benevolence

hunger and thirst for righteousness

(Matthew 5:6 WEB) Blessed [are] they who hunger and thirst for righteousness: for they shall be filled.

I looked up the KJV, NKJV, NIT, NLT, and NASB versions of this verse.  One version used “justice” in place of “righteousness” and another version used “satisfied” in place of “filled”.  Except for  these two exceptions the rest used “righteousness” and “filled.  But to me I think the words “justice” and “satisfied” fit better after reviewing other verses that have concepts that reflect on the same concept in Matthew 5:6.

hunger and thirst 
Down to the last drop

“Hunger” and “Thirst” are strong motivations.  Being a man, a big draw for us is “free food”.  Salvation is also “free”, purchased by Jesus Christ.  After we’re “saved” and in the church for a while, we often slow down in our excitement for  God.  David did not lose that passion for God throughout his life.  And no more so than when he took his eyes off of God.

(Psalm 51:4-8 WEB) 4Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done [this] evil in thy sight: that thou mayest be justified when thou speakest, [and] be clear when thou judgest. 5Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me. 6Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden [part] thou shalt make me to know wisdom. 7Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. 8Make me to hear joy and gladness; [that] the bones [which] thou hast broken may rejoice.

What happens when we stray from God?  Isn’t our tendency to avoid God and maybe church and even our family?  Are we willing to humble ourselves, admit our sins not only to God but to our spouse and other Godly men in the church.  And the men in the church would include our Elders who are charged with pastoring the flock, including ourselves.

Only at this point can we  renew our passion for God in the same way that David did.  Had David not had a passion for God to begin with, he would not have a passion to renew.  Seeking God in our good times is creating an emotional and spiritual storehouse for when the bad times come.

righteousness/justice 

David sought to be in a right relationship with God.  Is that the same as seeking righteousness and justice?  Is this just for ourselves, or is it for others also?  As I reread the verse I believe it is for us individually.  But is this something we are to keep for ourselves – or is it for our relationships with others and how we interact?

The scripture below implies that mercy and truth are a result of justice and judgement (had to pause on that one).  But isn’t that what our faith is about, loving God and resting in His promises?

(Psalm 89:14-16 WEB) 14Justice and judgment [are] the habitation of thy throne: mercy and truth shall go before thy face. 15Blessed [are] the people that know the joyful sound: they shall walk, O LORD, in the light of thy countenance. 16In thy name shall they rejoice all the day: and in thy righteousness shall they be exalted.

We should always be comfortable in our faith and not be distracted by the world’s standards.  And to also not be discouraged by our own failings. 

(Isaiah 1:16-17 WEB) 16Wash ye, make yourselves clean; put away the evil of your doings from before my eyes; cease to do evil; 17Learn to do well; seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow.

Verse 17 sounds a lot like Micah chapter 6.  God sees our righteousness and justice; when we seek justice and aid for the most vulnerable in our population.  This is the way we can maintain our joy and cheer wherever we’re at.  When we are just and righteous our influence will be increased.  This is how we can witness to people who are vulnerable to damnation.

filled/satisfied

I remember a time in adult Sunday School class where the teacher asked what makes us rich.  One man said “you never have enough”.  I said “when we have enough”.  What do we need and what is enough?  The Psalmist shows us it’s not worldly goods but the security of God’s presence.

(Psalm 4:6-8 WEB) 6[There are] many that say, Who will show us [any] good? LORD, lift thou upon us the light of thy countenance. 7Thou hast put gladness in my heart, more than in the time [when] their corn and their wine increased. 8I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep; for thou only, LORD, makest me dwell in safety.

People become frustrated chasing after things like fame and fortune that only satisfy for a while.  There’s always more to be had.

It is true that there is poverty.  For too many, employment, food, and shelter are lacking.  Handicaps, ill health, and addictions create seemingly unsolvable problems.  Prejudice has many people feeling unworthy.  Dysfunctional homes create misery for everyone, children and parents alike.

Do Not Be Discouraged

The trials of life can cause us to be discouraged.  And then to distance ourselves from God while depending more on ourselves.  This causes us to question whether God is holding something from us.  This is the same feeling that Satan used to tempt Adam and Eve.  We need to return to trusting God and depending on His provision alone.

Jesus alone is sufficient for what we need.  And what He gives us is sufficient for everlasting life – with Him – a mansion – Heaven lit by the countenance of God.  We can’t top that

(John 4:14 WEB) But whoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him, shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him, shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.

(John 6:51 WEB) I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man shall eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.

While we’re on EARTH

(Isaiah 1:16-17 WEB) 16Wash ye, make yourselves clean; put away the evil of your doings from before my eyes; cease to do evil; 17Learn to do well; seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow.

wayocross

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