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Eight Ways to Be Happy, According to Jesus

Summit Life / J.D. Greear
The Truth Network Radio
October 4, 2021 9:00 am

Eight Ways to Be Happy, According to Jesus

Summit Life / J.D. Greear

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October 4, 2021 9:00 am

We all crave happiness, and yet, it often seems elusive. So what’s the solution? How do we escape the rat race and find true, lasting joy?

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JD Greer in the sermon on the Mount is to give us eight ways to be happy.

Now I want to warn you that what Jesus tells you these 12 verses is upside down from everything else you hear on the stock.

It's revolutionary, but even if you're not a Christian.

I think you'll have to admit that these things even though they are counterintuitive at first, you make a lot of sense. Another trusted biblical teaching on it right after JD Greer. As always, I'm your host Molly bit events, happiness, something we all crave and yet often seems so elusive we put our hopes on something in the future, like marriage, kids, career success to retirement. If we think we can just get there then will be happy and yet nothing ever seems to be enough. So what is the solution. How do we escape the wrath and find true joy anywhere, discovering eight ways to be happy. According to this part of our teaching series called the whole story. Let's dive right in time together talking about what many consider to be the court teaching of Jesus is from something called the sermon on the Mount in Matthew chapter 5 you got your Bible. Love you take them out and opened the Matthew chapter 5 is the most famous sermon ever given.

Call the sermon on the Mount you really look at the first 12 verses of Jesus begins the sermon with a question that everybody in the world at some point has asked himself the question is this how can I be happy. How can I be happy to limit this as you consider that personally.

Are you happy right now me like at this very moment when you're listening to me preach to me like are you happy in this season of your life. Google auto complete verifies that this is a very pressing question for our culture.

When I typed and how can I be the very first thing that came up was happy. How can I be sure was number two sure about what I don't know how can I be saved to book on that.

How can I become a ball out lyrics why that came up on my feet on the sure and then of course how can I be pretty now I know that at this point were a bunch of y'all when I bring up this question. How can I be happy about y'all roll your eyes inwardly if not outwardly, because you like the pastor wants to talk about being happy and safe.

Jesus has to something to do with it so I know that you think that Jan will be like you got have a relationship with Jesus to be happy but Jesus's answer to the question of happiness is a little more complex than that in the sermon on the Mount to give us eight ways to be happy to see Matthew chapter 5 opens up with a string of blessed are blessed are the poor in spirit works through this list.

The Greek word for Blessed is the word Macario's, which comes from the word happy. The Greek word for happy is Makar Jews would use the term to describe a person in a state of salvation.

Someone who is experiencing the blessing and the favor of God in their lives. These eight things are descriptions of the same person's heart, a heart that is blessed by God, a heart that is filled Happy heart. Now I want to warn you that what Jesus tells you in these 12 verses is upside down from everything else you ever get here on this topic. It's revolutionary, but even if you're not a Christian. I think you'll have to admit that these things even though they are counterintuitive at first to make a lot of sense. She Jesus was nothing if not logical, and he had a profound understanding of the human spirit, which is why throughout history, many people who have not regarded him as the Messiah still thought of him as the greatest moral teacher of all time like Thomas Jefferson, Dominic Gandhi Oprah Winfrey today on people that would not say that he is the Messiah, but believe it is a great moral teacher. You'll see that in these 12 verses chapter 5 verse one seen then the crowds, he went up on the mountain when he was up very when he said that his disciples came to him and he opened up his mouth and he taught them saying verse three here's your first one. Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven, spent a little bit more time on this one because it is the key to understanding all the others that once you get this one all the others kinda fall into place.

Poverty of spirit means that you don't feel like you have sufficient resources in yourself to face life's challenges poverty of spirit has less to do with being monetarily rich or poor, but whether you embrace daily dependence on God for all that you need in children taking notes and I hope you are. That's the way.

All right, now poverty of spirit means that you embrace daily dependence on God for all that you need to see in Greek. There are two different terms for poor.

The first term is what we typically think of is poor monetarily for those who struggle financially as you can barely afford enough to eat that I would be your first term.

The second was one of my favorite records, toe costs total cost is one of my favorite records because it's onomatopoeia onomatopoeia will work.

Sounds like what it's you know it is what you think. When I say toe costs total is a sound like I'm splitting toe costs right word mean someone who is so despised that they literally spit on in society. This is the word that Jesus used for poor here. He's talking about those who are so weak and so outcast that it's like there's got right. This is the poor that Jesus says will inherit the kingdom itself now because these eight things are so courted Jesus teaching at some point in his life and teaching illustrate every single one through it and expanded story or some kind illustration as we work through these.

