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August 2, 2020 1:45 pm
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On 9 December. Some one presumable pursuit of happiness.
See happiness as a distraction to living a holy life is Jesus's. Jeremiah begins a series to question every happy, according to Jesus, happiness, and holiness coexist. As David kicks officers message outside. Thank you for joining us today. Mrs. Monday the first Monday of the month of August in the beginning of a new week from the standpoint of broadcasting a new month and a new study today were going to talk about how to be happy. According to Jesus from the key passage in the Bible but discusses and that's Matthew chapter 5 and six, so let's open our Bibles again to Matthew chapter 5 and let's get started with this discussion of life outside the comedy film cool runnings is about the first Jamaican bobsled team to go to the Olympics, the late John Candy played a former American gold medalist who became a coach to the Jamaican team and the players grow to like the American coach and affectionately dubbed him slack-jawed movie later in the story the coach admits to his dark history in an Olympics.
Following his gold-medal performance.
He broke the rules. What he did was he added some weights to the US-led to make it go downhill faster and he got caught bringing this grace on himself and on his team. One of the Jamaican bobs letters could not understand why anyone who had already won a gold medal would cheat and in the movie. He nervously asks John Candy to explain and these were the lines I had to win. He said, but I learned something I learned that if you are not happy with how to gold-medal, you won't be happy with one either happiness. Some wag of an Englishman wrote about us as Americans. He said trouble with you Americans is that you have to be so confounded Lee happy all the time you dedicated yourselves to The Pursuit of Happyness, you boast about it as an inalienable right as though happiness were the supreme and absolute goal of all existence. Surely there are more important things in life and just be happy but you know what he was right.
It is an American thing. Can you believe it when you stop and think about it. It's kind of silly isn't it right alongside life and freedom. We put in our Declaration of Independence The Pursuit of Happyness Americans are endowed with certain inalienable rights, among which are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, and some friends. I know have been living in light of the Declaration of Independence at the highest level every day of their life as Americans is devoted to the pursuit of happiness.
Isn't it strange to watch how they go about it. One man buys a dozen homes to be happy and another man goes out into the wilderness to live as a hermit, one woman becomes a nun and another woman becomes a harlot. One young man thinks happiness is bodybuilding and another tries to find it by destroying his body with drugs. One couple thinks happiness is children and they have eight of them, and another is convinced that children will get in the way of their happiness and they go childless, Malcolm Muggeridge, in a writing called to conversion a spiritual journey wrote these words about The Pursuit of Happyness. He said of all the different purposes set before mankind. The most disastrous is surely The Pursuit of Happyness slipped into the American Declaration of Independence, along with life and liberty as an inalienable right almost accidentally at the last moment happiness he said is like a young beer fleet and beautiful hunt him and he becomes a poor frantic query after the kill, just a piece of stinking flesh." CS Lewis in his satire called Screwtape letters has the arched devil Screwtape advising his devil apprentices concerning how they are to go about deceiving the people and he tells them that the way you do. It is this through an ever increasing craving for an ever diminishing pleasure that he said is the formula of destruction and ever increasing craving for an ever diminishing pleasure.
What I'd like to call this message. If I could is life outside the amusement park and the reason I chose that title is because of the parable that I read which probably is the key to what I'm going to be talking about in these next weeks, for it defines soul very sharply.
The two concepts of happiness that are known to man today. The parable was written by a girl named Gloria and she wrote the parable of herself.
But listen to her words.
Many times I have felt as if I am trapped on a huge roller coaster that goes up and down and round and round. Sometimes I managed to escape and get off the mad ride, but I'm still in the amusement park outside the park. The world looks exciting, but it's too risky.
I'm not sure that I could survive. So the amusement park remain still the biggest attraction for everyone is being persuaded to stay inside and get back on the roller coaster yet I still think of people in the past to have gone outside the amusement park. They are the ones who seem to truly seek for God with all their heart and mind and soul and body, and are fully prepared to give it all up. They are the ones who live uncompromising lives you don't feel the grip of money.
The pressure of society to weaken the desire for goodness the punctured self-discipline. The crushing fear of the future. The horror of death. The threat of injustice, the need of security.
The rule of self. They don't struggle for faith, hope and love, faith, hope and love out of them and through them.
