The Divine Atmosphere of Sincerity

Bible Book: Matthew  5 : 6
Subject: Beatitudes; Sermon on the Mount; Hunger for God; Sincerety
Series: The Beatitudes - The Divine Atmosphere

The Divine Atmosphere of Sincerity

Dr. J. Mike Minnix, Editor,

(This is sermon 4 in a series of 8 sermons on the Beatitudes.)

Matthew 5:6

It is important for us to remember the purpose of the Beatitudes. Each Beatitude begins with the word Blessed, and the word blessed speaks of joy, happiness or satisfaction. The entire world is looking for happiness and in the Beatitudes we find the way to true happiness. Please observe that the principles which are being given to us n the Beatitudes come from the Son of God. These ideas do not come from a psychologist on a TV talk show, but rather come from Jesus. What He taught here is the truly blessed life and not some false gibberish from a guru. We desperately need to listen, to learn, and to live these principles in our lives in order to discover the very best life that Jesus has for those He redeems. .

We come now to Beatitude number four. The text is found in Matthew 5:6 and reads:

"Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled."

This Beatitude speaks of the sincerety of the follower of Jesus. Hunger is a word that shows a deep desire for something. There is nothing passage about hunger. And, if one is hungry enough, it will lead to that person doing whatever is necessary to fill the void. Jesus spoke in this Beatitude about the true sincerety He expects in the hearts of those who follow Him - a sincere desire to know Him fully and to be filled with His purpose and power.

Let's look at this Beatitude by first noting ...

I. The Meaning of this Hunger

We need to know what this hunger implies. Christ is speaking here of hungering for righteousness. This hunger is not physical hunger, like that of fasting, for Jesus was not addressing the idea of physical hunger. Also, the hunger Jesus spoke on in this parable has nothing to do with the hunger for the things of this world -it does not concern ambition for wordly pursuits.

God placed inside of humankind the desire and motivation to dominate this earth and to have certain things in this life. Kept within His will and purpose, these desires are not improper. It is appropriate to want things, as long as they are within the scope of God's will for us. But the hunger in this passage is not speaking of that kind of hunger or desire.

Also, this is not speaking of ambition for earthly position. There is a God-given desire within us to achieve something with our lives. One man in the Bible prayed that he might be above his brethren and God heard his cry. He was given what he asked for, because his request was within the will of God for him. There is nothing wrong with God-ordained ambition and success. All these hungers I have mentioned are natural, important and practical, as long as they are kept with the confines for God's will in one's life.

What does it mean to hunger and thirst after righteousness? This speaks to us of Jesus, for the righteousness found only in Him. We are to hunger and thirst for Him - to know HIm - to walk daily with Him - to be like Him.

The Pharisees did not understand this principle at all, for they wanted to comply with the Law, as found in the Old Testament. Certainly living by the Old Testament Law was impossible, and deep in their hearts the Jewish people knew it. Yet, they still desired to be righteous in and of themselves alone. They were trying to affect the inside of their hearts through outward activities. Jesus was saying that you must seek to have a righteousness in your heart and allow that inward power to work its way to the outside of your life. That inward power is Christ. He only makes one righteous. The hunger Jesus spoke about is the sincere desire of the redeemed heart for rightness with God through the means He has made available. The means for this righteousness is JESUS. Being all-out sincere for Jesus - that is what this hunger is about.

Now, think about ...

II. The Manifestation of this Hunger

By looking at the Sermon on the Mount, we can see the way in which this hunger should be manifested in our hearts and lives. Look at these carefully.

A. A Proper Love

Look at Matthew 6:19. When you are hungry for righteousness, you will have a greater hunger for the things of God than for the things of the world. Jesus said that we must understand that all the earthly things we hunger for can be lost. The moth may eat at our clothes. The thief may steal our goods and money. But when your heart is in love with Jesus and you have your treasure in heaven, no moth, or thief, or inflation, or stock market can steal it from you. You must love the Lord above all earthly  things. This is basically the first step toward true happiness.

Then, we see ...

B. A Proper Loyalty

This speaks of the allegiance, which must be in our hearts. Look at Matthew 6:24. You cannot serve two masters - the Lord and Savior, Jesus, must be first. Who are you serving? Who is first in your life? What is first in your life? You cannot have two firsts. One desire will automatically become second in your heart when another desire is first. Unless you hunger properly for righteousness, you will under-value the things of God and turn your back on the Lord.

