Have you ever been so hungry and thirsty that you were hangry?
AUGUST 2, 2022
Have you ever been so hungry and thirsty that you were hangry? Let’s talk about it, on this edition of Key Life.
If you suffer too long, under a do more, try harder religion, Key Life is here to proclaim that Jesus sets the captives free. Steve invited Pete Alwinson to teach us this week. Pete is a former pastor, founder of ForgeTruth.com and the author of Like Father Like Son.
Thank you Matthew. This is Pete Alwinson. Hello Key Life. I’m sitting in for Steve Brown this week, giving him a little bit of a break. It is so good to be with you. I hope you’re doing well today. And I want you to know that this week we are wrapping up our study in the Beatitudes. Yesterday, I gave us a review of the first three Beatitudes. And today we’re going to jump into it and talk about the other Beatitudes, by way of review. And later in the week, we’re going to hit the most difficult Beatitude of all.
Blessed of those who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness.
So yesterday, as we talked about Jesus’ Kingdom Manifesto, what it meant to be poor in spirit to mourn and to be meek. And the reality is, that these Beatitudes all build on each other. It’s really, really important to see that, that they get better and better and they build on the other one. So, for instance, the reality is, if we become poor in spirit, that we get to the end of ourselves and know that we need a Savior, we really come to see that our sin is awful. And we mourn over our sin, but grace doesn’t leave us there, it transforms us and make us more meek and humble as people. And these Beatitudes are powerful. Now the fourth Beatitude follows right after those first three.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.
You know, the other day, I got back from my early morning bike ride. And I hurt all over. I mean, my stomach hurt my head hurt. And I was soaking wet. I was thirsty. I was angry. I was hangry. And that’s the way it is when you do a ride early in the morning here in Florida. I mean, the sun comes out and it’s already, you know, 80 degrees and humid. So, man, I was hangry. I heard someone recently say food is an important part of a balanced diet. You think? Well, listen, it just makes sense that I was hangry. I’d done all those things. If you do all of those things, you’re going to be hangry. You’re going to be hungry and thirsty. Well, the reality is spiritually that’s true too. Jesus says that life is tough and when we come to the end of our self-righteous rope. And our own self salvation project, and actually by his grace become poor in spirit, mourn over our sin, and become meek. Then the cumulative effect is, we begin to hunger and thirst for righteousness. Of course. I mean, it makes sense. We’ve given up our own search for personal righteousness. We want God’s righteousness and this not only means righteousness for salvation, but righteousness after salvation for living our daily lives out there. And really that’s the blessed life. That’s the happy life when we are following God’s will and seeking to live out his righteousness. I had lunch the other day with a young man that I baptized as a very young child. And, that’s one of the privileges of living in the same community for, well since the time of the apostle Paul. But I want you to know this young man now is really on fire for Jesus. I mean, his philosophy is I do not want to be a mediocre Christian. He doesn’t want to be a dabbler. He doesn’t want to be a, he wants to be a disciple, but he doesn’t want to be just a ho hum disciple. Put in Jesus terms, this young man is hungering and thirsting for righteousness. And this is what continues to change us from the inside out, grace saves us. Grace makes us want to be better. It really does, because you see grace really is the energizing principle of sanctification. I love the mercy me song, that talks about us being flawless before God. And whenever I’m riding my bike and listening to that and I hear that I am considered by grace through faith alone in Christ, that I’m flawless, I shake my head. People on the trail must wonder, what’s he shaking his head about? God’s grace is so powerful and it makes me hunger and thirst for God’s righteousness in my everyday life. I do want to get better. And it’s because grace leads the way. My friend David Outing once put it, you can come as you are, but you simply can’t stay as you are. Why? Because grace won’t let you. Grace continues to be that power that makes us crave righteousness. Recently, I just finished a study of Psalm 119, you know, that’s that Psalm, the longest Psalm in the Bible with a billion verses. And I studied the different words for the law of God, there’s eight major synonyms for God’s law. The word law is one of them, then testimonies, precepts, commandments, righteousness or excuse me righteous judgements, statutes, word ordinances. And, the Psalmist uses all those words to say, Lord, I love your law. Why? Because he’s found how gracious and good God is. And it made him, even the Old Testament, hunger and thirst to be righteous in his own life. Well, the fifth Beatitude is
Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.
Yeah. You see, again, it’s cumulative poor in spirit, leads us to mourn. Mourn, leads us to be meek. To be meek, leads us to hunger and thirst for righteousness. And the more we experience God’s righteous work in our life and his righteousness, the better we become toward other people. We’ve received mercy, and so we give mercy. And so blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive even more mercy. And it’s just a crazy principle that you and I cannot out give God. Someone said, grace is especially associated with men in their sins. Mercy is especially associated with men in their misery. And that’s powerful. When I’m a sinner, I need grace. When I realize the misery that I’ve caused myself by my own sin. I need somebody to reach down and help me in my misery, that’s mercy. And so, what God does is he shows us his mercy and energizes us with his mercy and grace and that gives us the ability to give it to others. And then God and others give mercy back to us. This is simply the way of the happy life, the blessed life as Jesus teaches it. And then the sixth Beatitude in verse eight is
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
Wow, that’s powerful. In Jesus’ kingdom, as the King continues to cleanse us, to make us pure from the inside out, what happens is that our heart is renewed and in the Jewish way of thinking, the Hebrew way of thinking, the heart is the center of our person. And so, the more we hunger and thirst for righteousness, the more the Spirit of God takes the truth of God, the word of God and transforms our heart. And the reality is that something unique takes place, when we become more sanctified, when the word of God changes us, we actually can see God in our mind’s eye, in our heart, more clearly than ever before. J. Vernon McGee put it this way, he said.
What is your ambition in life today? Is it to get rich? Is it to make a name for yourself? Is it even to do some wonderful thing for God? Listen to me beloved
I loved how he used to always call everybody beloved, he said.
The highest desire that can possess any human heart is the longing to see God.
So true. So true. And then that leads to the next one.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the sons and daughters of God.
God has made peace with us through the Cross. We have been at peace with God through the Cross. And we become peacemakers and they shall become called the sons and daughters of the most high God. You know, the reality is, that what grace does when we understand the gospel, is it makes us less high on ourselves and more high on God. We have the reality that we’ve been called to be God’s people and peacemakers. Don’t ever forget that because it’s absolutely crucial in our lives. This is the Kingdom Manifesto of Jesus so far. And we have one more important topic to cover in the next two days. But again, I like what J. Vernon McGee once said.
Let me remind you that this is God’s universe and he’s doing things his way. You may think you have a better way, but you don’t have a universe to rule.
You take it to heart. Amen.
Good stuff. That was Pete Alwinson continuing to teach us from Matthew 5 about the Beatitudes. Today talking to us about hungering and thirsting for righteousness. Well, as Pete mentioned, he’s wrapping up this entire series this week. That means we just have two more days here in the study. Sure hope you’ll join us for both of those. Well, I think you’ll agree that we as Christians are often right on issues like salvation and theology, but we sometimes miss the less articulated truths of humility and love and forgiveness. Well that truth is actually the premise of Steve’s most recent book. It’s called Talk the Walk: How to be Right Without Being Insufferable. We created a special booklet that features an excerpt from that book. And we would be delighted to send you a copy for free. Just call us right now at 1-800-KEY-LIFE. That’s 1-800-539-5433. You can also e-mail [email protected] to ask for that booklet. If you’d like to mail your request, send it to
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