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Hunger and Thirst for Righteousness

Salem Baptist Church / Pastor Kivett Hicks
The Truth Network Radio
September 12, 2021 6:00 am

Hunger and Thirst for Righteousness

Salem Baptist Church / Pastor Kivett Hicks

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Owner message that your Bibles and turn to Matthew chapter 5 Matthew chapter 5 this morning to continue to were almost halfway done with our miniseries here in the Matthew chapter 5. Looking at the Beatitudes is when Jesus started preaching the sermon on the mount any any startup I talk about what it looks like to be happy and we talked about is are going through this that blessed you see the word pop up over and over again.

Blessed means happy.

It means congratulations to today really get to a beatitude that I think will be fairly easy for you to remember moving forward from this point let's look at Matthew chapter 5 in verse six. Here's what it says blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied this morning to talk about here this morning. Now I want you to to remember as we talked about this all Scott very brief recap we work through these several beatitude so far and and really is.

Were talking about this this word blessed does mean happy and means congratulations to for whatever it is that that being talked about there. It is not so much that a special favor has been done to a person. It's more that as a result of them being meek or being poor in spirit, or mourning over sin is one of the ones we talked about more than those things are producing in them an attitude of satisfaction and of fulfillment in Jesus is not like were happy because we hunger and thirst, or is not like were happy because we mourn were happy because our hunger and thirst and mourning and other things is for something that is good is for something that is right to his Jesus approaches the sermon on the mount.

He jumps in here and he present some ideas to the people that are listening to their but really honestly.

Contrary to anything that they would've ever heard before, or expected from him. He's presenting.

I use this phrase a couple times. It's almost like he's presenting an upside down kingdom. As time goes on, the people working to be expecting Jesus more more to step up and be this military leader and redeem them from the hand of Rome, but is not to do that.

He's presenting something completely different that they never ever expected to the source teaching here in space. Working on helping them understand what it means to be happy and to be ultimately fulfilled in life today as we talk about this. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied to talk about that. It's another part of this upside down kingdom that that Jesus is presenting a told you it will just a few moments ago and I was when I was sharing that I said you were in this cosmic battle between Satan and God and us to continue until God one day ultimately redeems the world and he defeats Satan. Jesus will defeat Satan forever. If you chapter 2 is clear that Satan is the ruler of this world right now he is the one who is bringing about all this evil and all of this difficulty that we see around us. When Jesus comes on the scene, he starts presenting some stuff that really sounds weird and and and and honestly stuff it doesn't automatically make sense right away, but it's the full picture starts to come about in Jesus life starts to unfold. We understand more more about what Jesus is talking about. What is it mean to hunger and thirst are so the words are there there blessed and blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness against what is it mean to hunger and thirst if you think about the famine. Good thing about family for a moment the famine is a time in which there is not food. Others not rain is not water for people to drink one of the first examples of famine in the Bible is Joseph where he's there in Egypt and his brothers and his dad come to him because is there an famine there anything to eat and that the whole story in itself.

When I get into today. But that's an example of the famine.

People are hungry they were there starving you move on up in them and and the fact that John MacArthur is reading this past week. John MacArthur talks about the famine that took place in years, or 36 BC and it was it was in Rome and it was brutal.

In fact, people were throwing themselves into the Tigris River to kill themselves so they have to die of starvation. The new e-book even even after Jesus and as technology has gotten better and better and we start to see these just a better way of growing things there still famines it take place all throughout. Maybe Africa and in other places we understand famine because we not because we've experienced it because we seen it and we read about it. It's how it is being hungry is being thirsty for food. One of the things that is really a lesson in life or out-of-court part of life is that we all crave something at any point were craving something something to fill us up something to fill the hole that we are that we have wethers in our stomachs or in our lives. The question is what are we to be used to satisfy our craving. If you think of you. If you speak from a very, very physical standpoint for Molokai thing about just just try to fill your belly up a couple of different things that are not coupled with a lot of different things that you can put in your belly to feed yourself. There's good things and bad things about bad things are from a known owner to share with you some of my favorite bad things cannot do that like little Debbie. This is the greatest Little Debbie snack of all time. A nutty buddy anybody else with me and that okay good.

