you might live. Let’s start living it well!
Oh how we love you! Thank you for the cross. Thank you for the death of Christ that offered us life. Help us to truly LIVE a life pursuing righteousness and help us to get rid of the sin that easily entangles us. Lord, if we are struggling with a sin that we have yet to see give us eyes to see. Help us not to be stone throwers but to offer love and guidance to the truth that you offer us in your Holy word. Your word is a lamp unto our feet and light unto our path. Help us to pursue righteousness through following it. We love you too and ask all of this in you Son’s most HOLY name! Amen