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As we follow Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount this week, we read a tremendously powerful statement. This is one that is huge because it shows the struggle that we go through. We read in Matthew 5:6: “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled.”
Dwight L. Moody was a theologian and pastor in the 1800’s. He is remembered for many works within the Christian church to include the foundation of the Moody Bible Institute which is still in operation today in two campuses. There is also a Moody Seminary with two campuses. He started a church, wrote books and preached evangelistically throughout his life. Any serious student of Scripture has come across his work at some time or another. He was a phenomenal man of God, and that is what makes this quote so powerful. He said: “I have had more trouble with myself than with any other man that I have ever met.”
How can a man who has done all of these things for the Kingdom of Christ make this statement? He had a hunger and a thirst for righteousness. He sought it out. It is interesting that Jesus uses this figure of speech for those who desire righteousness. We must have food and water to live. They are the life-giving substances that Jesus equated with the quest for righteousness. Many of us have never tasted true hunger and thirst living in this land, but I think we can understand the point well. Jesus is saying that the ones who seek after righteousness with the same fervor as they seek after the nutrients needed for their life will be blessed.
The difference between a person who is a Christian and one who is not, is not good works. The difference is the humility found before God because of our wretchedness. The one who is not a Christian does not have a standard in which to judge themselves, so they don’t feel they are wretched. The closer one becomes to God the more their sin is revealed to them, and they have an ever-present reminder of their state before God Almighty. Some people think the more you study the Bible the more you become holy, and this can’t be further from the truth. The more we study Scripture the more we see ourselves for who we are and this creates the dependence on God that we are designed to inhabit.
This week when you feel thirsty or hungry remember this verse. Do we search out righteousness like water on a hot day? Do we search out righteousness like hunger after a long night’s sleep? Allow your physical needs this week to be a repetitious reminder that our hunger and thirst for righteousness is blessed by God.
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Matthew 5:6 – “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled.”