I'm so proud of you guys, but this one right here.

This little Debbie. It comes really close to it. Okay is the big honeybun from little Debbie that the little honeybun but is the big honeybun that one comes really, really close to it as well that's that's that's him that's that's right appear on the list and then you got into. Hopefully every person's favorite candy receive thing with a peanut butter and chocolate here you have a nutty buddy death that they butter and chocolate about this one. The world's best cookie. I get very many respondent anybody else know: so it states that is the double stuffed Oreo okay if you can't see it's a double stuffed Oreo now were getting there little bit more. Thank you very much. I feel a bit better about myself but then if you need something to drink. It is the sheer one now. This one has been drunk something out Thursday sitting on there a few minutes ago and have a water bottle with me so I just pulled up sheer one you might've heard and that really quiet moment. The biosphere that is a few minutes ago. But listen, here's the deal. If I were to if I would eat these things then there good in the moment our day they satisfy me in that moment, but only good for me. Now they're not healers going know they're not what it's about, some good food shows on this picture. Only thing see it or not, but that is a state from Ruth's Chris steakhouse back several months ago.

Nothing is made for a birthday or could honor what was that the staff got together and they got me a gift card for Ruth's Chris steakhouse and that was the steak that I ate there. Now listen if you want to give me a good meal you put steak and potatoes in front of me and I'm happy as I can be.

You notice there's no green on that flight anywhere out eat the grain sometimes, but if I have a choice.

I'll just take that steak and those potatoes and I'm happy as I can make now in the steak I've got protein. I'm pretty sure that somewhere in all that is some some vitamins and minerals in and nutrients that I need right. I hope anyway junkfood good food essay. You may disagree. You may say the cell is a good food, but words will say that this is a good food right here junkfood and good food.

Here's the deal. You can choose what you feel yourself with the problem is one of those is just is not good for you.

It's this the kind of thing that it fills you up in the moment, but it is not meant in any way to be a lasting healthy food it's meant to eat it and then you want another one and anyone another one and they want another one is what is meant for to get some meat and potatoes, vegetables, things like thatů Different is there to help you not just survive but to thrive. Now the problem that I often have and I'm sure I'm not alone in this is that the more junk food I eat, the more my body craves the junkfood. I'd rather have a nutty buddy than a plate of vegetables. After a while my body feels dehydrated. I'd rather drink the cheer want to drink the water. I want a pop tart for breakfast, rather than the serial. That's a great source of vitamins and that that my body needs.

We all hunger and thirst for something something this good field avoid something this good to stop the craving.

Even if it's just for a little while our Swiss moving the physical to the spiritual here. Okay, what is Jesus saying we should be hungering and thirsting for righteousness.

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness that Jesus doesn't tell these people to hunger and thirst for some kind of physical food to occur belonging in their souls okay. He tells them to hunger and thirst for righteousness is Jesus preaching the sermon in just a few moments from from when he says this about Blessed are those who Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness in just a few moments he's gonna start talking about those earthly needs affecting your Bibles, or could go to Matthew chapter 6 is one page over right reread three verse 25 Jesus says therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life what you eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on.

Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing. The birds of the air, they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly father feeds them.

Are you not of more value than they in which one of you being anxious by being anxious can add a single hour to a span of life. Why are you anxious about clothing.

Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow, they neither toil nor spin. God tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of the but if God clothes so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you. Oh you of little faith. Therefore, do not be anxious, saying, what shall we eat or what shall we drink, or what shall we wear for the Gentiles seek after all these things in your heavenly Father knows that you need them all this get this seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness and all these things will be added to you therefore not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

What Jesus is saying there is what's vastly more important than worrying about the needs in our physical body has is the needs that our spiritual body seek first his kingdom and his righteousness and all these other things going thing here of S&S is the same thing. Jesus says right here in this beatitude. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied that we can search for fulfillment in the things of this world game, the junkfood junkfood thing about that way or we can find fulfillment in righteousness.

