I Long to be Like Christ
If you’re planting a garden, or even just a few tomato plants, it’s definitely time to get those plants in the ground! If you get them in now, you should have some ripe, plump, juicy tomatoes soon. From those roots, the shoot will grow, ultimately yielding delicious fruit; though is a tomato really a fruit? Well, technically yes.
As we continue our journey through the Beatitudes captured in Matthew 5, we’re at a turning point. So far we’ve learned to be poor in spirit; to recognize our poverty before God. We’ve learned to mourn our sin; to forsake it and experience life change. Last week, we learned to be meek by submitting to God’s will in every area of life. These three characteristics build on one another and together form the roots of our faith experience out of which sprouts the shoot that will eventually produce fruit in our lives.
6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they will be filled. Matthew 5:6
Some translations say, “they will be satisfied.” Ultimately, isn't satisfaction and fulfillment what we really hope for and search for in life? The great news is, Jesus tells us that we will be satisfied when we hunger and thirst for righteousness. So what is righteousness? The Bible speaks of righteousness in two ways and it is important for us to distinguish between the two. First, there is the righteousness that Christ gives you. Christ is our righteousness. 30 …you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. 1 Corinthians 1:30.
This amazing gift is referred to in theological terms as imputed righteousness. (Ref. Philippians 3:9). Because this righteousness is given freely and fully to all who by faith believe, we don’t need to hunger for it.
Second, there is the righteousness that Christ calls you to. This is the righteousness that Jesus is speaking of when he says that we will be blessed when we hunger and thirst for righteousness. When we come to Jesus, we no longer desire to live for ourselves, but to live for Him, pursuing His holiness. 24 “He himself bore our sins” in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; 1 Peter 2:24a. We talk about this a lot at Watermark when we say, Jesus meets you where you are, but He doesn’t leave you there; He makes you just like Him.
What do you really hunger for in your life? Hungering for wrong things will not satisfy.
Everyone is on a search for satisfaction in life. What do you think will satisfy you and where are you going to find it? The answer you give for these two questions are very important because your answer will determine your consuming passion in life. If you think satisfaction is in achievement or work or sports or leisure or adventure, then that will be your consuming passion in life. These will determine your aims and goals.
But let’s be clear, while there is some good in those things, Jesus doesn't say that any of them will bring satisfaction and fulfillment in life. Jesus tells us that there is just one desire that will be satisfied… the hunger for righteousness.
To learn more about how to cultivate a hunger and thirst for righteousness, click here to listen to: The Blessed Life: Part 4 - I Long to Be Like Christ.