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Jan 13, 2019 Matthew 5:1-12 The “blessings” of Jesus’s teaching
Jan 20, 2019 Matthew 5:13-16 The disciples as salt & light
Jan 27, 2019 Matthew 5:17-20 Righteousness & the kingdom of heaven
Feb 3, 2019 Matthew 5:21-26 Doing away with anger in our hearts
Feb 10, 2010 Matthew 5:27-32 Doing away with marital unfaithfulness
Feb 17, 2019 Matthew 5:33-37 Doing away with frivolous words
Feb 24, 2019 Matthew 5:38-42 Doing away with personal retribution
Mar 3, 2019 Matthew 5:43-48 Understanding “enemies” & God’s love for all
Weds, Mar 6, 2019 Matthew 6:1-4 (Ash Wednesday) Not about our righteousness, but the needs of others
Mar 10, 2019 Matthew 6:5-15 It’s not about personal attention, but God’s will being done
Mar 17, 2019 Matthew 6:16-18 It’s not about our discomfort, but desire for God
Mar 24, 2019 Matthew 6:19-24 Having, serving, & treasuring only one, true Master
Mar 31, 2019 Matthew 6:25-34 Seeking first God’s kingdom & righteousness
Apr 7, 2019 Matthew 7:1-6 Judging ourselves before we judge others
Apr 14, 2019 Matthew 7:7-14 (Palm Sunday) Trusting the Father’s ability to give good gifts
Thurs, Apr 18, 2019 Matthew 7:15-23 (Maundy Thursday) Not every tree bears good fruit
Fri, Apr 19, 2019 Matthew 7:24-29 (Good Friday) Putting these words into practice
Nine Easy Steps to a Happy Life! (wink wink)
The secret to happiness is not as simple or universal as it is sometimes spoken about.
Everyone has heard proverbial wisdom about what will make for “the happy life,” but most—if not all—of us (including those who give the proverbial wisdom) never actually attain or maintain that happiness. And what if happiness is not what we think it is? What would God describe to us, his creatures, as true happiness?
In the Gospel of Matthew, there is a large unit of teaching from Jesus traditionally called “the sermon on the mount.” It is three full chapters of material (Matt 5-7) where Jesus interacts with his disciples on Mosaic torah, ethics, and the kingdom of heaven. And, interestingly enough, it begins (5:1-12) with what we call the Beatitudes—statements about “blessing” or “happiness.”
According to Jesus, happiness is not defined by the patterns we see in this world.
In the world, it is riches, joyful experiences, power, and abundance that lead to “the happy life.” But, from God’s perspective, Jesus suggests the secret to “bliss” is actually found in spiritual poverty, mourning, meekness, hungering and thirsting, purity, and persecution. It isn’t so much that his followers should seek these things out or purposely make themselves miserable, but they should recognize that, if they suffer for the things dear to God’s heart and are dissatisfied with the status quo, there is hope. God is working toward something better. There will be happiness and bliss for those who continue to live in accordance with God’s character.
So, if you want “the happy life” now, you most certainly will be disappointed. But, if you continue to follow the way of Jesus, even through all its struggles, you will find it leads you to more than you could ever have hoped for.
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Sheboygan, WI 53081