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Happiness: What It Is & How to Have It, Part 2: Putting Others’ Needs First

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie
The Truth Network Radio
August 2, 2021 3:00 am

Happiness: What It Is & How to Have It, Part 2: Putting Others’ Needs First

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie

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August 2, 2021 3:00 am

During World War II, everyone sacrificed. Meatless Tuesdays, rationed gasoline, sugar, meat, cooking oil, and canned goods. Nowadays, we post pictures of our excesses on social media.

Self sacrifice begat the selfie. It’s been called “corrosive narcissism” . . . and culture has never been more unhappy. Today on A New Beginning, Pastor Greg Laurie points out the problem. We’re not following the Lord’s prescription for happiness.

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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Everybody you're listening to a new beginning, which is a podcast made possible by harvest partners. If this program is impacted you love to hear from you. So just send an email to Mia greg@harvest.org again it's greg@harvest.org you can learn more about becoming harvest partner by going to harvest.org or call the nurses look out for number one. Referring commission warned today. Pastor Greg Laurie points out the biblical alternative here comes Jesus Mrs. Blessed are the merciful one is immersing mercy doesn't is a old person ceases to do something for them to be that hungry person to be a friend to that lonely person.

Mercy is basically any class-action and everyone sacrifice meatless Tuesday ration gasoline, sugar, meat cooking oil and goods now days we post pictures of our excesses on social media self-sacrifice against the self is called corrosive narcissist culture has never been more unhappy today on a new beginning for Greg Laurie points out the problem. We're not following the Lord's prescription again were in Matthew chapter by Matthew chapter 5 in the title of my messages.

Happiness what it is and how to have it. God tells us how to be happy right here in Scripture and in fact in the sermon on the Mount. The point of entry is what we call the beatitude. 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. 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.

So let's read them together.

Matthew 530, number three 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 they the prophets double before you.

So let's review what we looked at last time in the initial Beatitudes we took a look at a number one if you're taking notes. Happy are the nobody happy other nobodies.

Blessed are the poor in spirit. Everybody wants to be a somebody that will make us happy. Or so we think Jesus effectively says happy are the nobody snow 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 happier. 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 you want to be a happy person.

You gotta know that about yourself. I am a sinner in need of a Savior. So that's the beginning.

Blessed are the poor in spirit number two unhappy people are happy people. I know that sounds contradictory.

We put it another way, happy people are unhappy people will work well. Blessed are they that mourn for they shall be comforted. The idea of morning here is being sorry being sorry for my sins so I mourn over my sin. So I see my condition before God as the center is 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 was ready to pardon and forgive but I say Lord I'm a sinner and I'm sorry for my sin. So Blessed are those that see themselves as they are Blessed are those that mourn over that condition Number three happy are the humble copy of the humbler Blessed are the meek, seeing myself as I really am produces a vital spiritual quality meekness. 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 verse six lesson are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled. Listen healthy people are hungry people, no matter how much you love, you want to love more right no matter how much you pray you always to pray more. I'm always wanting more of Jesus in number five happy people are merciful people. Verse seven Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy see as a person of mercy. I understand and empathize with those that don't yet know the Lord because I used to be one of those people. I see myself as I really am poor in spirit.

I wept over my condition.

I been humbled because meekness in my life. I have a new appetite for spiritual things.

I see somebody else that doesn't know the Lord yet and I've received for them by the way, when Jesus gave these words, Rome was in control of Israel and the Romans did not value mercy effect a Roman philosopher said, quote mercy was a disease of the soul" to the Romans. Roundabouts drink ever look at Roman artifacts, especially statues of Roman leaders are always muscular is all about domination bludgeoning people into submission. The will of Rome. And so they saw something like mercy as it is a flaw not a virtue. In fact, when the child was born of the Roman world. The father had the right of something called pottery protestants, which meant if he wanted the newborn to live. He held his thumb up to be one of the newborn to die his thumb would go down the job would be immediately drowned can imagine how barbaric oh is abortion that much different session. When people abort a child in on the final months of pregnancy. This is just taking that to the next level but imagines and why I didn't want to grow. I wanted a boy so thumbs down right in. One boy wanted a girl or I don't like the way that's all look so mercy. This is an alien concept to the Roman mind. So here comes Jesus says Blessed are the merciful, but what is mercy so important we know Matthew 63 the word for mercy is used concerning almsgiving, almsgiving, it needs to help a person in need and rescue the miserable.

