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Happiness: What It Is & How to Have It, Part 1: Happy and Holy?

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie
The Truth Network Radio
July 29, 2021 3:00 am

Happiness: What It Is & How to Have It, Part 1: Happy and Holy?

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie

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July 29, 2021 3:00 am

It seems holiness and happiness are now considered opposites. When someone is reverent, or pious, or devoted, most don’t expect to see a smile on their face. They expect a serious, somber look of concern and stillness. But Christians should be the happiest people on the planet!

Today on A New Beginning, Pastor Greg Laurie helps us see the biblical basis for happiness. It revolves around the word blessed . . . a term we see repeatedly in the Sermon on the Mount.

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A New Beginning is the daily half-hour program hosted by Greg Laurie, pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship in Southern California. For over 30 years, Pastor Greg and Harvest Ministries have endeavored to know God and make Him known through media and large-scale evangelism. This podcast is supported by the generosity of our Harvest Partners.

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You are listening to a new beginning with Greg Laurie, a podcast made possible by harvest partners, helping people everywhere know God. Visit our website and learn more about harvest was those who hunger and thirst for righteousness visually visited a great thing to be hungry to worship God when you're hungry for God only thing the more you coming up today on a new beginning pastor Greg Mori helps hungry believers live with her starving, it's time to feed our souls start for a holy life to hunger for God's best for you so you will steps to get it seems happiness are now considered when someone is Rev.

I will most don't expect to see you smile serious somber look. Still, Christian should be the happiest people on the pastor Greg Laurie hope to see the biblical basis for it revolves around the word blessed term we see sermon on the Mount God wants you to be happy because he tells us that in Scripture tells us over and over again that this happiness is something that he wants us to experience in a relationship with the why because the word blessed is another word for happy there interchangeable word. So what we use the word blessed as we will use in a moment in the Beatitudes you could just take the word out to put in the word happy. So really, the theme of the Beatitudes, which is the point of entry into the sermon on the Mount is happiness how you can be happy if you will do these things. Three. Matthew five starting in verse two. Then he opened his mouth and taught them saying blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven, blessed are they that mourn for they shall be comforted. Blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are they who hunger and thirst after righteousness for they shall be filled. Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God.

Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called sons of God. Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you and say all kinds of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets that were before you. So Blessed are these people know how different the Beatitudes are from modern culture. If the Beatitudes are rewritten for culture today they would go along these lines. Blessed are the beautiful, for they shall be admired. Blessed are the wealthy, for they will have it all. Blessed are the popular for they will be love.

Blessed are the famous, for they shall be followed without some of Jesus as he started the bombshell. Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Let me say it another way, happy are the poor in spirit.

No, what does that mean there's a lot of missed understanding about this to be poor in spirit is to recognize one's spiritual poverty apart from God is to see your spiritual poverty to recognize the simple fact that apart from the Lord your lost your helpless and your hopeless apart from Christ. Everyone is spiritually destitute. You want to be happy. Admit your true spiritual state. Blessed is the person that sees himself as they really are, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven, that's beatitude number one beatitude number two verse four Blessed are they that mourn for they shall be comforted. So point number two happy people are unhappy people that make any sense happy people are unhappy people are another way to put it. Happy are the unhappy Excel sense of all we need you happy or unhappy know before you can truly be happy, you have to first be unhappy you up to see a real state before God. Sinful, you have to mourn over that state and by the way, the word that is used here for mourn. Blessed are they that mourn is the most severe of nine Greek words that are used for grief in Scripture and its reserve for mourning the dead and this verse applies in principle to all who mourn type see myself as a really yeah it's not the greatest discovery.

It's a little scary to see what is center.

I really am.

So I'm sorry for that. I cry out to God. I mourn over my condition and now I'm going to find comfort one wears be one of my favorite commentators said this and I quote it is as wrong to mourn when God has forgiven us as it is wrong to rejoice when sin has conquered us."

So it's one thing to recognize I'm spiritually bankrupt and poor in spirit.

