|April 2014||A Publication of Seventh Day Home Church Fellowships||Vol 05 - Issue 02|
What is Your Picture of A Happy Life? - Part 3
by Wallace Woodward
Happiness in purity of heart
Matthew 5:8 “Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.”
PURITY is no less popular today than it ever was. When you see what passes for purity in this world, you will quickly see that purity of heart is very unpopular. Why is that? Why do people hunger for that which is impure and immoral? Answer, That part of people’s flesh which lusts for fleshly things has been stimulated, and as a result people crave impure things. “Blessed are the pure in heart.” We need to guard our hearts. The pure in heart are morally pure, honest, and sincere. If we would focus on purifying the heart, the actions would take care of themselves. We will become people of integrity. The real question for us is, What are we holding back from God in our hearts? If we’re holding anything back, we’re not fully committed to God. We need to be 100% committed to God. This is the formula for happiness.
Philippians 4:8-9 “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. 9 Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.”
When people are watching worldly movies, listening to worldly music, reading worldly novels, they need to have their minds purged of the filth of this world, and turned to the purity of the Scriptures. They need to take time to consider the above verses, and “prove all things” according to God’s word, and then “hold fast that which is good” (1 Thessalonians 5:21).
Happiness in conflict
Matthew 5:9 “Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.”
Being a peacemaker requires stepping into the middle of conflict. Some of you perhaps are old enough to remember the 1960s where everything was “love and peace”; but the peace of which Christ spoke is different. It is not to be confused with the “peace” of of this world; for that “peace” is a big counterfeit. The peace of this world seeks to avoid conflict, whereas the peace of God is found in the midst of conflict. Jesus was a peacemaker. He came into our world, and stepped into the middle of a conflict between God and the sinner, and made peace – he brought reconciliation for the human race. Did he find happiness in doing this?
Hebrews 12:1-3 “Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, 2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.”
Here it tells us of “the joy that was set before him”. It doesn’t say “happiness” but “joy”. Not a momentary or fleeting sensation of happiness, but a deep and abiding joy. This peace and joy can be ours too, if we will make peace with God, and seek to bring others to make their peace with God through Christ Jesus our Lord.Happiness in persecution
Matthew 5:10 “Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
How can we have joy or happiness in persecution? Answer, Because it is “for righteousness’ sake”. The happiness comes when we know that we are right with the Lord. When we are persecuted for righteousness – for right doing – then are we blessed. This persecution is not to be confused with that trouble or persecution which people bring upon themselves, because of unwise words or deeds. We can get punched in the nose, because we have a smart mouth, but such “persecution” should never be confused with that trouble which stems from a genuine hatred for righteousness and good. Neither ought we to think that we can please or be liked by everyone. We all want to be liked; it is part of our nature. Yet it is impossible to please everyone. As ungodliness becomes more and more prevalent in the world, those who will live godly lives will become a constant rebuke to the ungodly; and then it shall be even as Paul tells us, “Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution” ( 2 Timothy 3:12). I believe that we’re in those days today; for we see a growing resentment toward Christians, even in our own country.
2 Timothy 3:1-5 “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. 2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3 Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, 4 Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; 5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.”
These are the times we’re living in.
Matthew 10:34-36 “Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. 35 For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. 36 And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household.”
It may appear at first glance that there is a contradiction between what Jesus says about being a peacemaker and the passage above. How could Jesus be a peacemaker, and at the same time set a man at variance against his father? The answer is simple enough if we will consider that the variance or hatred of which Christ spoke was the direct result of people’s accepting him as their Lord. The variance of which Christ spoke came because of people’s belief in him. Those who make no compromise for truth, and who have taken their stand for Christ, know the meaning of Christ’s words. We must guard ourselves, lest we compromise truth for “peace”. That’s why we see the churches in their present condition, because they compromised the truth for the sake of peace. Each of us have at times and for various reasons compromised our principles; yet such a compromise will only serve to deaden the principles, and the sense of sin in our own minds. It will set in motion a train of consequences that we are powerless to avert. It’s always too late once we’ve compromised. The accident is inevitable; yet there is hope, because there is a merciful God, and a merciful Savior, who has promised to “work all things together for good to them that love God” (Romans 8:28). Praise the Lord! We have a merciful Savior!
Matthew 7:13-14 “Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: 14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.”
We are admonished to “enter in at the strait gate”, and I believe that what Jesus outlined in Matthew 5:1-12 is a summary of what we need to know in order to enter in at that gate, and in entering in at that strait gate we will find true happiness.
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What is Your Picture of a Happy Life? - Part 3
Finding true happiness in Jesus' sermon on the Mount of Blessings.
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Seventh Day Home Church Fellowships is an association of Sabbath-keeping groups, which through web & tele-conferencing provides means for study, fellowship, and jointly organized missionary projects.
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