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Happiness: What It Is & How to Have It, Part 2: Enough Is Never Enough Without Jesus

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie
The Truth Network Radio
July 30, 2021 3:00 am

Happiness: What It Is & How to Have It, Part 2: Enough Is Never Enough Without Jesus

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie

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July 30, 2021 3:00 am

Maybe you remember . . . there was an old TV commercial for potato chips that said, “Bet you can’t eat just one.” And they were right. When’s the last time you were satisfied with just one potato chip? With some things, one taste and you want more. A lot more.

Well, the Psalmist wrote, “Taste and see that the Lord is good.” And today on A New Beginning, Pastor Greg Laurie helps us do just that as we dig in to the Beatitudes . . . a biblical attitude adjustment from the Lord’s Sermon on the Mount.

View and subscribe to Pastor Greg’s weekly notes.

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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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Today's episode of A New Beginning is brought to you by Harvest Partners, helping people everywhere know God.

Learn more at harvest.org. And while you're there, browse our library of free ebooks designed to help you grow in your faith. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled.

Healthy people are hungry people. When we want more of the things of God, we'll want less of the things of this world. Pastor Greg Laurie says that should be our focus. There's always more to learn as a Christian. Listen, no matter how much you love, you want to love more, right? No matter how much you pray, you always could pray more. I'm always wanting more of Jesus. Maybe you remember, there was an old TV commercial for potato chips that said, bet you can't eat just one.

And they were right. When is the last time you were satisfied with just one potato chip? With some things, one taste and you want more, a lot more. Well, the psalmist wrote, taste and see that the Lord is good.

And today on A New Beginning, Pastor Greg Laurie helps us do just that as we dig into the Beatitudes, a biblical attitude adjustment from the Lord's Sermon on the Mount. Why are we here on this earth? What is the purpose of our existence?

Now, some would say, well, some would say, well, it's to be happy, of course. And some would think this is a uniquely American mindset. I mean, it's actually there in our Declaration of Independence, right? Where it states, we hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.

They're endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights. And among these are life, liberty, and what? The pursuit of happiness. So it's a big deal to Americans to be happy.

But this is not a uniquely American idea. You can go back 2,000 years to the writings of the Greek philosopher, Aristotle, who said, quote, happiness is the meaning and purpose of life, the aim and end of human existence. Is that true? Are we here to seek happiness? It was a philosopher, Eric Cofer, who made this statement, and I quote, the search for happiness is one of the chief sources of unhappiness, end quote.

Right? You know, if you're chasing after happiness, you might end up being a very unhappy person. We imagine wealth and fame and fortune and all that will bring us happiness. Well, Jim Carrey knows a little bit about that. He's made a lot of money as an actor and a comedian. He made this statement, and I quote, I hope everybody could get rich and famous and have everything they ever dreamed of so they will know that is not the answer, end quote.

Interesting statement from someone like him. Okay, so how do we find happiness? Well, there's a lot of studies that have been done on this topic.

And here's what a bunch of experts came up with. They identified a number of things that must be in play for you to be a happy person. Number one, it's been found that families and friends are the best antidote to unhappiness, having a strong family and having friends.

One expert said marriage makes people happier, and a close family inoculates many kids against despair, according to long-term research. And the happiest people seem to be people that have good friends. Number two, they've discovered through study that things don't make you happy. In fact, University of Illinois psychologist Ed Diner made this statement, quote, materialism is toxic for happiness, end quote.

I find that interesting. And he said even rich materialists aren't as happy as those who care less about getting and spending. Principle number three, they found if you want to be happy, be grateful for what you already have.

If you want to be happy, be grateful for what you already have. Psychologists say gratitude has a lot to do with life satisfaction. Talking and writing about what you're grateful for amplifies your happiness.

They also found that learning to savor even the small pleasures has the same effect. Number four, forgiving people are happy people. Forgiving people are happy people. Forgiveness is a trait most strongly linked to happiness, says University of Michigan psychologist Christopher Peterson. He adds, it's the queen of all virtues and probably the hardest one to come by. One last thing. If you want to be happy, Scandinavians are the happiest people.

So let's put it all together. Having a having a good strong family, having friends, being grateful, be forgiving, not expecting things to satisfy you, and being Scandinavian. How many of you are Scandinavian? Raise your hand.

This blonde guy raises his hand. Of course you are. You got it all brother.

It's all yours right there. So we can't all be Scandinavian now can we? But we can apply these other principles in our lives.

