Summary: Jesus gives us his tips for being happy in life; but they sure are different than what you’ve always heard! The world says, "Happy is the man who has ever desire met..." but Jesus says... *HANDOUT INCLUDED*
HOW TO GET ALONG WITH GOD AND OTHERS
Mt 5:1 ¶ And seeing the multitudes, He went up on a mountain, and when He was seated His disciples came to Him.
2 Then He opened His mouth and taught them, saying:
3 ¶ "Blessed are the poor in spirit, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4 Blessed are those who mourn, For they shall be comforted.
5 Blessed are the meek, For they shall inherit the earth.
6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, For they shall be filled.
7 Blessed are the merciful, For they shall obtain mercy.
8 Blessed are the pure in heart, For they shall see God.
9 Blessed are the peacemakers, For they shall be called sons of God.
10 Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11 "Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake.
12 "Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
Last week, we started this series on Jesus’ instructions, his coaching on how to really live life. We discussed how the word “Blessed” in this passage really means “Happy”. . .
The Greeks, remember, used this same word “Blessed” to describe the island of Cyprus, because it was to them what Hawaii is to us – like a paradise! When you were on Cyprus, life was as good as it gets!
In other words, Jesus’ coaching for your life is this: If you want to live a life that’s as good as it gets down here, follow these directions!
With that in mind, let’s examine the
3. The world says: Happy is the man who has the power.
What’s one of the biggest items on the news between now and November 2nd? The upcoming elections!!
I LOVE this! It’s a circus to watch what people will do to get power! Not at any other time are so many lies told, mud slung, characters smeared, conspiracies made. . . and that’s just in the dogcatcher’s race!
“No,” replied her mother, “lots of them begin with, ‘If I am elected...”
You know what I mean? The promises that are made are so big that we actually created a whole new category of promises called “Campaign Promises.” And it’s all in a quest to get the POWER! That’s because our culture teaches us that if you just can get some power, and be in charge, you’ll find true happiness. This attitude causes some real problems:
- in marriages.
- in politics.
- in business (ever heard of backstabbing to climb the ladder?)
- in families.
But look at what Jesus says, “The meek shall inherit the earth...” What does that mean? The word “meek” is not a word that most people would like to have put on them these days, because the meaning of the word has shifted in the last 400 years. Right now, if you think of someone “meek”, you probably think of someone who is spineless – someone who lets others walk right over top of them, someone who has no strength.
But this word in Greek meant something totally different. This word was the regular word for an animal which has been domesticated. An animal which has been tamed! So when Jesus says “Happy are the meek,” he’s not saying, “Happy are those who have no power and no spine.”
Instead, here’s what Jesus is saying:
BUT JESUS SAYS: Happy is the man who has put all his strength and ability under the control of God.
Think about it. . . a horse who has been tamed: weak and spineless? No! Friday night, Lizzy and I were down at Bricktown, and watched some of the horse and carriages down there. Some of those huge horses could pull thousands of pounds! There’s no weakness there – there’s only “strength under control!”
God’s not asking you to become a spineless creature to be a follower of His. . . he’s asking you to put that fiery personality, and that strong decisiveness in his hands!
Let me prove that: Who was the meekest man in the Bible? "Now the man Moses was very meek, more than all men that were on the face of the earth" (Num.12:3)
What kind of man was Moses? He was a man who was strong enough to be the leader of a nation of 2 million! He was the guy who faced down one of the most powerful kings in the earth, Pharaoh, and said, “Let my people go!” Moses’ meekness was simply his strength completely under the control of God.