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Sermon on the Mount
Those Who Hunger & Thirst for Righteousness
|Hunger & Thirst
What did both John and Jesus call for in order to enter the Kingdom of Heaven? (Mt 3:2, 4:17)
What specifically did they need to have a change in mind in regard to? What is the main theme of the SOM?
Why? What had been their primary example of +R?
Because they had seen only the external +R the Pharisees taught and exhibited - outward show for praise of men not God
What did the King teach about +R needed to enter His Kingdom? (Mt 5:20)
It must surpass the +R of the Scribes and Pharisees
What then is the purpose of the beatitudes? How to be saved?
how to be saved
How the saved live
Characteristics of believer
Ideal lifestyle of citizens of the Kingdom of Heaven who still live on planet earth
The secret of a happy life
Happiness that endures…
What is the progression in the beatitudes? Remember each beatitude is like a clue in a "treasure map", each containing a crucial component of the secret of that leads to a truly happy life now and forever!
(1) Recognize spiritual poverty (Mt 5:3) (keep on recognizing even after saved - abide in Vine, Jo 15:5, or can do absolutely nothing in our own strength.
Reward: Continually possess the Kingdom of Heaven.
(2) We mourn over our sins (Mt 5:4) (continual need - in these mortal bodies we continue to commit sins against God)
Reward: As we confess our sins He comforts us with forgiveness and cleansing from all unrighteousness
(3) Our spiritual bankruptcy and mourning should instill in us a gentle, meek spirit (Mt 5:5) one that accepts all that occurs in our life as from or filtered through the sovereign hand of God. Meekness is power under control, like our Lord (Mt 11:29) and Moses ( Nu 12:3).
Who is blessed (spiritually prosperous independent of the circumstances) in Mt 5:6?
Those who hunger and thirst for +R
Remember that Jesus is describing the character of those who belong to His kingdom - a peculiar appetite and thirst for +R will mark them as different from the world!
What is the tense of the verbs "hunger" and "thirst"? Why did Jesus select those terms?
Both = present tense
These are the most basic human needs. Without them we would die.
What is Jesus implying? Does the natural man hunger and thirst for +R?
In our fallen state there is none +R and none seek to live according to His +R standards (Ro 3:10-11). This is the state of the natural man (Ro 5:12).
And so Jesus' implies that if you have absolutely no hunger and thirst for +R you need to examine the state of your soul. Spiritually dead people have no appetite for spiritual things.
Dear reader, have you ever by faith accepted Christ's perfect righteousness (Read Ro 1:16-17, Acts 4:12, 16:30-31, Ro 10:9-10, Eph 2:8-9)
You are what you eat!
What is the context? Clue: How available was food and especially water in ancient Palestine?
Jesus is not describing genteel urgings but desperate hungering and thirsting - those who keep on acknowledging their spiritual poverty, keep on seeking to live out God's +R as a starving man longs for food or a man perishing from thirst longs for water. Are you hungry? Are you thirsty? What are you hungering and thirsting for? Remember there is the world's way (it is passing away) and the King's way (endures forever).
What +R is
Jesus referring to? What happens we are saved (2Cor 5:21)? How are we then to live? What does Jesus emphasize in Mt 5:21-48?
When we are saved we receive the +R of Christ at that moment and forever (2Cor 5:21)
Christ becomes now and forever our source of righteous living (cf 1Cor 1:30)
And so based on our position in Christ, the King calls His subjects to practice +R as our lifestyle from the heart (see Mt 5:21-48 where Jesus contrasted external with internal +R)
What is the King's promised reward, the blessed state of those who hunger and thirst for +R?
They shall be satisfied
Note: "filled" = passive voice = filling comes about from outside source. The verb "filled" was originally used meaning to fatten animals. The root word describes green grass standing in a field or meadow. It's the place where sheep can graze. The ideas are to satisfy with food, to be fed full, and completely satisfied.
When? Now and in the future
(cf Isa 25:6, Lu 13:29-30, 14:15, 22:28-30, Mt 8:11-12, Rev 19:9)
How does this contrast with the world's way?
