Text: Matthew 5:6, Matthew 7:7-11, Romans 9:3-33, Romans 10:1-4, Psalm 17:15
We can’t get Harvey to stop eating green acorns in the backyard. Yes, specifically the green ones, and no, his stomach does not agree.
The main reason our goldendoodle puppy keeps finding acorns is because, well, it’s fall and they’re everywhere. He sniffs them out with the same tenacity I use when looking for a stray piece of gum in my purse. Before you know it, he’s crunch-crunch-crunching away. Again.
We’ve scolded him repeatedly, enrolled him in puppy school, and used lots of bribery. But when it’s not green acorns, he’s gnawing anything from a wooden armchair to a human hand, and at that point, I’ll take the pesky acorn any day. All the while, he ignores his full bowl of dog food, and although I haven’t tasted it myself, I’ll bet it tastes better than all those other things. When will he learn to eat the right things?
Better yet, when will we?
I’m hungry all the time. Of course, my stomach rumbles when I don’t eat breakfast or eye the pint of ice cream in the fridge, but it’s even more frequent than that—I’m ravenous for approval, control, love, and fulfillment. Instagram likes, friendly compliments, and foolproof plans are my foods of choice. Before I know it, I’m crunch-crunch-crunching away. Again.
But even after gorging myself, I am still unsatisfied and on to trying the next thing. Anybody else? Friends, we, too, are missing the satisfaction already set out for us—in Christ.
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.”
- Matthew 5:6
I tend to picture the person who hungers and thirsts for righteousness as a total kill-joy, as if this verse is telling them—and us—to go on a strict righteousness cleanse. But it’s not! No, it’s inviting us into something so much better. Paul explains the distinction like this: “Because they disregarded the righteousness from God and attempted to establish their own righteousness, they have not submitted themselves to God’s righteousness. For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes” (Romans 10:3-4).
If we are left to feed on our own righteousness, we will starve. But when we feed on the righteousness of Christ, we will be satisfied. On the cross, Jesus knew He was the only thing that would satisfy, and even in our longings today, it still rings true. We cannot create or earn righteousness on our own; we can only partake in the gift of His.
In contrast to our worldly desires that leave us longing and hungry for more, our satisfaction in Christ only increases with our hunger for Him. The more we seek first the kingdom of God, the more we will be fulfilled by His goodness—a taste of eternal satisfaction in the life to come.
“But I will see Your face in righteousness;
when I awake, I will be satisfied with Your presence.”
- Psalm 17:15