UpsideDOWN Part 3

C.S. Lewis wrote…

I have found a desire within myself that no experience in this world can satisfy; the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world.

We all have desires and passions in our hearts and minds. The questions is what is that desire in your heart?

Is your desire something that “no experience in this world can satisfy” or is your desire something this world could satisfy? We must not get caught up in the desires of the world that we miss the desires of God.

Continuing through Jesus’ UPsideDown teachings about life He touched on the idea of desires of life.

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.

Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.

Matthew 5:6-7

The desires of this world are many, but Jesus said, you will be blessed is you hunger and thirst or desire Righteousness. Throughout history this has not been the desire of people’s hearts.

The desire for power, wealth, and recognition are not at the heart of God. God desires people to do what is right. Jesus uses the ideas of hungering and thirsting after the desires of God. People talk about having character, but the character Jesus is talking about here is deeper than what is normally considered good character.

Integrity is doing the right thing even no one is looking. 

When we hunger and thirst or strongly desire to have righteousness or integrity we will be filled. The analogy Jesus’ uses are not the same. For many years reading this verse I assumed Jesus was saying the same thing when it comes to hunger and thirst. I believed it was simply Jesus restating Himself. Hunger and thirst were essentially the same thing just helped to emphasize the other. I believe there is a little deeper understanding here. To understand we must look at John 6:35

Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.

Jesus said He was the bread of life and that hunger is filled for the person who COMES to Him. He goes on to say thirst is filled for the person who BELIEVES in Him.

These are very similar, but different. Coming to Jesus is the response of the drawing of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit draws people to God. He is the one who convicts sin and guides people from that sin into the truth.  Then once the person has come to the understanding of Jesus Christ and His sacrifice; they must make a choice to believe or not.

I believe this is why Jesus said those who hunger and thirst will be filled. When people experience a hunger and a thirst for Righteousness or Christ they will be filled. The world is hungry. They seek to fill that hunger with so many desires that are found in the world. But nothing will satisfy them like Christ will. As Lewis said, the desire we have deep down can not be filled with what the world has. It can only be from the Bread of Life; Jesus Christ.

Hunger is the first step in the fullness Jesus gives. The coming to Christ for our hunger is what we experience in Salvation.

Thirst is the next step/steps in life. Once we have come to Christ we have salvation, but the daily process of refreshing our souls is through the water that comes from Christ.

This is why we must have both hunger and thirst after righteousness; we will be blessed and filled when we allow Him to fill our desire through salvation. Then Jesus will not leave us thirsting for more, because we have the Holy Spirit who will continuously fill our thirsty souls. Food and drink must walk hand in hand to give life, but they are not the same. If you only have one, you will not have physical life. In the same way you must have both a coming (hunger) and a believing (thirst) for Christ’s righteousness.

If you want to be filled do not allow the desires of the world get in the way of the desire for righteousness.

Then Jesus continued  in Matthew 5:7

Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.

This is connected to a desire for righteousness perfectly, but it too, is not what the world has taught. A person who is merciful is often viewed as weak. It is acceptable to show mercy sometimes, but too often will simply allow everyone walk all over you. However, Jesus did not give the “acceptable” reasons to show mercy to others.

Jesus is instructing/warning us that if we do not show mercy unconditionally we will not be shown mercy. This means we must be willing to look past people’s sin, hurt, pain, and personal attacks.

Remember integrity is doing the right thing (like showing mercy/forgiving someone when they do not deserve it) whether someone is watching or not.

This is important to understand, because if we hunger for righteousness, but will not forgive we will not be filled. We will be the person who comes to Christ and finds the truth, but walks away because the cost of His food and drink is too hard. We must have mercy for all people (including those closest to you…spouse, parents, children) if we wish to be filled with the righteousness and be shown mercy when we stand for our lives.

This does not mean ignoring or cutting the people out who have hurt you, but it means truly showing mercy and forgiveness. This is the only way to truly come to Christ and eat and drink of Him. People too often talk about the grace and mercy of God without understanding our side of it. Jesus said…

14 For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.

Matthew 6:14-15

If we are willing to have mercy for others, God will NOT have mercy on us! You may be thinking…well I am saved…I prayed a prayer and was told I would go to Heaven. That may be true, but does your life (inner and outward desires) resemble Christ and mercy for all people?

Are your deepest desires for those things of Heaven (another world) or would you love to give that person a real piece of your mind? “Blessed are the merciful” not the ones who get justice, even, or simply ignore for what has happened.

We must forgive as Christ forgave us!

Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

  • Ephesians 4:32

Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.

  • Colossians 3:13

We find in John 4 Jesus displays what it means to hunger and thirst for righteousness while being merciful. This is the encounter Jesus with the Samaritan woman at Jacob’s well. Jesus was traveling with the disciples through Samaria. It was not common for Jews to travel through Samaria. Most of the time they would travel around the city, because…

…For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.

