Blessed are the Hungry and Thirsty

The Sermon on the Mount  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Blessed are the Hungry and Thirsty
Text: Matthew 5:1–11 (KJV 1900)
And seeing the multitudes, he went up into a mountain: and when he was set, his disciples came unto him: 2 And he opened his mouth, and taught them, saying,
3 Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4 Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.
5 Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.
6 Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.
7 Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.
8 Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.
9 Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.
10 Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11 Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.
Illustration of looking for satisfaction in all the wrong places
* Each Sunday I have reminded you that this first sermon that Jesus preached, called the Sermon on the Mount, is a step by step description of How the Holy Spirit causes a man to enter the Kingdom of God.
* Once again we see in this 4th beatitude first of all a continuation of the work of Grace by the Holy Spirit in the Heart of the believer.
* In the first beatitude we dealt with the work of the Holy Spirit in humbling the soul of a man before the presence of a Holy God.
* We saw how the Holy Spirit overcomes a man’s natural pride and gives a man the humility to see himself spiritually in the position of bankrupt beggar, totally dependent upon God.
3 Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
* In the second beatitude we dealt with how the Holy Spirit brings sorrow to the heart of a man over his own sin against God.
4 Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.
* In the third beatitude that we dealt with last Sunday, we talked about how that the Holy Spirit moves us to abandon the power to live our lives in our own strength, and abandon our efforts to direct our own future.
* The Holy Spirit moves us to totally depend on the Sovereign Power of God, and the Sovereign will of God.
5 Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.
* Now this morning we come to the 4th beatitude:
6 Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.
* This morning we will discuss the continuing work of Grace in the life of every believer as the Holy Spirit of God places in the heart of every born again Christian a deep and never ending hunger and thirst for the righteousness of God.
* The prophet, and king, David said in Psalm 42:1-2:
Psalm 42:1-2 (KJV 1900)
1 As the hart panteth after the water brooks, So panteth my soul after thee, O God. 2 My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God:
When shall I come and appear before God?
* The Holy Spirit of God placed in the heart of David a great thirst to know and experience God.
* By the work of Holy Spirit, David also knew that it was by desiring righteousness in his own soul, that He would experience God.
* God had said in His word, be ye Holy as I am holy.
* In Psalm 17:15 David said:
Psalm 17:14–15 (KJV 1900)
15 As for me, I will behold thy face in righteousness: I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with thy likeness.
* If you have been truly saved this morning, the Holy Spirit of God is right now working in you, like David, to cause you to hunger and thirst after God.
* It is my hope this morning that you will see that Jesus taught that truly happy people hunger and thirst after righteousness.
* Each and every one of us this morning are controlled by our desires.
* Solomon said in the book of Ecclesiastes:
Ecclesiastes 6:7–9 (KJV 1900)
7 All the labour of man is for his mouth, and yet the appetite is not filled…
9 Better is the sight of the eyes than the wandering of the desire: this is also vanity and vexation of spirit.
* Solomon knew that everybody is searching for something. Everybody desires something that will make them happy.
* Jesus knew that those people who were gathered together that day on the mountain to hear Him preach desired to hear him say something that would bring them happiness, and Jesus did not disappoint them!
* Jesus knew that salvation was the only thing that can bring a person true and lasting happiness!
* So Jesus preached a sermon with each point beginning with the words “blessed are, or Happy are those who…”
* Just like Solomon said:
7 All the labour of man is for his mouth, and yet the appetite is not filled…
* People are everywhere searching for something to bring them happiness, but they are not being filled- they are not being satisfied- they are not finding happiness- because they are searching in all the wrong places.
* When Jesus walked upon this earth he saw crowded streets filled with people everywhere, throngs of people were running to and fro like the proverbial “chicken with his head cut off,” vexing themselves perusing happiness, but never being satisfied.
* Knowing this, the Bible says in verse one that Jesus opened His mouth and said: and the fourth saying He said was:
6 Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.
I. This first thing I want you to see from our test this morning is that people are searching for what will make them happy.
* Firs this morning I want you to understand that everybody is searching for something that will make them happy.
* I remember, as a 17 year old boy, coming to an alter in a little church like this one, and telling God that I was tired of living my life my way. It was all messed up, and I was not happy.
* I told God that I would live for Him if He would give me true happiness in life. Since that very day, I have lived for Him, and he has given me that “Peace that passes all understanding.”
* Since that day, my happiness has been in seeking God and His righteousness.
* Many people in the Bible thought they would be satisfied if they could just get what they wanted in life.
A. I think of Lucifer who thought power would satisfy:
* Lucifer was God's most glorious creation. But Lucifer had a prideful ambition.
