"Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.Matthew 5:6(NASB)
In the book of Proverbs, we are challenged that whoever pursues righteousness and kindness will find it - they will find life, righteousness, and honour. And in this verse in Matthew, the Lord specifically says that people who hungered and thirsted for righteousness would be blessed, a truth that, although specifically written to the Jewish nation, has a wonderful application for all Church age believers. Yet a few verses later, Jesus warned us that unless your righteousness is better than the righteousness of the teachers of religious law and the Pharisees, you will never enter the Kingdom of Heaven - for the righteousness that they sought was self-righteousness and not Christ's righteousness.
Paul reminds us that even if we were to keep every letter of the law like the Jewish leaders that Jesus mentioned, we would still never achieve righteousness, for we are all born with an inherent sin nature, and there is none good, no not even one. We do not have any righteousness of our own, nor can we make ourselves righteous - and the wages of unrighteousness is death.
We were imputed with a sin nature through Adam, and the only One that is righteous is the Lord Jesus. But to those that believe, Christ Jesus IS our righteousness, and His righteousness comes to us from God on the basis of faith. He is the God of righteousness, and those who are in Christ are clothed in His righteousness. In the power of the Holy Spirit, we are being changed into His likeness and conformed more and more to His image. How blessed are those that hunger and thirst for the righteousness of Christ, for they shall indeed be satisfied - in HIM.
Our hunger and thirst should not be more of our own righteousness (for our righteousness is as filthy rags to the Lord), but more of Christ. Our hunger and thirst should be for Him - for Christ - that we may grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ, for as we yield our lives to the Holy Spirit He will conform us to become more and more like Christ. In HIM is life, and righteousness, and honour, and all who seek Christ Who is our righteousness, will be satisfied.
Loving Father, I long for Christ more and more. I hunger and thirst for righteousness in this world and in my own life. I am so thankful that Jesus clothed me in His righteousness when I trusted in Him for salvation. Help me to nail my self-righteous efforts to the Cross and be guided, day by day, by the Holy Spirit into all truth, to Your praise and glory. In Jesus' name, AMEN.