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Hungering and Thirsting for Righteousness

Updated: Oct 20, 2023

(Photo by Aaron Burden/Unsplash)

By Dr. Bascom Ratliff

Pastor, Parker/Beagle/Fontana United Methodist Churches

During his sermon on the Mount, Jesus tells us that, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.” Later in his message, Jesus tells his followers that they are the salt of the earth and the light of the world (Matthew 5: 6, 13, 14).

These are powerful messages for believers. Jesus is simply reminding us that when we seek his will and word we will be blessed abundantly. And in following him, we proclaim to the world, by example and works, that the light of his love shines brightly for everyone. Knowing that we are called by a loving God to share the good news with others is an exciting and exhilarating task. We are a reflection of the great light of God, proclaiming the risen Christ as the Lord of salvation for all.

Jesus promises us that as we hunger and thirst for his will and word, we will be blessed. In practical terms, this means that sin will no longer control our lives. We are attentive to God’s word. We are part of his heavenly kingdom.

In praying about this passage and thinking about the message of Jesus, I have to admit to some doubt and resistance. It seems too simple. Maybe what Jesus is telling us is that we have to enthusiastically and diligently hunger and thirst for God. It is something we want so badly that we are willing to devote time, resources, and energy to achieving it. We are sincerely motivated in our pursuit of righteousness and relationship.

I suspect Jesus’ challenge is that we are genuinely pursue for God’s word and will. And because we are hungry and thirsty, reading the Bible, praying, and spending time with other believers, is absolutely required. And in doing this, we are expected to bear good fruit and reflect God’s light through his gift of the Holy Spirit.

Jesus wants to keep our faith journey free of obstacles, detours, and complications. He wants us to pursue an authentic relationship with him because we love and trust him. He reminds us that in pursuing and committing to a relationship with him, we are a light to others. So rather than further complicating things, I think Jesus is simply asking us to enthusiastically seek a relationship with him through prayer and scripture.

Having a relationship with Jesus Christ is no small thing. It comes with guarantees. It comes with phenomenal gifts of the Holy Spirit. It comes with a direct line to an absolutely loving God. To know and believe that God is available 24/7 through prayer and scripture is a great comfort. Knowing that we are loved by God and have free access to his grace and mercy is strengthening. And believing Jesus when he says that if we hunger and thirst for righteousness, we will be filled, is a full measure of God’s promise and commitment to our salvation.

Service First.


If you want to hear more about God’s wonderful promise of unfailing love and enjoy a great morning of music and worship, please come and worship with us.

We will worship at the Beagle United Methodist Church during August 2023.

We will worship at the Fontana UMC during September 2023.

We will worship at the Parker UMC during October 2023.

All services are at 10 a.m.

All are welcome in God’s House.

Dr. Bascom Ratliff (913-710-5748)

Pastor, Parker/Beagle/Fontana

United Methodist Churches

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