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  • We are poor in spirit because we understand our total helplessness and dependence on God rescuing us.
  • We mourn because we begin to understand the true nature of sin, it destruction and our potential for it.
  • We are meek because we start to grasp the infinite Holiness of God and any pride or “self’ in our lives melts under the reality.

We can now hunger and thirst for the righteousness:

  • Because God has given us the ability to desire His way
  • In order to distance ourselves from the sin we have become sensitive to
  • and to move us towards the holiness that we have glimpsed in God.

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled.
Matt 5:6

Hungering and thirsting are descriptions of desire. Americans don’t know true desire. Few of us have ever truly starved or lived in destitution. Fewer still have been denied water for any length of time. Our desires are filled quickly and without restraint.

What it is to truly desire something?

  • Hold your breath
  • At some point you will think of nothing else; you will do whatever takes to get a breath
  • It will at some point become all consuming
  • Finally you will become so desperate that there is no possession, no ambition, no habit, no sin…. Nothing, that you won’t give trade for a breath of air.
  • You won’t care about the promotion you didn’t get, the person who offended you yesterday, the lack of money in your bank account, the boring preacher at church or anything other thing at all for that matter
  • That is true desire

Desire = Discipline (action)

True desire is only as real as what you are willing to do, to sacrifice, to suffer in order to get the desired object. We often say we “desire” something; we desire to be a better Christian. But that desire is only as real as what we will actually do to get it. If our desire is like our need for oxygen after holding our breath, then our action (discipline) will follow.

The idea is a continual hungering and thirsting (desire). Present tense. It never ends. We should hunger for greater and greater righteousness.

Notice this Scripture does not say “blessed are those who HAVE righteousness”. The blessing comes from never being satisfied with our present level of righteousness.

A Christian should never think “I’ve arrived”.

Proverbs 16:18 – Pride goes before destruction, And a haughty spirit before a fall.

  • No matter how much you obey, you should thirst for greater obedience.
  • No matter how much you pray, how humble you are or how holy your life is, you should have an insatiable desire to increase in all those areas.
  • No matter how much like Christ we become, it should pale in comparison to what we should desire to become.

That’s not to say we will be frustrated and never satisfied. To the contrary, the very same verse proclaims “For they shall be filled”. It is another beautiful paradox of Christianity. We can never get enough, but God will give us satisfaction.

Psalm 17:15 – As for me, I will see Your face in righteousness; I shall be satisfied when I awake in Your likeness.

Psalm 36:8 – They are abundantly satisfied with the fullness of Your house, And You give them drink from the river of Your pleasures.

God is infinite. His holiness is infinite. His righteousness is infinite. So no matter what level of righteousness we attain, there is still an infinite table to feast at, and infinite fountain to drink from.

This hunger comes chronologically in two parts:

  1. A hunger for salvation
  2. A hunger for sanctification

Our hunger for salvation is satisfied at the moment of conversion. [1] Our spirit is renewed, the Holy Spirit indwells us and from that moment on testifies to us of our right standing before God. We will struggle with the issue of assurance, but that is another study.

From that point until the day we die, we should maintain a growing, insatiable hunger to become more and more like Christ. And we will be filled. Guaranteed.

This is not a hungering for moments of righteousness or parts of our life being righteous; but a longing for the Godly totality of righteousness which we can have in part now, and will be blessed with upon meeting Jesus.

  • Greek: dikaiosuna (justification, “right with God”)

The only REAL source of happiness in this life is
to be right with God, period.

Jesus teaches TRUE happiness in the Beatitudes. His teaching opposes everything we would naturally think would bring happiness.

Psalm 11:7 – For the Lord is righteous, He loves righteousness; His countenance beholds the upright.

Jesus says that until we:

  • Are a poor, helpless, defenseless beggar with no hope but God;
  • Grieve over the horrible nature of sin in general, and especially over what sin has done in our lives, and our potential to sin even more;
  • Are ready to live in humility, not worrying about what’s “fair” or how we’ve been offended, living in supreme holy spirit control;
  • Have a insatiable desire to become more and more holy in our lives; an all consuming, single focus to be more like Christ;

Until we are at this point, we can’t know true, long lasting happiness. But He promises it when we do conform our lives to His teaching.

Scripture teaches us to rejoice in ALL things including sorrow, suffering, trials and persecution. So it stands to say that:

If we are unhappy, somewhere along the way, we have not been holy.

That’s tough to swallow, but true none the less.

How can we tell if we are hungering and thirsting for righteousness?

  • Do you long for God’s word? God’s people? Time with God alone?

