October 05, 2013

An Appetite for God

Matthew 5:5-6

“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.”
—Matthew 5:6


Many of us are hungry for approval. We want our parents to tell us they are proud of us. We want our employer’s stamp of approval on our work. We want our friends to think we are good enough for them. Deep down, this longing for acceptance comes from a longing to be found right in God’s eyes. We are hungry for righteousness.

Sadly, we often try to satisfy our hunger by gorging on junk food. We want approval from others so badly that we’re willing to compromise our convictions. We want to prove ourselves through our job so badly that we burn out on our career, sacrificing our family and our health. We want so badly to be morally acceptable that we build our lives on a system of rules, looking down on others and sinking into despair when even we don’t measure up. These foods cannot satisfy our hunger for true righteousness.

Later in his ministry, Jesus illustrates how he satisfies hungry hearts. “I am the bread of life,” he says. “Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty” (John 6:35).

Jesus offers us his own righteousness, and God credits us with it (even though we don’t deserve it) so that we can enjoy the acceptance and approval we long for. (See Romans 3:21-26; 5:6-11.) Are you feeding on the food that satisfies your deepest longings?

Lord God, thank you for the food you offer us in Christ so that we can be filled and enjoy full life. We love you eternally! Amen.

About the author — Rob Toornstra

Rob Toornstra has served as pastor of Sunnyslope Christian Reformed Church in Salem, Oregon, since 2006. When not busy with pastoral duties, he enjoys spending time with his wife, Amy, and their three children.

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