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TIP “True Satisfaction”
Have you ever wanted something desperately?
I mean desperately.
I mean you wanted that something so bad you weren’t just hoping it would happen, but you were willing to work hard to achieve it.
Maybe it was learning a skill for a career, or getting a promotion at work, or making a sports team in school. You were willing to work hours every day to achieve your goal.
I remember …
I remember after I got out of the Army, I wanted to finish my Bachelors Degree then get a Masters Degree in History. My B.A. was in Christian Education so there was little I could bring from that degree that would apply to a graduate degree in History.
I had to take all the undergraduate History courses that would have been required for a person who got a B.A. in History. Then I had to get a high score on the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) as part of the admission process to graduate school.
After acceptance into the graduate program at Cal State L.A., I had to complete all the course requirements for a Masters Degree. That included a whole bunch of graduate level History classes.
I also had to demonstrate mastery of a foreign language. Since I didn’t have time to take a couple of years of coursework in a language and do all the graduate History courses as well, I decided to learn a language on my own.
Since I had taken one year of Spanish in Junior High, I got a Spanish textbook and set about learning the material. I had to take an exam from one of the professors at Cal State to prove that I knew the material.
And then after completing all that, I had to take comprehensive exams on my areas of emphasis - American History and the Early Middle Ages.
Between those two areas it covered about 1,000 years. Trust me, in one thousand years a lot of things happen and a lot of people have important roles.
And I had to be able to write about those events and people on the comprehensive exams.
So I prepared for that.
In case you haven’t caught on to my point, I wanted that Masters Degree. And I was willing to work hard to achieve it.
What About You?
What about you.
Is there anything that you really, truly want … something you are willing to work hard to achieve?
Do you have a goal that is motivating your efforts?
Jesus said …
It’s interesting that Jesus talked about those kinds of people — people who have a major desire to achieve something.
In the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7), Jesus listed several “types” of people who are “blessed” and among those were …
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst after …”
Hunger and thirst.
I think that is a good description of the type of people we’re looking at.
People who want something so badly that they “hunger and thirst” after it.
But Jesus’ blessing wasn’t just on people who wanted something so much that they were willing to work hard to get it.
Jesus’ real emphasis was on that “something” that they were working for.
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.”
Matthew 5:6 (ESV)
Not your career, your promotion, making a team, or getting a graduate degree.
Jesus makes it clear that people who actively desire righteousness are the ones who will be blessed and satisfied.
I’ve got a question for you.
Do you hunger and thirst after righteousness?
Let’s get something straight up front.
Jesus is not talking about people who want their own “righteousness,” or their group’s “righteousness,” or a political party’s “righteousness.”
Jesus is talking about what God considers righteous.
Which means the important question is … do you hunger and thirst after God’s righteousness?
That’s our challenge for this week.
Make a conscious effort to live out God’s righteousness in every area of your life.
“Whoever pursues righteousness and kindness will find life, righteousness, and honor.”
Proverbs 21:21 (ESV)
Whether you are looking back on your day, your week, or your life, you want to honestly be able to say that you pursued righteousness.
Before I go, I’d like to share a blessing with you from the Old Testament.
“May the Lord bless and protect you; may the Lord’s face radiate with joy because of you; may he be gracious to you, show you his favor, and give you his peace.”
Numbers 6:24-26 (The Living Bible)
Until next time … be the reason someone smiles today!