Thirdly, look at ...

C. A Proper Longing

Hungering for righteousness is a matter of having the right longing in your heart. Look at Matthew 6:25ff. A hungry man doesn't care about earthly things that are unrelated to food. He cares only for food. A hungry man doesn't care about the way food is served; he only wants food to reliever his starvation. When you are hungry for the things of God, for God Himself, you will not argue about whether the music was too loud or too long. You will not care if the preacher was too excited or not excited enough. You will only care that you can get something to feed that hunger of your soul. Oh, it would be something if that were the spirit of the church members who come to the House of God. We need a desire for the Lord to feel the hunger of our souls that is so great that it strips out all the other things in the way.

We've seen the meaning and manifestation of the hunger Jesus spoke of in this fourth Beatitude, now let's look at the ...

III. The Miracle of this Hunger

There is a result that comes from the hunger Jesus spoke of which is nothing short of miraculous. Don't miss this or you will miss the entire point of the fourth Beatitude. Listen carefully to what follows.

How can you be happy? Let me tell you this for sure, you will never be happy trying to be happy. You will never be satisfied trying to be satisfied. Joy, real joy, is a by-product of knowing God's Son and living God's way. Look at what this Beatitude says. If you hunger and thirst for righteousness, you will be satisfied. In other words, each of us has all of God that we really want - or hunger for. That is what Jesus said. You will be blessed if you hunger and thirst for righteousness. So, the level of your hunger for God will be filled by God. If you are not close enough to God, it is your own fault. If I am lacking in a sense of God's presence and blessings, it is because I'm lacking in desire for His righteousness in my life. To put it bluntly, we have all of God we want! Your hunger will be satisfied. God meets you at the point of your sincere spiritual desire.

Now follow what I am telling you:

  • Become poor in spirit by seeing your bankrupt condition.
  • Become a mourner through sorrowing over your sin.
  • Become humble by submitting fully and completely to His purpose.
  • Become hungry for Jesus and His righteousness through an sincerty about your walk with God..

Take these steps and as a by-product you will be happy - blessed! Blessed are all the people who live the way Jesus has shown us in these words.


Now let me close with the way this passage is written. When the writers of ancient Greek spoke of hunger or thirst they used a grammatical construction, which read like this: "He was hungry for of bread and thirsty for of water." This sounds strange to us, but that is the way it was written. That construction meant that the person wanted some of the bread and some of the water. When Jesus spoke the words of the fourth Beatitude, He spoke of a person desiring the entire loaf of bread, and thirsted for the entire well of water. Do you want just a little of God, or are you really hungry for all God means for you to have of His nature and blessings?

Paul Harvey told the other day on the radio about a young man in his early thirties who weighed over 800 pounds. He had tried everything to lose weight and could not. He was so heavy for his height that he could not get out of his bed. He told his mother to order him ten pizzas and 3 sixty-four-ounce colas. She did so. He ate all the pizzas and drank all the sodas and, thereby, committed suicide. Within an hour after eating all that food, he died!

Dear friend, it would be wonderful if you and I so hungered for God that we would feed on Him and literally die to the world. That does not mean that we cease to exist in the world, that does not mean that we cease to enjoy the world God made, that does not mean we lose all earthly ambition; no, it means that there is so much love for Jesus that we feed on Him and become exactly what God means for us to be.

A devoted follower of Socrates asked him the best way to acquire knowledge. Socrates led him to a river and pushed the man down into the water. The man struggled to free himself, but Socrates succeeded in holding him below the surface. Finally, the man was able to break loose and emerge from the water. Socrates then asked," When you thought you were drowning, what one thing did you want most of all?" Still gasping for breath, the man exclaimed, "I wanted air!" The philosopher then said to him, "When you want knowledge as much as you wanted air, then you will get it!" This is even more true for the person who has a desire for the righteousness of Christ like a suffocating man desiring air.

Is there anyone here today, or anyone listening to this message, who desires the fullness of God's blessings available in Christ? It starts with being saved - redeemed. You must repent of sin and trust what He did for you when He died on the cross and rose from the dead. Trust Him - He will save you.

Then, for those of us who know Him as Lord and Savior, let's commit to a greater hunger for HIs fulness in our lives. I know one thing - He has promised to give you as much of Himself as you are willing to SINCERELY desire.