It's another to grieve and mourn over it and that's the last thing some people want to do listen better to mourn. Now I'm left later than the left. Now and mourn later. Let me say that again.

Better to mourn now and left. Later than the left now and mourn later.

Some people are laughing it up and they shouldn't be because are living in sin, the God have a few drinks and have a few laughs any of you ever watch people who start drinking they start laughing about nothing. They just have a drink another drink their drinking parties and their theirs laughing at everyone just laughing and laughing really not even knowing what they're laughing about the impact of Ecclesiastes that was written by Solomon. He went on a sin binge trying everything that this world has to offer any road and Ecclesiastes 21.

I said let's give pleasure a try. Let's look for the good things in life, but I found that was meaningless and then he says it's silly to be laughing all the time.

What good is it to seek only pleasure that some people are just laughing and laughing and laughing then they should be morning and morning over their condition. But when you really mourn for your condition and repent of it.

Now you can experience the true happiness that God wants you to experience.

Let me ask you this. Have you ever shed a tear over a sin in your own life you ever done something you were ashamed of, and wept over it, just got I'm sorry sorry I did that thing a machine I did that thing that can be a good thing because that morning will produce tangible results because second Corinthians 7 says godly sorrow will produce repentance so Blessed are they that mourn for they shall be comforted for as I said, Blessed are the unhappy, for they shall become happy because they've admitted their sin, and other churning from their sin and their calling out to God, step number three beatitude number three so Blessed happy are the poor in spirit.

The person who sees himself as they are blessed happy is the person whose mourn over their spiritual condition. None number three I happy person will be a meek person I happy person will be a meek person. Look at verse five Blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth. Seeing myself as I am, produces a vital spiritual quality meek this we don't hear a lot about meekness today if not celebrated, but it's really important.

God says you can be blessed if you're a meek person. What is it mean I no longer inflated with pride.

I've seen my real condition so I meek by the way, it's not the same to be weak and meek.

Let's say you're a professional boxer and you could punch out anyone. You could hear them and they wouldn't get up again and let's say someone is harassing you and you don't get them back, though you could hit the back and if you did get them back. They may not get up from it and you choose to not strike back. Even though they're mistreating you that's not weakness that's meekness.

Let's say your skinny little dude and you have no fighting skills at all in someone's harassing you and you don't get back that's just because your week went.

That's why so you don't really have a lot of options for the person who knows how to fight. They have an option so they choose not to exercise that option. That's meekness. It means power under constraint. In fact, the word that is used or for meek. This is a word that describes the breaking of a powerful stallion.

I've never been on a horse that didn't want to do what you wanted it to do, your ride horses yeah I like horsepower. I like I like to pull the throttle and I like when I get that break that thing stops okay. That's called a motorcycle. But if you're on a horse. Hey, you can use all your commands, but they may not listen. I told her the story before the preacher and his horse. How many of you for this. The preacher this arson.

Most of you haven't heard of Joe there's preacher near a horse, and he knew that you know to make the horse go you spaghetti up to stop is a well and he that will that's not spiritual I'm the missing city give the abundant essay, praise the Lord. So I say praise the Lord of the horse goes and then when I want them to stop a citizen will say hallelujah.

So he's out right along the horse got spooked in these running at full gallop now through the edge of a cliff. The preachers like what what what the word for will will a glory to God horse is still running. Thank you Jesus horses still running once the word first stop for a while. What hallelujah the horse stuff right at the front of the couples going over the side preacher wipes his frontage.

Praise the Lord coming to her there for the first time you see it. Sometimes it's a good thing to pull out the old jokes right so that horse. If you submit to you. If the horse submits to the will of the right of that's called meekness. So what this means is I am surrendering myself to the will of God. That's because blessed happy are the meek, how different this is. Then culture in the Bible.