    If no, then some soul searching is needed. The most obvious place to start is with how much worldliness are you allowing in your life which chokes out the Spirit in your life? You need to truthfully examine the amount of “world” that you have allowed to take the throne in your life:

    • Movies, music, magazines, Internet
    • Language
    • Recreational activities
    • Work, money, ambition, recognition
    • Lust, pride, greed, strife
    • How do you spend your time? (how much does God get across the board)
  • Are you satisfied with your current level of Godliness, or do you even think about it?

    The question is answered in two parts. First, do you think you’re “not that bad” and just kind of living on spiritual cruise control? If yes, then some open-hearted Bible study on sin and holiness is needed.

    • No matter how holy we become in this life, we are an infinite distance away from perfection.

The second part of this question is not whether we are satisfied with our current state, but whether or not we even think about it at all!

When is the last time you did a spiritual inventory of your life?

When is the last time you even gave any thought to righteousness?

When is the last time you truthfully examined your level of “hunger” for God?

· Are you satisfied by anything but God?

No matter how temporary, do you have to admit the only time you truly feel happy and satisfied is when:

o You have a great period of financial prosperity

o You have a girl friend or boy friend

o You get to buy something new like clothes, a car or a vacation

o You are having “fun”

o You are indulging in sin

If anything of this world brings you joy in place of God, it has become your God.

If God truly has first place in your life, then the joys of “life” are
a true blessing and can be enjoyed, and attributed to God.

If God is not reigning Supreme in your life, then any joy we have from temporal things is counterfeit and will only serve to draw us further away from Him.

· Does the thought of Godliness bring a smile to your face and evoke emotions of love and sweetness in your heart?

Have you ever noticed that those who live in God’s presence just ooze with sweetness, tenderness and peace? They almost ooze love and warmth. They are those people you want to be around all the time because you always leave them feeling good. Are you one of those people? Do you hunger to be that type of person? It comes from righteousness.

· Does your hunger for God ebb and flow with your circumstances?

Some hunger for God when things get tough. Others take control during tough times, but find it easy to “praise God” when everything is going great.

Obviously, both extremes are wrong. Our longing for God should not be dependent on our external circumstances. Quite the opposite, our joy should flow from our hunger for God, completely unaffected by what is happening in our life.

Our hunger and thirst for God in reality has absolutely nothing to do with our lot in life.

A hungry man is interested in food, not material possessions. When you are starving to death you don’t care about a bigger house or a new boat. You want food.

When you’re tongue is swollen and you’re dehydrated because of lack of water, you don’t think about how unfair your boss is, or how somebody offended you. You want water. Period.

That’s true hungering and thirsting for righteousness.

Lesson 5 Notes – Blessed Are The Hungry and Thirsty

  • We are poor in spirit because
  • We mourn because
  • We are meek because

We can now hunger and thirst for the righteousness:

  • Because God has
  • In order to distance ourselves from

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness

.
Matt 5:6

Desire =

True desire is only as real as what you are willing to do, to sacrifice, to suffer in order to get the desired object. We often say we “desire” something; we desire to be a better Christian. But that desire is only as real as what we will actually do to get it. If our desire is like our need for oxygen after holding our breath, then our action (discipline) will follow.

  • No matter how much you obey,
  • No matter how much you pray, how humble you are or how holy your life is, you should

  • No matter how much like Christ we become, it should pale in comparison to

This hunger comes chronologically in two parts:

  1. A hunger for

  2. A hunger for
  • Greek:

The only REAL source of happiness in this life is

If we are unhappy, somewhere along the way,

How can we tell if we are hungering and thirsting for righteousness?

  • Do you long for

  • Are you ___________ with your current level of Godliness, or do you even think about it?

Are you satisfied by ?

· Does the thought of Godliness bring a _______________________ and evoke emotions

of ____________________________________ ?

Does your hunger for God ebb and flow with your ___________________________ ?

Lesson 5 – Group Discussion, Private Contemplation & Application

Group Discussion:

1. Do you have a true hunger and thirst for righteousness?

2. If not, can you pinpoint worldly things that you have allowed, or ignored, that are crowding out your hunger for God?

Private Contemplation:

1. In the private thoughts of your own heart, how much are you allowing your love and enjoyment of sin to choke out your desire for righteousness?

2. Why do you think you still hang on to sinful pleasures, habits and lifestyles? Have you asked God to give you wisdom and reveal to you the true horrible nature of sin?

3. Do you have a superficial desire for righteousness that does not manifest itself in the form of real discipline, action and sacrifice? Why? How do you change it?

Life Application Suggestions:

1. If you do not have a time of regular prayer, commit to spending the first ten minutes of each day this week asking God to instill in you the desire for righteousness and to instill in you the true meaning of it.

2. Besides your spouse, choose one other person in this group and pray each day that God will make these truths REAL in that person’s life.

3. Read Matthew 5:1-12 one time each day this week and spend 5 minutes contemplating and meditating on the words. Ask God to reveal the truth of the words to your heart and mind..

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