Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled. Matthew 5:6
When you’re in Las Vegas and feel like a burger, drop into the Burger Brasserie. You can get a Kobe beef and Maine lobster burger with pancetta, goat cheese, and arugula, drizzled with the 100-year balsamic. But be warned. The price of the burger is $777. Or you can stroll down to Fleur by Hubert Keller at the Mandalay Bay and have a burger made from Wagyu beef, fois gras, and truffles. The cost? A mere $5,000.
But think of this: Whenever you sit down at the kitchen table and open your Bible, you’re feasting on something that is “more… desired… than gold… sweeter… than honey” (Psalm 19:10). The prophet Jeremiah said, “Your words were found, and I ate them, and Your word was to me the joy and rejoicing of my heart” (Jeremiah 15:16).
When people lose their appetites, we worry about them. As Christians, we should have a hearty appetite for God’s Word and for the kind of righteous living it produces. Hungering for spiritual food leads to growth, growth leads to godliness—and that’s not expensive. It’s priceless.
When our body needs energy, we eat food. But when our soul needs hope, what do we feed it? Promises…. Our souls are designed to be nourished by God’s “precious and very great promises” (2 Peter 1:4). Jon Bloom
John Piper Sermon: Blessed Are Those Who Hunger and Thirst for Righteousness
“I am carrying on a great project and cannot go down. Why should the work stop while I leave it and go down to you?” Nehemiah 6:3
The security guard found and removed a piece of tape that was keeping a door from clicking shut. Later, when he checked the door, he found it had been taped again. He called the police, who arrived and arrested five burglars.
Working at the Watergate building in Washington, DC, the headquarters of a major political party in the US, the young guard had just uncovered the biggest political scandal of his lifetime simply by taking his job seriously—and doing it well.
Nehemiah began rebuilding the wall around Jerusalem—a task he took very seriously. Toward the end of the project, neighboring rivals asked him to meet with them in a nearby village. Under the guise of a friendly invitation was an insidious trap (Nehemiah 6:1–2). Yet Nehemiah’s response shows the depth of his conviction: “I am carrying on a great project and cannot go down. Why should the work stop while I leave it and go down to you?” (v. 3).
Although he certainly possessed some authority, Nehemiah may not have rated very high on the hero scale. He wasn’t a great warrior, not a poet or a prophet, not a king or a sage. He was a cupbearer-turned-contractor. Yet he believed he was doing something vital for God. May we take seriously what He’s given us to do and do it well in His power and provision.
Reflect & Pray
What has God called you to do? Why is it important for you to take it seriously—seeing it as a great work?
Dear God, help me to believe that I’m doing a great work. I trust that You’ve called me to this in this season. Give me the focus to stay the course.
1 Kings 18:17-40
During the days of King Ahab, Israel was pulled in two directions. Ahab had instituted Baal worship, but Elijah challenged Israel to follow God. When He pressed the people to make up their minds about whom to serve, they were speechless.
The Old Testament presents idolatry as a serious issue, but in this modern civilized world worship of idols seems archaic and irrelevant. However, we are sometimes just like the Israelites—we can’t make up our minds about whom to serve.
If something or someone has higher value and priority to us than Christ, we are trying to serve two masters, which Jesus says is impossible. We will end up loving one and hating the other (Matt. 6:24). God’s generous gifts of relationships, possessions, and meaningful work should never be cherished more than the Giver.
The way your time is used reveals your heart’s priorities. Is a part of each day devoted to God, or is every minute consumed by the demands of life? Or consider the area of dependence. Is there anyone or anything you rely on more than God? If so, it’s time to stop straddling the fence and give your life wholly to God.
“And when they were come in, they went up into an upper room….These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication.” (Acts 1:13-14)
What a myriad of thoughts must have been swirling through the believers’ heads as they walked back to Jerusalem after Christ ascended into heaven. They had many enemies in Jerusalem, but they walked fearlessly because He who claimed “all power is given unto me in heaven and in earth” (Matthew 28:18) promised that “I am with you always, even unto the end of the world” (v. 20). They obediently assembled in “an upper room” (literally “the” upper room) to wait and pray.