The last is first giving is receiving dying is living losing its finding lease is greatest weakness is strength, let me say that again in the Bible, everything sort of the opposite last is first giving is receiving dying is living losing this finding pleased his greatest weakness is spring me or Greg Moore will have the second half of this message in just a moment it's enjoying here when these studies are truly impacted lives. Listen to these comments from one of her listeners. Pastor Greg in the last chair I was very alert the job I was absolutely passionate about my work in a university as a coach with young adult to have very little knowledge of God is not doing what God wanted me to do was just going through the motions Christian and not utilizing the position kind Christian. Most my life has been a very lonely here and I know that it's because I have strayed from God because of your lesson on the range down payment received the wake-up call and getting back into reading the Bible and devoting my life to Jesus. Thank you Pastor Greg for your passion and wisdom and rejuvenating as a Christian. Look forward to listening to more lessons. It's a blessing to know that listeners are hearing these messages God is using his word to touch hearts. Pastor Greg studies impacted your life, drop an email to that's today we are studying the sermon on the Mount, and Pastor Greg is pointing out how meekness is one of the keys to living a happy life.

Let's continue. Joseph is a classic example of meekness, a member he was betrayed by his brothers sold as a slave and through God's providence he was elevated to become the second most powerful man in all of Egypt in charge of the food supply.

His brother thought he was dead. One day a famine came in the land of the brothers went to Egypt there Jews to get some food and there is Joseph looking at them.

They didn't recognize him anymore because he didn't look like a Hebrew with long hair and a beard.

He probably the shaved head eyeliner he walk like an Egyptian. Whatever you know but then regularize them. And certainly they didn't think he was even living and as he looked at his brothers. He could've given one command with a snap of his finger and they would've all been put to death, but instead he forgave them that was meekness power under constraint and the meekest man that ever walked the face of the earth was Jesus Christ himself.

He was the meekest of all let me also assess who was this man that ever walked the face of the earth. Jesus Christ, no one was stronger. This is the creator in human form he could've spoken his enemies out of existence.

You think he had to submit himself to Pontius Pilate pilot. The powerful Roman governor who could sentence him to death Jesus to the said unity get on my nerves. Your dad by the been over with walked out of there but Joe want to keys and they tend to throw him off of a cliff member that story and Jesus walk right through the middle of music in the glove clip today to go right through here you to get out of my way, but he controlled that power and submitted and laid himself down and give up his rights, not his divinity but he laid his rights aside, he suffered for us, and died on the cross and Jesus said of himself in Matthew 1129 I am meek and lowly in heart. Now we come to be added to the number for a happy person passionately desires a righteous life. Let me say that again a happy person desperately desires passionately desires a righteous life for six blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness for they shall be when you're emptied of sin you're hungry for God. I don't know about you but I'm not a good hungry person I get irritable. I get headaches.

The first thing I think of in the morning when I wake up you think prayer, no food, food is being honest I need food. My wife will go through. You know the half the day. I think I forgot to eat lunch. Unlike that's an even humanly possible. You forget to eat lunch. I'm counting down the minutes till lunch. Like unserious at 930 and thing and how long to London.

All have to wait an hour and 1/2 right around 11. By the way yeah I said to hold out till 11.

You know that I'm hungry my stomach is growling so when you're hungry for God.

The only thing that will satisfy you is God and isn't it a great thing to be hungry for the word of God to be hungry to worship God to be hungry to be with the people of God when you say well I don't know I don't really feel like I need to read the Bible that much and I don't really desire to be in church so much. I'm sorry for you because you're missing out because blessed or happy are they that hunger and thirst after righteousness for they shall be filled. The psalmist was hungering and thirsting for righteousness when he said in Psalm 42. One is that dear thirst for the water brooks, so thirst my soul. Are you oh God. My soul thirsts for the living God. Listen to this, when the prodigal son was hungering he went to feed upon husks, but when he was starving.

He turned to his father. You starve for a holy life do hunger for God's best for you. If so, you can take practical steps to get it. So let's put it all together and conclude number one you must be poor in spirit. See yourself as you really are. Recognize that this world system. This culture will not satisfy you.

