The righteous virtues of God are more precious and satisfying than earthly wealth

Matthew 5:3-11

3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4 “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
5 “Blessed are the gentle (meek), for they shall inherit the earth.
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.
7 “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.
8 “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
9 “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.
10 “Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11 “Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. 12 Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.


What can truly satisfy man and cause him to live in perpetual blessedness and significance? Jesus speaks of another dimension of blessed existence – an eternal satisfaction and bliss within the soul. As man’s soul comes from the breath of God, he cannot live apart from God’s Spirit and His righteousness. Nevetheless, man with his natural instincts gravitates towards things that appeal to his flesh. In today’s devotion, Jesus teaches the righteous virtues of God as being more precious and satisfying than earthly wealth. And that the righteous use wealth without being enslaved by it.


“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.

Jesus speaks of another dimension of blessedness – an inward satisfaction and bliss within the soul. To help the people understand, Jesus uses bodily hunger and thirst to illustrate the needs of the soul. As one’s physical needs can be satisfied with bread and water, there is another dimension of hunger and thirst that pertains to the need of the soul. The soul hungers and thirsts for that which nothing in the material world can satisfy except the righteousness of God. The world suppose by feeding the body with bread and by possessing earthly things, the soul will be satisfied. Instead, it leaves the soul unfulfilled and empty.

What does Jesus mean by they shall be satisfied? A soul fulfilled is at peace with God. He lives in the light and there is no darkness in him. He is assured of his salvation, serving God wholeheartedly and fearlessly. His soul derives joy and satisfaction by doing God’s will and by walking in righteousness.

However, the natural man with his fleshly instincts gravitates towards the pleasures of the world, and the things that are pleasing to the eye (see Genesis 3:6). The pleasures of the world: power, wealth and fame, self-centred indulgences and vengeance, are what most people seek. These bring momentary pleasures leaving behind a soul that is more parched and aggrieved than before.


The righteous virtues of God are more precious and satisfying than earthly wealth

While material wealth sustains and brings comfort to the physical body, the righteousness of God floods the soul with love, peace, and joy, patience, kindness, and goodness, faithfulness and self discipline making life fulfilling. Without righteousness, a man’s life becomes plagued with anxieties, dark passions and emptiness. In fact, one does not need an abundance of material resources, but what is sufficient to sustain the natural life. While earthly resources sustains the physical life, it is God’s righteousness which makes life abundant and meaningful. Therefore, one’s primary focus must lie in the acquisition of God’s righteousness, not material possessions. For God promises to provide for our physical needs if we set our hearts on fulfilling the kingdom’s work.

Why does God create this material world? The material world is created to teach man about God and about the heavenly kingdom. When the heavenly kingdom comes, the material world will be disposed of. Hence, the world in all its natural beauty serves only as a bridge to the heavenly world which is eternal. Therefore, man must not be mesmerised by this temporal world but to seek God’s righteousness which is infinitely more precious and enduring.

Having said, many churchgoers despite their knowledge of the world to come cannot make up their minds. While desiring the heavenly kingdom, they at the same time cannot forsake the pursuit of material enjoyment. They are encouraged not to hold back from what this present world can offer while serving God to the best of their ability. Jesus says it is impossible to serve two masters, you will hate one and love the other (see Matthew 6:24). Such are not taught the importance of making choices between the worldly and the heavenly. The opposite of righteousness is in fact worldliness. A righteous soul is drawn to the heavenly world, and God’s righteousness, while a worldly person is drawn to the material world, its lust, sensuality and darkness. The apostle John teaches that one who is drawn to this world is not righteous and God’s eternal life is not in him.

Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world. The world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God lives forever (eternal life). 1 John 2:15-17

The material things of this world satisfy man’s natural cravings but not his spirit. Using the glamour and sensuality of the material world, the devil seeks to pervert the minds and desires of man. As a result, many lost their eternal life, being trapped in the world of lust and pride. But those who seeks God’s righteousness are blessed with eternal life while having sufficiency in all things. 

The righteous use the wealth of this world without being enslaved by it.

The righteous, having set their hearts towards heaven are not drawn by the allure of wealth, the lust of the flesh and pride of life. They maintain their boundaries by not letting glamour and power get to their head. They use earthly wealth and their influence for the sole purpose of making life more efficient and to extend their ministry reach. The righteous know how to live life abundantly regardless of their financial circumstances. They do not derive satisfaction or fulfilment from their material possessions or influence. Instead, they make wealth work for the sake of making the world a better and safer place. Wealth does not change their lifestyle, neither does it change the way they see themselves or the way they deal with others.


What does your soul feed on? Do you satisfy yourself with entertainment and convenient distractions apart from God’s word? Perhaps, you have become desensitised to the thirst and hunger of your spirit. And you no longer hunger for God’s word and your compassion for the needy has grown cold. God should take preeiminence in our lives, He should not have to compete with your other priorities. Turn back from the darkness by cutting off every unhealthy relationship and indulgences and start living in the righteousness of God. One day without living in the full satisfaction of God’s righteousness, is a day lost forever.

Dear Lord, I desire to live a life of righteousness and significance. Create in me a clean heart and remove all unrighteousness from me. Cleanse my heart and cause me to hunger for your word and to do your will. Create in me a hunger for the things of the Spirit and to see your kingdom established in my nation. In Jesus name I pray. Amen.

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