Let me say that again. Mercy means to help a person in need. Mercy is that sense of pity, plus a desire to relieve the suffering see mercy doesn't just say all look at that poor person. Mercy says I want to do something for the poor person altogether hungry person. Mercy says I'm in a fee that hungry person that lonely person. Mercy says, to be a friend to that lonely person.

Mercy is basically pity plus action sometimes lead pity. Although I pity that person job it. Mercy is different than pity. Mercy is and I want to do something to alleviate their suffering. Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy. Listen to this, the more righteous a person is the more merciful they will be the more sinful a person is the more harsh and critical they will be is a very important distinction because sometimes people in the guise of spirituality be very condemning and very angry with nonbelievers or with anyone that does anything that disappoints them and they say that spiritual that's on spiritual, godly people are merciful people and if you're not a merciful person you don't understand what it means to be a godly person who was a greater example of mercy. Then Jesus extending mercy to the woman caught in the actual act of adultery extending mercy to the woman at the well married and divorced five times and living with a man at present extending mercy to the tax collectors IKEA sin took advantage of people extending mercy to the thief on the cross next to him and was probably guilty of murder, mercy, mercy, mercy everywhere he went. Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy. Coming back to one of those principles we discovered. If you want to be a happy person be a forgiving person. If you want to be an unhappy person harbor grudges and be angry with people using great weight. It's easy for you to stand up there and see that people overtly young and I would people for me to believe it or not I'm so adorable. How can that be. We've all been heard in life.

But here's why you should forgiven.

Here's why you should show mercy so you can live a happier life. It's on them. They did that. It's too bad they did that wish they hadn't done nothing to you but I'm letting go.

To not forgive is like drinking rat poison and waiting for the right to die.

Think about it is like drinking rat poison and waiting for the route that I friend the rats not going to die, you're gonna die.

And when you don't forgive any allow your life to be filled with bitterness and are not a merciful person.

You're going to be a miserable person. Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy. Mr. Greg Moore will have the second half of this message just a moment we look at your stories of how lives have been changed to the teaching of God's word like this one dear Pastor Greg back in the summer of 1986 and after graduating from college and I was certain that it made the wrong choice for major and career.

Though I was a believer, I felt as if God and abandoning my first job out of school included in our long commute and a difficult work environment. It was so disappointing that I cried in my first day home by driving each morning.

I was drawn to biblical teaching on the radio or something fresh and new to me in the way you share the Scriptures your broadcast gave me biblical truth and hope to get through each challenging day ahead I was grateful then and I'm grateful for your broadcast today. Thank you Pastor Greg. We appreciate hearing how Pastor Greg's teachings are reaching people and if you stories tell of how these studies have touched your life.

I hope you'll contact us today. Send an email to craig@harvest.org that's great@harvest.org moment. Pastor Greg talks with an author and friend about a groundbreaking new book helps to share our faith. Stay tuned today. Pastor Greg is guiding us in a study of the Beatitudes. Those attitudes that lead to happiness directly from the Lord himself.

Let's continue. Number six, a happy person will be a holy person and happy person will be a holy personnel know we use the word holy is often in a negative way over there so holier than thou, Windows ME, Willow. They were so uppity and while that's not a good trait, but actually we should all want to be holy men and holy women. The Bible says be holy as he is holy, but we don't understand what that means everything being holy means that we never raised her voice and we just we don't even occupy much space we just certain images take this much space, holy, holy. You're just weird. Okay, that's the holiness of weirdness. Maybe if I read spell holy.

It will help you understand what it means instead of spelling it HOLY spell it WHO LOL why doesn't holy committed so pure holy committed to Christ. You will be a holy person and blessed are these people who are pure in heart for they shall see God. What does it mean to be pure in heart, you know, today we we speak. Our heart is sort of our motion will say you know my mind says one thing in my heart tells me another. What is it even mean really well. My oh my heart is just causing me to want to do this and I don't know if I should do it or not, will you know sometimes people say I'm just listening to my heart will be careful because the Bible says the heart is deceitful, he would get above all things.

