I love to study this word ‘righteousness’ in the Bible. It pops up everywhere. Here Jesus is saying we can obtain righteousness. It’s not something beyond our reach. One of the leaders in our church preached on the verse ‘Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled’ from Matthew 5:6.
He defined righteousness as ‘everything in its right place as God intends it to be’. What a brilliant description! If I can be in the right place that God intended for me, the centre of His will, then I’m in the safest place in the whole universe.
The awful reality in our world is that everything isn’t in its right place. There’s unemployment, oppression, poverty. There are relationships falling apart. There are people dying from violence. Parents don’t treat their children as if they are loved and wanted. And what if I’m not in that right place? The good news is that if I want to get it sorted out, if I want to be in that place, then God is with me and will help me as I try to sort things out. Jesus isn’t saying ‘Just hang on in there.’ He proclaimed the message that God is with us even when things aren’t as they should be.
Do you long for things to be put right – on a personal level and an international level? What kind of appetite do you have for the things of God? Are you hungry and thirsty? In my experience the more I see others who are hungry and thirsty the more I get to be too. It seems to be catching. I thank God for people like that who inspire me and make me want more of God. When a large number of people like that gather together it’s a taste of heaven. The presence of God is felt so strongly. The expression often used is ‘open heaven’.
Prayer: Lord, increase my appetite for You. Make me hungry and thirsty for Your presence and your will. Don’t let me get distracted by lesser things. Don’t let me be satisfied with a crumb when I could have a heaped plateful of food. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
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