Devotionals

8 Secrets to Happiness

A. Happiness is not a mere emotion, more than happy meaning: fulfilled, gratified, at peace with all

Jesus' audience was poor, felt unwelcome in the religious cliques of the day (Pharisees, Sadducees). people were disheartened, discouraged, troubled, unsure of relationship with God. Pharisaic rituals felt empty, meaningless

  1. "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven." Jesus welcomed the people to the new kingdom
    unlike teachers, these people were willing to let God into their heart not pompous.

  2. "Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted."
    Jesus looked across audience. sorrows evident in their faces, hearts heavy with grief

    plausible reasons for mourning:

  3. for sins, felt redemption was hopeless
    (sin was rampant)
  4. they had lost faith in their political and religious leaders
  5. lost, wandering in the desert without a shepherd to lead them, confused about
    relationship with Lord
  6. felt humiliated by Romans, who didn't understand the nature of their religion
  7. lost loved ones in skirmishes with Roman guards
  8. resentful

    How comforted:

  9. God still cares, and hasn't forsaken them
  10. Truth about a new relationship with God
  11. New way to change, conquer: not with swords but with love/joy.

    we still live in a hostile world.
    godly sorrow works true repentance, & leads to continual dependence for acceptance on the mercy of God in Christ Jesus,


  12. Blessing 1: meek - inherit earth, those who quietly submit to God
    Genesis - how eager people are to kill each other, new tech means new, deadlier weapons throughout history
    context: many radicals, religious terrorists wanting to kill Romans "live by sword, die by sword"
    reminder: remind that terrorist friends live troubled lives meek will outlive the violent neighbors

    Pharisees content with a superficial level of righteousness, as content as the rich fool
    was with his wealth
    B5 merciful I shown mercy

    Forgive others who have wronged you. may be hardest commandment in Scriptures, but is necessary for inward peace.

  13. pure in heart - see God
    Because pure in heart means pure in mind. The mind is the mirror of the body. When the mind is clouded with evil thoughts, revenge and hatred cause the mind to become like muddy water that cannot be used for drinking or washing. Any impurity in the heart is sin, and sin cuts off man from his Creator.

    The heart must be purified by faith, and kept for God. None but the pure are capable of seeing God - either here through faith or eternally, nor would heaven be happiness to the impure. As God cannot endure to look upon their iniquity, so they cannot look upon his purity.

    peacemakers I called children of God

    They love, and desire, and delight in peace; and study to be quiet. They keep the peace that it be not broken, and recover it when it is broken. If the peace-makers are blessed, woe to th~peacp~~reakers!

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