Jesus said, in today's Beatitude, "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled." What does it mean to hunger and thirst for righteousness? Is this not true of all confessing Christians?
6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
For they shall be filled.
Matthew 5:6, NKJV
21 Blessed are you who hunger now,
For you shall be filled.
Blessed are you who weep now,
For you shall laugh.
Luke 6:21, NKJV
Sadly, there is a teaching that as long as you make a decision for Christ, you are saved, no matter what lifestyle you may lead. In other words, you can be a Christian in name only, but still live like those who love this world and the things it represents. These words of Christ fly in the face of this thinking.
There is more involved in becoming a true believer than just making a decision to accept Christ. What person is there who would not prefer an eternity in heaven? However, mere belief in Christ does not make one a Christian. The Bible tells us that even the devils believe and tremble.
19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. James 2:19, KJV
Even mere belief that Jesus is truly the Son of God does not make one a Christian. Here again, the demons whom Christ cast out knew who He was, but they were not saved! Becoming a true believer is more than just assenting to the idea that Jesus is the Son of God.
According to the words of Christ spoken here in Matthew 5, coming to Christ involves not just an understanding as to who Christ is, but also, it involves a hunger and thirst for righteousness. Repenting of sin and desiring to become a follower of Christ includes a hunger and thirst to live like Christ.
Does that mean that a new believer no longer sins? No! Unfortunately, the Christian life is a life of conflicting emotions. Though we desire to live for Christ and live obediently to His commands, we are constantly bombarded by our own sins and weaknesses. We are constantly at war against our three greatest enemies: the world, our own sinful desires (the flesh), and the devil.
Knowing this helps us to face the daily battles of this life, and also helps us to understand the weaknesses of others. How do we combat the sin that so easily entangles us?
Let us, through the power of Christ, hunger and thirst for righteousness. Let us spend time in God's Word, making it our favorite and the most familiar book we own. Let us spend time in prayer--daily--seeking God's help and power to life this life in a manner that is pleasing to Him. Then, looking to the future, let us also take heart, knowing that these days will come to an end.
Revelation 21 reminds us:
3 And I heard a
loud voice from heaven saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with
men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God
Himself will be with them and be their God. 4
And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no
more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the
former things have passed away.”
5 Then He who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” And He said to me, “Write, for these words are true and faithful.”
Revelation 21:3-5, NKJV
That is our future! We can rest in these words, penned by John, because "These words are true and faithful."