THE LIVING WORD TRANSCRIPT
Program Air Date – 4-24-11
LESSON TITLE: “LET YOUR LIGHT SO SHINE: HAPPINESS:
Hear the words of God in Psalm 111:10, there David said, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of Wisdom.” Do you respect your God this day with a healthy fear, which causes you to obey His commandments and to remain faithful to His promises?
Thanks for joining us this Lord’s Day for the study of God’s Living Word. How blessed we are today to be able to enjoy such opportunities and freedoms, that allow all to offer such times of sacrifice before His wondrous throne. I hope we all do our part this Lord’s day, in participating in this worship toward God and in doing all things in accordance to His Perfect Will!
So, at this time, as we turn our full attention to the reason we have come together, let’s approach our Father’s throne in prayer:
Now let’s begin praising our God through song. Won’t you join with the congregation at this time as we sing together a hymn that reminds us of the wondrous guidance of our great God! The name of the song, “Guide Me O Thou Great Jehovah.”
(SONG # 1)
So why did David say that the “fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom?” Think for a moment about who God is! God created the Heavens and the Earth by simply speaking a word. God made all of this earth’s creation including those things which were given the breath of life. And consider man, which God formed from the dust of the ground. Oh, what a powerful, magnificent and glorious God we serve!
Now consider that we are commanded to serve such an awesome and mighty God, who has not only power over these things, but over our very existence and life. With this in mind again remember the words of David, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of Wisdom.” How could we not fear and respect such a God as this. Furthermore, how could we not obey Him and follow His commandments knowing just how powerful He truly is.
I would like to end with a verse found in Matthew 10:28, where Jesus said, “And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” How silly we are in this life to be afraid of this world or our fellow man. For the things of this world only have power over the flesh. God on the other hand has not only power over the flesh, but complete power over our souls as well. It is God alone who determines our eternal destiny’s, as to whether we will have eternal life with Him in Heaven or receive eternal punishment in Hell. May we all be wise enough to “fear God and keep His commandment,” just as Solomon said!
In just a few minutes it will be time to begin our main study of the day. Our topic of study will again focus on the series entitled, “Let Your Light So Shine.” Our specific lesson of the morning will focus on “Happiness.” So please stay with us for this important lesson from God’s Word.
As far as our speaker, we are happy to again have Kevin Patterson with us. Brother Kevin is the minister for the Hwy 13 Church Of Christ, in Bolivar, Missouri. We thank brother Patterson for being with us and at the appropriate time he will be leading us in our main study of the day.
But now it’s time to join together in our next song of the morning. The name of this hymn, “Standing On The Promises of God.”
(SONG # 2)
By Kevin Patterson
“You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden, nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lamp stand and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in Heaven.”
Good morning and thank you for staying with us this morning. We appreciate you tuning in so that you can be a part of this broadcast and a part of this time where we give our praise to God.
Since the beginning of the year we have been studying the theme from Matthew chapter 5 and verse 16 of “Letting your light so shine.” We have talked about a number of different areas where we might let our lights shine, in the areas of wisdom, and cooperation and reliability. We’ve talked about self-reliance, morality and generosity. We’ve talked about preparation, respect and patience, and many others.
This morning, we are going to talk about letting our light shine in the area of happiness. Now you would think this would be a rather common area for Christians to allow themselves to be seen by the world around us, but you know a lot of Christians do not seem to be as happy as they ought to and perhaps they fail to remember and acknowledge in their own lives what all God has done for them, and the basis for which they should just overflow with happiness.
The Bible has a lot to say about happiness and a lot of different reasons for which we might be happy. If you go back to the Old Testament to Psalm 127 and verses 3-5 the idea is presented to us that those who have children are happy. It is described as being “like arrows in the hand of a warrior so are the children of one’s youth.” In verse 5 it reads, “Happy is the man who has a quiver full of them.” So children bring happiness, and I think we can understand where the scriptures are getting that idea, the happiness that those young people bring to our lives.
