November 06, 2006

What's Your Appetite?

1 John 2:1-17

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


What does it mean to "hunger and thirst for righteousness"? We had better understand what righteousness is. John Stott, a minister in the Church of England, gives a helpful definition, observing that righteousness in the Bible has three aspects: legal righteousness, social righteousness, and moral righteousness.

A citizen of the kingdom of God hungers for legal righteousness--that is, to be right with God through faith in Jesus Christ. A citizen of God's kingdom hungers for social righteousness, in which people together aim to do what is right for all, especially in showing care and compassion for hurting and disadvantaged people. A follower of Jesus also thirsts for moral righteousness, learning to live God's way and "to say ?No' to ungodliness" (Titus 2:12).

The people who first listened to Jesus were similar to us in many ways, with many of the same kinds of personal struggles and sorrows. Jesus has come to us all, saying that if we hunger and thirst for righteousness, we will be filled, or satisfied. We all know that when hunger is not satisfied, we starve. And when thirst is not quenched, we die.

So we need to ask, How much do we want righteousness? Do we want it as much as a hungry or thirsty person wants food or water?

Forgive us, Father, for not having our priorities straight and for seeking fulfillment in ways that leave us empty. Thank you for giving us a thirst for righteousness. Amen.

About the author — Jerry Hoytema

Pastor Jerry Hoytema is a retired minister living in Ontario. In his retirement he has served several churches as an interim pastor. He and his wife, Winnie, have four children and 13 grandchildren.

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