Who can know it don't when the hubris talk about the heart.

They did not mean the heart obviously beating in your chest and they didn't even mean the mirror emotional center for the Jew the heart. When we talk about the heart were talking about the emotional center, but also the intellectual center.

So when we read, to be pure in heart, and these were to be pure in our inner core people of purity, but we wonder is it even possible to be pure today. Just like we would dismiss the word holy we would dismiss the word pure even as an insult. Follow a look at her, she's just as pure as the driven snow. Well, that's a good thing isn't it. The only thing we like care is our drinking water.

I wanted pure by the way, how do we survive without drinking water. All those years you know, I grew up as a kid and I never had a bottle of drinking water I drink water out of rusty faucet sin. The funkiest water you've ever had and somehow I survived to this age, but now we all of our bottled water. We always have to have the bottle water and some bottled waters are better than other bottled waters in the hot it we wanted pure and dumb. But the thing is, blessed are the pure in heart to be pure in heart can also be translated to be single and hard so what it means is they have a single focus in life Europe focused person focused on your relationship with God. Number seven happy person will be a peacemaker. Blessed are the peace makers for they shall be called the sons of God. Now this is one beatitude pretty much everyone can applaud. Yes, Blessed are the peacemakers, let's work for peace. Let's march for peace.

Well this is it really talking about world peace, though we all want world peace and effect as our planet has been plagued by war.

Since our very beginning in the past 4000 years there been less than 300 without a major war somewhere. It seems as though pieces that brief, glorious moment in history when everyone stops to reload right. Think about how closely World War II followed world war one in these wars just continue on and on.

Albert Einstein made this statement about atomic warfare as they would call it then and I quote it is not a physical problem but an ethical one. What terrifies us is not the explosive force of the atomic bomb, but the power of the wickedness of the human heart and its explosive power for evil." How right Einstein was because he is merely reflecting what the Bible says in James four when it says what you think these appalling wars and quarrels come from. They come from your cells because you want your own way you fight for it. Deep inside of yourself. You lust for which you don't have in your willing to kill to get it you want what is in yours and you risk violence to get your hands on it so yes we are people that are in constant conflict. So what does it mean when Jesus is.

Blessed are the peacemakers, what it means primarily in context is Blessed is the man or woman who is seen the self as they really are a sinner without a Savior. A person who is become humble and meek. A person who hungers and thirsts after righteousness.

A person was a single focus on God and a person who wants others to come into the same relationship with God because were bringing the message of the prince of peace know this peacemakers are often troublemakers. Here's how it works here is your family but to nonbelievers to get together every Thanksgiving, Christmas, whatever it is draining smoke party tell dirty jokes at your family. Yeah, that one day you go along and wrecked everything you become a Christian and you just ruined that all someone said you've wrecked our family wanted to go become a Jesus freak.

Now what we want to lead were standing around waiting for you to say it can wait. Pray really all you just ruined everything that we had it all together as a family and now you brought this division in our family. Anything that that's happened to me this doesn't make sense. Listen to the words of Jesus. It clarifies everything Jesus says in Matthew 1034. To think that I came to bring peace on earth.

I didn't come to bring peace but a sword bride come to set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law a man's enemies are those of his own household is in Greg. He really lost me. Now what is this mean this is the division that brings unity. Here's what's happened, your family was in a dark place. You just turn the light on and everyone noticed it and a lot of them don't like it, but you just hang in there and you keep following the Lord, and pretty soon another family member comes to Christ. Now another one comes across in knowing the and before you know it you're a Christian family because Christ is intervene.

That's a good thing that there's that initial tension that comes before you have the peace. Blessed are the peacemakers. That's what it really means you're spreading the gospel of peace. Blessed are the feet of those that bring glad tidings of the gospel of peace. Seeing how the Lord happiness differs from the world. Pastor Greg Laurie is leading our study of the Beatitudes in the sermon on the Mount is part of a series here on a new beginning called salt and light so did you miss any of Casterbridge message today. Interruptions do happen to catch up. You can hear the whole presentation again by going to harvest.org just look for the message title happiness what it is and how to have it hard to Pastor Greg, I'm a sucker for crime shows, you know, especially where they solve real-life crime stories, especially cold cases yes and we happen to have a real life retired cold case detective with us today and as much as I'd like to sit here and hear some stories of cases he's worked on peace or haste here to talk about a more important case right yeah that's right it's a brand-new book for my friend Jay Warner Wallace and the J sensor Jim my eyes, yes J Warner Wallace in his new book is called person of interest, subtitled why Jesus still matters in a world that rejects the Bible you know I think this book is really neat.

