Righteousness is a central theme running through Matthews’s gospel; and so is the Kingdom of Heaven. We may ask “are the Beatitudes showing the way into the Kingdom or the character of those who have entered the Kingdom of God?” The answer is, both. The righteousness of this fourth Beatitude is a hunger and thirst to know more….and more…. The way of Christ that I may become more….and more…Christlike in my character and hence, my life’s walk. Righteousness, also, is what makes us right before God in the first place (e.g. Rom 4) not by good works or any self-goodness, but only through the substitutionary death of Christ on the cross. His death for ours. This opens the question:
“what do I do with this righteousness given to me for free through faith that believes? Hence, the blessedness of one hungering and thirsting for God’s ways because it is here, I will be completely satisfied.”
Many of us have been walking the Christian journey for a long time. We look back when we made a decision to believe and follow Christ as Saviour and Lord. The blessedness of the Beatitudes can also become a confronting reflection on who I am now.
In Old Testament times Jeremiah proclaimed God’s word (Jeremiah 2:13) My people have committed two sins: They have forsaken me, the spring of living water, and have dug their own cisterns, broken cisterns that cannot hold water….
In New Testament times to the church at Laodicea (Revelation 3:17) You say, “I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing. But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put in your eyes, so you can see. Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline….”
This was addressed to God’s own people of old and to God’s Church in the new! Hunger and thirst for righteousness are signs of Christian life; of life in God’s Kingdom! (Matthew 6:21) …for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
Reflection: First, ponder again these first four Beatitudes. Second, Read God’s Word. The Bible is God’s letter to you to know him and his ways. “What Scripture says, God says” (Augustine) Third, prayerfully come before God and tell him where you are at and ask for the help you need of him. (None will ever leave empty-handed)
HYMN: MORE ABOUT JESUS let me learn, more of his holy will discern. Spirit of God my teacher be, showing the things of Christ to me. More about Jesus in his Word holding communion with my Lord, Hearing his voice in every line, making each faithful saying mine. More, more about Jesus… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sEzFG5lbwXg -The Stewards
PRAYER: My gracious Father, on this new day I give you thanks; another new day on life’s journey, may all my provision be met. Equip me now for every task, for every conversation and every decision to be made. Grant unto me a renewed faith to believe in my life situation as I find myself now, and faith to stir up my desire to know you more and so serve your ways in my little corner of your Vineyard; in my corner of influence and perchance to speak and serve others. Bless this day before me now.
In Christ’s name . . . AMEN