The good food. The junkfood is anything besides the righteousness of Jesus that we turn to trying to find some kind of satisfaction, but not always bad things sometimes there are bad things, but there are always bad things, but they sure the best things up couple years ago I had done at some meetings somewhere and I had to leave really early in the morning and fly to this place and other flew back the next morning but I left home early and I was really tired so I stopped and got a couple coffee can drink a cup of coffee on the way to the airport so even as is going to TSA and all that are on the plane. I drink more coffee because you know they give you free coffee.

There I said I seriously doubt is free. April is like a $25 charge inside your ticket for the free coffee.

But anyway I drink the coffee then at some meetings that morning lunchtime, I was still kind of groggy so I drank some Pepsi for lunch.

Then I went to the afternoon had supper and I drink a good oh sweet tea for supper and then that night I get ready to bed and I'm feeling horrible I mean I'm just feeling horrible to figure out why musk on a blog or something. The next morning I got up early and Oma weights all the way home and I drink more coffee because this is what you do when you're tied to do in the morning to drink more coffee and sit on the plane and you know I'm feeling bad and I start thinking that any water whatsoever since the night before I left home. That's why I'm feeling bad, so start sucking down water and over time it didn't take too long and started feeling better and better and better as I drink more water and and got some more rest. Listen.

Righteousness can be thought of like that water we can try to be satisfied with all kinds of things but only righteousness is going to truly satisfy us and give us what we need. Righteousness is that key ingredient to a satisfied life. We say that again righteousness is that key ingredient to a satisfied life. The problem is that we oftentimes rather fill ourselves up with with new toys with with sex with work with food with with things in general that are not necessarily bad by themselves but when we use those things to satisfy our souls. They fall short.

They just don't add up. They don't make it they can't do it. Only Jesus and his righteousness can do that in the Bible you got three different types of righteousness you have legal righteousness, yet social righteousness, and you have moral righteousness, and I will talk about each one of these briefly okay first all legal righteousness is a right relationship with God. It's a right relationship with God. It's it's justification is being declared righteous by God. I included on the screen. Therefore, your Romans chapter 9 verses 30 through chapter 10 verse four known encourage you to go back later and and read that passage and study it for yourself but in essence what Paul's talking about.

There is that he's the outlines how the Jews in the Old Testament look for righteousness from God, but they looked in all the wrong places they thought they could achieve righteousness with God by being good people who do good things. But Paul says they missed the mark. They didn't understand that you cannot receive or you cannot achieve righteousness on your own. It only comes from God. They were highly religious, but they did have a relationship.

True legal righteousness only comes from God. It can be work for it can't be earned. It has to be a free gift. The good news is that through Jesus. The gift of free gift of legal righteousness is freely available God's righteousness is Jesus himself. Soon a person repents of their sin and they declare that Jesus is Lord of their lives. They find salvation through Jesus. So now when God looks at that person. He doesn't look at them and see the sin that they commit or the sinner that they are. He sees Jesus righteousness added to their account and he sees them as perfect and his child in his eyes.

That's legal righteousness it's a right standing with God.

The Christian now that they are God's child has rights as heirs of the most high God, because this legal righteousness.

There is children is also social righteousness were legal righteousness, is that right standing with God. Social righteousness is the right standing with other people. Okay. John Stott is an incredible pastor and author theologian in his book on phone. The sermon on the mount with.

He's writing about this. He has this to say about social righteousness is a social righteousness. As we learn from the law and the prophets is concerned with seeking humanity's liberation from oppression together with the promotion of civil rights responsible care for the planet justice and the law courts integrity in business dealings and honor in home and family affairs. Christians are committed to hunger for righteousness and the whole human community as something pleasing to a righteous God you were honest, we we would say that we don't really talk about social righteousness all that much of May were afraid that were to be considered as a social justice warrior or something like that. But God has a whole lot to say about social righteousness Psalm 89 verse 14 righteousness and justice are the foundation of your throne this is Osama speaking to God's steadfast love and faithfulness go before you.

