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Happy Are the Hungry

by Stephen Davey

You’ve heard the old adage: we are what we eat. We are either helped or hurt by what we consume. 

We’re all familiar with nutritional listings on food and beverage packages. When I was younger, I never read that stuff on the side of a box or package – I was only interested in buying that package because it was filled with Oreo cookies with double stuffing. 

But with age comes wisdom . . . and caution. I’m now comfortable blocking the grocery aisle reading labels because I want to know the contents; how many carbohydrates and calories and sugar and sodium. Now it matters. 

If that rings true physically, it’s certainly true spiritually; we are what we consume. 

How many Christians do you know who are really rigid when it comes to what they put into their bodies; and completely flexible and cavalier with what they put into their minds? 

We are in need of discernment today more than ever before with the flood of information and media technology at our fingertips. 

What are we consuming? 

Listen to these statistics recently posted in an article in Voice Magazine: 

  • YouTube users upload 300 hours of new video content every 60 seconds. 
  • Email users send 259 billion emails every day. 
  • Facebook users combine to watch 100 million hours of video every day. 
  • Twitter posts 500 million tweets every day. 
  • 1,076 new websites are launched every single minute. 

We are literally inundated by a daily tsunami of information and data. 

Jesus made a direct connection between your happiness and what you consume in Matthew 5:6, where he said, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.” 

This righteousness doesn’t have to do with being right with God as much as it has to do with living right for God. Jesus says that living right is undeniably connected to happiness. 

Paul had this kind of hunger and thirst for righteousness. He said it was his passion – his ambition to be pleasing to God” 

(2 Corinthians 5:9). 

This is to be our hunger and thirst. Our greatest pleasure is found in pleasing God. 

The menu of righteousness is expanded in Paul’s letter to the Philippians believers: 

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. (Philippians 4:8) 

In other words, we need to develop a craving for these things. We need to develop an appetite for whatever is commendable and excellent and praiseworthy and lovely and honorable. 

Yes, we have the righteousness of Christ – that’s our unchanging status; now, let’s live out the righteousness of Christ – that’s our daily experience

In 1971, a revival came to many churches in Western Canada. It made news in the secular press because of the number of people going to stores and other businesses and making restitution for stealing or cheating. Many even went to the Canadian border to report that they had lied about goods brought over from the United States. 

When revival came, so did a desire for righteousness. They weren’t living righteously so that they could be saved, but because they were revived in their spiritual condition. Their spiritual appetite was for living right because they were saved. 

Paul provided a list of characteristics in his letter to the church of Galatia. We know that list as “The Fruits of the Spirit.” This list is not called “The Requirements for Salvation,” in fact, believers understand that we are not filled with the Spirit until the moment we are saved. 

This list of characteristics is for those who are saved and daily seek the control of God’s Spirit in their pursuit of practicing righteousness. And what are these characteristics? 

The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control (Galatians 5:22-23). 

We are what we consume. With that in mind, here are some questions we should ask ourselves everyday: Is what I’m consuming today conforming me to righteousness? 

How hungry am I? What’s on the label of the things I daily consume – mentally, spiritually and emotionally? Am I really hungry for righteousness? 

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