I'm gonna try to few places the point you to a couple of his parables because even other familiar to you to really help you get the concept of what he say and for this one being poor in spirit. The story that he told that get that cat that encountered it was the story of two men that came into the temple to pray. One of them.

Jesus describes as being the religiously elite. He is the best of the best. He knows the Bible is a leader in the synagogue or the church see he doesn't have any gross immoral sin in his life reaches Bible every day he comes it comes over the front of the church because that's where he belongs and on as their worshiping. He puts his hands up in Jesus as he begins to pray with himself not in talking to God, to himself he says or I was one. Thank you that I'm awesome and that I you had. I think that you that you enable me to read my Bible every day and that I'm not like all these people level the struggles I thank you for all these great things that he just thinking about how you happy.

God has to be to have a son like him on his feet. Jesus, at the very back of the church of the synagogue, the exact opposite of this man, the tax collector who was the worst of the worst in that day you would been regarded as a lying traitorous. The comes in so overwhelmed with a sense of his guilt that he won't even come any farther than the back of the temple.

He lays down his face in a very back corner and all he could say to God as God be merciful to me a sinner and Jesus said surely I tell you he went home justified right with God and not the religious man because he was and is the religious man came in with a sense of richness about his own righteousness and because of that he left with his own righteousness, which before God was no righteousness at all, but the tax collector came in poor in the spirit regarding his righteousness and because of that you left with the gift righteousness of God. You see, God only fills empty hands. What keeps you from the righteousness of God is not your moral inability what keeps you from the righteousness of God is your moral ability because that keeps you blinded to your need for grace that Jesus is first and foremost, the first application of that principle is how you get saved you get saved, when you come to the poverty of righteousness, and you say I can't be good enough to earn your favorite when you receive the gift righteousness of Jesus Christ. But it's also a principal that you can apply across the broad spectrum of the Christian life. Also, those who feel capable as parents will not experience the power of God in there. It is not sure. Poor parenting is gonna screw up your kid is your confidence in your good parenting baffles, scrub your because those who have a poverty of spirit regarding their ability as parents. They're the ones you lean into the power of God for their children. It is your feeling capable in your ministry that cuts you off in the power of God, is your capability in your relationships or career careers is when we depend on God and not on ourselves for provision in wisdom and power and guidance that we access his gift power because God only fills empty hands.

See most of us have spent our entire lives shaped by a culture that is trying to get us to become anything but poor in the spirit we want to be rich in the spirit at least middle-class in the spirit we want to feel like we are sufficient for the task like we got it under control like us and our children don't need to be afraid of going in the future as we got all the internal resources and external resources like money that we need to face the future without fear. See not only does this keep us cut off from God's help. It also corrupts our spirit he keeps us from being happy. And that's where you start to see the profound wisdom of Jesus is way she liked like the man in the story that Jesus told about that. The religious man in the tax collector, being rich in ourselves makes us proud and disdainful of others because when you're proud your life becomes an endless cycle of comparison and competition. CS Lewis talked about how the essence of pride is competition to pride.

It does not matter that I'm smart. It only matters that I'm smarter than you to pride. It does not matter that I'm good-looking, or that I'm athletic. It only matters if I'm good-looking or better looking and more athletic than you are. For that reason. CS Lewis says people who are proud to never get along pieces.

People who have other sins in common.

They can get along, people who like to get drunk like to get drunk together people who like to be immoral like to get together and write about the people they been immoral with these about people who are proud always hate each other because their pride is always in conflict with somebody else's pride sows CS Lewis says the quickest way to tell that you have a pride problem is it somebody else's pride bothers you about that you know you're proud someone else's pride ticks you off because they think they're something. And that means that they will figure something in you and your son, not them. So there's something Mrs. did in the way your something is in your little Sumner not something so they should just shut up and sit out right because it is the essence of its competition. Furthermore, when we become rich in ourselves. We become competitive with men become unbelievably self focused guy in Jesus story praise to himself. He prays to himself, he admits, because that's all he ever thinks about I been reading this book recently about parenting and talks about how we are raising the most me focus generation in history who we are, where we thought we are fashioning kids to grow up to be rich in the spirit and you can just see that reflected in our habits and social media. This will talk about our obsession with selfies every year, every day in our country.

1 million selfies are posted on the Internet.

Cameras used to be used for the taking of pictures of other people in other situations. Now we turn it around to get that word will conduct face to the were the center of every scene that we are in all parts of social media outlets like Twitter are not built on display your poverty of spirit their bill on displaying the richness of spirit so you post all the awesome things about your life so that other people admire you and be jealous of you feel the boring stuff that another Peter butter and jelly sandwich that I followed by Ramen noodles, but you don't say that you can put a balsam steak dinner that she got that you're not trying to sell your desperation but your surplus even when you pretend to be humble about how my teacher said I was the greatest it is you never had hashtag humbled by this like you are not humbled by that don't put that hashtag your brother that's what you put up there and we become proud of me.

