Today’s Reading: Matthew 5:6 (HCSB)
Those who hunger and thirst for righteousness are blessed, for they will be filled.
Today’s Question: What is the most important or most valuable thing you own?
I must confess that I have not missed many meals. To be completely transparent, I have not missed many mid-morning snacks, mid-afternoon refreshment, or late night bowls of cereal or ice cream. Yet, a few years ago we eradicated a phrase in our home: “I’m starving.” After a trip to Ethiopia where I visited remote villages with desperate situations, I was again convicted of my own self-indulgent gluttony. I consume more in a week than many of the people I met get in several months. Needless to say, there have been few, if any, times in my life that I have truly been hungry or desperately thirsty.
Humans, depending on the status of their health and the environment they are in, can go for a period of time without food or water. A healthy person can go several weeks without eating. On the other hand, water is a different story. A person can dehydrate in one hour in the heat, but may be able to last a few days if no exertion is necessary and the temperature is moderate. Yet, throughout this period of time, the human body will persistently indicate that it has a great need. The name “hunger pains” is a good description.
Jesus said that His disciples will “hunger and thirst for righteousness.” This is much, much more than a craving or a momentary desire. Jesus is describing a desperate pursuit for survival. If I were forced to go two days without water or two weeks without a morsel of food, would I want Christ more than I would desire a glass of water or a slice of bread? This is the image our Lord paints. He is not calling us to needlessly abuse our bodies. He is, however, challenging His followers to examine their priorities and place Him first in their lives.
Our Lord states that a miraculous phenomenon will occur if we seek His righteousness above all else. We will be satisfied. This is more than lacking a sense of hunger. I am imagining the feeling I have on Thanksgiving Day or Christmas Day around 2:00PM- filled to the brim. Can life get any more abundant than eating great foods to the point of being “stuffed” and then retreating to the couch for a ball game and a nap? This is the peace and fulfillment that the follower of Jesus can experience every day, when he or she longs to be filled with Christ. Instead of loading up on the calories, true disciples cannot get enough fellowship with their Savior.
“Follow One, Lead Others” Principle #5: A hunger and thirst for a right relationship with Christ will be the defining priority of the one who truly follows Jesus.
Today’s Prayer Point: Ask God to show you the priorities of your life. Ask His Spirit to bring Jesus to the forefront of your life.