~~ a devotional ~~
In His “Sermon on the Mount, Jesus presented a series of “Blessed are . . . ” statements which modern-day theologians reference as “The Beatitudes.” The problem with grouping them together is it tends to discourage the study of each statement individually. If we look at them as separate indicators of desirable characteristics in those who follow Christ, they take on much more meaning.
With the indicator noted above in Matthew 5:6, Christ emphasized the importance of “hungering and thirsting for righteousness” as personal descriptors of a devoted Christian. He also noted: those seeking righteousness to this extent will be filled. In other words, if a follower truly hungers and thirsts for righteousness, time and energy will be spent trying to emulate the example Christ gave us when He was on earth, since everything He did was done in a manner well-pleasing unto God. We see this in Matthew 3, verses 16 and 17:
16 — “And Jesus, when He was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, low, the heavens were opened unto Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon Him.”
17 — “And lo a voice from heaven, saying, ‘This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.'”Matthew 3:16-17 — Holy Bible: New Testament, King James Version (KJV)
Thus, one must first “hunger and thirst after righteousness” in order to be filled. This hungering and thirsting will increase our “searching of the scriptures” which will allow God to “fill our desire for righteousness.” The more we learn from the scriptures, the more we understand of what God wants from those of us who follow Jesus’ commandments.
As newborn Christians, we are to “desire the sincere milk of the word, that we may grow” in likeness to Christ. This growth is how we are filled with God’s righteousness.
1 — “Wherefore, laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings,”
2 — “As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:”1 Peter 2:1-2 — Holy Bible: New Testament, King James Version (KJV)
Peter goes on to say that those who believe and follow Jesus are “the chosen ones;” thus, they shall be filled with righteousness if it is searched and applied. He goes to great lengths in this chapter to describe the differences between those who believe and those who do not believe Jesus Christ is God’s Son.
“But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people: that ye should shew forth the praises of Him who hath called you out of darkness into His marvelous light:”1 Peter 2:9 — Holy Bible: New Testament, King James Version (KJV)
In searching the scriptures, if we hunger and thirst after God’s righteousness, we will learn how emulating Christ’s actions and attitudes, while He was on earth, will satiate us and increase those behaviors in us. Thus, we “shall be filled,” and we shall become more like Christ as we continue to grow and live for Him.
Jesus Christ is the perfect example of God’s righteousness.
Photo Above: by permission from Benjamin South @facebook.com.
Eds. Bible Gateway. (1993). Matthew 5:6. “Holy Bible: New Testament, King James Version (KJV).” biblegateway.com. (15 February 2022). https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew%205%3A6&version=KJV.
Eds. King James Bible Online. (November 2007). Matthew 3:16-17. “Holy Bible: New Testament, King James Version (KJV).” U.S. Congress. (15 February 2022). https://www.kingjamesbibleonline.org/Matthew-Chapter-3/.
Eds. King James Bible Online. (November 2007). 1 Peter 2:1-2; 2:9. “Holy Bible: New Testament, King James Version (KJV).” U.S. Congress. (15 February 2022). https://www.kingjamesbibleonline.org/1-Peter-Chapter-2/.