Focus we start to look ridiculous everybody like this man dies. This man knew that other people could hear him parading is talking to himself. He would've felt foolish see every once in a while something happens that reveals to me how self focus. I am masterful.

I got it one happened not long ago, I've my assistant said hey the Raleigh news and Observer is on the phone for you and I so will of course they are.

You know that's what I thought of. I want to talk about at church about thought about my perspective on something and cite your sites like ticker by my office and I answer the phone and I said yes and so is her from the news Observer. We see that your subscription is about to run out and 1000 you only knew. I said no I do not. If you don't love me. I love you so will you know school can fully ask is it just me, this is all we can ever think of how his ourselves into the worst effect be enriching yourself is that you become ungrateful because you're always focused on what you think you're entitled to.

In all other people aren't giving it to you.

You always feel like you deserve more like you're being wronged and that makes you unhappy because see ungrateful people are always unhappy people. We realize that every breath you take every step you take is a gift from God and grace that you begin to become grateful and when you become gratefully become happy because grateful people are happy people to so what we need is not as mighty richness of the spirit that goes out and conquers the world. What we need is a spirit of Gideon who says Lord on the smallest man in the small tribe. Why would you choose me the spirit of Davis is who in mind that you would choose me and my house to make these kinds of promises to the spirit of Isaiah. This is what was made from a man of unclean lips, and I will miss the people of unclean lips. Why would you show me your favor because he not only will that give us access to the power of God and also make us insanely happy.

Blessed are the poor in spirit. They're the ones at the kingdom of God, not to move faster she'll get a quick slow me down verse four Blessed are those who mourn for they shall be comforted. Jesus couldn't say why were morning here but morning clearly goes along with me for the spirit right when you feel powerless.

We can unrighteous your morning and so God says I comfort you, but I also think based on Jesus's future teaching that morning here means a willingness to enter the pain of others voluntarily and mourn with them, even when you don't have to. So here's how I write this one down morning means being relationally connected to others.

Morning means being relationally connected others, I thought. Here Jesus was famous parable, the gay ever told the good Samaritan you know they suggest Abby got a Jewish man in the speed of our robbers offered at the side of the road. Later, another man comes by now that you a religious leader, a man who was kind and good and and should've stopped to help the sky but he had things to do and he just had a date. It was to practice what I can do it so you get moving.

The next guy that comes by. Another good Jewish religious man, this guy thought men that's dangerous is about to stop and help him robbers maybe want to make a backdrop mean it's dangerous. I don't want to get involved Jesus 1/3 man came by little later. This was a Samaritan, a man of a hated race that the societal enemies in this man stops. He has all the same excuses.

The first regards did he was in a hurry.

He was trying to get somewhere and it certainly was dangerous for him to stop and help that man, but he voluntarily entered into the payment somebody else and took it upon himself and because of that, Jesus says he is blessed you see as we get older.

I've noticed this tendency in myself and I would assume that it's also there.

Most of you, the trajectory of our lives is to get more and more isolated. We don't really want to connect with our neighbors as we get older because we don't like we need to we don't want to open up our lives to the needy because being on a small group is, pain. I don't know if I need this on people get in my life and comment on my marriage because I was like any other people. The average triangle professional, especially man but I would say you both genders.

The average triangle professional banks. Just give me my home just give my beach home fighting for that one day give me my hobbies my kids menu. One day my grandkids and shut the rest of the world out I don't need that for a happy and fulfilled life. Jesus that actually you'll never be happy. That way, but it is your heart closes in on itself gets darker and more self focused. Never be blessed by God to see you were designed by God designed by God in his image to be happy when you poured yourself off or others. The circle that God wants us to be in is not a circle facing inward. It's a circle that faces outward so Blessed are those who open their hearts and their homes to take in the pain of others even when they don't need to. Blessed are the foster parents are taking kids not because they need the money, but because they can't help but enter into the pain of that child and weep with that child.

Blessed are those who are involved in ministry here in our church to the homeless orphan. The prisoner, the unwed mother.

The high school dropout, not because they naturally belong to those communities because they are morning with them. Blessed are those who sponsor compassion children are take overseas mission trips not because they got a wanderlust or sense of adventure. Why get the passport stamp because they can't help but enter into the morning of people who are separated from Jesus and without the basic necessities of life or how about this one.

