Summary: A sermon for Seekers and believers to find the secret of happiness in 1) seeking (God, not happiness) 2) Running (the race, not casually walking) 3)throwing off (anything that hinders)
¡§Walking back to happiness¡¨ WBC 18/5/03am 1 Cor 9:24-27
Baptism of Lou Beamish, Walk Wessex present
(after ¡§remember your chains¡¨)
Classified AD From ¡§The Hayward¡¨, Calif. Review:
"Found, false teeth, in parking lot at Daily Review. Please come in and smile at the switchboard operator, and she will return them to you."
Topic chose, really, because of Walk Wessex.
I want to share with you, this morning, the
secret of happiness
We have SO much¡K but people have never said they¡¦re so unhappy!
- more luxuries, food, holidays, wealth
And there¡¦s SO much on offer that we are told can make us happy as well
- the perfect holiday, with a smiling sun tanned family
- the fragrance that is going to make us irresistible, and instantly give us the perfect sex life
- the ¡¥Yes¡¦ to the new car loan. It CAN be ours- and so can happiness
So- why does this happiness evade us?
Because ¡¥happiness and fulfilment¡¦ can¡¦t be found by seeking.
- they are like- sleep that evades you the more you want it
o the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow
- these promises are good at getting your money, but not GIVING you what you really seek
And we are not designed that way. We are not designed to find happiness in all we WANT. We¡¦ve been designed in a higher way, with a higher purpose in mind.
What you find is- it¡¦s those who don¡¦t seek happiness who get it!
- "Without exception, I have found that every person who was sincerely happy, radiantly alive, was living for a purpose or a cause beyond himself." Abraham Maslow
Illustr: I¡¦m reading a book at the moment about a man called ¡¥brother Yu¡¦ (actually his name is Yu ******, but I can¡¦t pronounce it).
- Remarkable book! Imprisoned, tortured, beaten, legs broken
- Yet indefatigable! Is found singing hymns! Others join in!
o It¡¦s like HE is chained
- but he ISN¡¦T! He¡¦s chained, but he¡¦s free!
Heard of Richard Wurmbrand?
- Pastor in Romania before chalcheque ousted
- Imprisoned for many year
- ¡§imprisoned & often tortured for his faith ¡§Alone in my cell, cold, hungry and in rags, I danced for joy every night... sometimes I was so filled with joy that I felt I would burst if I did not give it expression¡¨
What is with these people?
They are not seeking happiness.
- They are seeking something¡K someone greater than themselves. Something¡K someone they were designed for
- so, though outwardly, they have nothing to be happy about
- inside they have real happiness
- their chains have fallen off
- and they are forever grateful that it has happened
- (us. Have we forgotten what it was like?)
You see- Jesus said
- it is only in giving that you get
- if you seek just to save your life, you¡¦ll lose it
- seek FIRST the kingdom of God, and being right with Him, and everything else will be added to you as well
This is topsy-turvy to ALL the world tells us
- but it¡¦s the way of finding TRUE happiness
- I have come that you may have life, in all it¡¦s fullness
- If the SON sets you free¡K then you will be really free
- You must DIE to self and LIVE for me
o Illustr: what Lou is doing, here
What have you got to show for your life? Is there REAL joy? Purpose?
- friend- is this true of you? Christian, is this true of you????
Maybe you¡¦ve been living for¡Kseeking the wrong thing?
- CHRISTIANS can do that! Have Jesus as a friend, saviour¡K but not be serious about living for Him as Lord
o Wonder why there¡¦s no ¡¥joy¡¦
- Only half alive, as haven¡¦t died fully
- That great saint and missionary pioneer, Hudson Taylor said, "The real secret of an unsatisfied life lies too often in an unsurrendered will." Half-hearted obedience satisfies neither us, nor God.
So- Seek¡K but seek God, Jesus¡¦ reign. Not happiness
The next secret of happiness is
In 1968 Tanzania selected John Stephen Akhwari to represent it in the Mexico City Olympics. During the marathon, he stumbled & fell seriously damaging his knee. By 7pm an Ethiopian runner had won the race, and all others had finished. Only a few thousand spectators were left in the stadium when a police siren caught their attention. Limping through the gate came # 36: Akhwari, leg wrapped in a bloody bandage. The remaining crowd cheered. Later a reporter asked him: ’why did you continue the race after you were so badly injured?’ he replied ’my country did not send me 7ooo miles to begin a race; they sent me to finish the race