And so here's what I'm bringing this up for. These are biblical virtues all except for being Scandinavian. Bible does not address being Scandinavian. But all these other things, having a strong family, being thankful for what you have, being a forgiving person, are these not virtues found on the pages of Scripture? Here's my simple point. God had it right all along.

The so-called experts are just catching up. That's all it is. God tells us how to be happy right here in Scripture. In fact in the Sermon on the Mount the point of entry is what we call the beatitudes. Another way to put it is that the be happy attitudes. If you have these attitudes you can indeed be a happy person because each beatitude starts with the word blessed. Blessed are the poor in spirit. Blessed are they that mourn.

Blessed are the meek. Blessed are the peacemakers and so forth. The word blessed is an interchangeable word with happiness. So you could just as easily take the word blessed out and put in the word happy. Happy are those that mourn over their sin.

Happy are the peacemakers. Happy are the pure in heart and so forth. So Jesus is really saying to us repeatedly this is how you can be a happy person. The Sermon on the Mount is the official manifesto of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. You want to know what Jesus thinks about marriage? Read the Sermon on the Mount. You want to find out what Jesus thinks about material things? Read the Sermon on the Mount. You want to know what Jesus says about forgiveness? Again read the Sermon on the Mount. All of that is there and much more and it starts off with these beautiful beatitudes.

So let's read them together. Matthew 5 starting in verse 3. Blessed or happy are the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn for they shall be comforted. Blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for 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 you 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 persecuted be the prophets that were before you. So the title of this message is happiness what it is and how to have it. So let's review what we looked at last time in the initial beatitudes we took a look at. On number one if you're taking notes happy are the nobodies. Happy are the nobodies blessed are the poor in spirit. Everybody wants to be a somebody. So many people want to be a star. We want to be number one. We want to be in the front.

We want all the attention. That'll make us happy or so we think. Jesus effectively says happy are the nobodies. Now when he says poor in spirit that has nothing to do with how much money you have in your bank account.

This is about your attitude toward God. It's poor in spirit. So another way to translate this is happy or blessed is the person who sees the real spiritual condition. And what is your real spiritual condition. You are spiritually destitute. You are spiritually impoverished. You are desperately in need of God.

So if you want to be a happy person you got to know that about yourself. I am a sinner in need of a savior. So that's the beginning. Blessed are the poor in spirit.

Blessed is the man of the woman that sees himself as they really are spiritually bankrupt. Pastor Greg Laurie will have the second half of his message in just a moment. Emails, letters, and phone calls let us know that you're gaining benefit from Pastor Greg's teaching.

It's valuable feedback. I get Pastor Greg emailed daily and every time I get one the Holy Spirit is speaking to me in that email every single day and it's made such a huge difference in my life. I can't wait to look at it to see what the Holy Spirit has to say to me through him. I listen to your program every morning at 6 35 no matter if I get to bed at 10 o'clock or 12 o'clock I'm always up to hear it. It just energized me when I hear the message. It gives me new hope every day. God bless you. We're so grateful to hear how Pastor Greg's messages are touching lives. And if you have a story to tell of how these studies have impacted you why not call us and give us all the details. Here's the number 1-866-871-1144.

1-866-871-1144. Well we're reviewing the beatitudes today as Pastor Greg continues his message called happiness what it is and how to have it part two. Number two unhappy people are happy people. I know that sounds contradictory. Let me put it another way. Happy people are unhappy people.

Well how does that work? Well blessed are they that mourn for they shall be comforted. The idea of mourning here is being sorry. Being sorry for my sin. So I mourn over my sin. So I see my condition before God as a sinner but it's not a hopeless situation because there stands a Savior who died on the cross for me and shed his blood for every sin I've ever committed who's ready to pardon and forgive. But I say Lord I'm a sinner and I'm sorry for my sin.

Because the Bible says godly sorrow produces repentance. See if you're really sorry for something you'll change. Like I could be cruising down the freeway and all of a sudden the CHP pulls up behind me and lights me up.

They pull me over. I'm really sorry. Why am I sorry? Am I sorry I was beating?

No. I'm sorry I wasn't being more careful to look out for the CHP. And next time I'm going to keep my eye open. See that's not sorrow for what I did. That's sorrow for the repercussions of what I did. Because when those lights go on my insurance rates are going up right. But this sorrow it's talking about in the Bible is I'm sorry enough to change my condition.

I'm sorry enough to change my behavior. I see God and His holiness. I see the life He wants me to live.

And I see how far I have to go. If ever there was a man who could be proud of his accomplishments it was the Apostle Paul. He had the finest education. An incredible spiritual pedigree if you will.

He was a brilliant orator. Yet Paul wrote of himself, oh what a miserable person I am. So blessed are those that see themselves as they are. Blessed are those that mourn over that condition.

