Derek Smith, Lead Pastor LHBC
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.
A man is stumbling through the woods totally drunk when he comes upon a preacher baptizing people in the river. The preacher turns around and is almost overcome by the smell of alcohol, whereupon he asks the drunk, “Are you ready to find Jesus?” The drunk answers, “Yes, I am.” So the preacher grabs him and dunks him in the water. He pulls him up and asks the drunk, “Brother, have you found Jesus?” The drunk replies, “No, I haven’t found Jesus.”
The preacher shocked at the answer; dunks him into the water again for a little longer this time. He again pulls him out of the water and asks again, “Have you found Jesus, my brother?” The drunk again answers, “No, I haven’t found Jesus.”
By this time the preacher is at his wits end and dunks the drunk in the water again—but this time holds him down for about 30 seconds and when he begins kicking his arms and legs he pulls him up. The preacher again asks the drunk, “For the love of God, have you found Jesus?”
The drunk wipes his eyes and catches his breath and says to the preacher, “Are you sure this is where he fell in?”
There’s a lot of misunderstandings when it comes to Jesus. In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus addresses some of the these misconceptions, the main one being that the religious leaders of the day had fallen into thinking they could merely keep the law in order to make it into the Kingdom of God. But Jesus debunks this thought at the very beginning of the message when he says that blessed is the person who hungers and thirsts for righteousness.
Hunger and thirst for righteousness, what does that tell us about how to actually be right with God? Notice that Jesus said righteousness is something outside of us. He didn’t say live righteously, he said that blessed is the man who hungers and thirsts for it. In other words, just like food sitting on a plate is outside our body until we partake of it, so too righteousness exists outside of us. Growing up I used to love going to my grandmother’s house because she was such a good cook. She would cook all day long just in preparation for our arrival. We’d walk in and there it was on the table….mashed potatoes, fresh corn on the cob, homemade biscuits, fried chicken, and fresh cooked green beans straight out of the garden. I think Cracker Barrel got all their recipes from my grandmother! Boy oh boy would I eat my weight and then some in that meal!
On the cross of Calvary Jesus served up the meal of righteousness. There is not one righteous person on this earth; never has been and there never will be. Jesus shed His blood on Calvary for our sins and rose victoriously from the dead for our justification. He put righteousness on the table, and it’s up to us to partake of it from Him. We do this by repentance of sin and faith in Him, by truly hungering and thirsting for His righteousness to fill us.
So, are you hungry? Some say they want His righteousness but don’t seem very hungry for it. It’s only those who truly hunger and thirst for God who will be satisfied in Him. He’s put something even more great than fried chicken and mashed potatoes on the table. He bought our salvation with His blood, so pull up a chair and enjoy the righteousness only He can provide.
PRAYER FOR TODAY:
Lord Jesus, thank you for your righteousness. I know that apart from You I am just a broken sinful person, but through Your blood I am made clean and filled with Your holiness. Father, I long for your righteousness. Put a fresh hunger and thirst for You in my heart and soul today. In Jesus name, amen.
MEMORY VERSE OF THE WEEK:
1 Peter 2:9
But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.