The world seeks for material possessions which can never fully satisfy. (cf Heb 11:24-25 "passing pleasures of sin")
Ex: Elvis Presley had a 1960 Cadillac with 40 coats of paint that included crushed diamonds and hardware in 18K gold. His possessions ended up possessing him and he died a tragic death, the perfect picture of a man who in the world's eyes had everything but who was not filled spiritually.
What is the key to hungering and thirsting for +R (Jo 7:37-39, cf Isa 55:1-2)? (Note the verbs "come" and "drink" are both in the = present tense calling for this coming and drinking to be our lifestyle)
Come to Jesus
Come and drink the first time = salvation. Then…
Spirit within causes us to be thirst for +R…
We must then choose to come and drink
We must do this continually
We must continually recognize our state of spiritual poverty (Mt 5:3) acknowledging that in our own strength even as believers, we cannot initiate spiritual hunger and thirst (cf Jo 15:5, Ro 7:18) but must manifest a continual dependence on our Counselor, the Holy Spirit (Gal 5:16-17, 24), Who will lead us into all truth. He will lead us into this righteous lifestyle but we must still make the moment by moment decision that work out that lifestyle in real life situations (see Philippians 2:12-13)
This beatitude corresponds to the doctrine of sanctification (present tense salvation - see diagram on Three Tenses of Salvation)
Believers who recognize their spiritually poverty in that they can't live righteously (sanctification) apart from the Spirit will continually come to Him
Do you crave God's +R?
What stimulates your craving?
Madison Avenue has played on this physical craving with the slogan
"Bet you can't eat just one" (Potato Chip)
The tragedy of our time is that so many people are wasting their lives (and beloved the church is not immune to this "disease") chasing after three things that can never satisfy--Money, sex and power. We want money - we sacrifice our families to get it. We want sex - we sacrifice our morals to get it. We want power - we sacrifice our friends to get it. And when we finally attain these goals (if we are not destroyed first) we find that none of them truly satisfy our deepest need, the need within our soul for Jesus. We end up like the richest man in the world who was asked what it would take to make him happy, to which he quipped "One dollar more!" Funny, but true. Only Jesus satisfies!
What does (Jer 9:23-24) state is worth boasting in?
Let's look at some men God used mightily and how this beatitude relates to their lives…
What is David's "one thing"?
To dwell in the house of Jehovah
David hungered and thirsted for closeness to Jehovah
Had he already experienced God?
What is the paradox (where is he)?
David is in a dry land where there was no water
David is thirsty but not for water
It was his soul which was thirsty
David had tasted of God because he calls him
Seeking corresponds to hungering and thirsting
One taste of God was not enough
He wanted more of God
(cf manna in the wilderness - it was a reflection of God's gracious provision to Israel in the wilderness but it was only enough for each day. They were to come back daily, Sabbath excepted, and partake of His manna. A perfect picture of our need to continually come to Him)
How do we see this continual hungering and thirsting portrayed by David in Psalm 143:5-6? How would this be especially applicable to one who has drifted from the longings they once had for their first love?
5 I remember the days of old; I meditate on all Thy doings; I muse on the work of Thy hands.
David remembered what it was like
Again David pictures his soul longing as one who is in the desert and who is desperate, even potentially dying of physical thirst. For this person, the only thing that can quench the thirst is water. For David, a man after God's own heart, the only thing that can quench his innermost being's thirst was the living water of God.
Don't you long to have the same experience David had?
Walk by the Spirit in obedience, an internal righteousness from the heart, not self-righteousness like the Pharisees. Theirs is the righteousness that exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees.
Moses had seen the glory of God on Mt Sinai as he entered into the midst of the cloud of glory
Despite having seen this incredible manifestation of God, far from satiating Moses, it created in him a greater hunger after more of His righteousness. He desired to know God's ways so that he would know Him
Moses did not want to go forward unless the Lord was leading.
