#BLESSED – Week 1 [Happiness]
by Rob Payne
Who doesn’t want to be happy? I’m sure we could all do with a little more happiness in our lives! But how do we go about it? What would truly make us happy?
For some it might be finding a spouse or having children. Perhaps it’s about getting a good education. Or maybe the dream of becoming rich and never having to work again!
For others being happy would be being on tv or singing at sell- out tours. Whereas others might find happiness out with friends or inside quietly reading a book.
Whatever happiness is for you, Jesus spoke a revolutionary sermon that must have turned its hearers views upside down.
At the beginning of His sermon on the mount, Jesus started with what we know as the beatitudes, which basically means messages of blessing or happiness.
Matthew 5:3-5 New International Version (NIV)
3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4 Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
5 Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.
All three of these have a common thread- realise the state of your human existence, turn to God, leave the things of this world behind and follow/ trust/ rely on Him completely.
Many of the things that will make us happy or things we consider a blessing are all about us (self), but Jesus flipped that on its head. Yet He made the promise of such value as worth more than we thought possible. For example, He says in Matthew 16:25 (TPT) For if you choose self-sacrifice and lose your lives for my glory, you will continually discover true life. But if you choose to keep your lives for yourselves, you will forfeit what you try to keep.
Matt 5:3-5 My paraphrase:
Know that in ourselves we are nothing, and mourn over it to the point of repentance, then die to all selfish desires, humbly accepting Jesus’ lordship and mastery over our lives. Then you will find true blessing because our comfort will be met and we will not lose out. These people belong to God’s Kingdom.
These three, and the other beatitudes that follow, should be how we are as Christians and followers of Christ. Jesus modelled the Beatitudes by His way of life, then said come follow me, do as I do, live as I live. 1 John 2:6 commands “whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did.” (NIVUK). This is a life of total commitment and full reliance on God for everything in our lives.
Let me finish with a challenge, one that I am challenging myself with:
Can you lay down everything for his sake, whatever it may be? Our finances, our position, our popularity, our education or social media statues? These in themselves aren’t bad, but are things that we often put our reliance in rather than Jesus. Then our anthem can truly be, “In Christ alone”!
December 31, 2018
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