* Lucifer thought that if He could only have the Power that God had, he would be truly happy.
* Isaiah 14:13-14 says of Lucifer:
"Thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north, I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the Most High."
* Lucifer's ambition was to be like God—Lucifer hungered and thirsted after power, but he learned that power does not satisfy.
* God's response to Lucifer was, "Thou shalt be brought down to sheol, to the sides of the pit" (v. 15).
B. I think of King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon, who thought praise would satisfy and bring true happiness:
* Nebuchadnezzar was the king of Babylon, the greatest of all the world's empires.
* He ruled over a vast number of people and was one of the most powerful kings who ever lived.
* Daniel 4:30 says, "The king spoke, and said, Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for the house of the kingdom by the might of my power, and for the honor of my majesty?"
* Nebuchadnezzar hungered and thirsted after the praise of men, but He learned that the praise of me does not satisfy.
* Nebuchadnezzar praised himself and God punished him:
"While the word was in the king's mouth, there fell a voice from heaven, saying, O King Nebuchadnezzar, to thee it is spoken, The kingdom is departed from thee. And they shall drive thee from men, and thy dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field; they shall make thee to eat grass like oxen, and seven times shall pass over thee, until thou know that the Most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will" (vv. 31-32).
C. I think of the rich fool that Jesus spoke of, who thought that possessions could satisfy his soul and bring true happiness:
* In Luke 12:17-19 the fool says to himself:
"What shall I do, because I have no place to bestow my crops? And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my crops and my goods.
And I will say to my soul, Soul thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease. Eat, drink, and be merry."
* This foolish man, like most others in our modern society here in America, thought that If he had plenty of possessions, he would be truly happy.
* The rich fool thirsted and hungered after possessions, but he learned that possessions do not satisfy.
* God said to this man that he was a “fool” for thinking that possessions could satisfy and bring him happiness.
"Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee; then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided?" (v. 20).
* Lucifer, Nebuchadnezzar, and the rich fool in Luke 12 were all hungry for the wrong things.
* What they thought would satisfy, did not satisfy them, or make them happy- their worldly desires only brought them dissatisfaction, unhappiness, and sorrow.
II. The second thing I want you to see from our test is that people are searching for what will satisfy, but Jesus said they were searching in the wrong places.
* Jesus taught that happiness comes from the inside, not from the external things of the world.
* Jesus taught the people that day as they sat there on the side of the mountain, that the true happiness, (not the counterfeit happiness that the world offers), is a spiritual matter, and can only come from God.
* In our text in Matthew 5:6 Jesus says:
"Blessed are they who do hunger and thirst after righteousness; for they shall be filled."
* Just as food and water are physical necessities, righteousness is a spiritual necessity.
* That is why Jesus said on another occasion:
John 6:32–35 (KJV 1900)
32 Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Moses gave you not that bread from heaven; but my Father giveth you the true bread from heaven.
33 For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world.
34 Then said they unto him, Lord, evermore give us this bread. 35 And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.
* A little further down in this same chapter, John 6, Jesus also said:
John 6:56–58 (KJV 1900)
56 He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him.
57 As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me.
58 This is that bread which came down from heaven: not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead: he that eateth of this bread shall live for ever.
* So how do we “eat the flesh, and “drink the blood” of Jesus? What did Jesus mean when he said this? He gave the explanation a few verses above in verse 47:
John 6:47–48 (KJV 1900)
47 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life. 48 I am that bread of life.
* Sometimes we miss what Jesus was teaching by doing the miracle of the feeding of the 5000.
* The story starts out with the words of his disciples:
Mark 8:4 (KJV 1900)
4 And his disciples answered him, From whence can a man satisfy these men with bread here in the wilderness?
* Jesus, in feeding the 5000, was teaching that God was able to satisfy, Jesus was teaching that God was able to fill, all those who desired to enter into the Kingdom of God.
* It isn't wrong to hunger or thirst physically--those are normal desires.
* Jesus was teaching in our text that, just as food and water are physical necessities, righteousness is a spiritual necessity.
* The same is true in the spiritual realm. In Matthew 5:6 Jesus is saying:
"Anyone coming into My Kingdom has as great an appetite for righteousness as he does for food and water."
* Jesus was saying “Why feed the body but starve the soul?”
* Unsaved people have ambitions. They hunger and thirst for happiness but they search for it in the wrong places.
* The Apostle Peter compares the unsaved to a dog who licks up his own vomit and to a pig that wallows in mire (2 Pet. 2:22).
* When the prodigal son needed food, he was eating hog food! (Luke 15:16).
* How many people in this life are out in the world this morning trying to satisfy themselves with the “hog food” of this world!
