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To begin 2020 we are starting off on Sundays with “The Way to Happiness”. 

Everyone wants to be happy, and the New Testament is the greatest authority on happiness.

Jesus gives is the key that will unlock the door to happiness.

This key is found in the eight Beatitudes.

Did you know the word “Blessed” is sometimes translated as “Happy”.

Today is part 4 Hunger and Thirst, The Way to Happiness.

Text

Matthew 5:6 (ESV)

6 “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.

Scripture Reading

Matthew 5:1-6

Prayer

Father, provide us with Holy hunger and thirst for righteousness. 

Remove our lust for lesser things and create pure hearts within us, receive all we have in the name of our saviour Jesus Christ.

Amen.

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No two people are exactly alike.

Nor have they ever been or will be.

We are different from each other in so many ways.

Different finger prints, eye, hair, and skin colours, different heritage, intelligence levels, and personalities, and don’t forget different heights and weights..

But we are all alike in the fact that we hunger and thirst.

Jesus, in His usual manner of simplifying things that were complicated, used this common demonstration to express the truth of the fourth way to happiness.

“Blessed (happy) are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied (filled).

Its a strange statement to make.

How could hunger and thirst make a person happy?

Jesus explained that the right type of hunger and thirst leads to happiness.

Jesus was actually asking, “How much do you want righteousness? As much as a hungry person wants food? As much as a thirsty person wants water?”

Then He asserted that if you truly hunger and thirst for righteousness, you will be blessed, or happy.

But why?

Because Hunger and thirst are the way to happiness.

  1. Because of the things they suggest.

What do the words Hunger and thirst suggest?

Depending on your viewpoint they could suggest agony and pain.

But Jesus looks on the bright side of hunger and thirst. 

These words suggest four positive things, Life, Health, Growth, and enjoyment.

  1. Life, as soon as all babies enter the world, they hunger and thirst for one reason, they are alive!

And as soon as you are born into God’s kingdom, you begin to hunger and thirst for righteousness. Peter said in 1 Peter 2:2 2 Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation.

The moment we stop drinking we are dead.

If we do not hunger or thirst for righteousness , maybe we have no life!

But where there is hunger, an inner yearning for more, you can know that you have the life Christ came to give.

And this life always brings happiness

B. Health. A Christian who insists on attending church every week, who looks forward to bible study, and who always offers a helping hand to those in need has good spiritual health.

A Christian who lives to worship with other believers, who has an appetite for Bible reading and study, and who just cant get enough of God will always receive a good report from the great physician on his or her spiritual checkup.

Those who are spiritually healthy are happy.

C. Growth. To hunger and thirst for righteousness means to eat well spiritually.

When we regularly feast on nourishment from God, we grow.

As we grow, we hunger and thirst for the deeper, or meatier, things of God.

The church in Corinth experienced delayed spiritual growth because they remained satisfied with the milk of God’s word and developed no appetite for the meats of His word.

Therefore Paul wrote to them in, 1 Corinthians 3:1-2 (ESV)

Divisions in the Church

3 But I, brothers, could not address you as spiritual people, but as people of the flesh, as infants in Christ. 

2 I fed you with milk, not solid food, for you were not ready for it. And even now you are not yet ready,

D. Enjoyment. Maybe we all could eat more as children. 

Eating was and still is something to be enjoyed.

But a healthy appetite is essential to enjoying a good meal. If we aren’t hungry for the food we won’t get the same pleasure from it.

Those who hunger for righteousness enjoy feasting on God’s Word.

They enjoy Christian worship, prayer, and fellowship.

As they satisfy their appetites, they will experience happiness.

2. Because of the lessons they teach.

When you are hungry or thirsty, you can learn a number of things that you might never learn otherwise.

If lost in a desert, you might learn to retrieve water from the few plants around, or find wild berries.

Likewise, hunger and thirst for righteousness can teach us many lessons.

  1. Things cannot fully satisfy.

Jesus said in Matthew 4:4 (ESV)

4 But he answered, “It is written, “‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”

Do you remember King Midas who had such a hunger for gold that he wished that everything he touched would turn to gold?

One day his wish was granted.

All he touched turned to gold, his furniture, dinnerware, clothes, everything!

And it was all so great until his little girl came running home.

When he reached out to touch her, she also turned to gold.

It was then that King Midas realised that things alone cannot fully satisfy.

As Jesus said in Luke 12:15 (ESV)

15 And he said to them, “Take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.”

B. God alone meets our total needs.

Psalm 42:1-2 (ESV) says

Why Are You Cast Down, O My Soul?

42 As a deer pants for flowing streams, so pants my soul for you, O God.

2 My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I come and appear before God?

God has placed an insatiable hunger and thirst for Him inside each of us.

When Philip said in John 14:8 (ESV)

“Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.”

He voiced a longing that is as old as humankind.

3. Because of the desired they create.

Just what is this righteousness we are supposed to hunger and thirst for?

It is more than judicial justice or a rigid code of conduct.

It is nothing less than goodness.

  1. The desire for personal goodness.

Paul said that he desired to do what is good, but he could not carry it out in Romans 7:18.

He realised that he was not all he wanted to be.

But we know that if we desire personal goodness, our heavenly Father will give us power to do what is right.

I am glad that Jesus didn’t say that only those who are righteous would be blessed.

Instead, He said that those who hunger and thirst (desire) to be righteous are blessed.

When the desire for personal goodness saturates us, happiness becomes a reality.

B. The desire to do good to others.

Micah 6:8 (ESV)

8 He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?

When we have a sincere desire to do good to others, we become generous in our remarks about and to others.

We go that little bit further for the people we come into contact with.

After a while we begin to question our motive  and ask ourselves “ are we doing good to others simply because it brings happiness to us, or because we want to benefit others?”

Either way, doing good to others is a very happy way to live.

C. The desire to know God.

Who alone is really good?

Lets look at Luke 18:19 (ESV)

19 And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone.

Some desires degrade or, when satisfied, destroy.

But the desire to know God edifies and instills happiness.

No-one is happier than those who hunger and thirst to know God more and who satisfy the hunger daily by reading God’s word, praying, and serving Him.

4. Because of the satisfaction they obtain.

Jesus promised that the who hunger and thirst  after righteousness “shall be filled”. or satisfied.

But what satisfaction does this hunger and thirst bring?

  1. The satisfaction of experiencing goodness in this life.

Psalm 23:1-2 (ESV)

The Lord Is My Shepherd

23:1 The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.

2 He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters.

Then Psalm 23:5-6 (ESV)

5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies, you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.

6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

B. The satisfaction of entering into complete goodness in the life to come.

Those who hunger will eat, and those who thirst shall drink.

Both will be satisfied.

This is a promise with out qualification.

Conclusion.

Do you hunger and thirst for more than this world offers?

Jesus said in John 7:37-38 (ESV)

Rivers of Living Water

37 On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and cried out, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. 

38 Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’”

Are you hungry and thirsty?

There is room for you at His banquet table today.

Until next time

Stay in the Blessings

I really want to encourage you to be diligent with your Bible study time, because God has so much more for us than we can get from just going to church once or twice a week and hearing someone else talk about the Word.

When you spend time with God, your life will change in amazing ways, because God is a Redeemer.

Theres nothing thats too hard for Him, and He can make you whole, spirit, soul and body!

You’re important to God, and you’re important to us at www.refinerylife.org

When it comes to prayer, we believe that God wants to meet your needs and reveal His promises to you.

So whatever you’re concerned about and need prayer for we want to be here for you! Or even if you just want to say Hi, you can contact us

2020 IS A YEAR OF CLARITY

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