Monday, November 19, 2012

To be filled...

Week 47:

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

To hunger and thirst for righteousness is something I would like to improve in my life. I read the Psalms and see that the writers, especially David, hungered and thirsted for righteousness often. David had a love for the word, the law, and God’s righteousness. That is where I long to be.

I have had spurts where I longed for God’s word and righteousness, and like the verse promises, I have been filled. There are other times where I do not even know what hungering and thirsting for righteousness looks like. I sometimes confuse this with self-righteousness. It does not take long in the midst of self-righteousness to find out that is not what this verse is talking about. When I am in the middle of a self-righteous run in my life, I find myself critical, judgmental, and miserable.  

Throughout the Psalms there are examples of hungering and thirsting for righteousness and the rewards that come with that longing. In Psalm 1; blessed is the man who does not walk in the way of the wicked but delights in God’s law. In Psalm 19 the man who delights in God’s law finds several rewards. In Psalm 37 we are not to envy the wicked but commit to God’s righteousness. Psalm 63 is a beautiful discourse on seeking, thirsting, and longing for God and his righteousness. Psalm 119 is full of language around the love for God’s law and how it fills a man. When I wonder how do I hunger and thirst for righteousness, all I have to do is open the Psalms and read the language of the Psalmists.

Is the example of righteousness only following God’s law? I think it is deeper than that. We are to love the good and do what is right. James 4:17 talks about knowing the good I ought to do. If I do not do it, I sin. Philippians 4:8 says, “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable-if anything is excellent or praiseworthy-think about such things.”

Jesus further expands on righteousness in other teachings. He tells the people to seek first God’s kingdom and his righteousness (Matthew 6:33). In Matthew 5:20, Jesus talks about our righteousness needing to surpass the righteousness of the Pharisees. This brings us back to self-righteousness which is what the Pharisees were practicing. Jesus wants us to follow God’s righteousness.  

To become righteous, we are to follow the standard of God’s righteousness. To hunger and thirst for God’s standard of righteousness is twofold; work on ourselves, and incorporate God’s standards into our everyday lives. We want to be careful that we do not make this a checklist. That is what the Pharisees did. To draw ourselves to hunger and thirst for righteousness I believe we must love the good, love the word, and make righteousness a daily goal in our lives.

As we hunger and thirst for righteousness, God will fill us with His love, His knowledge, and His grace and mercy. We must avoid the checklist and make righteousness a part of us.


1. In what ways have you hungered and thirsted for righteousness?
2. In what ways have you made this goal a checklist?
3. In striving to be righteous, in what ways have you become self-righteous?
4. In what ways has God filled your hunger and thirst?
5. This week, meditate on Philippians 4:8 and see where God fills you.
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