Summary: Sermon 3 of a 4 part series on the book of Philippians. This sermon is about 2/3 my original thought combined with some great points from Pastors Ed Young and Troy Dobbs.
The Pursuit of Happiness?
Intro: Sing “If you’re happy and you know it clap your hands”
We live in a country where we believe that there is a God given right for us to seek out our own happiness.
In fact in our country’s Declaration of Independence, we are told that each person has been granted certain unalienable rights which include life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
Not that I disagree with our founding fathers, in fact…I think they were very much on the right side of history; but even though we have the right to be happy I don’t think God wants us to be happy.
Did he just say that?
Rewind…God does not want us to be happy.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m all about being happy.
I was VERY happy last night at about 8:20 when LSU went ahead of Bama and won the game.
I’m hoping to be happy tomorrow night when I step on the scale for First Place.
But is that all there is? Just those momentary moments of “happiness” that rely on circumstances?
I think there is and should be more.
Anyone here want to be “happily married”?
I don’t (sorry honey)
I want to have joy in my marriage because it is built upon the love of God that saved both my wife and I…but I don’t want to simply be happy because things line up right and fall into the right place.
And sorry folks, but I have to confess…I’m not happily employed here at First Baptist Church.
I find joy in my service here, and I find joy in the relationships that God has blessed me with; but I’m not going to be content with simply being “happy”.
I want more…and we should all want more.
Yes, we have the God given right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness…Just because we have a right doesn’t mean it is best for us.
I think there is more to life than just being “happy”.
This morning I want us to continue on with our study of Philippians called “Fall into Joy” and consider our right to pursue happiness in light of God’s word.
Read Phil. 3:10-21 and pray.
OK, so if our life is not simply about the pursuit of happiness what should we be pursuing?
Our passage this morning tells us 3 things we should be pursuing as born again believers that are above and beyond the pursuit of happiness.
First of all…
1. Pursue Knowing Christ
Read vs. 10.
Keep in mind that the Apostle Paul is the author of this letter, and his conversion that we read about in the book of Acts led him to see that the pursuit of all that the world had to offer was nothing in comparison to knowing Christ.
Read verse 8…this is the highest of all pursuits according to Paul and according to the Holy Spirit that penned these words through the person of the Apostle Paul.
In verse 10 Paul uses the word “Know”, this is a word of intimacy.
In AT Robertson’s “Word Pictures” he says it means to have a personal acquaintance with or to have an experience with.
It means that there is a real relationship there.
What does it mean to “know”?
• It is more than a mere hobby
• It is more than just a weekend Jesus thing
• It is more than a passing interest the occupy time
• BUT…It is an all consuming passion and drive that totally dictates your life.
Paul said in verse 10 that he wanted to experience the power of the resurrection in knowing God…why is that?
1. Jesus exceeds all things…read that in Phil. 2:5-11 (Ever knee will bow and every tongue will confess); and then there is…
2. The Power of the resurrection, this is pulsing through our veins as born again believers.
• At point I do have an obligation and the honor of reminding you of what a born again believer is…
Now back to the resurrection power, this is what gives us life and gives life to all of the dead stuff we deal with in our lives:
• Dead hope
• Dead dreams
• Dead marriages
• Dead promises
• Dead Churches
• Dead people
This is the message to us, in pursuing God we find that knowing Him is life giving!
Knowing Jesus is life giving…and nothing else compares!
I know in my own life knowing Jesus has revolutionized my life because I now have He who overcame death living in me.
Christ brings life where this is death.
By believing in Christ, though you die physically you can life forever spiritually.
He brings life where there is death…and all we have to do is look to the cross!