Monday, March 14, 2011

The Morning After: A Life of Happiness

Yesterday morning, I started a series through the Sermon on the Mount. I am calling the series Kingdom Living, Here & Now. I am calling it this because what Jesus talks about what life will be like in the Kingdom. Some people believe that when Jesus says the Kingdom of Heaven, He is dealing with just a future event. I believe that Jesus will rule some day physically on this earth. But I also believe that He is ruling today in the hearts of His followers. I would take an already, not yet position on the Kingdom. It is here and now, we can see and experience some benefits of the Kingdom, but it is not what it will be some day in the future.

I love the fact that Jesus begins this great sermon with this word blessed, which means happiness. All people seek for happiness. The problem with our life is not that we pursue happiness, but that most of the time, we seek happiness in the wrong places (I would highly recommend Desiring God by John Piper). What Jesus offers is a deep-rooted joy that is not based upon our circumstances.

He begins the sermon by saying that our happiness is ultimately found in our poverty. He says, "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven" (vs. 3). The word that Jesus uses for poor is that of the beggar. He says that if you want to be part of the kingdom, you had better become a beggar. Why a beggar? Because as you sit at the entrance to the kingdom, you know that you have no hope of entrance based upon your money, your family, or your deeds done in righteousness. You have no hope of being part of His kingdom. So you become a beggar for His grace and His mercy.

How do I know if I am poor in spirit? To close the sermon, I asked seven questions to diagnose our hearts. Read them. Ask them of yourself. And if your convicted, repent and follow Jesus.

  1. Am I Willing To Come To Jesus On His Terms?
  2. How Do I View My Accomplishments?
  3. Do I Complain About My Situation In Life?
  4. Am I Content With My Present Spiritual Condition?
  5. Do I Pray?
  6. Do I Seek Jesus Out Of Necessity Or Convenience?
  7. Do I Treasure Jesus?
NOTE: We have been having problems with our church website. We hope that all the previous sermons will be up and available by the end of this week. Stay tuned...

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