Paul makes it clear that he had not yet attained the goal for which Christ had laid hold of him. He had not come to the place in his Christian life where his growth in spiritual maturity had been completed. And so he pressed on hungering and thirsting passionately for righteousness. And so to should we beloved!
A healthy spiritual appetite is one of the great secrets of progress in Christian maturity.
We are what we eat.
John Stott wisely counsels that…
"If we are conscious of slow growth, is the reason that we have a jaded appetite? It is not enough to mourn over past sin; we must also hunger for future righteousness" (Stott, J: The Message of the Sermon on the Mount)
In case you are not yet convicted, here are a few more questions…
On a scale from 1 to 10 how hungry am I for spiritual things?
What is my attitude toward personal righteousness?
What do I hunger for in life?
To what extent do I hunger for God's Word?
How is my appetite for the truth of the Bible?
How am I growing in my love for holiness?
Do I long to be with mature Spirit-filled Christians?
Would I rather be with carnal, immature people?
How hungry am I for the works of the flesh?
Do I sincerely pray "Lord, keep me from the temptation which so easily besets me?"
Have you found yourself leaving your "first love"? (Rev 2:4). The antidote is a Spirit initiated and empowered intense hungering and thirsting for righteousness. (Rev 2:5 plus Mt 5:6)
Lord God, let it not be said of us as it was of Israel…
"They did not thirst when He led them"
Beginning with Mt 5:7, the Beatitudes take on a people-to-people aspect. Thus those who are poor in spirit (Mt 5:3) respond to others by being merciful. (See also notes on Greek word eleos for mercy, notes on God's Attribute of Mercy)
Wouldn't it be wonderful to know that everything was right between not only you and God, but also you and others? Enabled by the Spirit, put this beatitude into practice and you can realize that potential beloved.
How can one
You can falsely conclude that being merciful to others will merit (or earn) mercy being repaid to you by God.
Thus they engage in diligent social action (which is commendable) with the idea of accruing merit that will be used as bargaining chips before God to receive mercy at judgment. Mt 5:3 reminds us that we are spiritual paupers desperately in need of God's grace and mercy. We mourn over our sin. We bend our wills in meekness to His perfect will. We hunger for His righteousness not our own. Thus a careful interpretation of the progression and relationship of this beatitude to the preceding (the context) leads one to conclude that beggars have no means by which to earn mercy.
Note: Again we see how critical it is to arrive at correct interpretation, (through careful observation which allows one to establish the correct context) lest we wander off the trail and onto the dangerous path of futile and inappropriate application.
What then is the correct interpretation of Mt 5:7?
Believers show mercy for they have been shown mercy and now have God's Spirit within enabling them to do what heretofore was impossible (now it is "Him-possible"!) This will be discussed more below.
Remember that the "Be attitudes" represent Jesus' description of what the ideal citizen of His kingdom looks like. A natural man (unregenerate, unredeemed by the blood of Jesus) cannot carry out these "Be attitudes". They are possible only to those who are saved (cf 2Cor 5:17)!
What is the reward of the merciful? Why are they blessed?
Note "they" and they alone will receive mercy ("they" is emphatic in Greek as with all the beatitudes. This emphasizes the "exclusivity" of the "club of the blessed")
What is the definition of mercy?
Thus mercy involves…
Mercy looks not at what a man deserves or is worthy (remember how God saw us before Christ!) but what he needs
Mercy is not shown in words but in action (1 Jo 3:17-18)
What about non-believers showing mercy?
Ultimately, the fountainhead of all mercy is God
Mercy is one of God's attributes
How does mercy relate to those dead in their transgressions in (Eph 2:4-7)?
(because of His great love)
when we were dead in our transgressions (undeserving)
Made us alive with Christ
Note God's mercy involves…
It is only as we come to know Christ as Savior that we can "tap into" God's inexhaustible supply of mercy. Believers are no longer restricted by their meager natural resources and can now show His supernatural mercy to others through acts of kindness and goodwill.
