Are You Hungry?

When my family traveled to visit my grandparents, we would hardly get in the door with our suitcases before Grandma would ask, “Are you hungry?” She lived to feed people. And if anyone ever left her house hungry, it would be of no fault but their own.

In His Sermon on the Mount, Jesus took Grandma’s concern for our bellies and made an important spiritual point. The fourth Beatitude says that those who “hunger and thirst for righteousness” are blessed, because they will be filled (Matthew 5:6)

There is an unfortunate number of Christians who do not believe that righteousness is possible, and, dare I say, a number who do not even think it is desirable. Kingdom people, though, are characterized by a primal yearning – a hunger, a thirst – for righteousness. 

God has called His people from the dawn of the Old Covenant to “be holy, for I am holy”.  But the Law, Paul tells us, was powerless to make one righteous (Romans 8:2-11).  So Christ came to establish a New Covenant, whereby we are no longer under obligation to sin. 

The good news of the Kingdom to people who hunger and thirst for righteousness is, you will be filled!  Paul prayed, “Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you (make you holy) entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be kept complete without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Thessalonians 5:23, NASB). So there’s the goal – sanctified holy and kept complete and without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus. But it’s unattainable, right? No! Paul continues: “Faithful is He who calls you, and He also will do it” (v.24).

So righteousness is commanded. Righteousness has been made possible. The question is: Do we even want it?  You have to need righteousness like you need sustenance.  Jesus says, if you pursue righteousness like one who is starving or parched, you are blessed, because you will be satisfied.

All my lifelong, I had panted for a drop from some cool spring,
That I hoped would quench the yearning of the thirst I felt within.

Feeding on the husks around me till my strength was almost gone,
Longed my soul for something better, only still to hunger on. 

But hallelujah! I have found Him whom my soul so long has craved.
Jesus satisfies my longing – through His blood I now am saved. 

(“Satisfied”, by Clara Tear Williams)

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled!

~ Matt Kinnell, NHIM Board Chair


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s