Isaiah 117. This is God speaking. He says learn to do good, seek justice, correct oppression bring justice to the fatherless, plead the widows calls Micah 68. He is told, you old man what is good and what is the Lord require of you but to do justice, to love kindness and to walk humbly with your God. Luke chapter 11 verse 42. Know this is Jesus is the New Testament. Okay, this is Jesus teaching and he says woe to you Pharisees for you tithe mint and rue and every herb and neglect justice and the love of God, these you ought to have done without neglecting the others usually say anything. Listen Pharisees, you keep the law all the way down to the to the T okay you do everything that you're supposed to even take the urgent you get for cooking and you separated sites.

This 10% goes to God.

Great job. Good job but you missed out on one of the most important things seeking justice seeking what God has to say, the love of God you neglect these things he says these you ought to have done without neglecting the others to yet still do the other things but man, you should done this a right legal standing with God should translate into a right social standing with other people when that relationship with God is where it ought to be Christian lesson are standing with other people should be where it's supposed to be. That means that we seek out those who are ostracized by the world we care for the widows and the orphans. We seek righteousness and justice for everyone. Why because the righteousness that God has shown us and given us so we can earn his favorable because we arty have his favor. That's why we do. So there's legal, social, righteousness is also moral righteousness is moral righteousness moral righteousness has to do with the heart of a person. It's who they are and who they are, then translates into what they do moral Christian righteousness is a genuine heart that seeks to do what is right, the correct action comes from the correct heart Christian is being actively transformed into the image of Jesus. We seek to do what is right, as Jesus did what what is right. He is our example. He's the one we look to as a human role model. There's a difference between the person who is genuinely seeking to do what is right and a heart that is sold out to Jesus and a person who is just putting on as if there a moral person but the really not here you go to church your entire life and seem to be a generally moral person and yet Jesus can't stand you because you're nothing but a fake Revelation chapter 3 the re-long as we is up on the screen, Jesus speaking is writing these letters to these churches in excess of the angel of the church at Laodicea right the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of God's creation. He says I know your works are neither hot nor cold. Would that you are either hot or cold. So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold.

I will spit you out of my mouth for what you say I am rich, I have prospered. I need nothing, not realizing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind and naked. I counsel you need to do.

I counsel you to buy from me gold refined by fire, the legit be the real thing so that you may be rich and white garments, that you make close your self and the shame of your nakedness may not be seen and salve to anoint your eyes so that you may see to those to whom I like to make those whom I love, I reprove and discipline to be zealous and repent. Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me. The one who conquers I will grant him to sit with me on my throne, as I also conquered and sat down with my father on his throne was the church. You can fool a lot of people, but you cannot fool Jesus.

If your righteousness is just a mask that you put on to cover up the nastiness of your heart. Jesus knows and he's the only one who matters, who cares if other people know who you really are. If Jesus knows that's all that matters. The cold person is talking about. Here's one who cares nothing for Jesus righteousness. Okay, they don't care about spiritual things at all. The hot person is one who is on fire for Jesus.

They are burning with passion for Jesus to think about that thing about the man on the road to Emmaus this after Jesus has died and as far as they know Jesus is still dead. Actually, Jesus is risen from the dead, and he shows up to them and he walks with them from Jerusalem to Emmaus and they just taught religious things they talk about what just happened. Jesus death.

They don't know this is Jesus after they get to where they're going and are staying for the night. And Jesus reveals himself to them what happens. Jesus disappears but then they said did not. Our hearts burn within us when we were talking with him, they knew that they had been with Jesus.