How does Jesus expand the meaning of being merciful…
Peter asked Jesus if forgiveness "times 7" was enough
Jesus said the Kingdom of Heaven could be compared to the teaching in this parable
Synopsis: Slave unable to pay the king an "impossible" debt sought release and forgiveness which was granted out of compassion.
The forgiven slave was unwilling to forgive a lesser debt, throwing the debtor into prison.
The lord was informed, was angry and handed him to the torturers - asking should he not have had mercy even as he had received mercy?
Note: As new creations in Christ, whose heart of stone has been replaced with a heart that beats for God, believers are benefactors of the rich mercy of the "King" (Eph 2:4) and as such should be motivated to show mercy, including mercy in the form of forgiveness (cf Col 3:12-13 discussed below, Eph 4:32, 5:1, Mt 6:12, 14-15, Ro 12:20-21)
James Montgomery Boice explains that there are three main points to this parable… "First, there is a judgment coming. Jesus did not pass over that teaching. He spoke of forgiveness, but He also spoke clearly of what happened to the wretched man in His story. He was cast into prison until he should pay back all he owed. That judgment hangs over everyone who has not experienced God's forgiveness through Christ. Second, there is forgiveness. God does forgive. God sent Jesus to be the basis for that forgiveness. Third, the only sure proof of a person's having received God's forgiveness through true faith in Jesus is a transformed heart and a changed life. How do we get that down into the practical areas of our lives, so that we actually begin to treat others as we have been treated? It is by standing before the thrice holy God and thus seeing ourselves as the vile sinners we are—vile and yet forgiven through the death of God's own beloved Son. That awareness should humble us so that we have simply no other option but to be forgiving to others from our heart. (Boice, J M: The Parables of Jesus) (Bolding Added)
How does Jesus' teaching in (Lu 6:35-36) further underscore the obligation kingdom citizens (believers) have to be merciful?
God gives mercy to…
Ungrateful and evil
"like Father, like sons"
Be merciful as your Father is merciful
How are kingdom citizens described in Col 3:12-13? How should this motivate us? How are we now to behave?
Chosen, holy, beloved!
Liberated and motivated by the Truth… that…
Each of these grand truths should inspire us to walk worthy of our high calling
(1) When we see the need to forgive - "the debt someone owes us"
(2) We should recognize we have the Spirit of Christ in us Who enables us to meet that need and "forgive that debt"
(3) We should follow through and forgive the one who has a "debt" against us, recognizing that their debt is far less than the debt the Father has forgiven for us!
What is the rather stern warning in James 2:13?
No mercy = merciless judgment
Mercy triumphs over judgment
(NLT paraphrase "But if you have been merciful, then God's mercy toward you will win out over his judgment against you")
The question is what judgment? Some favor this is a reference to the judgment of believers when their works will be burned up. A majority favor this as the Great White Throne judgment where those who never showed mercy, show by their lack of mercy they were not children of the Father of mercies. And thus they receive no mercy.
Dear kingdom citizen, Is there anyone that your Father in heaven is calling you to forgive even as you have been forgiven?
Will you be merciful
Is there future mercy yet to be received? See 2Ti 1:15-18
In verse 18 Paul makes a statement that is like a wish or even a prayer for Onesiphorus that "the Lord grant to him to find mercy from the Lord on that day"
"That day" in context has to be the "day" of the Judgment Seat of Christ (see study of bema or Judgment seat of Christ) where we give account for the deeds in the body and we will receive reward or loss (2Cor 5:10, Ro 14:10, 1Cor 3:10-15)
"If we refuse to forgive and have absolutely no desire to forgive, we need to examine carefully whether we are Christians because forgiveness demonstrates whether we have ever been forgiven" (Hughes, R. K. Sermon on the Mount: The Message of the Kingdom. Crossway Books)
How do believers show mercy?
Note that this does not mean that your emotions and hurt is immediately gone? Kent Hughes says “The fact that you have forgiven and continue to forgive is a sign of grace, despite the ambivalences and imperfections of your forgiveness”
Mercy does not mean to throw your resources to the wind, but to use them wisely in meeting the needs of those in distress.
