Blessed: a study of the beatitudes: Blessed are those who Hunger and Thirst
In the Beatitudes, Jesus pronounced a blessing upon people whose goal is righteousness: “God blesses those who hunger and thirst for justice, for they will be satisfied.” (Matthew 5:6). He didn’t say, “God blesses those who hunger and thirst for justice, for they will be satisfied.” Nor did He say, “Blessed are those who have a desire for righteousness, for they will get to their heart’s desire.” Rather, He spoke in everyday terms regarding intense hunger. We are not simply to seek righteousness or have righteousness as a goal; we are to hunger and thirst after righteousness.
Something to talk about:
- Remind myself how much God loves me: If you don’t feel loved by God, you’ll struggle to show love to others. Loving people is easy when you understand and remember the way God loves you. Every day, you need to remind yourself what God thinks about you—not what the world thinks or what you think about yourself. When you remember that you are accepted, loved, forgiven, and valuable to the Creator of the universe, you will be better equipped to show love to others. The more you understand how much God loves you, the more you’re going to love Him. The Bible says in Ephesians 3:18-19, “May you have the power to understand . . . how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.”
- Stop filling up on junk food: You are a spiritual being with a God-shaped hole in you and only God can fill that hole in your heart. When you try to fill it with salary or status or success or passion, possession, position, power, prestige, or anything other than God it’s not going to be fulfilling. Proverbs 15:14 says, “A wise person is hungry for truth while the fool feeds on trash.” So what are you hungry for? Because whatever you’re hungry for is determining the destiny of your life. If you’re just hungry to go play golf it’s not a big enough hunger to satisfy you. If you’re just hungry to go make another deal, it’s not enough to satisfy you. Go ask Solomon. You need to hunger and thirst after God, to be right with God, and to live right with God.
- Make knowing God my number one goal: Happiness is a byproduct of knowing God. Jesus says in Matthew 6:33, “Seek first God’s kingdom and what God wants. Then all your other needs will be met as well” (NCV). This is how you maintain a spiritual hunger. You make knowing God your number one goal in life. Not success. Not happiness. Happiness is a byproduct of knowing God. And you go read the Psalms, where David says, “God, I really want to know you!” And how passionate David is about knowing God. He says I long for you, God. I thirst for you, God. I hunger for you, God. I beg I plead, I cry out. I must have you, God. Psalm 63, “O God, I earnestly seek you; my soul thirsts for you, my body longs for you, (as I) travel through this parched and weary desert where there is no water!” In Matthew 6:33 Jesus said this: “Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need..
- Get into God’s word every day: The Bible is food for your soul. The Bible uses metaphors, saying you can’t live without … “Man shall not live by bread alone but by every Word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.” Jesus said. Eating a meal once a week won’t keep you healthy. You need to feed on the truth every day. In the same way, you need to feed on God’s Word every day. “You must crave pure spiritual milk so that you will grow into a full experience of salvation. Cry out for this nourishment.” (1 Peter 2:2 )
- When you hear the word righteousness, what do you think of? From your perspective, how does a person become righteous or unrighteous?
- Righteousness is both a relationship and a lifestyle. It is being in the right relationship with God. What can you do this week to remove any obstacles limiting your relationship with Him?
- How does the way God thinks about you change the way you think about yourself?
- How do you show others that they are valuable to you?
- Based on what you talk about most, what would people say is most important to you? How do you need to re-prioritize your life so that getting to know God better is your number one priority?
- To grow, you need to commit to spending time in God’s Word every day. What are the biggest distractions that keep you from studying the Bible every day? Are those things more important to you than growing spiritually?
- What does it mean to meditate on God’s Word?
- Knowing God should be our number one goal. Therefore we need to crave knowing Him like a baby craves milk. What is meant in this verse by “fullness of your salvation?” What happens to our spiritual health and our relationship with God if we neglect nourishing ourselves spiritually?
- What part of the message resonated with you? What would you do differently this week as a result of this week’s sermon?
Take one thing home with you:
What does it mean to be righteous? How do we become righteous? Does it mean simply “being good?” Or maybe it refers to being excessively “religious”- whatever that means. In fact, the true definition refers to being made right with God. The only way for this to happen is to acknowledge our own sinfulness and repent by trusting Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior.
In other words, when we begin to follow Christ, He begins to change the lifestyle we’ve been living. This is the beginning of righteousness. Not because of anything that we’ve done ourselves, but because of what Christ did for us. Righteousness is maintained by trusting in Jesus day by day and by obeying God’s word and will for our lives.