Notice who is present. The list includes the 11 remaining disciples, reassembled after scattering. Peter, who had denied the Lord, had gained sweet forgiveness; doubting Thomas had his skepticisms answered; and John was there, the “disciple whom Jesus loved.” But even he had deserted his Lord in the garden as the soldiers came.
Mary, the mother of Jesus, was there. She had raised Him as a completely loving and obedient child, only to see Him ridiculed and opposed. She anguished as only a mother could, to see Him hanging on the tree, but her anguish had been quelled. At least two of her other sons were there, presumably New Testament authors James and Jude. Earlier, they had scoffed, but now they understood. Other women were also present, those who were the last ones at the cross and the first to see Him once the tomb had yielded up its dead. The entire group can be pictured as a trophy of His grace, mercy, and forgiveness.
They gathered together in perfect “accord,” a common bond of faith and purpose, praying and petitioning God for His will and power. Might we not see many examples for our lives and prayers in these verses? JDM
But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. 1 Corinthians 2:10
The Bible is a human Book—every word written by someone—so we should study it with ordinary methods of interpretation, not turning everything into some kind of allegory but taking the literal portions of the Bible literally and correctly interpreting elements that are poetic or clearly symbolic. But the Bible is also a divine Book—every word given by God—so we must study it with the Holy Spirit as our tutor.
James M “Buck” Hatch, legendary professor at Columbia International University, taught that since the Bible is God’s Word, we must be His children to truly understand it, and we must be willing to trust it and obey it, praying in the spirit of Psalm 119:18: “Open my eyes, that I may see wondrous things from Your law.”
In 1 Corinthians 2, the apostle Paul said that as we study the Bible, only the Holy Spirit can open our eyes to its deepest secrets (“the deep things of God,” verse 10). What a statement! Through Spirit-blessed daily Bible study, we can understand God’s deep and wonderful secrets. Approaching our study of God’s Word with meekness helps us learn and grow.
One must be continually submitted to the will of God to understand the Scriptures. James M. Hatch
God’s True and Complete Revelation (1 Corinthians 2:6-16)
Whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. 1 Corinthians 10:31
“We’re going on vacation!” my wife enthusiastically told our three-year-old grandson Austin as we pulled out of the driveway on the first leg of our trip. Little Austin looked at her thoughtfully and responded, “I’m not going on vacation. I’m going on a mission!”
We’re not sure where our grandson picked up the concept of going “on a mission,” but his comment gave me something to ponder as we drove to the airport: As I leave on this vacation and take a break for a few days, am I keeping in mind that I’m still “on a mission” to live each moment with and for God? Am I remembering to serve Him in everything I do?
The apostle Paul encouraged the believers living in Rome, the capital city of the Roman Empire, to “never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord” (Romans 12:11). His point was that our life in Jesus is meant to be lived intentionally and with enthusiasm. Even the most mundane moments gain new meaning as we look expectantly to God and live for His purposes.
As we settled into our seats on the plane, I prayed, “Lord, I’m yours. Whatever you have for me to do on this trip, please help me not to miss it.”
Every day is a mission of eternal significance with Him!
Reflect & Pray
Have you ever been on a mission? How can you make life all about God?
Please give me grace to live for You, Jesus, so that I may one day hear You say, “Well done, good and faithful servant!” (Matthew 25:23)
1 Kings 18:1-16
Faith and obedience are traveling companions heading to the same destination of pleasing and glorifying the Lord. They grow together simultaneously as they are practiced but wither if neglected. Therefore, God sometimes brings new challenges into our lives to strengthen our trust and submission to Him.
Elijah was a prophet who had proven himself faithful to the Lord. Even when he was told to appear before King Ahab who was seeking to kill him, he obeyed. Obadiah was another faithful servant of God who had rescued other prophets, but when Elijah told him to report his presence to Ahab, Obadiah feared for his life.
Fear short-circuits faith when we begin to doubt that God’s way is really best. If we allow anxiety to gain a foothold in our mind, we’ll respond by refusing to do what the Lord says. The result is a change of traveling companions. Instead of faith and obedience, we start walking with doubt and rebellion.
Great faith begins with small steps. When you follow God’s Word, an ever-increasing cycle of faith and obedience begins. Don’t let fear rob you of the blessings God has planned for your life.