Jim because you are basically looking at the impact of Jesus on culture in general, there are actually people walking around. That will say Jesus Christ never existed.

This is all a man-made myth, of course, at such a ridiculous statement but what would you say to someone that would say well all we have is the biblical account you can't trust that.

So why should we even believe that amending Jesus ever even walked this earth okay so I'm with you for a point of argument or a trial just for sake of argument let's just toss out the biblical managed okay and that they don't trust that he ever exist. You can't because of the Bible says about is okay fine as you take it out. Is there a way to make the case for Jesus even if every single Bible in the history of Bibles had all been destroyed. What turns out there is just like when you make a case in a cold case where you got sick a husband who kills his wife and then he gets rid of her body and we take a missing persons report. He says oh she ran off and so then years later we decide is the same.

She never came back.

Something is up was opened as a homicide now working as a homicide and we got no crime scene he moved he clean the place up, got no physical evidence about how to make that kind of a case to a jury will hear that we do it.

I was told the jury on the day of the murder. A bomb went off, something explosive happened, but there was a long fuse that burned up to that explosion and there's all kinds of shrapnel afterward to make this case to you from simply diffuse and the fallout all the stuff that led up to this day and all the stuff that fall.

That is all you did was look at the history of humanity, everything that leads up to the appearance of this explosive moment that breaks that that BC and A.D. you want, you know, before the common era and of the common era where we want to turn it something explosive had us right there that changes history alkalosis exam nephews was examine the fallout. Here's what you gonna discover is that yes there is only one cause for that turn in history. His name is Jesus of Nazareth and you can reconstruct the story of Jesus without any reference to any biblical manuscript just from the fallout of history in the arts in music and literature in science and education is an effective example this all you did was go and visit the top 15 universities in the world today as you discover they are all founded by Christians in the top 15 all founded by Christians netting up a Christian anymore right but they were founded by Christian HOSPITAL as Ryan relief organization will send all those songs but guess what, if you just took.

It was the buildings you don't know Bibles now just the buildings.

The buildings of the campuses of those top 59 schools your discover they're covered in verses yes are covered in artwork of Jesus. You can reconstruct the story of Jesus just from the buildings of the top 15 universities in the world. So unless you're willing to destroy all of it on the top 50 universities your to be stuck with the story of Jesus. Even if you didn't have any testing how about a nation called the United States of America what is the role of Jesus Christ in the Bible itself, and the establishing of our country elegantly again as yours is great.

Even people who would say that I'm not a religious person are not a pastoral essay about this he realizes I was a fraction between science and in faith right now I can't do both will really go back and look at the thing called the scientific revolution and all of the fathers of all of the scientific disciplines you can discover the vast majority were Christians who also wrote about Jesus in their private writings and all you had was the private writings of the top scientists in the history of science. Yes, you can reconstruct the story of Jesus what you want to get rid of all those people to from history, you're still stuck with this technology is like taking a drink from a fire hydrant here talking to Jim all this explosive information is contained in this book that we are offering to you.

It's called person of interest by J Warner Wallace why Jesus still matters in a world that rejects the Bible.

I will send you this book for your gift of any size because we want to put quality resources into your hands and we also want to give you an opportunity to support us as we teach the word of God and proclaim the gospel around this planet. So if you like your own copy is going to give you the contact information and will send you person of interest. Yeah that's right it's brand-new. In fact we have advanced copies. You won't find it anywhere else just yet, so thanks for sending an investment so that this daily study can continue and let us thank you with a copy of person of interest by J Warner Wallace.

You can write a set a new beginning. Box 4000, Riverside, CA 92514 or call 1-800-821-3300. We can take your call anytime 24 seven again at 1-800-821-3300 or go online to harvest for one next time more insights to draw you closer to the Lord.

Remember hearing on court today study go online to harvest for an evening to a new beginning.

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