The Psalmist declares, “Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, whom He has redeemed from the hand of the adversary” (Ps 107:2, cf 1 Pet 2:9-10).
Here's the point: Those on the receiving end of mercy (believers) can now show mercy to others by proclaiming Jesus Christ as Redeemer to those still in bondage to sin and under an imminent sentence of eternal death (John 3:18, Heb 12:25, 1Jo 5:10)
Is it because others deserve to know Christ and his forgiveness? Is it because others have some good in them that might be bettered through the gospel? Are we to pray because others are longing to come to Christ? No, we pray because none of us deserve to know Christ, none deserve forgiveness, and on top of it all, none are even seeking after God (Rom 3:11). We pray because as the recipients of mercy, we long for others to know the same bounty of divine mercy through Jesus Christ.
The Pure in Heart
Remember Yuri Gagarin…
Natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God; for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised.
Jesus says clearly that
The pure in heart
Shall see God.
Who are the blessed?
Pure in Heart
Why are they blessed?
They shall see God
Greek = katharos (2513)
.Free from corrupt desire, sin and guilt
Describes pure motive in one's heart…
"This one thing I do" is the idea
What did we see in James 4:8 that parallels this truth?
Purify your hearts
Cleansing the hands symbolizes external behavior;
Fanny Crosby the great hymn writer who was blind from birth wrote… "It seemed intended by the blessed providence of God that I should be blind all my life, and I thank him for the dispensation. If perfect earthly sight were offered me tomorrow I would not accept it. I might not have sung hymns to the praise of God if I had been distracted by the beautiful and interesting things about me." A saint who was pure in heart - How else could a blind saint have written such words as…
Perfect submission, all is at rest
I in my Savior am happy and blest,
Watching and waiting, looking above,
Filled with His goodness, lost in His love.
The cultural, historical, religious context really helps one understand why and what Jesus was declaring in this beatitude, so let's take a moment and look at that context…
What if you were told that there were 158 uses of katharos in the OT (the LXX) and that a majority of these uses were in the book of Leviticus (33x) describing ceremonially "clean" versus unclean? Why might Jesus have spoken of purity of heart to his audience? What had they been taught by the legalistic Pharisees? (cf Mt 23:25-28)
The Pharisees specialized in purity of the external! Jesus turns the tables on his audience and calls for an internal cleanness or purity!
Now let's look at seeing God…
20/20 Spiritual Vision
What does "see" mean as it pertains to seeing God?
We can't physically see God now
With our human physical eyes
So clearly Jesus is speaking figuratively
Of Spiritual Vision
Remember however that Jesus declared…
"from now on you know Him and have seen Him"
"he who has seen Me has seen the Father"
How then can we see God?
"See" means to gaze at with wide-open eyes,
Note: Greek for "understanding" (noieo) denotes clear perception, full understanding, and careful consideration. We gain insight into His invisible attributes.
What does seeing equate with in this passage?
Seeing ~ Understanding
Paul is referring to God in nature
How else can we
What did you learn about the verb tense ("shall see"?
Middle Voice (reflexive = themselves)
Note: "They" is emphatic as in the other beatitudes which means they (the pure in heart) and they alone.
In other words it could be paraphrased:
As believers know and follow God more,
Walks with integrity
Does not slander
Does no evil to neighbor
Does not reproach a friend
Despises a reprobate
Honors those who fear the Lord
Does not take a bribe against the innocent
He who has clean hands (right deeds) (cf mercy)
Pure heart (right motives or focus)
Not lifted soul to falsehood (vain idols)
Not sworn deceitfully (swear in order to deceive)
Poor in spirit can bring us into salvation so that we become possessors of the Kingdom of Heaven. This beatitude ("be attitude") is to be be our continual state (i.e., reflecting continual dependence on Christ).
Naturally, our spiritual destitution gives us an awareness of the magnitude of our failure to please God by our continually independent spirit, which leads us to mourn our sin, for which God provides the blessing of His comfort in the form of forgiveness.
