A Weekly Word from Your Pastor
A Weekly Word from Your Pastor
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, For they shall be filled.” Matthew 5:6
Many of you may remember when they advertised the “New Coke.” They tried to replace the old recipe of Coke a cola with a new recipe. It didn’t work. For me long ago especially in the 80’s there was nothing like a cold ice cold canned coke. One day I was driving in the country of Kentucky after several visits. It was a warm summer day and I decided to stop and get a coke. The gas station I stopped at was closed but they had a vending machine. I put in my money and pushed the button for a coke. I quickly opened it up and took a long drink. As soon as the liquid hit my mouth I knew this was not the real thing. I had been given a bad substitute for the real thing.
For many of us we are hungering and thirsting after a substitute for righteousness. We have placed our own value on righteousness and left the true meaning of righteousness that Jesus wants to convey. According to John R. W. Scott there are three kinds of righteousness in the Bible: legal, moral, and social. Let’s explore all three really quick.
A legal righteousness is a right relationship with God. It is what we call justification. The Jews tried very hard to be justified with the law God had passed down, but failed. And all of our attempts to “be good,” will never get God to accept us. The Jews failed to see true righteousness. True righteousness is Jesus. He is the only way justification can be granted to any of us and it is through Him and Him alone that we can find ourselves in right relationship with God.
Moral righteousness is our attitudes and actions that please God. Jesus later reminds His listeners to have a righteousness that exceeds the Pharisees. Moral righteousness is not just in our actions, but must be a matter of the heart, motives and passion. True moral attitudes and actions come from the inner Holy Spirit that lives within each Christian. It does not come from a set of rules and regulations.
Many times we are ready to end the talk of righteousness with a personal and moral responsibility. If we get it right in ourselves then we have made the grade. Yet if our righteousness is only personal then we miss out on all that Jesus came to teach us about the poor, the downtrodden, the lonely, the misfits and all those who are socially excluded in our world. It is imperative that if we hunger and thirst for righteousness that we need to go to work to make a difference in the world in which we live. We cannot turn a blind eye to others in need and care only for ourselves. That is contrary to most everything that Jesus and the Bible teaches. That same heart, motive and passion that spurs our moral righteousness must push us to work to relieve social injustice.
When we find ourselves legally, morally, and socially hungry and thirsty with Jesus as our motivation, we will find ourselves sufficiently filled with a Godly fulfillment that only God can give. We will find joy in this life because we have seen purpose in our being and living what God has created us to be. Oh that we would all hunger and thirst for righteousness and be filled with all that God has for us. “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness for they shall be filled.”
Dear Jesus, complete in us the hunger and thirst that spurs us on to give us a better life and also a better life for others. Help us to allow your Holy Spirit to inspire us into doing things that help mankind as we live our righteousness. Help us not to be arrogant, but to be selfless as we share from all the good things that you have bestowed on us. Continue to give us the hunger and thirst to be a light to all those we meet. In Your Holy Name, Amen.