PASTOR HEIDEN RATNER
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.” – Matthew 5:6 ESV
The most popular sermon Jesus preached is known as the “Sermon on the Mount.” I still have fond memories of traveling to the Mount of Beatitudes, where Jesus originally preached this sermon in Galilee, Israel. Try now to use your imagination to picture thousands of men, women, and children all scattered up and down a slopping green mountain where the words of Jesus reverberated into their hearts.
The first chunk of Jesus’ sermon centered around living the “Blessed Life.” Jesus gives nine unique “blessed are” statements that we would do well to lean into and weave into our prayer lives. Found in Matthew 5:6, Jesus shines the spotlight on our hunger and thirst and the satisfaction that follows hungering and thirsting for righteousness.
My simple definition of righteousness is doing the right thing, the right way, at the right time, with the right motive. If you apply this definition to your life, you’ll begin to live righteously. The only problem is very few of us live righteous, primarily because we’re not hungry and thirsty for righteousness. We like the idea of righteous living, but it’s not always that easy when it comes down to it.
The good news of the gospel is that although in ourselves we could not hit God’s standard for righteous living, Jesus passed that test for us. Through His sinless life, sacrificial death, and triumphant resurrection, we can now put our faith in the true righteous One, and by doing so, His righteousness gets transferred to our account. Oh, what grace! Paul writes to the Corinthian Church: “For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” (2 Corinthians 5:21 ESV) How sweet is that? In Christ, He extends His righteous identity to us while also giving us the Holy Spirit to help empower us to walk righteously!
Matthew 6:33 33 “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”
Lord, thank You for sharing Your righteousness with a sinful human like me. I’m far from perfect, and I don’t always make the right decision at the right time with the right motives. Yet, You tell me that You love me the same and still call me Your own.
Jesus, You paid my sin debt and provided all the righteousness I need to have a right standing before God the Father. As worship artist Matt Mahar once sang in his powerful song, Lord, I need You: “My one defense, my righteousness, Oh God, how I need You.” Thank You, Lord, for my righteousness in Christ. I give You the honor and glory You deserve today, and I pray all of this in Jesus’ name, amen!