* According to Isaiah 55:2, Man seeks "that which is not bread" (Isa. 55:2)—
* He doesn't seek the bread of life. Jesus offered Himself as that bread of that that could ultimately satisfy men’s desires in (John 6:35).
* Jesus knew the hunger and thirst of men and women.
* Jesus knew that the heart of every person in the world--believer or unbeliever--was created with a hunger for God.
* In Jeremiah 2:13 God says "My people have committed two evils: they have forsaken me, the fountain of living waters, and hewed out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water."
* God made man with a thirst for Him, but man refuses the well of living water.
* It's was saddening for Jesus to see all those people attempting to meet their internal, spiritual hunger and thirst with the things of th world that cannot satisfy!
* Our society chases after all the wrong things for happiness: money, possessions, fame, and pleasure.
* The United States Declaration of Independence says the right to pursue happiness is unalienable, but most people can't find lasting and true happiness because they looking for it in the wrong place.
* They needed fulfillment and meaning in their lives but they seek to fill themselves with worldly pleasures, possessions, power, and praise.
* The prodigal son thought pleasure, possessions, and popularity would fulfill his needs.
* But his soul was still hungry and he finally had the sense to say to himself:
"How many of my father's hired servants have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger!" (Luke 15:17).
* The prodigal son returned to his father's house and was given a feast (a picture of salvation).
* The world's "food" of riotous living tries to meet the soul's hunger with the pleasures of sin but send it away starving.
* Those who respond to the Spirit of God come running to the Father and are given a feast that fills the hungry soul.
* First John 2:15-16 says:
"Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world [such as] the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life."
* As we study Matthew 5:6 you need to ask yourself, what am I hungry for?
* Do I seek fulfillment in power, praise, possessions, or pleasure? Am I, like the prodigal son, feeding myself on the husks that swine eat (Luke 15:16)?
* Am I like the dog who licks his vomit or the pig that wallows in mire (2 Pet. 2:22)?
* Or am feeding on the real source of happiness- Jesus Christ!
* The answer you give will indicate whether you are in Christ's kingdom or not.
III. Now the third thing I want you to see is that Jesus taught them that if they would seek after righteousness, they would be satisfied:
* A promise accompanies each beatitude:
"theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (v. 3)
"they shall be comforted" (v. 4)
"they shall inherit the earth" (v. 5)
"they shall be filled" (v. 6).
* The world is working like mad to gain material things, but Jesus preached that day on the mountain that if they would come into God's kingdom on His terms, they would ultimately gain all that life has to offer.
* Jesus said taught the way to fulfillment and happiness was to seek the righteousness of God:
Matthew 6:33 (KJV 1900)
33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
IV. Some people try to find satisfaction in religion.
* One day Jesus sat by a well with a woman and offered to her something that would satisfy her.
John 4:13–14 (KJV 1900)
13 Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again: 14 But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst;
but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.
* The woman immediately told Jesus that he was trusting in here religion to satisfy her. Jesus then explained to here that religion would not get here into the kingdom of Heaven.
* Jesus explained to her that she could enter into the kingdom of God by the works of religion, it was a free gift:
John 4:10 (KJV 1900)
10 Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water.
* The Jewish people at the time of Jesus' earthly ministry worked hard to bring the kingdom to earth by their religious activities.
* They wanted to inherit the earth and were trying to fill their empty lives with meaning by religion.
* They tried to satisfy their lives with religion, but Jesus taught them that trying to find satisfaction in life through being religions is looking for happiness in the wrong place.
* The Jewish people that were listening to Jesus preach that day on the mountain thought that because they were Jews, children of Abraham. They were full of their own self-righteousness.
* They thought that they were automatically entitled to the kingdom of God because they were children of Abraham.
* Jesus taught them that religion is nothing more than man trying to find satisfaction through their own righteousness.
* Our text says that in order to be filled, or satisfied, we must seek the “righteousness of God.”
* Listen to the words Jesus taught in Matthew 6:
Matthew 6:31–33 (KJV 1900)
31 Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? 32 (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.
33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
* The apostle Paul said in Romans 14:17:
Romans 14:17 (KJV 1900)
17 For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.
* Do you hunger and thirst after the righteousness of God this morning?
* Are you driven to seek God in his Word each day?
* Are you moved by your heart to spend time with God in prayer each day?
* As believers, we must have a time when we can get away from the things of this world and allow time to hunger and thirst for God!
* It is there, in solitude with God, as we read the Bible and in our prayer closet, that we will find true happiness and fulfillment in our lives.
* Have you been running a little low in the happiness tank this week?
* The remedy is to take some alone time with God and hunger and thirst for Him- Jesus said you will be filled.
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