A Fervent Desire to Acquire Righteousness

April 4, 2017

A Fervent Desire to Acquire Righteousness

Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled”

(Matthew 5:6).

When we acquire what we desire we are satisfied. That is what the word “filled” means in this verse. After eating a good meal we are satisfied. Some of us eat more than we should, but that is just because the food still tastes good. When we have enough food in our stomach our desire is turned off. It will be back again after a few hours.

Unfortunately, some people have inordinate desires. They aren’t seeking after that which is legitimate or good for them. Parents have to teach their children to eat, and then what to eat. If they are allowed to choose their food preferences they may just eat sweets. God also wants to teach his children to seek after what is good for them.

Some people set their hearts on reaching a goal in life, but after reaching the goal the glory starts to fade away. An author may spend a year or more writing a book in hopes that it will be a number one best seller. Even if he achieves his goal, the book won’t stay on the best seller list very long. A young man may have a goal of being a mountain climber. He has read about a mountain whose peak is sometimes hidden by the clouds. Few people have succeeded in reaching the summit. He is careful about what he eats. He dedicates himself to exercise to strengthen his muscles. He studies to learn the techniques of mountain climbing. He dreams of the thrill of reaching the summit and looking back to where he came from. He looks forward to seeing what’s on the other side of the mountain. Let’s suppose the day comes when he succeeds in climbing that mountain. Then what? When he is reunited with his friends and family he can say “I did it.” But then what? The glory will soon fade away.

That isn’t so, however, with those who hunger and thirst for righteousness. There is always more ahead. Those who are in the right relationship with God will seek things which are above. Colossians 3:1-4 says “If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.” That doesn’t mean that they are, as some say, seeking “pie in the sky by and by.” The pursuit of righteousness will enable us to live better in this life and also enjoy the added blessings God will give us when we get to heaven.

Proverbs 14:34 says “Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people.” Anyone with a minimum amount of perception can see the truth in that verse. The lack of righteous in a nation results in crime and violence. Our nation is hurting more and more because a growing number of people are seeking their own selfish, often fleshly desires, and not what is best for those around them. We do good for ourselves when we seek the good of others. When we do, there is peace and harmony in our marriages, in our homes, in our schools, and in our work relationships. The one who has a hunger and thirst for righteousness has an ardent desire to do right. He reads his Bible to learn what is right. He prays and seeks God’s will about the right thing to do.

We often see advertisements on television that are the reverse of hunger and thirst for righteousness. They try to sell a product by showing a woman dressed inappropriately. It attracts the eyes of men and excites a desire for illicit behavior. The desire of the advertiser is to get money; not to produce a thirst for righteousness. We ought to be ashamed of ourselves if we buy the product that is thus being advertised.

Proverbs 4:23 says “Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.” If our heart is right we will seek that which is right. A neglected heart is in danger of being filled with inordinate affections. He who hungers and thirsts for righteousness will do what Colossians 3:5 tells us to do. “Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry.” Inordinate affections give us a moment of satisfaction, but then we pay for it with pain and shame. We often hurt others also.

God promises satisfaction to those who hunger and thirst for righteousness. In Psalm 75:10 he also promises to exalt them. “All the horns of the wicked also will I cut off; but the horns of the righteous shall be exalted.” The word “horns” means power and authority. That is even more reason for hungering and thirsting for righteousness. Are you doing it?

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