John 4:9b

Because of Jesus’ great mercy He decided to travel through instead of around. Jesus sat down at a well outside the city of Sychar. Then…

a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, “Will you give me a drink?” (His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.) The Samaritan woman said to him, “You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?

John 4:7-9a

She was very confused because it was not common that Jews had anything to do with them. This historical hatred cause the two people to not talk or interact at all. Jesus had such a desire for righteousness and a merciful heart that He stood against the culture. Their conversation continued…

10 Jesus answered, “If you knew the gift of God and who is asking you for a drink, you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.”

11“Sir,” the woman replied, “You have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where then will You get this living water? 12 Are You greater than our father Jacob, who gave us this well and drank from it himself, as did his sons and his livestock?”

13 Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again. 14 But whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a fount of water springing up to eternal life.”

15 The woman said to Him, “Sir, give me this water so that I will not get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water.”

16 Jesus told her, “Go, call your husband and come back.”

17 “I have no husband,” the woman replied.

Jesus said to her, “You are correct to say that you have no husband. 18 In fact, you have had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband. You have spoken truthfully.”

19“Sir,” the woman said, “I see that You are a prophet. 20 Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, but you Jews say that the place where one must worship is in Jerusalem.”

21“Believe Me, woman,” Jesus replied, “a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. 22 You worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews. 23 But a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth, for the Father is seeking such as these to worship Him. 24 God is Spirit, and His worshipers must worship Him in spirit and in truth.”

25 The woman said, “I know that Messiah” (called Christ) “is coming. When He comes, He will explain everything to us.”

26 Jesus answered, “I who speak to you am He.”

John 4:10-26

Jesus again is using the idea of water. When a person drinks of the water He gives they will find salvation. This is the living in righteousness and mercy for all people. The water that fills and springs forth inside of people covering all they do.

The woman doesn’t understand at first, but then Jesus points out her relationship sin. There is clear sin going on in this woman’s life. Whatever the reason for her having multiple husbands or living with another man, does not matter. It is sin in her life. Jesus does not condemn her for the sin. He shows her great mercy in this area. Once this was brought to light Jesus as a Jewish Rabbi could have condemned her to death.

If a man commits adultery with another man’s wife—with the wife of his neighbor—both the adulterer and the adulteress are to be put to death.

Leviticus 20:10

“Blessed are the Merciful!”

Jesus simply sees the sin and continues to love her for WHO she is; not condemn her for what she has done. This is righteousness in action. No one else was around, but Jesus still had great righteousness and mercy or integrity.

Their encounter continues with the disciples returning and the woman, who had been attempting to fill her hunger and thirst with what the world had to offer (sex); found that Jesus was able to fill her deepest desire she ran to tell someone. She leaves everything and begins telling everyone in town about Jesus.

Do you see how her desire (hunger and thirst) changed from something in the world to something of “another world?”

True salvation is not a prayer, but it is a true and complete coming and believing in Christ as all we need for life.

While she is gone the disciples give Jesus the food they had gotten…

32 But He told them, I have food to eat that you know nothing about.”

33 So the disciples asked one another, “Could someone have brought Him food?”

34 Jesus explained, My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me and to finish His work. 35 Do you not say, ‘There are still four months until the harvest’? I tell you, lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are ripe for harvest.

36 Already the reaper draws his wages and gathers a crop for eternal life, so that the sower and the reaper may rejoice together. 37 For in this case the saying ‘One sows and another reaps’ is true. 38 I sent you to reap what you have not worked for; others have done the hard work, and now you have taken up their labor.”

John 4:32-38

Jesus hungered and thirsted after righteousness. He needed to eat physical food, but His desire was deeper than that. He desired to follow the will of God and at this minute meant witnessing to the people in Sychar. They were more important than what He may have been feeling in the natural body. When we look at our hunger and thirst are we willing to set aside our desires to accomplish God’s plan? We can only do that when we come to the place where we will truly seek His righteousness OVER all else through the merciful heart for the world.

The time in Sychar ends with many Samaritans coming and believing in Jesus as the Savior.

What is Jesus teaching in Matthew 5:6-7?

He is teaching that we must have an overwhelming desire for what God desires. Or in other words – a desire to love serve Him fully in our lives and witnessing truth to the world.

He is teaching that we must have unconditional forgiveness for all people. We must forgive as Christ forgave – this means not allowing our emotions to rule and witnessing to all people (even if the sin was personal).

The 2020 vision for my church is Rise Up Take Courage and Do it! When it comes to Matthew 5:6-7 we must do something.

We must rise up above the desires of the world take courage in our righteousness and do it in our mercy toward EVERYONE!

I encourage you do join the world movement with us as we join GO2020! For more information check out this video

Go2020 video_USA from Campus Alliance on Vimeo.

And the resources for you or your church here

God Bless! BetheLIGHT

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