Psalm 128 verse 2 also talks about our labor or our work and the results of that effort are areas that can make us happy.
In Psalm 128 verse 2, “When you eat the labor of your hands, you shall be happy.” So when you go out and you work for a living and you provide for your food and you eat that food it gives you a sense of accomplishment and of pride for what you’ve done.
In Proverbs chapter 3 verses 13-18 the concept of wisdom is personified and it demonstrates that wisdom can bring about happiness in our lives. “Happy is the man who finds wisdom and the man who gains understanding for her proceeds are better than the profits of silver and her gain then find gold. She is more precious than rubies and all the things you may desire cannot compare with her. Length of days is in her right hand, in her left hand riches and honor. Her ways are ways of pleasantness and all her paths are peace. She is a tree of life to those who take hold of her and happy are all who retain her.”
Wisdom and especially the wisdom that comes from God, the only wisdom that really counts, can bring about great happiness.
In Psalm 144 and verse 15 we start to see a number of passages of scripture that demonstrate that happiness really comes about when we put God first in our lives and when we acknowledge Him as the Creator and the Almighty in the universe. Psalm 144 and verse 15 demonstrates that, “Happy are the people whose God is the Lord.”
Psalm 146 and verse 5, “Happy is he whose hope is in the Lord his God.”
Proverbs 16 and verse 20, “Happy are he who heeds the Word wisely will find good and whoever trusts in the Lord, happy is he.”
Proverbs 29 and verse 18 demonstrates that, “Happy is he who keeps the Law.”
So in other words when we put God first in our lives and when we obey His Will for us, we will find a happiness that is beyond any other that this world has to offer us. And that perhaps is the reason when we go to the New Testament you may not find a lot of passages that use the word “happy” per se but you do find a word that means happiness an awful lot. That is a word that is used over and over in the very beginning of Jesus’ preaching and His work on the earth when He turned about 30 years old. We see the beginning of His Sermon on the Mount in Matthew chapter 5 and beginning in verse 3 that Jesus started preaching something called the Beatitudes that we’ve heard about the Beatitudes that those are the attitudes we are supposed to be. But one of the things that is common with these Beatitudes is how they start out. They start out with the word “Blessed.” That word “Blessed” can mean happy. So when we read these I want you to understand that this is a prescription for happiness, not only in this life but leading us to the eternal happiness in the life to come.
In Matthew chapter 5 and verse 3, Jesus said, “Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of Heaven.” A lot of people have discussed, “Does that mean those people who are poor, as far as not being financially well off? Or when we say poor in spirit does that mean we are talking about those people who are humble and those people who do not think more highly of themselves than they ought?” The commentator, Albert Barnes, wrote, “It is remarkable that Jesus began His ministry in this manner so unlike others. Other teachers had taught that happiness was found in honor or riches or splendor or sensual pleasure. Jesus overlooked all of those things and fixed His eye on the poor, on the humble and said that happiness was to be found in the lowly veil of poverty, more than in the pomp and splendors in life.”
“Happy are poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of Heaven.”
Verse 4 reads, “Blessed or happy are those who mourn for they shall be comforted.” Now that is kind of interesting that a person who is sad would be happy, but if we recognize that those who are in Christ Jesus, those who follow the Will of the Father, those who get to look forward to that eternal home in Heaven, when we recognize the happiness that that is going to bring us then and how that can transfer into the happiness that we’re going to live in this life, that starts to make sense. “Blessed or happy are those who mourn.” We are talking about those people who deal with the sad times in this life, those people who are dealing with the hardships that make life sometimes so very difficult. They can look forward to that time and that place where they will have no more pain, where there will be no more sorrow, where there will not even be a tear shed.
