(Part 8 of 12)
Matthew 5:6… Progressive in spirit… Forward-looking… “Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled” (KJV). The NEB says, “Hunger and thirst to see right prevail.” It is a normal thing for a Christian to love righteousness and hate iniquity. Those who live against righteousness perish; those who live for righteousness prevail. The Holy Spirit wants to build structured reality in a person’s life. This verse says “hunger and thirst” for righteousness, not hunger and thirst for happiness. The words “hunger and thirst” do not refer to lust or to covetousness. People do have appetites that must be satisfied. The word “filled” means “to be satiated,” or “and filled and filled and filled.” What are you hungering for in your life? Jesus did not say “hunger and thirst for experiences” or for blessings… or for fame… or for large crowds to minister to. That’s what most churches are seeking. Their motives and purposes are wrong. Experience comes after seeking for righteousness.
Of Jesus it is written in Hebrews 1:9, “Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even thy God has anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows” (KJV). Seek a relationship with Jesus Christ and you will feast; you will have fullness. Kingdom people seek God, and they want to see God’s justice in the earth. Righteousness is part of God’s nature or character. The Holy Spirit produces this in us. The Spirit in us is going to reign in righteousness. If you have seen Jesus, your spirit is satisfied with nothing but Him. Keep in mind, the Sermon on the Mount is life as illustrated in the person of Jesus Christ. If you seek for happiness instead of righteousness, your search is doomed from the beginning. Job 29 teaches about the friendship of God in your life and what it will do for you. When God reveals His secrets, you feast (see also Psalm 25:14).
Matthew 5:7… A forgiving spirit… “Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy” (KJV). God’s nature is full of compassion. If there is no compassion in your life the Holy Spirit is not reigning there. The word “merciful” means “active compassion in word and deed, divine grace, active kindness, loving kindness, the personal attention God gives to people, loving deeply.” It refers to God’s active desire to remove distress from those who hurt. Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 1:3-4, “Blessed be God, even the father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted by God.” The merciful people see God working with them and talking with them. Why? Because you and God are in the same business. Mercy is the master key that opens the heart of God. The Bible teaches that God is rich in mercy. The words “mercy” and “merciful” together are used over 330 times in the Bible. It was God’s mercy that saved us. If your spirit is merciful, the Holy Spirit is reigning in your life.
KINGDOM PURITY… Righteousness… Matthew 5:8… “Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God” (KJV). The pure in heart are the undivided in heart. One of the great longings of the human heart is to see His presence everywhere. The word “pure” means “clear, clean, the cloth of white linen.” It’s taken from the root word catharsis, meaning to cleanse or make pure, to keep free from spoiling or corruption. This verse does not teach us purity on the outside only. It goes right to the seat of our life, the heart or the spirit of man. The heart is the seat of affections and motivations. Jesus, in Mark 7:20-23, states, “It is the thought-life that pollutes. For from within, out of men’s hearts, come evil thoughts of lust, theft, murder, adultery, wanting what belongs to others, wickedness, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, pride, and all other folly. All these vile things come from within; they are what pollute you and make you unfit for God” (TLB). There is no hypocrisy in God’s nature or character. Jesus, in Matthew 6:1-8, warned about hypocrisy in giving and in praying. In Luke 12:1, Jesus said, “Beware ye of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy” (KJV). The word “hypocrisy” means play-acting or pretence. Psalm 24:3 asks the question, “Who shall ascend into the hill of the LORD?” Then the psalm goes on to talk about clean hands, a pure heart, and not lifting up thoughts to vanity and deceit.
Pure in heart also means no conflict of loyalties or interests, no mixture of motives, and free from sexual pollution. The reward of the pure in heart is a vision of God. The pure in heart see God backing them up and working with them. Life becomes alive or aglow with the Spirit. Everything you do is full of destiny. Life is an adventure with God. You are reigning and ruling with him. Proverbs 21:21 says, “He that followeth after righteousness and mercy findeth life, righteousness, and honour.” Proverbs 22:11 reads, “He that loveth pureness of heart, for the grace of his lips the king shall be his friend.” The Holy Spirit works in a clean heart. That’s one of the characteristics of the kingdom.
(To be continued…)
Pastor George Belobaba
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