Then, having come to Him poor in spirit and having laid aside that independent, prideful spirit, realizing how it grieves the Father's heart (cf Ezek 6:9), we submit our will in meekness to our Lord Jesus, accepting that whatever pleases Him pleases us. For this He gives us the very earth we once foolishly tried to gain in our own strength.
Now, born of His Spirit, we hunger and thirst for His righteousness, ever more craving and finding Jesus to be the deepest satisfaction of our innermost being. We find that Jesus Alone satisfies. And as we feast on "the Bread of Life" and the "Living Water" found only in Christ, His Spirit transforms us from glory to glory (2Cor 3:18), and so it is only natural that as we become more and more like Him…
Mercy that He gives to us cannot help but flow from our lives to those in need around us, believers and unbelievers alike. And as this river of mercy flows by the Spirit's power from our innermost being, more and more we experience His great mercies as fresh and new every morning (Lam 3:22-23).
Enveloped by His abundant mercies, which remind us that we no longer have hearts of stone but of flesh (Ezekiel 36:26-27; 11:19-20, cf Deut 30:6, Jeremiah 31:34, 32:39-40, 2Cor 3:2-3, 5:17, Gal 6:15), there comes the knowledge that my heart must be pure if I would see Him more and more. My hunger and thirst for righteousness has revealed this to me. The greater the purity of my heart, the more intimately I will know Him, for there will be less and less to dim my spiritual vision.
Be Thou my Vision, O Lord of my heart;
Sermon on the Mount
Hunger and thirst for righteousness
You are what you eat! So this beatitude is a test of our spiritual walk.
What is your spiritual "diet'? Jesus has set the table and given us the "appetite stimulant" in the form of His indwelling Holy Spirit. The main course is Christ's righteousness lived out in everyday life. The requirement is a continual poverty of spirit, a sense of our own inability to live this supernatural life (cf Mt 5:3) and a "desperate passion" like a deer thirsting for the water brooks (Ps 42:1-2, cf Isa 55:1-2).
How is your spiritual appetite? Appetite is defined as any of the instinctive desires necessary to keep up organic life. It is an inherent craving, passion, hunger, desire, yearning. The soul has an appetite (cf Ps 42:1-2, 107:9). The counterfeit method of "satisfying" our soul hunger and thirst is to do it the world's way, like the bumper sticker that reads "He who dies with the most toys wins!" Wrong! As Augustine said (paraphrased) our souls were made for God and nothing but God filling them will bring earthly and eternal satisfaction.
The one who gets a taste of God's righteousness, paradoxically will continue to hunger and thirst for that righteousness. We read a parallel thought in this secular quote "The appetite grows by eating" (François Rabelais Gargantua) That's the counterfeit but the authentic is Jesus' beatitude in Mt 5:6, which presents the same spiritual dynamic - he who "tastes" will desire more!
The origin of "appetite" is interesting - it is from the Latin from appetere which means to strive after, to desire ardently. What are you striving for? What is it that you ardently, even urgently desire? Is it self righteousness like the Pharisees? Is it the transient, temporally satisfying, treasures of this world? (cf 1Jo 2:17, Hebrews 11:24-25)? Is it the spiritual water (John 4:10,13-14) and bread (John 6:26-27, 32-33, 35-40) that alone quenches and at the same time creates a hunger and thirst for more?
Appetite describes one’s desire or longing for something so that it stays on the mind, and consumes the thoughts until satisfied. We can have healthy appetites that enhance our lives. Or we can have destructive appetites that drive us away from God's righteousness, and can destroy every relationship. As Pastor Phil Newton states…
The beatitude in Mt 5:6 rules out half hearted religion because hungering and thirsting is the only description Jesus gives of those who are truly citizens of His Kingdom. Do you remember what it was like when you first believed in Jesus? How was your appetite for Him? You could not get enough could you? He was your every thought, your every desire. But perhaps as time passed, sins crept in and lessened your longing for His presence. Has this happened in your life beloved citizen of the Kingdom? (cf Rev 2:4-5) Then go to the living waters of His Word and beg Him to create in your heart an earnest desire to seek Him, a soul that is desperately thirsting and yearning for Him as if you are in a dry and weary land where there is no water. (Read and pray Psalm 63:1, cf Ps 139:23-24, 51:10) Remember though, if you possess absolutely no desire to hunger and thirst for Christ and His righteous Life being lived out practically in and through you, then please consider performing an honest check up of the state of your soul. This is not a judgmental but a merciful, kind appeal. And frankly, ultimately, only you really know whether you possess this inner longing for righteous living.