Step number three. Happy are the humble. Happy are the humble or blessed are the meek. Seeing myself as I really am produces a vital spiritual quality meekness.

Remember we pointed out. Meekness is not weakness. Meekness needs power under constraint. So I'm humbled by the fact that God has forgiven me of my sin. So happy are the humble.

Number four. Happy are the spiritually hungry. Happy are the spiritually hungry. Verse six. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness for they shall be filled.

Listen. Healthy people are hungry people. That's why I know I'm healthy right now. I'm hungry. I'm always hungry. Aren't you?

A lot of people are. I don't know how my wife does it. She'll wake up in the morning. She doesn't care about breakfast. Sometimes she'll even say I forgot to eat lunch today. I'm like who forgets to eat lunch? You forgot to eat lunch? I wake up in the morning and the first thing in my mind I would like to tell you it's Jesus.

It's the Bible. No it's food and coffee very closely linked together. I want coffee. I want food and you know and I'm counting down the time to lunch. Then I'm counting it down toward dinner.

But if you're really healthy you're hungry. Blessed are those that hunger and thirst for righteousness. See the fact that you guys are at a midweek study tells me something about you. It tells me you have no life and so you're no I'm joking. You know what it really tells me? It tells me you have a strong Christian life and that's why you're here.

So that's a great thing. It tells me that you're hungry for God. You know a lot of people show up to church on Sunday to worship the Lord and hear the Word of God.

Some people show up on church on Sunday because well that's what you do on Sunday or it's expected of them. But when you're here in a midweek study this is a decision you made. You're busy. You have jobs.

You're in school. You have things that you're doing. But you carve time out of your schedule to come worship the Lord and hear the Word of God. That says to me you are spiritually healthy people.

That's a good thing. And here's the thing we need to recognize. There's always more to learn as a Christian. There's always a lot that needs to still change in my life.

Listen. No matter how much you love you ought to love more right. No matter how much you pray you always could pray more. I'm always wanting more of Jesus. And we all know that when we are waiting for a meal we don't want to spoil our appetite. You know my wife when she'll make a meal she'll have everything cut up in the little sections and in perfect portions. And I like to swipe food. I like stolen food.

I mean in a you know in my own house that I paid for. Understand. All right. Don't eat that. No the moment she says don't eat that I'm going to eat that. The other day she made beautiful deviled eggs for well no they were angeled eggs. We would never make deviled eggs. Actually they were deviled eggs.

And they were great. She made them for the ladies. She's going to have a meeting with the ladies and give them deviled eggs. Can I have one?

No you cannot. There's only enough for them. She walks out of the room. What do you think I did? I ate three of them. And then I rearranged them.

And she never knew until right now. But there you know there are things that we'll do that will spoil our appetite. There are these chips that I found in the market. They're called chica chips. Have you seen these chips? I got my first bag and I thought these are the most amazing chips ever. And then and they're not that expensive. They're like $3.20 a bag.

So I kept buying them. And the problem is I eat one and before I know it I've eaten the entire bag of chips. These are big bags.

Big bags of chips. And so I thought this is out of control. So I realized it was a problem. And I said to one of my granddaughters you know these are like the evil chips. I cannot resist them. But then we're at the market and I picked a bag up.

Threw it in my little basket. She said Papa why are you buying the evil chips. Because I love them.

That's why. So I did a post about this on Instagram. I took a photo of a display of these chica chips.

And I just said what I said to you. I love these chips. I call them the evil chips.

But actually they're fantastic. Well then I got a letter from the company that makes these chips. First of all they thanked me for doing a post about their chips. They understood I was actually complimenting them not insulting them.

It was the very opposite of insulting. I was just saying they're addictive. And they sent me a whole box of the chips. And I found out they're a Christian company.

It's a Christian family that makes them. No wonder I like them so much. You see I just had that spiritual discernment.

There's something special. Something special about these chips. They even have John 3 16 written right under the little cartoon character of the chip on the back. So I was eating the chips the other day. My wife says you're eating those chips again. I said they're Christian chips.

So it's ok. But the problem is you eat stuff like that. It spoils your appetite. There are things that we can do that can spoil our appetite spiritually. There are certain people that when we hang around them they don't build us up.

They tear us down. There are certain things we can do that can dull our appetite. Like what? Maybe sitting in front of the television for three hours. You ever done that? You know I'm going to just binge watch something on Netflix.

Really? Ok. Or you spend all this time looking at your phone endlessly flipping through it. You know looking looking looking. And you and you realize you can just waste a lot of time. And sometimes those things can dull your appetite for the Word of God.

