Summary: We need a change of focus in order to find any happiness at all in this life.
INTRO.- ILL.- Someone said that marriage is full of excitement and frustration:
* In the first year of marriage, the man speaks and the woman listens.
* In the second year, the woman speaks and the man listens.
* In the third year, they both speak and the neighbors listen.
Quote: “It is true that love is blind but marriage is definitely an eye-opener.” This makes me wonder how Prince Charles is doing in his new marriage.
ILL.- LONDON, England — Life is good for Prince Charles: his bank account is growing and he has found contentment with his new wife, Camilla. The income of the heir to the British throne rose by 11% last year to more than $23 million, according to an annual financial report released by his household Thursday.
The royal couple’s private secretary said, "Marriage is a good thing. The two of them are very happy and things have settled down nicely.”
Brothers and sisters, it sounds like Prince Charles is having a prince of a time in life! He’s got it made: money and marriage. At least, the marriage he’s always been wanting and too few of us understand.
ILL.- Have you ever watched Larry King Live? I find Larry King’s show to be quite interesting, especially, when he has a good guest on his show instead of some nut.
What do you think of Larry King? I think most Christian people would say something like, “Well, he’s a good TV host, but I think he’s pretty liberal in his faith or convictions. AND I WOULD SAY THEY WERE CORRECT.
Larry King is a Jewish agnostic, from what I read. He doesn’t deny the existence of God and Christ, he just doesn’t know for sure. He is non-committed.
He is married to Shawn Southwick who was a singer and model. She is a devout Mormon and is raising their children as Mormons, which seems to be fine with King. They have two little boys, ages 5 and 6. She is 45 and Larry King is 71 years old. He is 26 years older than she.
But here is something I discovered about Larry King that I thought was interesting. He has been married seven times and has had three significant others, as some call them.
Does this sound like Larry King is a contented and happy man? He claims to be happy now that he is 71 years old but I guess, time will tell. No matter how happy he is or thinks he is, it won’t last and here’s why.
ILL.- Max Lucado wrote, “We are not happy here (on earth). We are not happy because we are not supposed to be happy here. ‘We are ‘like foreigners and strangers in this world.’ (I Pet. 2:11) And you will never be completely happy on earth simply because you were not made for earth. Oh, you will have moments of joy. You will have glimpses of light. You will know moments or even days of peace. But they simply do not compare with the happiness that lies ahead.”
Brothers and sisters, it doesn’t make any difference what it is: marriage, children, grandchildren, fame, fortune, fun, you name it; all these will not fully satisfy. None of these will bring complete happiness in life. That will only come when we are finally in the presence of our Heavenly Father and safe in His arms.
PROP.- There are some things that we can do to find greater happiness in this world of unhappiness. Our focus must change in order to find great happiness.
1- We must focus on grace, not goodness
2- We must focus on God’s work, not our worth
3- We must focus on the Spirit, not the flesh
I. WE MUST FOCUS ON GRACE, NOT GOODNESS
Eph. 2:8-9 “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast.”
ILL.- A man died and went to heaven. Of course, St. Peter met him at the Pearly Gates. Peter said, "Here’s how it works. You need 100 points to make it into heaven. You tell me all the good things you’ve done, and I give you a certain number of points for each item, depending on how good it was. When you reach 100 points, you get in."
"Okay," the man said, "I was married to the same woman for 50 years." "That’s wonderful," said St. Peter, "that’s worth three points!"
"Three points, is that all?" he said. He went on, "Well, I attended church all my life and supported its ministry with my tithe and service." "Terrific!" said St. Peter. "That’s certainly worth a point."
"One point?!!" He continued, "I started a soup kitchen in my city and worked in a shelter for homeless veterans." "Fantastic, that’s good for two more points," he said.