Summary: This sermon contrasts the ways of God and the ways of this world and how to tell the difference when we encounter them in our lives.

What Do You Know?

I Know the Ways of God!

1 John 5:1-12

May 20, 2001


A. [Unhappiness at Home and Work, Citation: Sally Pook, London Daily Telegraph (10-16-00); submitted by Alan Wilson, Nyon, Switzerland]

Ten percent of the British people believe they would be better off dead, according to a survey.

One in four people said they were unhappy in their jobs, while one in three felt exhausted, unappreciated, or underpaid.

Christine Webber, the psychotherapist who carried out the survey, said: "Sadly, it comes as no surprise to me that so many people are unhappy at home and work. It seems that people’s lives do not live up to their extremely high expectations. It is particularly worrying to see so many people dwelling on morbid thoughts, with a large proportion just plainly exhausted by life."

1. And I would guess that the figures wouldn’t be much different in the US.

2. Friends the ways of this world are not making people happy.

3. And unfortunately, I’m afraid to say that a lot of churches aren’t making much difference in people’s lives either.

B. But the good news is that the ways of God will make us happy!

1. The trouble is that even though the ways of God will make us happy, Satan has been very successful in twisting the things of God (even in a lot of churches) and has thereby sucked all of the life out of the ways of God.

2. So how do we know the ways of God?

3. In 1 John 5 today, John gives us four ways to know the things that are of God; first…

I. God’s ways are not burdensome

1 John 5:1-3, Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves the father loves his child as well. 2 This is how we know that we love the children of God: by loving God and carrying out his commands. 3 This is love for God: to obey his commands. And his commands are not burdensome,

A. John begins this section by repeating some things that he has already said.

1. John says that we can tell those who love God by seeing how they love people.

2. And John says we tell those who love God by seeing how they obey God’s commands.

3. Then John says something new: God’s commands are not burdensome.

B. My friends, I cannot begin to tell you how true this is!

1. God’s ways are not burdensome!

2. That has been a problem with many of our churches recent years.

3. God’s people look like their dead!

4. When you go into church buildings, the people look like they’ve been sucking on persimmons.

5. When you go into some church buildings, the people look like they’ve been carrying a heavy load for a lot of years.

6. When you listen to their singing, they sound like their in a funeral.

7. And when you talk to them, they sound like they just can’t go on another day.

8. In fact smiling and happiness are often looked down upon as some sort of spiritual flaw.

C. But my friends that is not the way of God!

1. If people look like they have been carrying a heavy burden for a lot of years, then you need to stay away from them, because they’ll try to load you up with some burdens for you to carry around as well.

2. Jesus Himself said in Matthew 11:28-30, "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."

3. If someone says they are saved and they look and act like life is a burden, they’re NOT saved because that is not how it is in the kingdom of God!

D. Do you see that the truth of this is that burdens weigh people down and get them depress and you can see it on their faces.

1. And I have to be truthful with you that I am not happy enough myself.

2. The reason is because earlier in life I had bought the lie of the devil that I needed to be a good person.

3. And that lie will destroy you.

4. It will depress you and it will defeat you because it is not possible to be a good person!

5. It will only cause you to carry some heavy burdens and that is not the ways of God.

6. The ways of God are not burdensome!

E. Friends, I want people to come to Somerset and see the joy of the Lord in our faces and in our lives!

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