So here's something to ask yourself about relationships. About pursuits. And by the way these are not always evil things. I'm not talking about sin necessarily.

I'm just talking about things we can get sidetracked doing. So ask yourself the question in the race of life this thing that I'm doing is this a wing or is it a weight? By that I mean does it speed me on my way in the race of life or does it kind of slow me down? Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after righteousness for they shall be filled. Good counsel today from Pastor Greg Laurie from his message called happiness what it is and how to have it part two. It's part of his sermon on the mount series called salt and light. Now if you missed any part of today's insight here on a new beginning you can get a replay by going to harvest.org. Again it's called happiness what it is and how to have it part two.

You can stream the study or download an mp3 for later. Well we're making available an excellent resource. In fact two resources from renowned children's author Sally Lloyd-Jones. And Pastor Greg you have the eye of an artist. In fact you were a graphic artist back before you actually started preaching.

So when you look at children's picture books what are you noticing? Well I would describe myself as an advanced doodler over a graphic artist. But I actually for a while did do graphic design. I drew my little cartoon booklets and I designed album covers and posters and other things like that. But I love design.

Wait a minute you're being humble. The very first track you designed how many of those went out into circulation? A lot. It was in the middle. Wasn't it like a million?

It was well over a million. They went all around the world and it was the simplest of illustrations. You know sometimes in design less is more. And this might surprise some people but when I designed something first and foremost I wanted to be cool.

I wanted to grab the eye of the person who's seen it. Then that draws them into the message that I'm seeking to convey. And what I love about Sally's work is she's such a great writer. It's so simple but it's not simplistic.

It's profound in its deep but it's simple. Sally understands what to say and what not to say. And she has such a gift in communicating as she speaks. She has a beautiful voice and she's a great storyteller. But also when she writes it's just the right amount of words on the page with a perfect design to support it. The kind of thing that will draw a child in. You could set your little child on your lap or your grandchild and read with them through it.

And what I often do is as after I read it I'll have them point things out to me. Where's the balloon? Where's the dog? Where's this?

Where's that? No point. And I interact with them so they really absorb it and give them I don't rush through it. I give them time to sort of take it in and then I might ask them a question and something to engage them in this story. I mean this is what Jesus did when he told parables. Parables are like saying once upon a time because parables were not true stories they were illustrations. A parable has been defined as an earthly story with a heavenly meaning. So he would tell the story to make a point. The kingdom of God is like this or a sower went out to sow seed and this happened etc.

Or a father had two sons you know so he would tell these amazing stories. That's what Sally does in these beautiful books that she writes from the Jesus Storybook Bible to this brand new book that we're offering right now simply called Near. So I think you're going to love this resource even more. I think your children and grandchildren are going to love it as well. And we're not only including this book called Near but we're also including a special edition of the Bible for little ones newborn to age four. It's called Baby's Carry Along Bible. It's so cute I want to carry one myself but I'm afraid people will think I've lost my mind but it's very thick pages with bold illustrations.

Some of the great stories of the Bible like little David beats Goliath, God saves Daniel in the lion's den, baby Jesus is born, Jesus stops a storm, Jesus is alive and on it goes. Great material, great resources. Let us get you copies of all of this as quickly as possible. Yeah we have them ready to send your way. We want to send you both Near and Baby's Carry Along Bible to thank you for partnering with us. We appreciate it that you tune in. We appreciate it that you pray for Pastor Greg. And we appreciate it when you invest so that these studies can continue.

Really it's the only way they can. So get in touch today with your donation and we'll send you Near and Baby's Carry Along Bible to say thanks. And today is our last opportunity to mention this so write today at a new beginning box 4,000 Riverside, California 92514 or call 1-800-821-3300.

You can reach us anytime 24 hours a day at that number 1-800-821-3300 or just go online to harvest.org. You know sometimes we can't always make it to church but here's the good news. Church is coming to you.

It's coming to you on your tv screen or on your tablet or your computer or even your phone. We do it every weekend and it's called Harvest at Home. We have worship. We have a message from the Word of God. If you want to find out what find out more just go to harvest.org and join us this weekend for Harvest at Home. Well next time more practical insight found in the Lord's Sermon on the Mount. Be sure to tune in for a new beginning with Pastor Greg Warren. Hey everybody thanks for listening to this podcast. To learn more about Harvest Ministries follow this show and consider supporting it. Just go to harvest.org and to find out how to know God personally go to harvest.org and click on know God.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-09-18 21:54:37 / 2023-09-18 22:04:34 / 10

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