D – BEATITUDES – 4
Matt.5:6 As we consider this beatitude we want to reflect on what it is that causes our hunger—righteousness. Simply put, righteousness is rightness. Let us look more deeply into this characteristic for this is a description of what a Christian should be. Eph.4:24
First, God is a righteous God. David declares His righteousness in Ps.35:24,28 God is right in every way and He hates wickedness. Ps.45:6,7 God is addressed as “Righteous God.” Ps.4:1 Jeremiah calls God “the Lord of our Righteousness.” Jer.23:6
God made us in His image but we can never attain His righteousness. Isa.64:6 This is no reason to quit. We need a life of striving to gain righteousness by obedience and faithfulness. 2 Sam.22:21,22 Job reminds us of the new clothes we put on as a Christian. Job 29:14; Col.3:10
We are nothing but starving spirits in the wasteland of the world. The words “hunger” and “thirst” had a real meaning to those listening to Jesus. Even at best the people listening to Jesus would many times be on the brink of starvation as is true in many places of our world today. Water had to be carried to the dwelling place and often the public well was a distance away. Remember the Samaritan woman at the well. These words were a clear picture to those people. There was no snack if a bit hungry or a soda if thirsty.
This is the picture of us in a spiritual way. So many in the world never eat or drink from the Word of God. Jesus is the Bread of Life. Jhn.6:35 When Jesus was being tempted, He answered Satan with these words. Matt.4:4 The Word of God comes from the mouth or breath of God Himself. 2 Tim.3:16,17 Sometimes we are like the student that thinks he can absorb text knowledge by osmosis if he puts the text under his pillow. No, we must not only read, but study the Bible. 2 Tim.2:15
How much do we really want righteousness? Diets of various kinds are used for different physical maladies. Maybe it is less salt or less sugar or maybe it is just less. We become concerned with our physical health. How concerned are we with our spiritual health? Can we go on a diet of less world and more spiritual food? Too often we want a nibble of the Word of God or of church but in reality there is no lasting hunger and thirst that we are able to take on the righteousness of the Lord. 2 Cor.5:21
One bite of some kinds of food requires another bite and another and another. When we partake of spiritual food, it is common to want more and more. Our greatest spiritual food is from the Scriptures but there are also other ways of obtaining this food. We need to be present with others in the faith when they meet together. Heb.10:24,25
Why do support groups help addictions? They encourage one another and stimulate one another to keep fighting the addiction. As Christians come together, we encourage one another to keep fighting Satan. We stimulate one another to love and good deeds. We study the Word together and gain insight and support our memories.
The illustration is often used of a bed of hot coals. They are all red with heat but take one coal out and set it aside. It cools off and looses its usefulness. This is a Christian that leaves the body of Christ and goes alone. His spiritual desire is soon lost. It is so easy to miss one service. It is easier yet to miss the second one and so on. If the saints are meeting together, the question, “Will I go?” should not enter our minds. We hunger to be there and we will be blessed.
Is the Bible precious to you? If we were in a totally dark cave, would a flashlight be of great importance to us? This is the Bible in the world of darkness. Ps.119:105 Peter mentions this light in 2 Pet.1:19 We are told to pay attention. Our darkness in the world is turned to light. 2 Sam.22:29 Job mentions God’s light many times. Job 22:28
As we study God’s Word we need a purpose. This saying is so true—“There are some Christians who can’t be called pilgrims because they never make any progress.” Infants drink milk and then eat baby food. They don’t stay on baby food. There is a difference between vegetables and candy. We need the nourishment that the Bible can give us. Candy might make us grow “out” but won’t keep us healthy. 2 Pet.3:18
It is true that we are babes in Christ when we first become a Christian but we don’t want to stay that way. We get stuck in spiritual infancy. 1 Pet.2:2 We are to grow. Think of a stagnant pond. Nothing comes in and nothing goes out. Heb.5:12-14
As mentioned, it is important that we avail ourselves of every opportunity to learn from classes, sermons, etc. However, most import is our daily study alone with God. Pray for understanding and application of His Word for your life. First read, meditate upon what the Word says for it says what it means, then apply it personally. Don’t just skim the words and think you have read the Bible. Ps.1:2 Put God’s Word in your heart and the heart of your family. Deut.6:6-9 This was accomplished in the life of Timothy as told in 2 Tim.1:5 Just knowing trivia is not enough without application. It has been told that Krushchev could quote large portions of Scripture. His grandmother would give him a piece of candy for every verse he could quote. It did not show in his life.
Josiah found both great repentance and joy when the book of God’s Word was found in the temple. 2 Chron.34:15,31 Let us discover what the Word of God has for our lives as Josiah did—with all our heart. Jer.15:16 To consume the Words of God will begin filling us with righteousness and help us to grow in Christ. Eph.5:2