It seems from my viewpoint inside the amusement park that those who live on the outside of those who are totally free and I would like to live out there. She wrote, but I feel the grip of money. I feel the pressure of society. I am not strong enough to stand up for what I believe partly because I am not even sure what I believe my discipline is worthless inconsistency myself inspires action to satisfy myself. I am not happy. I wish I could live in uncompromising life outside the amusement park. I wish it, and yet I fear it at the same time life outside the amusement park. Neil postman wrote a book called amusing ourselves to death about the lifestyle of the American people, you know, even among Christians. If were honest if we do not really have a vital relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. We can spend our lives on the roller coaster trying to deaden the pain of an empty life.
Matthew chapter 5 there is an entire discourse from the lips of Jesus on happiness isn't what we call the sermon on the Mount Amber most folks have said the sermon on the Mount is the essence of the Christian faith and life and everybody believes that the Beatitudes are the essence of the sermon on the mount.
So what were talking here is the essence of the essence of the Christian life. The very core of the very center of what Jesus said was the values of the kingdom, and in these 11 verses the word blessed occurs. Nine different times. Some modern translators have changed the rendering of the Greek word Makarios from blessed to the word happy blessedness has kind of a Richard deeper larger spiritual meaning that happiness, but they come together in this teaching the word blessed in the Greek language is the word which means a blessing that kind of goes along with being a God in the beginning of the use of the word. It was never attached to anyone but the God blessed God's then in the New Testament we read it twice concerning our God. First Timothy 111 says the glorious gospel of the blessed God also in first Timothy chapter 6 and verse 15 we read the blessed and only potentate, the King of Kings and Lord of lords.
If you read the book of Matthew chapter 5 verses one through 11, you will notice that the little word are in all of the verses is in italics, which means that it is not really in the text is added by the English translator to give fluency to the reading of it.
So in essence, there is no verb in the Beatitudes. If you were to read it correctly, it would read like this blessed the poor in spirit blessed those who mourn blessed those who hunger and thirst after righteousness lesson the merciful and on through the text. It is an exclamation of exquisite joy and happiness for those who possess these qualities and we remember, don't we. In reading the Psalms that once in a while that were jumps out of the psalmist mouth. For instance, do you know someone that goes like this all the bliss of the man who walk not in the counsel of the ungodly, blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, happy, blissful, exquisitely happy is that man or this one and Psalm 32 20, the bliss of the man to whom the Lord does not impute iniquity.
Can I get a witness to that one, aren't you glad that God doesn't keep the page in his record book that has all your sins listed on it after you once came and applied the blood of Jesus Christ to and the writer of the Psalms is it this way all bliss blessedness is the man's who does not have iniquity applied to his account, so this is the form of expression that the Lord Jesus used. We call it the blessings the Beatitudes someone is called to be happy attitudes. The blessings of true happiness, and I want to talk with you about them because they are truly incredibly unique. The greatness of the Beatitudes is not that they are some wistful glimpse of some future day they're not golden promises of some glorious future time. They are shouts of joy and happiness that nothing in the world can ever take away and are available to us now. And Jesus says if you want to truly be happy, here's the formula were to take each of these one at a time to talk about them the keys to true happiness in preparation. In doing that, I'd like to take just a few moments today and share some general thoughts about this section of Scripture that will lay a foundation for our study. I have four or five things I want to say first of all I think this needs to be down at the very bottom of all of our discussion and that is that the pursuit of true happiness is part of God's purpose for you. He doesn't want you to pursue it. He wants you to have it may seem a little strange because I know a lot of folks who aren't really sure, Christians are supposed to be happy and looking at them.
They are an advertisement for their philosophy. They are convinced that true holiness produces a dour look that in order for someone to really be godly as the look like a reject from a pickle factory and you know them, don't you, you run into them.
The fact that we would laugh in our church would be greatly offensive to such person, for they are absolutely convinced that holiness and unhappiness are synonymous and reminded that CS Lewis one time said a schoolchild was asked what he thought God was like in the child answered that so far as he could make out. God is the kind of person he was always snooping around to see if anyone's enjoying himself so that he can put a stop to it. Have you ever known anybody to follow that philosophy that's kind of the way a lot of folks think about God what you know this, Jesus whose words we have quoted here today is the same Jesus who said, I have come that you might have life and that you might have it more abundantly. The joy of the Lord Jesus is the desire he has for each and every one of us. Whenever I think of people who like to cast Jesus as a sorrowful sad player on the pages of the New Testament. I have to believe in my heart there reading some other book than the one I've been reading for.