The answer is not within the problem is within were sinners in need of a Savior number two I was born for my sin be sorry for what I've done be sorry that I broke the commandments of God be sorry enough to stop and turn to Jesus Christ. Number three is I believe all of a change in attitude. Instead of arrogance will be a new humility that comes from seeing things as they are in unchanged and fourthly and lastly 11 new hunger and thirst that which will satisfy me. Hunger for God. You know, my wife likes Indian food, how many of you like Indian food, you know quite a few of you, I don't really like Indian food. I'm sorry I mean it's okay. I mean, I like a lot of foods, but I just I don't know I just don't know what to order. I'm confused.

And so it shall order all these things because she you know she was raised a part of her child that you live in Malaysia she would need all these exotic Asian foods and Indian food, non-all and I just you and I grew up here in California, a hamburgers French fries in the mall that was it.

You know in a TV dinner. How many remember TV dinners. By the way, I denied my childhood goes back to the 50s.

I remember TV dinners from the 50s. You don't want to think about that that was. I don't know if you could call that food and I was a much better in the 60s but you know so I'll go to an Indian restaurant with her every now and then and I'll just start okaying some varieties and some bread to get the chicken you know she's ordering all these other things to good this is. After whack I got I don't know.

I don't know what's happening.

Ali knows afterwards.

I'm still hungry and I want something to fill my stomach right. Sorry to use Indian food is this analogy because it is really good food.

For some, but we can she sever all these things. The world says will satisfy you. We can learn this the hard way or the easier way and let me appeal for a moment to someone who is young.

You know you sell one of these people know they don't know anything which we know if you things because we live life don't find this out the hard way. Don't waste years of your life. You can miss a lot of misery and you don't have to waste years of your life.

I know people who wasted decades of their life figuring this out the hard way people in their 50s say oh I guess it is Jesus Christ up to bed you wasted most of your life.

But thank God he also forgive you. But all it's a much better to discover this when you're young, I figured it out at the ripe old age of 17 I got on a course that I've been on to this present day, and I've never regretted being on that course to follow Christ. Not one you chase after all these other things that will satisfy you would price will he's the bread of life. Double satisfy your spiritual hunger. He is the living water that will satisfy your spiritual thirst summary close by asking this, are you happy person you want to be a happy person hears that the Bible says happy is the man of the woman whose sin is forgiven when your sin is forgiven. You will be happy.

Sin is the big wall that keeps you separated from God. There's nothing you can do to break that wall down.

You try to be a good person you try to do good work to try to weave and be religious or spiritual none of it changes that wall that's before you. The good news is Jesus make this man whoever lived died on the cross in your place. That wall can be broken down.

Now, through Christ, and you can have a relationship with God and find that fulfillment that saluted you throughout all of your life that happiness you've always wanted to be yours in which you need to do is admit to God you're a sinner like old name and the gotta peel off the armor may have to just say, Lord. I'm sorry for what I've done. I know what's wrong. I turned from that sin and put your faith in Jesus and if you do that he will forgive you and give you a second chance in life.

If you're 17 or 70 is a matter he will change you, but you must reach out to him working to close in prayer and I want to extend an invitation to any of you that have joined us who may not have this relationship with God. We been talking about.

The Bible says whoever will call upon the name of the Lord will be saved saved from your sin saved from hell saved from a future judgment saved from yourself saved and safe. Let's all pray father, thank you for your word to us. I prefer any here, any listening wherever they may be that they don't know you, Lord, help us to be the moment when they would reach out to you and receive your forgiveness. Jesus name we pray that Greg Lord important prayer about coming to the Lord to find forgiveness of sins. And if you like to do that. Pastor Greg will help you. Just a moment before today's addition of a new beginning. Concludes but if he missed any part of today's insight you can catch up by hearing the program again stream it while you're online or downloaded MP3 the title to look for is happiness what it is and how to have it.

Part one Prof. Greg I'm I'm looking at one of the two children's books were making available from children's author Sally Lloyd Jones called near talking about how God is always near our child or grandchild. Really, that's no small thing that's talking about God's omnipresence true. Somehow God can be in heaven and at the same time. He's with us.

Yes. How do we bring those significant truths to kids in a way they can understand what we have to come down to their level. You know Jesus said let's would become as a child.

