TODAY'S WORD FOR Thursday, March 07, 2019:
Craving for food; strong desire; urgent need.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness.
KNOWLEDGE AND EXPERIENCE:
We have often heard it said that the world is hungry for the gospel, but if this was true of everyone the whole world would be saved in a very short time. The truth is that the people of the world hunger and thirst, not for righteousness, but to satisfy their lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes, and the pride of life. I John 2:16-17 tells us this. Lust and pride can never be satisfied.
The scripture describes two kinds of righteousness which men hunger and thirst after. One is legal or self-righteousness. This is man’s own vain effort to establish his own righteousness by his own works, the works of the law.
Titus 3:5 tells us that such “law works” cannot save a person from eternal damnation. These “law works” only produce self-righteousness which is, in God’s sight, like filthy rags, according to Isaiah 64:6. Our best efforts are still infected with sin.
The second kind of righteousness is the righteousness of God. Righteousness is what is right by God’s standards.
Romans 10:4 says, “For Christ is the end of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes.” And in Romans 3:22 (NIV), Paul tells us how we are made righteous. “Righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe.” Faith in Jesus alone brings righteousness. Our sins make us unrighteous. Jesus shed His blood on the cross to cleanse us from all our sin. When we trust in Jesus, we exchange our sin for His righteousness.
Our sin was poured into Jesus on the cross. His righteousness is poured into us when we accept Him as our Savior. Only believers who have received God's righteousness will know the blessedness of Salvation which brings peace and joy to one’s life. In this life there is no greater blessing than this.
When Jesus said in the Sermon on the Mount that blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness His meaning was not just a desire for righteousness but a real hunger and starvation of the soul for righteousness. The word that Jesus uses here is translated from the Greek in the accusative case to mean all righteousness. When the word is used in the genitive case it means that a person sometimes feels a little hunger or thirst for a small bit of something. What Jesus says in this Beatitude (Matthew 5:6), is that blessed are they that hunger and thirst for all righteousness, not for little tidbits.
It is important to note that the person who hungers and thirsts to be righteous and to do righteousness shall be blessed. Many just want bits and pieces just enough to make them comfortable. This gives a person false security and leads ultimately to loose living.
You are blessed when you have worked up a good appetite for God. He is the food and drink that satisfies our hunger and thirst for righteousness.
Christ does not say, “Blessed are the righteous,” because no one is righteous. He does say, “Blessed are they who hunger and thirst after righteousness.” Man is born imperfect and has only one hope and that is to seek God who does not want anyone to perish for their unrighteousness but wants to make everyone righteous. That is just what God does and He does this because He loves us.
Righteousness is the only thing that will fill and satisfy man’s innermost needs. And finally, being filled means to be filled with the spirit. In Ephesians 5:18 it says that the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, and peace.
Are you satisfied because you have received a full measure of God’s righteousness or are you still hungry?
Our memory verse for this week is found in Hebrews 11:1.
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
Thank You for giving Your Son to take my sins on Himself to the cross in order to cleanse me of my sin and make me righteous. Keep me hungry and thirsty for Your righteousness. Help me to spend more time reading Your Word and communicating with You so that I may know more and more of Your righteousness in my life.
These Family Devotional thoughts are written by Dr. Ken Phillips, Executive Director of America's Hunger
Solution, and his wife Dottie. Ken has had ministry positions
with The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, World Vision, Youth For Christ, World Opportunities International,
and World Bible Society. He also has consulted for more than 30 Christian ministries in management and stewardship
development. They have published a book called No Problems Only Situations that discusses the journey of their family.
Ken and Dottie have been married for 60 years, and have 6 children, 20 grandchildren, and 3 great grandchildren. Their
second book, TODAY'S WORD, includes 365 daily
devotionals and is now available for only $10.
Ken & Dottie Phillips
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