Something was different about this man and his set them on fire with it it it all back to Jerusalem to tell people Jesus is alive, hot persons. One is on fire for the Lord. They long to hear from him. They long to be a part of what he's doing and want nothing more than a little righteous life they hunger, they first for righteousness. Lukewarm person is the one who is a form of godliness than I should have the real thing.

Many of them come to church. They sing the songs, sometimes even leave feeling refreshed. All that was nice. They haven't truly hunger and thirst after God and his righteousness was under the want to complain because they're not feeling fit enough by the church. The claim to be mature Christians. Yet they take no action to spiritually feed themselves church is more socially encouraged gathering of like-minded people than a chance to experience the powerfully manifest presence of God for so many so-called Christians. There's no longing. There's no hungering. There's no thirsting, there's no craving for righteousness. Many people make a profession of faith. At some point in their lives within it's been years since they long to experience God to live in the center of his righteousness to know him in a real way fescue today and and maybe you are that lukewarm Christian. Or maybe you're just cold as you can be and he wanted nothing to do with God the Holy Spirit suck on your heart and what you do well the first step to two getting help for problem is admitting you have a problem right to tell God he already knows. He knows exactly where you're at.

He knows exactly the state of your heart he knows your actions.

He knows everything there is to know about you, he already knows of just telling just this is who I am.

The nephew telling asking to change your heart and jump into his word and surround yourself with other Christians who can care who can encourage you listen you always, always either moving toward God or you're moving away from God. You are never staying the same. It's always one of the other you moving towards God or will run a returning or you're moving away from God and listen, you don't always have to be sprinting towards God. Sometimes the greatest moments of of fulfillment in my life is not taken as baby steps towards God, Gotto have all the answers, what I'm doing that I need help from Anna's baby steps are awesome fescue today than encourage you to go towards him and here's the promise that he gives back to Matthew 56 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, here's the promise, for they shall be satisfied. They shall be satisfied when you seek the kingdom of God and his righteousness, you will be satisfied.

This will really won't end of the day. That's really what we want would be satisfied and Jesus is the only one who can do that but we won't be satisfied through Jesus until we pursue righteousness because where there is sin. God is not allowed. That's us saying God, you're not allowed here in this place right legal standing with God. Right social standing with other people and right moral standing in our lives don't remember anything else today. I hope you remember that righteousness is right, legal standing with God.

Right social standing with other people and right moral standing in the way that we live our lives.

Jesus promises that when we pursue righteousness, we will be satisfied. Much of what Jesus has to say in in the sermon on the Mount has very clear ties to the book of Revelation as we go through this will see that more and more as we go.

And in Revelation, we see, the culmination of God's plan all comes together. While Christians are on this earth, we are going to hunger and thirst for physical food. Hunger and thirst for righteousness of spiritual food. Did you know that there's coming a day in which we won't have to hunger and thirst anymore. Revelation chapter 7 verse 16 and 17 says this and talk about eternity future for Christians. It says they shall hunger no more leader thirst anymore.

The sun shall not strike them, nor any scorching heat for the Lamb in the midst of the throne will be their shepherd, and he will guide them to springs of living water, and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes and hope we talked about earlier that some to hold onto that. Something to hold onto your here today and there's never been a time in your life in which he accepted Jesus as your Savior. We realize that you are a center and gave your life to him that today can be that day. John 316 says for God so loved the world that he gave his only son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have everlasting life, and you can have everlasting life. Today, if you've never step in your relationship with him. Come talk to me after the service and I'll be happy to sit down God's word and show you what it looks like or see another Christian that may be brought you here to this morning. Or maybe you pointed out our live stream or video online so that you could see but may today be the day that you accept Jesus as your Savior and Christian lesson. Let's pursue.

Let's hunger. Let's thirst for righteousness, and less find satisfaction father, thank you for this picture that Jesus left for us this very clear promise. Blessed are those who hunger and fruit and thirst for righteousness in the middle of this very difficult world that we live in. All we can be satisfied for the may we find our satisfaction in you is your the only one who will ultimately fulfill fatherly love you. Thank you for loving us in Jesus name I pray, amen

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