Hunger and Thirst After Jesus

This morning let’s start our lesson by talking about some of the outward sensations accompanying real hunger and genuine thirst.  Hunger is a normal sensation that makes you want to eat.  The hypothalamus is the part of the brain that controls hunger in our bodies.  When your body tells your brain that your stomach is empty, your stomach will sometimes growl and give you what we call “hunger pangs.”  I’m sure you’ve felt this before and know what it’s like to have a growling stomach.  When people are hungry, they might also experience feeling light-headed and sometimes even become grouchy.  I’m sure that if I asked each of you this morning what happens in your body when you’re hungry, you would all share different feelings you have experienced before.

We discussed the word hungry, meaning our stomach is empty, so now let’s explore the meaning of being full.  Fullness, the opposite of being hungry, is the feeling of being satisfied.  Your stomach tells your brain that it’s full, and usually, this feeling causes you to stop eating, so you won’t think about food for at least a few hours.  Most of us generally believe that going without food or water for a long time is not good for our health.  So when we are hungry, we go looking for something to eat.  Have you ever experienced having the smell of cooking food hit your nostrils, and suddenly your brain starts telling your body you’re hungry?  So I think you understand the concept of feeling hungry and then naturally looking for food or water to satisfy that hunger or thirst.  Did you know that Jesus tells us there are some things we should seek after with at least the same zeal we seek after the physical things like food and water?

I want to share with you some scriptures from the Bible that teach us what we should be seeking after.  But first, let me repeat this thought for you, “when we are hungry and thirsty physically, we will go looking for some way to fill that hunger and thirst.”  Now, let’s move on to the spiritual things and explore what the Bible says about what we should seek after.

Matthew 5:6

“6 Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.”

These are Jesus’s words, and He is saying if you hunger and thirst after righteousness, you will find what you are looking for.  Righteousness means right living, so the scripture alludes to living a good clean life before God.  You could say it this way.  Suppose you are a person that is hungering and thirsting after righteousness.  In that case, you are a person that is actively seeking a right standing with God.

Ephesians 5:18

“18 And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;

“19 Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;”

Verse 18 above uses a comparison.  The word of God in Ephesians teaches us there are some things we shouldn’t seek after, but we should instead be seeking after God’s Spirit to fill us.  Let’s continue.  I have several scriptures to read, so you can know that what we share with you only comes from the word of God.

Psalms 63:1

“63 O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is;”

The Psalmist describes that he is seeking God with his whole body!  And he compares this experience to that normal thirst or hunger we have in our physical body.  So we are challenged by the word this morning to understand we should be seeking after the spiritual things of God that fill us with love, joy, and peace just like we hunger and thirst for food and water.

Psalms 105:3-4

“3 Glory ye in his holy name: let the heart of them rejoice that seek the Lord.

4 Seek the Lord, and his strength: seek his face evermore.”

As we read through these scriptures, we are learning that God is calling us to seek righteousness, seek the Lord, and the things of God.  We need to understand the importance of seeking and finding God in our lives in this day and age.

Acts 17:27

“27 That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us:”

Again, we see that we should seek the Lord and the wonderful thing about this scripture, young person, is that God is not far from us.  So the Bible teaches us to pursue righteousness, seek the Lord, seek the good things of God but in contrast, the Bible also teaches us there are some things we should avoid seeking after.

Ecclesiastes 5:10

“10 He that loveth silver shall not be satisfied with silver; nor he that loveth abundance with increase: this is also vanity.”

There are certain things in this world that we might find a little bit of satisfaction in if we seek after them, but they do not provide long-term happiness or satisfaction.

Remember when Jesus met the woman at the well?  The story begins with Jesus sitting at a well when a woman walks up and prepares to draw some water.  Jesus spoke to the woman, finally telling her that whoever drinks the well water will thirst again.  The lesson here is that if we are continually pursuing after the things of this earth, we will constantly thirst after them and never be fully satisfied.  So Jesus faithfully told this woman that you will thirst again if you drink this water, but I can give you something that will never cause you to feel thirsty again.

John 4:13-15

“13 Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again:

14 But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.

15 The woman saith unto him, Sir, give me this water, that I thirst not, neither come hither to draw.”

Let me share with you the most beautiful part of this lesson!  When you seek after Christ, pursue righteousness, and diligently seek Jesus’s face, you will find something that will satisfy you and continually satisfy you over and over again.

Ecclesiastes 6:7

“7 All the labour of man is for his mouth, and yet the appetite is not filled.”

The Ecclesiastes writer reminds us that all our pursuits are like regular food.  When we eat, we will get full, but it won’t be long until we’re hungry again.  So, seek after righteousness and things that last.  The things that last will provide full inner satisfaction.  This lesson was so important to Jesus that He told a story about it in Luke.

There was a father with two sons.  The youngest son went to his father and said, “please give me my portion.  I am not happy living with you anymore.”  The young person wasn’t satisfied with his life and didn’t want to live with his father anymore.  So he looked around and decided he needed to find out what life was about for himself.  Packing up his goods along with the inheritance, he began his journey into a far country.  The young man was having a great time!  He spent his money, went to parties, and enjoyed life in this new country.  He made so many new friends, and his new life was going good for him.  But if you have money and spend it all?  While this young man was having a great time at all the parties, he spent all his money.  Then there was a famine in the land or a depression.  The famine caused money to be scarce.  The story tells us that this young man was so desperate that he went to a citizen in the country and asked if he could feed his pigs for work.  The young man was hungry, he had no money or food, and no one would help him.  One morning He woke up and remembered what it was like back at his father’s house.  He remembered he was never hungry, and even the people that worked for his father had plenty to eat.  So he decided that he would go back to his father’s house as a hired worker.  His father opened his arms to him, and the young man found satisfaction with his father.

Luke 15: 11-24

“11 And he said, A certain man had two sons:

12 And the younger of them said to his father, Father, give me the portion of goods that falleth to me.  And he divided unto them his living.

13 And not many days after the younger son gathered all together, and took his journey into a far country, and there wasted his substance with riotous living.

14 And when he had spent all, there arose a mighty famine in that land; and he began to be in want.

15 And he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country; and he sent him into his fields to feed swine.

16 And he would fain have filled his belly with the husks that the swine did eat: and no man gave unto him.

17 And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father’s have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger!

18 I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee,

19 And am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants.

20 And he arose, and came to his father.  But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him.

21 And the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son.

22 But the father said to his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet:

23 And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat, and be merry:

24 For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found.  And they began to be merry.”

The son wasn’t happy with his life, and this is one way the devil tries to work on young people.  The devil will cause you to look around and become dissatisfied with where you are today.  People aren’t happy because they are busy looking around at the things of this earth.  The things of this earth satisfy for a very short period of time.  Worldly things cause people always to want something more to get something else and continue looking for something new.  I challenge you to remember the scriptures we read earlier today about the things that God wants us to seek after.  Because when we seek after righteousness and God, we will find Him, and God gives us true satisfaction.  The things in this world are like food.  You may sit down to eat a nice meal that satisfies you s for a while, but eventually, you will be hungry again.  But when we seek after righteousness, the things of God, and God’s face, He will give us living water, so we never thirst again in our spiritual hearts.  Seek after the things of God!