Verse 5 reads, “Blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth.” You know that word “meek” gives some people the idea of cowering in the corner, but the word “meek” does not mean cowardly. It means something quite differently. Once again Mr. Barnes writes that, “Meekness is patience in the reception of injuries. It is neither meanness nor surrender of our rights, nor cowardice, but it is the opposite of sudden anger, of malice, of long harbored vengeance.” You know the Bible teaches us that vengeance is God’s, not ours. So as a result, when people do things to us perhaps we need to be slow to react and recognize that God will take care of all things in the end. But we, if we are meek, we will be blessed or we will be happy recognizing that we shall inherit the earth.
Verse 6 reads, “Blessed are those or happy are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness for they shall be filled.” To hunger and thirst for righteousness. What is righteousness? Righteousness can be defined when you look at the first five letters of that word, the word “righteousness or righteous.” It is the word “right.” Righteousness is that which is right in the eyes of God. So when we search for that, when we long for that, when we hunger and thirst for God’s righteousness that is revealed to us in his Holy Word then we will find happiness in our lives.
The Psalmist said in Psalm 42 and verse 1-2, “As the deer pants for the water brooks so pants my soul for you, oh God. My soul thirsts for God, for the Living God. When shall I come and appear before God?”
Jesus would say in the New Testament, He would talk about not only the bread of life but a water that would never allow someone to thirst again. He said in John 6 and verse 35, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger and he who believes in Me shall never thirst.”
In John 14 verses 13-14 Jesus would answer, “Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst, but the water that I shall give him will become in Him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.” When we hunger and thirst after the words of God, when we hunger and thirst after the teachings of Jesus and when we follow in that example, we will be happy beyond measure.
Verse 7 would read, “Blessed are the merciful for they shall obtain mercy.”
Jesus would say to those people who would ultimately find eternal life, He would say to those on His right hand in Matthew 25 starting in verse 34, “Come you blessed of My Father. Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world for I was hungry and you gave Me food. I was thirsty and you gave Me drink. I was a stranger and you took Me in. I was naked and you clothed Me. I was sick and you visited Me. I was in prison and you came to Me. Happy are those who are merciful. Happy also or blessed also are those are pure in heart for they shall see God.”
Certainly we can recognize that if we desire to live godly lives and we try to follow in those footsteps of Jesus and obtain purity in our own lives not only will we be happy knowing that we have pleased God, but we will look forward to that eternal home with God.
In verse 9, “Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called the Sons of God.”
Paul would say in Romans chapter 12 and verse 18, “If possible as much as depends on you live peaceably with all men.” That’s am interesting statement because sometimes it is not always possible because it depends on other people. But as far as it depends on you, if possible be a peacemaker and be happy as the result.
In verse 10, “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness sake for theirs is the kingdom of Heaven. Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad for great is your reward in Heaven for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”
You know, living the Christian life is the best life that a person can live, but it is not a guarantee of pleasant times all of the time. IN fact, Paul would tell the young preacher, Timothy, that in 2 Timothy 3 and verse 12, “Yes, and all those who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.”
You know the Christian life can sometimes be difficult. It can be full of trials and temptations. It can be full of sufferings and persecutions, but we recognize that if we suffer a little while in this life we will get to enjoy those eternal rewards where there will be no more pain.
I heard brother, Mack Lyon, say several years ago on the program that precedes this one, “If you are happy notify your face.” I want you to consider that statement for just a second as a lot of wisdom concerning the matters that we have addressed this morning because if there is a group of people that should be happier than the Christian, I don’t know who that people is, because we as Christians should be the happiest people on the face of the planet so let’s let people see the happiness in our lives so that they can glorify God and praise Him through our example.
(SONG # 3 - “An Empty Mansion!”)
Let me thank you again for choosing to be with us today. No doubt our time spent together has been uplifting to us and acceptable to our God. We invite you to join us every First day of the week, at 7:30, as we commit ourselves to this time of offering before God!
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May we always remember that true happiness is only found in Jesus Christ our Lord. So let’s all focus our lives on Him and do everything necessary to give our Creator the very best. Heaven will surely be worth it all!