Faithlife Sermons

It's Never Enough

Unhindered  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Back to our theme for the year - “Unhindered”
Jesus calls Lazarus out of the grave and then tells the people to untie him and release him
John 11:44 NKJV
And he who had died came out bound hand and foot with graveclothes, and his face was wrapped with a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Loose him, and let him go.”
Jesus expects his church to not only experience the resurrection power that we celebrated last week
He expects us, by the power of the Holy spirit to live free and producing lives in the world that we live in
He wants us to be unhindered or free from the things of this life that keep us down and tied up
He wants us to live in a way, work in a way and play in a way that releases others around us into the call that God has for their lives a well.
So that’s what we’ve been looking at - the life style that keeps us unhindered
The life style that keeps us productive for the Kingdom of Heaven
The Life style that gives us fulness of life.
We talked about that life of fulness - living in the truth, experiencing the way
living as salt and light in a bland world of darkness
And that brought us to the life attitudes that we need to have - the beatitudes
A step by step progression that leads us to a fulfilled and victorious life
First - Being poor in spirit or spiritually bankrupt outside of Christ.
Secondly - to be spiritually mournful - Recognizing and responsive to our spiritual condition without the life and spirit of Christ living in us.
And thirdly - our last message - being meek and humble
Not week, but recognizing that our power can only come from God and trusting Him for it
Using that authority in Jesus name to promote others and look out for those around us
all the while inheriting the earth - or overcoming these things of the earth that bring fear and intrepidation

The Progression of the Spirit Life

God has a standard that cannot be lowered - you and I fall short of that. The Holy Spirit reminds of this fact as he convicts us of our sin.
We recognize that there is nothing that we can do to measure up to God’s requirements
The Holy Spirit creates within us a heart that desires to be free from this situation.
The heart looks to Christ - The one who makes us righteous - Our fourth beatitude
Matthew 5:6 NKJV
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, For they shall be filled.
The first three looked at our status and our situation in life
We are poor without him
We are mournful outside of him
Our need of him causes us to be meek
But now the fourth beatitude focuses our eyes off of ourselves and onto Jesus.
Blessed are those...

Who Hungers and thirsts?

Who is it that hungers and thirsts? It is those without the important things of this life.
That being in the sense of the words used here - those without food and water
This is usually those in dire straights
Those who are hurting and probably dying
Those who are weak
Those who are sick
Hunger and thirst, church in America is not our hungry and thirsty - at least not for the larger part of us
We eat three and four times a day - It is not the hunger you feel between lunch and dinner.
We buy soda, and fruit drinks, we can refill our cup at almost every eating place for free
we pay unbelievable amounts for our water - I can tell you that it is not the thirst that you feel because you went out to rake the leaves on a hot day and now you are parched
This Hunger and thirst is much stronger than any of our situations.
This hunger and thirsting is a forceful and intense desire, that if I don’t get what I need, I am going to die.
People in our world live with this every day. It is hard for us to understand.
So if we can’t understand it in a physical sense, we have a very hard time understanding it in a spiritual sense
Susanna Petroysan - December 1988 - Soviet Armenia - Daughter Gayaney - trapped 8 days
Susanna gave her blood to quench her daughters thirst
Let’s bring that into the realm of the spirtiual this morning
Jesus - This cup is my blood of the new covenant
each of us trapped in the collapse and destruction of humanity
If anyone is thirsty let him come to me and drink
The problem is church, that we need to become hungry and thirsty before we will accept it.
And once we accept that sacrifice, he wants us to become hungry and thirsty for the righteousness that only he can give.
For that’s what this beatitude tells us that they hunger and thirst for - Righteousness

What is Righteousness?