What do you do with the winsome Jesus of the New Testament, the man of Nazareth, who took such great delight in all the simple pleasures that were around him who came eating and drinking so much that his enemies said he was a glutton and a wind River. Remember that the Jesus who in his life is recorded for us in the Gospels enjoyed wholesome activities, who was at home at a wedding who enjoyed himself at a banquet who was always seemingly the center of the gathering of friends in anyone's home mingled with publicans and sinners and attracted little children to him. Now that's a thought is you notice that there are certain kinds of people that draw children to them.
And there are others that scare them away. Jesus attracted children to his knee, and I don't think I'm reading too much into the story when I tell you that he had an awesome sense of humor because of the translation out of that culture into ours.
We may not always see it but do you remember the word picture that he painted on one occasion a ludicrous word picture of a man with a plank hanging out of his eye painfully squinting as he tries to remove the speck of sawdust from the Ibis brother, I tell you, when Jesus told that story in those days there were some people who put their hands over their mouth and turned their heads so that they can hide the sticker in the giggle. Jesus got him with his sense of humor.
So when the bloodhounds of a sad life trying to paint Jesus into this morbid picture that so often we see even in the portraits that are made of him. I have to tell you, they haven't read about the Jesus I know who wanted us to find happiness so much that in the sermon on the mount. He devoted all of these verses tell us what it means to truly be blessed so I want to just go on record today saying to all of us him to remind myself again. I know in my heart that Jesus Christ wants David Jeremiah to be a happy man. He wants me to walk with joy in my spirit and have a smile on my face. Not a silly superficial kind of ecstatic sentimentalism, but a deep-seated joy that can come only from him and he wants you to have that joy to he wants you to know that kind of happiness. I was rather shocked in preparing for this message to read a book that someone had given me on the subject of happiness written by rather well-known writer someone whose name you would know if I told you has taught us much about the Christian faith, and when in the introduction to his book.
He was explaining why he would pick such a subject in his older years right unhappiness. His explanation was that looking back on his life. Even as a Christian leader he had discovered that there were far too many places where he was profoundly unhappy you know as I travel and talk with people in the evangelical church and as I meet often with evangelical leaders, even here in our own community and as I examine my own life that is statement which is our true for many of us. God wants his people to be a happy people.
The Christian life is a joyous existence and for us to live in any other way is to fall beneath the level that God intended for us all. If you don't have a sense of humor. We ought to put you on the priority prayer list because without sense of humor and without an ability to laugh.
Life can be very long, very long indeed. The second thing I want you to notice that The Pursuit of Happyness according to Jesus statements is a journey inward, it is not an outward thing is we so often would purported to be, let me tell you what Jesus said about the truly happy people.
His list does not include one single reference to health or wealth or work or adequate income or financial security or home or love or even friends. Jesus knew that while all of these things often accompany happiness. They do not ever produce it and so listen to his list it so completely reverses the world standards all the bliss of the poor. All the bliss of the hungry and thirsty all the happiness of the persecuted whole the bliss of the sorrowful. These are such startling contradictions to the world standards that no man can hear them. For the first time without a sense of shock and amazement. Who is this one who speak so strangely about happiness these Beatitudes are a set of paradoxes to the human mind they I believe were meant to destroy all the foolish illusions that had grown up in the minds of the people of Jesus day you were looking for a kingdom that development dominion and prosperity in Jesus says, let me tell you about the real kingdom it is not out there in dominion and prosperity is in your heart. In the attitude of heart and let me tell you about the kinds of attitudes which properly understand will bring true joy and happiness to an individual more of this tomorrow as we open Bibles again to Matthew chapter 5 is an interesting thing is how to be happy. According to Jesus, I'm sure you can guess that how to be happy. Accordingly, Jesus is different than how to be happy. According to most people. Jesus knows what it means to have joy and happiness in the true and lasting and spiritual way. We only know what we've been brought up to learn through the culture we live in. What a relief it is to find out that there's a way to know joy and happiness to get you off the Beltway get you off the tram get you out of the rush keeps you from competition causes you to have inward joy in your heart for more information on the Jeremiah series how to be happy. According to Jesus, visit our website. We offered to freeways to help is tightening monthly magazine Turning Points and motivation. Sign up email@example.com/radio when you do ask for your company at Bible study John divinity of Christ as part of the Jeremiah Bible study series for individual study manager was free gift of any amount of interest Jeremiah studies on in the English standard and international versions as well as in standard or large print in the new King James in your choice of civil, attractive, options, visit Jeremiah.org/radio details on Gary conflict join us tomorrow as we continue to be happy. According to Jesus, that's here on Turning Point for taking time to listen to on tonight for invasion Christian