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Summary: God’s desire is that we would experience the blessed life – where we would be happy, supremely blessed; and spiritually prosperous – with life-joy and satisfaction in God’s favour and salvation.

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THE BLESSED LIFE #1 – THE SECRET OF HAPPINESS

INTRO TO TOPIC: When was the last time you had a good laugh? Do you enjoy your life? Everyone today is on the elusive pursuit of happiness. This is why people turn to sex, drugs, alcohol – looking for the higher high, the happy, blessed life. But what is the secret of happiness? Is it being rich and famous? Or is it something more?

ILLUSTRATION:

Listen to this story, which sounds just wacky enough to be true:

In New York City, there are eight million cats and eleven million dogs. New York is basically just concrete and steel, so if you have a pet in New York and it dies, you can’t just go out in the back yard and bury it. The city said that for $50 they would dispose of your deceased pet for you.

One lady was enterprising. She thought, I can render a service to people in the city and save them money. She placed an ad in the newspaper that said, "When your pet dies, I will come and take care of the carcass for you for $25." This lady would go to the local Salvation Army and buy an old suitcase for two dollars. Then when someone would call about his or her pet, she would go to the home and put the deceased pet in the suitcase.

She would then take a ride on the subway, where there are thieves. She would set the suitcase down, and she would act like she wasn’t watching. A thief would come by and steal her suitcase. She’d look up and say, "Wait. Stop. Thief." My guess is the people who stole those suitcases got a real surprise when they got home.

Many of us are like those thieves; we grab at what we think will bring us happiness only to find that it just doesn’t quite deliver. (Scott Wenig, Preaching Today).

THE BIG IDEA:

God’s desire is that we would experience the blessed life – where we would be happy, supremely blessed; and spiritually prosperous – with life-joy and satisfaction in God’s favour and salvation.

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE BLESSED? QUOTE: “I define happiness simply as fulfillment and overflow.” (Pastor Barry Buzza, The Secret of Happiness).

TEXT: “You anoint my head with oil. My cup overflows with blessings.” (Psalm 23:5).

• His words ‘my cup’ described his life. To David, happiness was a fulfilled life, and his cup was full. When your cup is full, you are fulfilled and happy.

• This is better illustrated by a tank with an input valve and an output valve.

• When our tank is full, we feel happy.

• When it is 3/4 down, we are tired and run down

• Half full (or half empty), you are discouraged, depressed or easily offended.

• 1/4 full, you are overwhelmed, life doesn’t make sense, you don’t want to live anymore.

• The input valve that pours water into your tank flows from God, family, friends, career satisfaction, good nutrition, exercise, rest, etc.

• Outflow happens when we are stressed, sinning habitually, conflict in relationships, etc.

• Our happiness is gone when there is too much outflow, or too little input.

• “The secret to our happiness has more to do with what overflows out of our full life, than what is inside.” (Pastor Barry Buzza).

KEY TEXT: What are some of the sources of input or blessing in our life?

“Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock. But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall.” (Matt. 7:24-27).

• Jesus talks about, “hearing these words of mine and acting on them.”

• What words? The Sermon on the Mount.

• Jesus said: “If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.” (John 13:17).

• QUOTE: “Life isn’t about how to survive the storm, but how to dance in the rain!”

• If you want to experience the blessed life, we must build it on Jesus’ teaching!

• Over the next couple of months, we are going to study the Sermon on the Mount.

BACKGROUND TO THE SERMON ON THE MOUNT:

“And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease among the people. Then His fame went throughout all Syria; and they brought to Him all sick people who were afflicted with various diseases and torments, and those who were demon-possessed, epileptics, and paralytics; and He healed them. Great multitudes followed Him--from Galilee, and from Decapolis, Jerusalem, Judea, and beyond the Jordan.” (Matt. 4:23-25).

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