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Chapter 15 - Hunger and Thirst
Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled. - Matthew 5:6
The flesh drives us with a hunger for sensation. The Spirit fills us with a hunger for righteousness. If we were to consider 'righteousness", we might think in terms of good works such as writing a check to a church or charity. However, there is a deeper connection when we are able to minister directly as individuals.
For whosoever shall give you a cup of water to drink in my name, because ye belong to Christ, verily I say unto you, he shall not lose his reward. - Mark 9:41
There is much we could do for our brothers and sisters in Christ if we took the time to cultivate relationships through which we could know of their needs.
If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit? - James 2:15-16
One can think of selfishness as taking in and selflessness as giving out. As we transition from the former to the latter, we cross a point of ambivalence. The phrase 'hunger and thirst' pictures an intensity of desire that indicates the passionate engagement of will. As passionate as an alcoholic can 'thirst' for his next drink, we should be 'thirsting' for righteousness.
Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. - Titus 2:14
If we let the flesh have free reign in our lives, we find ourselves drawn into the intense pursuit of sensations to fulfill various lusts. As the influence of the flesh declines from starvation, its passions likewise diminish. We become more able to stir up zealousness for the Lord. Modern Christian practice often conveys the idea of compliant inert pew filling Christianity. Whereas in the bible we get more of an idea of active and even diligent seeking.
But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. - Hebrews 11:6
Dying to self compasses more than just self-denial. It is a replacement of selfishness with a zealous concern for and ministry to others. As we draw nearer to Christ and submit to being formed in his image, we should expect that we also would take on his concern for and ministry to others.
Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: - Philippians 2:5
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