Listen To Most Current
Grace Notes Archive
January 2022 (3)
December 2021 (5)
November 2021 (4)
October 2021 (5)
September 2021 (4)
August 2021 (4)
July 2021 (6)
June 2021 (4)
May 2021 (5)
April 2021 (4)
March 2021 (5)
February 2021 (4)
January 2021 (5)
December 2020 (4)
November 2020 (4)
October 2020 (5)
September 2020 (4)
August 2020 (5)
July 2020 (21)
June 2020 (29)
May 2020 (28)
April 2020 (31)
March 2020 (5)
February 2020 (4)
January 2020 (5)
December 2019 (5)
November 2019 (3)
October 2019 (5)
September 2019 (4)
August 2019 (5)
July 2019 (4)
June 2019 (5)
May 2019 (4)
April 2019 (4)
March 2019 (4)
February 2019 (6)
January 2019 (4)
December 2018 (4)
November 2018 (5)
October 2018 (4)
September 2018 (4)
August 2018 (4)
July 2018 (3)
June 2018 (4)
May 2018 (4)
April 2018 (4)
March 2018 (4)
February 2018 (5)
January 2018 (4)
December 2017 (4)
November 2017 (5)
October 2017 (4)
September 2017 (5)
August 2017 (4)
July 2017 (4)
June 2017 (5)
May 2017 (4)
April 2017 (5)
March 2017 (3)
February 2017 (4)
January 2017 (3)
December 2016 (5)
November 2016 (4)
October 2016 (4)
September 2016 (5)
August 2016 (3)
July 2016 (4)
June 2016 (5)
May 2016 (4)
April 2016 (5)
March 2016 (4)
February 2016 (4)
January 2016 (5)
December 2015 (4)
November 2015 (4)
October 2015 (3)
September 2015 (4)
August 2015 (5)
July 2015 (5)
June 2015 (4)
May 2015 (5)
April 2015 (2)
March 2015 (4)
February 2015 (4)
January 2015 (5)
December 2014 (4)
November 2014 (5)
October 2014 (4)
September 2014 (4)
August 2014 (4)
July 2014 (5)
June 2014 (4)
May 2014 (5)
April 2014 (4)
March 2014 (4)
February 2014 (4)
January 2014 (5)
December 2013 (4)
November 2013 (5)
October 2013 (4)
September 2013 (4)
August 2013 (5)
July 2013 (4)
June 2013 (3)
May 2013 (5)
April 2013 (4)
March 2013 (4)
February 2013 (5)
January 2013 (4)
December 2012 (4)
November 2012 (5)
October 2012 (4)
September 2012 (4)
August 2012 (5)
July 2012 (4)
June 2012 (4)
May 2012 (5)
April 2012 (4)
March 2012 (5)
February 2012 (4)
January 2012 (4)
December 2011 (5)
November 2011 (4)
October 2011 (4)
September 2011 (5)
August 2011 (4)
July 2011 (4)
June 2011 (5)
May 2011 (4)
April 2011 (5)
March 2011 (4)
February 2011 (4)
January 2011 (5)
December 2010 (4)
November 2010 (4)
October 2010 (4)
September 2010 (5)
August 2010 (4)
July 2010 (6)
June 2010 (4)
May 2010 (4)
April 2010 (4)
March 2010 (5)
February 2010 (4)
January 2010 (5)
December 2009 (5)
November 2009 (3)
October 2009 (6)
September 2009 (3)
August 2009 (5)
July 2009 (4)
June 2009 (4)
May 2009 (5)
April 2009 (4)
March 2009 (4)
February 2009 (4)
January 2009 (5)
December 2008 (4)
November 2008 (5)
October 2008 (4)
September 2008 (5)
August 2008 (4)
July 2008 (3)
June 2008 (4)
May 2008 (5)
April 2008 (4)
March 2008 (5)
February 2008 (1)
Grace Notes

Current Articles | Categories | Search | Syndication

DO YOU HUNGER AND THIRST?
by Philip Owen

            Have you ever considered the wording of the fourth Beatitude? It reads like this: “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied” (Matt. 5:6). We would probably agree that it goes almost without saying that those who are righteous are blessed. But the pronouncement here from Christ says something a little different. Yes, it is beyond question a blessing to find oneself in a standing of righteousness before God. Nothing else is of any import until that issue is settled, until we know that our sins have been placed under the blood of Jesus Christ, until we have been forgiven and redeemed, and we know that God has imputed the righteousness of Christ to us.

            But what the Lord appears to be saying in our text is that what has just been described in the preceding paragraph is just the beginning of blessing. A real believer can never be fully satisfied having had his sins forgiven. Salvation creates in the believer new appetites. Whereas once we were content with not getting caught in our sin, with staying out of trouble with the various authorities in our lives and avoiding the unpleasant consequences of our sins, or with being thought to be a pretty good person by those who knew us—if that conception didn’t cause us too much effort—when we were delivered from sin through Christ, we discovered a new desire, a longing for righteousness. Righteousness ceased to be an unachievable goal or an inconvenient imposition on our true ambitions; instead it became an attractive goal to be enthusiastically pursued. And like physical hunger and thirst, which can be satisfied only with genuine nutrition, nothing satisfies that spiritual longing but living in thought, word, and deed in a manner that pleases God.

            One of the defining characteristics of anyone who is saved will be a continuing desire for righteousness, a desire that will never be fully assuaged until we are glorified. The more we exercise righteousness, the more we will desire it. Just as physical exercise creates an appetite for food and more exercise creates a greater appetite, so it is in the spiritual realm: believers experience an increasing desire for righteousness.

            Paul described the phenomenon this way: “Not that I . . . have already become perfect, but I press on [compare: “hunger and thirst”] so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus” (Phil. 3:12). Christ had “laid hold” of Paul for the purpose of delivering him from sin and making him righteous as Christ is righteous. Paul desired to be ready to meet the Lord whenever He returned: “one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize [compare: “blessed”] of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (vv. 13, 14).

            And just prior to these remarks Paul had prayed, “that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death” (v. 10). Paul had an insatiable desire to do what pleased His Savior and Lord. And what pleases the Lord is a very good working definition of practical righteousness. In similar fashion, the writer of Hebrews offers this benediction: “Now the God of peace . . . equip you in every good thing to do His will, working in us that which is pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen” (13:20, 21).

            So how is your appetite, believer? Do you hunger and thirst for righteousness? If you were to make a list of the primary objectives in your life, would living righteously head the list? Would it make the list? We who have known the saving grace of God should cultivate hunger for righteousness. Not only is it right to do so, not only have we been saved for that purpose, not only will it honor the Lord, but the Lord promises that the desire for righteousness will be satisfied. And He further pronounces that the person who has such a desire is blessed of the Lord.

Actions: E-mail | Permalink

Previous Page | Next Page