Blessed are you when you identify with the community right here in our city who is not your own. For example, when you are white, listening to the pain that our black brothers and sisters go through and acknowledging the fear of the struggles of sometimes the unfairness they experience where means when you are black empathizing with what it's like to be a policeman, or in the family of a policeman in puts his or her life on the line and faces backlash for injustices that they had no personal pardon. Blessed are those who mourn voluntarily step out of their community and enter into and mourn with the pain of another community.

Not only will you be happier in this life that way you will be eternally comforted. Jesus said verse five Blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth. Now meekness means taking the second place, instead of the first place whenever you can, means leveraging your power and your position to serve others, not self. I think here is the thing that Jesus did right before he died in the moment leading up to his death. The last thing he does with his disciples as he gets down on his hands and knees and watch as the dirtiest part of their body, their feet. As the Lord and the master of the universe about going to the most heroic activity ever ever done on earth, and how see what the prelude of that washing the disciples feet missing Paul said the apostle.

Because of that act of humility because of that posture, humility, God exalted him and God gave him the name that is above every name, and it's a pattern that Jesus is talking about here that when you humble yourself and you take the second place, not because you're powerless will because you choose the user power that weight, God begins to exalt you not only in the next life and also in this would your thought you would lose me understand this being a parent I'm you. You'll follow me if you got a it was a young third-grader and you pack your third-graders wants to go to school today and said at the school say that you have the ability to watch them during the lunch hour and you notice your from a distance, or in the notes on the playground with your binoculars, you probably get arrested for doing that but whatever you can see it and you notice your will. Third-graders you take that is 20 notices another kid who almost always comes to school without his lunch because he so poor that his parents hardly ever cinema food and see you notice your can look at his sandwich and take a sandwich and you break in half and hands have to have the kidneys got his five Oreos AMI takes three of those warriors given to this get it done devise everything down the middle and because of this to what what he was a parent feel like at that moment your surviving life. This whole capitalist system, folding in on itself right now you don't think that your proud and what happens when your kid gets all well if you're like me, you give away three Oreos I'm giving you 30 right now I can poured out on them right because because there's a sense in which in which I watch them take the second place, and I want to pour out, seek God, our heavenly father. That's what he looks at his children seems hissing fajitas can even help himself. He sees you taking what you have her leverage and for others it is watch as I'll exalt you is why we always say run here. You can't out give God what would your life look like you think if consciously in every area of your life with her with the resources your position your opportunities. You consciously took the second place, instead of the first know what would happen two things one chart to be insanely happy. Number two, you will find God himself got involved to begin to exalt you because that's what Jesus promises right there. Blessed are those he says who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they are the ones will be satisfied. Hunger and thirst for righteousness visa craze fellowship with God above everything else. She Jesus understood. Listen to this role hungry. Our souls are hungry. The reason for that King Solomon explain this because God put eternity in our hearts.

The way Blaise Pascal.

Other philosophers have said this is God's created the human heart with a gigantic hole in it. We spent our lives try to figure out what goes in that whole. As we draw money we try the approval of others. We try romantic love.

He said none of it works because that hole was in the shape of God himself. It's the size of eternity. Go imagine a bucket that was so big that all the water in the Atlantic Ocean. If you put in that bucket would not even cover the surface area of the bottom of the bucket that bucket is your soul the reason that money can't make you happy is not that you don't have enough of it.

It's that it's not designed to do that to begin with. It's not big enough all the money in all the world not big enough.

You created for something greater than money. The reason that relational romantic love is awesome is that is the reason it cannot satisfy your soul as you were created to be satisfied in that kind of love.

You were created to be satisfied in God. So I often tell you lonely, insecure, single people become lonely, insecure, married people by the government lonely to sit in the counseling office because problems like loneliness and insecurity are not cured by the love of another human being there only cured by the eternal love of God. That's why when you base your identity and and your hope on the approval of people to make you happy person make you this jealous obsessive person could other people can give you what you looking for easy money and romantic love in and in whatever it is your heart to run. Not only will you be unsatisfied is when you hunger and thirst for righteousness, that not only will overflow with her article today and every day here on Sunday night eight ways to be happy. According to Jesus teaching series called the whole story. Remember if you ever miss a message. You can always catch the online sermons are available completely free of charge because there's people just like you. That is, stepped out and donated to cover the production and hosting, when you get to Senate life you really getting to your fellow listeners to say thanks.

We like to send you an exclusive resort to set of books in the vital part set of cards will help you as you make connections with the context of the original is a card for each of the 66 and they each include details about when the book was written into him. Three teachers gleaned from the event where the point Jesus is the gospel in the reflection questions to help find the books of the Bible cards when you give today by calling 335 24 make it easier to get and request the cards online. Our website is dictating and be sure to come back Tuesday we were continuing this message, ways to be happy. According on Senate night by Judy

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