There are few things more important then our spiritual appetite - you are what you eat beloved (cf Job 23:12, Deut 8:3)
James 1:21 helps us understand how we can cultivate our spiritual appetites for righteousness (and for holy things) - putting aside all wickedness and all that remains of filthiness and in humility (meekness) receiving the Word implanted which is able to save our souls.
Robert Murray M’Cheyne (The impact of Robert Murray McCheyne) knew this desperate hungering for righteousness, crying out
There is nothing that will more affect your total worldview and behavior than an unflagging passion and desire to be holy like Jesus Christ. Do you desire to be like Christ? Does this burn in your heart? Does it affect the day to day decisions you make, the relationships you enter, the way you use your resources, the way you use your time, the things you do for recreation, the way you approach your education and vocation? This passion works itself out in right (righteous) living, the only life that will give genuine satisfaction, but paradoxically the very life that will leave you panting and thirsting for more of Jesus, in Whom all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge are found (Col 2:3), in Whom is your very life (Col 3:4), in whom you find everything necessary for life and godliness. (2Peter 1:3-4) (Play the midi All in All, pray the lyrics from the depths of your soul. Or play one of my favorite choruses Do You Not Know?/All in All)
John Stott speaks of the necessity for believers to continually hunger and continually thirst, writing that…
Seek (7836) (shachar) to diligently seek; to search for, seek early or earnestly, to strongly desire something, with a focus on a relationship with that object. Figuratively it means to be up early at any task with the implication of earnestness by extension. to search for with painstaking. The idea can be to rise and seek diligently early in the morning.
Warren Wiersbe writing on Psalm 63:1 comments…
Spurgeon has the following comments on Psalm 63:1
Spurgeon also has a sermon based on Psalm 63:1-2…
Matthew Henry has the following note on Psalm 63:1-2…
An Episode from the Life of Moses which depicts one who hungers and thirsts for righteousness…
See sermon by John Piper entitled I Will Be Gracious to Whom I Will Be Gracious
Dwight Pentecost has these thoughts on this episode in Moses' life…
See notes on the attribute of God - Mercy
Ephesians 2:4 "rich in mercy"
See discussion by Richard Strauss entitled "Rich In Mercy "
James 2:13 seems like a stern warning and some commentaries interpret this warning by saying James is just speaking of believers who fail to show mercy and will suffer "loss of rewards" at the Judgment Seat of Christ. Here is William MacDonald's comment on this verse…
On the other hand, the majority of evangelical commentaries (some samples of which are shown in the comments below) feel that James is referring primarily to those who have never shown mercy… they can't because they've never received the mercy of God in forgiveness.
The excellent expository writer D. Edmond Hiebert explains this passage as follows…
John MacArthur explains this passage this way…
KJV Bible Commentary writes that…
Matthew Henry advises the reader of James to…
Kurt Richardson explains that
Kent Hughes notes that…
Warren Wiersbe comments that…
Marvin Vincent has the following note on "triumphs over" writing that…
Corrie Ten Boom's example of forgiveness (from The Hiding Place) in which she describes an unexpected encounter with one of the Nazi guards who had mistreated her at Ravensbruck concentration camp, where her sister had Betsie died and she herself had been subjected to horrible indignities. Corrie writes…
The consciousness of a pure heart. We must understand that God is far more interested in what we ARE than in what we DO for God. If what we are does not please His holiness, than what we do is virtually worthless. (cf 1Sa 16:7)
To have a pure heart fellowship and be accountable to those who have one… Paul says it this way…