Monday, June 28, 2021

Finding Happiness and Peace

 


Why aren't we experiencing the righteousness, joy and peace promised to believers?


~~ Watch the Video ~~


Outline:

  • Two Kingdoms: Matthew 6
  • Happiness vs Joy
  • Peace
  • Things that Take Your Peace
  • The Kingdom: A Way of Life
  • My Kingdom Moments
  • Conclusion


Scriptures:

  • John 16:33
  • Matthew 6:19-34
  • Matthew 6:22-23
  • Matthew 6:24
  • 1 John 2:15-17
  • Romans 14:16-17
  • Acts 14:21-22
  • Luke 1:76-79
  • John 14:26-27
  • Galatians 1:10
  • Proverbs 12:20
  • Exodus 20:17
  • Galatians 5:19-22
  • Matthew 6:25
  • Matthew 6:33-34
  • Matthew 6:31


What if an angel came and said God has shown you favor and is going to let you choose for the rest of your life either:

  1. Modestly Rich
  2. Happy

John 16:33

33 “These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.”


Traits of Wholeness

We are in our series called Seeking Wholeness

How can we be  _______ healthy

  • spiritually
  • emotionally
  • mentally

Dealing with life’s current stresses and also being healed from experiences/wounds of the past

We’re not just supposed to get eternal life

  • We’re supposed to have: joy, peace, patience, and self control here on earth

Traits of Wholeness

  1. Authenticity
  2. Honesty
  3. Kindness
  4. Not seeking external approval / validation
  5. Living by values and principles
  6. Setting Boundaries
  7. Taking ownership of your responsibilities
  8. Living with purpose and passion
  9. Optimism
  10. Confidence
  11. Healthy relationships with others
  12. Not losing control of your emotions
  13. Free from addictions
  14. Addressing Conflict
  15. Vulnerability
  16. Not critical or Judgmental
  17. Not jealous
  18. Forgive those who have wronged you in the past
  19. Know that you’re worthy of receiving love
  20. Not afraid to fail
  21. Able to manage irrational fear, worry, and anxiety
  22. Selfless encounters with others
  23. Not manipulating others trying to control their actions/reactions
  24. You care about how others feel
  25. Patient
  26. Don’t give into peer/social pressure
  27. Can communicate directly
  28. Being led by the Spirit

Two Kingdoms: Matthew 6

Matthew 6:19-34

19 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.

20 “But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal;

21 for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

22 “The eye is the lamp of the body; so then, if your eye is clear, your whole body will be full of light.

23 “But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. So if the light that is in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!

24 “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.

The Cure for Anxiety

25 “For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is life not more than food, and the body more than clothing?

26 “Look at the birds of the sky, that they do not sow, nor reap, nor gather crops into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more important than they?

27 “And which of you by worrying can add a single day to his life’s span?

28 “And why are you worried about clothing? Notice how the lilies of the field grow; they do not labor nor do they spin thread for cloth,

29 yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these.

30 “But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you? You of little faith!

31 “Do not worry then, saying, ‘What are we to eat?’ or ‘What are we to drink?’ or ‘What are we to wear for clothing?’

32 “For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.

33 “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be provided to you.

34 “So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Lay up Treasures in Heaven

Don’t focus on obtaining material things in this world.  

  • Focus on the eternal things of God.
  • Focus on the Kingdom of God.

Moth & Rust

Moth and rust destroy.

  • Moths eat away at our clothing.
  • Rust eats away at our possessions… Our cars and  homes rust.

They only eat away at our material things, not our spiritual things.  

Thieves can only steal our physical possessions.  

The Eye

Matthew 6:22-23

22  “The eye is the lamp of the body; so then, if your eye is clear, your whole body will be full of light.

23 “But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. So if the light that is in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!

Clear: haploid

Meaning - single or simple

It operates as an antonym for the Greek word for “diploid” or “double”

double minded

Thayer: “ referring to a single focus, i.e. without a secret double agenda which prevents an over complicated life or becoming needlessly distracted

Story: Dove’s eyes

God vs Mammon

Matthew 6:24

 “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.

Mammon

Mammon

  • God of money

Jesus tells us that we cannot serve two masters; either we would love the one and hate the other or we will hate one and be dedicated to the other.

Choose one:

  • The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob
  • The God of money

We can’t serve both God and money

Pursuing Worldly Happiness

1 John 2:15-17

15 Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.

16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world.

17 The world is passing away and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God continues to live forever.

The world tells us to pursue

  • Money
  • Success
  • Status
  • Fame
  • Fortune

Why do we want these things?

  • Security
  • Freedom
  • Options
  • Life will be easier
  • Less stress

The world tells us that these things will make us happier.

The world tells us

  • You aren’t happy because you aren’t rich

The world can get you fame and fortune.

It is a happiness that is based on your current circumstances

Promises of the Kingdom

Romans 14:16-17

16 Therefore do not let what is for you a good thing be spoken of as evil; 17 for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.

The kingdom promises righteousness, peace and joy.

How many have righteousness, peace and joy in your life right now?

Paul is not talking about a future Heaven.

  • Righteousness, joy and peace in this life
  • Not in the afterlife

Which One Is Your Master?

