Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: Considers the way that God cares about our holiness, and the way that God uses Godly sorrow to change us.

1. Title Doesn’t God Want Me Happy?

2. Text: 2 Corinthians 7:8-11 et al

3. Audience: Villa Heights Christian Church, AM crowd., February 19, 2006, #5 in the series “A Clear and Present Danger”

4. Objectives:

-for the people to understand that God is more concerned with our holiness and with genuine joy than with our happiness; that the pursuit of happiness is neither a God-given right nor something at which anyone can truly succeed; that the world’s presuppositions about what brings “happiness” are wrong; that joy is a fruit of the Spirit, not circumstances

-for the people to feel OK about not being 100% happy all the time; that they don’t have to spend all their energy just pursuing happiness

-for the people to stop making the pursuit of happiness a priority over other items that deserve a higher place

5. When I finish my sermon I want my audience to develop a biblical attitude toward happiness and to leave with the greatest reason to be truly happy

6. Type: topical / textual

7. Dominant Thought: God wants our pursuit of holiness to outshine our pursuit of “being happy”

8. Outline:

Intro: We hold these truths to be self evident: that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness…

I doubt we can fully discuss in such a short time the significance and impact of the Declaration of Independence on world history. I believe that far more wisdom was poured into it than will ever pass through my lips. I appreciate so much the boldness and clarity and self-sacrifice with which these 56 signers pledged their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor. It set the course for the freedom that you and I have received as a priceless inheritance to preserve and pass along to our children too. With that said…I want to question it. Is it true that the Creator has given everyone the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness?

Our nation seems to not understand why the unborn have the right to life. We certainly know that we all want the right to liberty. In fact, we’re willing to fight around the world for it for ourselves and others. But what about this pursuit of happiness thing? Is that really a God-given right of every person? Is it really your right to pursue happiness, as much as you would pursue the ability to live or to be free?

Doesn’t God want me to be happy? No. God does not have your happiness as a great priority.

Please, find me the verse in the Bible that says that!

I’ve heard or seen that very reasoning used to justify all kinds of things: sexual sins, unjustified divorce, wrong marriage, materialism and huge debt. “I know that’s what God says, but leaving my wife to go live with this woman will make me happy.” “I know we can’t afford it, but having this thing will make me really happy.” “I know he’s not a believer, but he makes me happy.” People may not always say it out loud, but it’s amazing how many will even say it out loud: “Doesn’t God want me to be happy?”

It is the job of grandparents to make their grandkids happy. That’s what they do. Then they send them home so that they can become dissatisfied again! But there are several people who we’d never want to make that their #1 job. Policeman, President, parents, or church leadership, to name a few. We wouldn’t want them to have making people happy as their first goal. Still there are many of us who are willing to live like one of the highest goals in our life is the pursuit of personal happiness.

Doesn’t God want me to be happy? No! Please, find me where He included that in the Bible. Find for me where it says that God wants your happiness. I’ll find for you what God does say He wants:

1 Thessalonians 4:3

It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality…

What does God want for you?

I. God Wants You to be Holy, Because He is Holy

If we were to put in front of us every word from God that we have about what He wants for us, we’d find most of them pointing to this: Holiness. God wants us to have a lifestyle that has set aside the world and that has been set aside for God’s personal use. He wants you holy.

God is a whole lot more concerned about your holiness than He is about your happiness.

But doesn’t God want me happy? Well, let’s try this. Let’s take some of the verses where God speaks about our holiness and try seeing how well happiness fits them.

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