We cannot enter the kingdom of God. This does not mean we need to be childish, but it means we should be child like and there's a difference. Childlike means that you enter their world.

You speak with words they understand course art and illustrations are very helpful little time like this. In these two resources that were offering do just that.

But a child needs to know that God is with them and they're not alone in life because her things that scare children late at night.

They had bad dreams him.

Parents come to a but it's always good to comfort them with the word of God and teach them to pray and teach them the call on the Lord, and this needs to start at the earliest age in a both of my sons Christopher and Jonathan. I started reading Bible stories to them when they were just little ones even before they could fully understand them and then they grew to love them and want to hear more of them and I've done it with my grandchildren. It was very gratifying to see both of my sons do the same with their children enter into these stories with the kids and it's important because you know Moses tells us that the responsibility of parents and and specifically the father is to teach these things to your children when they get up in the morning when they laid their heads down on the bed at night and it's great to have a little help right and so we have some great help to offer you two resources were offering this month both by my friend Sally Lloyd Jones are prolific and outstanding children's author. One of them is called near the beautifully illustrated little book based on Psalm 139 showing the child that God is omnipresent, which means he's present everywhere, God is with them wherever they go. The other resource is called babies carry along Bible this is outstanding packaging a very heavy duty paper in the inside a hardcover, beautiful illustrations with a little handle on it so the little one can carry their Bible around the house or carry it with them when you go to church or wherever you go. And these are two resources that can be very effective with small children newborn to age 4. I highly recommend you order them for you kids are you grandkids are some of you maybe your great grandkids and will rush to your own copy of near and babies carry along Bible, written by Sally Lloyd Jones for your gift of any size. So whatever you send to us here and harvest will take those resources and use them to continue to reach out through our radio broadcast and are other ways that we reach people through television, online, etc. and that bring the teaching of God's word and the proclamation of the gospel so order your copy of this book by Sally Lloyd Jones called near and also her book babies carry along Bible yeah that's right.

We have both of them here waiting for you and will send both together to thank you for investing so Pastor Greg's teaching can continue coming your way.

Each day were so grateful for listener support.

It's the only way we can make a new beginning available so get in touch today with your donation and will send you near and babies carry along Bible to say thanks and we won't be mentioning this much longer.

So contact as soon write a new beginning. Box 4000, Riverside, CA 92514 or call 1-800-821-3300. We can take your call anytime 24 seven. Again, 1-800-821-3300 or go online to will Pastor Greg you pointed out the importance of asking Jesus to forgive our sins. A few moments ago. Yeah, could you help those who want to do that very thing right now. Yeah, you know, the Bible tells us that Jesus Christ stands at the door of our life any knocks and if any man will hear his voice and open the door he will come in maybe. As you've heard me speak today while you've heard another voice speaking to you. It's a voice of God and you realize you need Christ in your life you need your sins forgiven you want the assurance that you will go to heaven when you die when here's what you need to do. You need to pray and I would like to lead you in a prayer right now or you will be seeing the Jesus Lord come in the my life. I choose to follow you. So let's pray Lord Jesus, I know that I'm a sinner but I think you for dying on the cross for my sin. I turned from that sin. Now and I put my faith in you be my Lord, my Savior and my God, my friend.

I choose to follow you, Jesus. From this moment forward. Thank you for loving me and calling me and accepting me in Jesus name I pray, amen. Listen if you just pray that prayer I want you to know on the authority of Scripture that Christ himself is coming to your life. The Bible says these things we write to you that believe on the name of the son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life. If you just pray that prayer and minute you can know today you have eternal life, and we had be the first to see the you welcome to the family of God and we want to help you grow as a believer to send you something called our new believers growth packet will set it free of charge if you prayed with Pastor Greg today just write a new beginning. Box 4000, Riverside, CA 92514 or call us anytime 24 seven at 1-800-821-3300 1-800-821-3300 or just go online to and click know God will next time more insights on happiness and where it's found. Pastor Greg continues his series from the sermon on the Mount salt and light join us here on a new beginning.

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