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst....
Isaiah 45:8 NKJV
“Rain down, you heavens, from above, And let the skies pour down righteousness; Let the earth open, let them bring forth salvation, And let righteousness spring up together. I, the Lord, have created it.
For what?
Remember that Isaiah prophecies a lot about the coming Messiah, Jesus Christ
Here we see that this righteousness would come from above - God’s son being sent from Heaven above to live in the flesh and to die for our sins
The fourth beatitude, now turns our eyes from ourselves to God because there is a strong desire for the righteousness that we cannot ever attain outside of him.
Then we see righteousness springing up from the inside the earth and bringing forth salvation - Jesus’ resurrection from the dead and the tomb
Isaiah 46:12–13 NKJV
“Listen to Me, you stubborn-hearted, Who are far from righteousness: I bring My righteousness near, it shall not be far off; My salvation shall not linger. And I will place salvation in Zion, For Israel My glory.
Isaiah 51:5 NKJV
My righteousness is near, My salvation has gone forth, And My arms will judge the peoples; The coastlands will wait upon Me, And on My arm they will trust.
Isaiah 56:1 NKJV
Thus says the Lord: “Keep justice, and do righteousness, For My salvation is about to come, And My righteousness to be revealed.
What two words do we see always together when God speaks about his righteousness?
Righteousness and salvation - the two are intertwined. They go together in the plan of God for humanity
Paul ties it all together in the New Testament when he writes in
Romans 1:16–17 NKJV
For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “The just shall live by faith.”
Romans 3:23–24 NKJV
for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus,
God has provided in the savior, His son Jesus Christ, a perfect righteousness - that which satisfies all the demands that the Holy Law of God placed on us and against us.
This righteousness is imputed to us - meaning legally accredited to our account - when we believe in Jesus Christ.
On the cross - all of our sins were placed upon Christ at one time. But at the same time His righteousness - perfect righteousness was placed upon us.
2 Corinthians 5:21 NKJV
For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
So when we say that we are saved, we are also saying that we have been made righteous
righteousness is synonymous with God’s salvation
Hunger and thirst = Strong Desire
Our righteousness is as filthy rags, but because I no longer live in myself, but through Jesus’ death and resurrection I live in him, my sin has been taken by him, I am dead to that life, and I am alive and righteous in Him.
The beatitudes are really the gospel spelled out in living terms
We recognize that there is nothing that we can do to measure up to God’s requirements
The Holy Spirit creates within us a heart that desires to be free from this situation.
The heart looks to Christ - The one who makes us righteous
First we long to be saved by Christ
Then we long to become like Christ
Which causes us to long for a closer walk with Christ. - to walk in his righteousness
And that’s the key, this is a walk, not a destination.

Keep Being Hungry and Thirsty

Just because we have come to experience Jesus as our savior, doesn’t mean the hunger and thirsting is over.
Jesus said that blessed are they who Hunger and thirst not those who have hungered and thirsted
What are you doing today, my brother to perpetuate your hunger for righteousness?
What spiritual checks are you setting up in your life, my sister, to make sure that your thirst for the righteousness of Christ is ongoing?
Psalm 42:1 NKJV
As the deer pants for the water brooks, So pants my soul for You, O God.
Sometimes I think that we suppose in our hearts that we can’t get any more of Jesus
He has given us his all
He is the bread of life - in whom all fulness is found - how could we want more?
I want to explain that today in closing.
Yes, you can be content with Christ - He is everything that you need.
But because we live in the flesh, we cannot allow ourselves to be content with where we are in him.
Philippians 3:8–14 NKJV
Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith; that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead. Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
So God is looking for hungry people today
God is looking for a church that will thirst for his righteousness - desire more and more of his presence in their meetings and their lives
Is there anyone like that here today?
Are there people here today who will say with this pastor, God we need more
God we want more
More of you in our lives, more of your power, more of your Word, more of your righteousness in our walk.
And he says that if we would be this people - we shall be filled. That desire will be met
Max Lucado in The Applause of Heaven gives an illustration of this with his daughters
He took them to sea world
ball pit - youngest with our arms full of balls
And he says -
Jesus’ promise is comprehensive: “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.”
We usually get what we hunger and thirst for. The problem is, the treasures of earth don’t satisfy. The promise is, the treasures of heaven do.
Blessed are those, then, who hold their earthly possessions in open palms. Blessed are those who, if everything they own were taken from them, would be, at most, inconvenienced, because their true wealth is elsewhere. Blessed are those who are totally dependent upon Jesus for their joy.
“Andrea,” her father pleaded, “there are more than enough balls to play with at the table. Concentrate on walking.”
“Max,” the heavenly Father pleads, “there are more riches than you could ever dream at the banquet table. Concentrate on walking.”
Our resistance to our Father is just as childish as Andrea’s. God, for our own good, tries to loosen our grip from something that will cause us to fall. But we won’t let go.
“No, I won’t give up my weekend rendezvous for eternal joy.”
“Trade a life addicted to drugs and alcohol for a life of peace and a promise of heaven? Are you kidding?”
“I don’t want to die. I don’t want a new body. I want this one. I don’t care if it is fat, balding, and destined to decay. I want this body.”
And there we lie, submerged in the pits, desperately clutching the very things that cause us grief.
It’s a wonder the Father doesn’t give up.
Lucado, M. (1996). The applause of heaven (pp. 105–106). Dallas, TX: Word Pub.
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