Hunger and Thirst after Righteousness
1. Spiritual food & drink is more necessary than bodily food - Matt. 4:4; Jno. 6:27.
2. Matt. 5:6 - Jesus challenges our real desire for goodness: "Are you so intensely & sharply pained by your need for true righteousness that you would die unless you get it? Just how badly do you want to be righteous?" (Gospel Of Matthew, Fowler, I:215).
I. WHAT IS THE RIGHTEOUSNESS WE MUST HUNGER & THIRST AFTER?
A. "The Character or Quality of Being Right or Just" (Vine, III:298).
1. Whatever conforms to the revealed will of God - Jno. 16:8, 13 (Psa. 23:3).
2. Whatever is appointed by God to be obeyed by man - Matt. 3:15.
3. Sum total of God's requirements - Matt. 6: 33 (Psa. 119:172).
B. Life of Holiness Before God - 1 Pet. 1:15-16.
1. "Integrity, virtue, purity of life, uprightness, correctness of thinking, feeling & acting" (Thayer, 149).
2. Produces fruit - Prov. 11:30; 21:21.
3. Secures eternal life - 1 Tim. 6:11-12.
II. HUNGERING & THIRSTING AFTER RIGHTEOUSNESS.
-(Present participles, expressing a continuing, constantly-felt longing.)
A. The Priority of Spiritual Things.
1. A full man feels no need to eat or drink (Lk. 6:25). Bitterly dissatisfied with self.
2. Matt. 6:33 - Of first importance to the meek person who, in poorness of spirit, mourns his sin (Matt. 5:3-5).
B. A Preoccupation with Spiritual Life.
1. 1 Pet. 2:2 - As baby instinctively searches for its mother's breast, we are to long for God's word, which sustains our spiritual life. - cf. Jno. 6:35
2. Never have an "I have arrived" attitude (Lk. 18:9-12).
C. A Strong Desire to be Right with God – Psa. 42:1-2; 63:1-6 -- Conform to truth!
III. WHY HUNGER & THIRST AFTER RIGHTEOUSNESS?
-"Shall be filled!"
A. To be Acceptable to God - Acts 10:35.
1. 1 Jno. 2:29 - Begotten of God.
2. 1 Jno. 3:7 - A faith by which God reckons us righteous - Rom. 4:5.
B. Because through Christ we have Died to Sin – 1 Pet. 2:24.
C. To Be Worthy Citizens Of God's Kingdom - Rom. 14:17 (Col. 1:13).
1. When we are consumed with the desire to be righteous we will pursue it in all of life's endeavors!
2. Prov. 11:18-19 - The real value of righteousness is ultimately measured in its reward: Eternal life.
3. Crave it - Long for it - Pursue it (priority, preoccupation, strong desire) - God will satisfy your soul with mercy, honor, hope & eternal life!