Jesus is saying that you have two mutually exclusive paths.

  • You can try to pursue both, but it’s not going to work

You can choose the path that leads to

  • Fame and fortune
  • Righteousness, joy, and peace

Our problem is that we are serving both masters.

I want riches, success and fame, but I also want joy and peace and righteousness.

It’s not that they are all mutually exclusive.  You can possibly have riches and joy.  

You just can’t have both as your master.

Which one is your main goal?

Which one is your real goal?

Which Kingdom determines:

  • Where you live?
  • What time you wake up?
  • Who you date/marry?
  • How you spend your time?

We have to work, but which Kingdom determines ...What type of job you have?

What is your schedule centered around?

  • Some people orient their job and life around being able to pick up the kids
  • Some people orient their life around accommodating their work schedule

Example: Olympic athlete

  • Job
  • Eat
  • Sleep
  • Your daily priorities
  • Your relationships

Every aspect of your life is impacted because of your choice to be an Olympic athlete

Which Kingdom is your master?

Happiness vs Joy

The word happiness is based upon “happenings”.

Study: If you win the lottery 6 months later you return to that same level of happiness

Peace and joy are not the same thing as happiness

  •  happiness is based upon happenings
  •  happenings are temporary

 but the peace of God endures forever, even in hardships in this life.  

Trouble is a Requirement - TT

Acts 14:21-22

21 And after they had preached the gospel to that city and had made a good number of disciples, they returned to Lystra, to Iconium, and to Antioch, 22 strengthening the souls of the disciples, encouraging them to continue in the faith, and saying, “It is through many tribulations that we must enter the kingdom of God.”

It’s not just saying that you might face trouble.

Trouble is a requirement for entering the kingdom of God.

Joy is not a promise of a trouble free life

It is an opportunity to not let your circumstances control your internal state

Happiness influenced by

  • Context
  • Environment
  • Activity - what you do

Purpose changes Your Perspective

https://youtu.be/ymJarwEuZys

Joy is dependent on your connection to the Holy Spirit

Joy and Peace Doesn’t Mean Delivering Us From Trouble

Luke 1:76-79

76 And you, child, also will be called the prophet of the Most High;

For you will go on before the Lord to prepare His ways;

77 To give His people the knowledge of salvation

By the forgiveness of their sins,

78 Because of the tender mercy of our God,

With which the Sunrise from on high will visit us,

79 To shine on those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death,

To guide our feet into the way of peace.”

V79 Luke says God will visit you in the shadow of death

  • It is not necessarily delivering you from something

A lot of times when we hear God promised peace we think that he’s promising

  • Convenience
  • Ease
  • My preference is being met

Peace

Jesus was called “The Prince of Peace”

He wasn’t called the

  • The Prince of Salvation
  • The Prince of Healing
  • The Prince of Eternal life

So “Peace” must’ve played a significant role in Jesus’ purpose

But yet and still...we don’t have it

John 14:26-27

26 But the Helper, the Holy Spirit whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and remind you of all that I said to you. 27 Peace I leave you, My peace I give you; not as the world gives, do I give to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled, nor fearful.

Peace

  • Objective - based on things outside of you
  • Subjective - based on things inside of you - experiential

Alignment brings peace.  

  • Peace is oftentimes associated with alignment, and the lack of peace is associated with dis-alignment.  
  • We often use peace as confirmation about a decision

There is a difference between unfamiliar and discomfort.  

  • When you are called to go to a new place it may feel unfamiliar
  • but the voice that called you will not be

Peace is security in the midst of turmoil.

  • Security is freedom from care, worry and stress.
  • It is well-founded confidence in God.

Your Response Determines if You Have Peace

A circumstance happens and it triggers a negative emotion that is trying to move you away from the word of God in your life.  

What happens in our life it’s based on how we respond to trouble.

Example : traffic

Life is a series of experiences and responses.

Things that Take Your Peace

What types of things rob people of their peace?

Fear of Man

Galatians 1:10

10 For am I now seeking the favor of people, or of God? Or am I striving to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a bond-servant of Christ.

The worst kind of bondage in the world is the bondage of being scared of what people think. You can’t do what God wants you to do because you’re worried about what people will say

You’re never going to get peace trying to appear perfect

Devising Evil

Proverbs 12:20

Deceit is in the heart of those who devise evil,

But counselors of peace have joy.

You will never have peace if you plan evil.

Comparison

Exodus 20:17

17 “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male slave, or his female slave, or his ox, or his donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.”

Sin

Galatians 5:19-22

19The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity, and debauchery; 20 idolatry and sorcery; hatred, discord, jealousy, and rage; rivalries, divisions, factions, 21and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

22But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

Do you think that you can’t go to Heaven if you were ever jealous or hated someone?

Inheriting the Kingdom of God is obtaining the promise of righteousness, joy and peace

 You can’t have peace and joy if you

  • Haven’t forgiven other people
  • Covet what other people have
  • Having addiction
  • Are committing adultery
  • Are a witch
  • Are jealous

Discontentment

One out of every 10 Americans rents offsite storage

How much stuff is enough stuff?

John D Rockefeller was asked… How much money is enough money?

“Just a little bit more“

It’s not as much about how much you have as it is about wanting/needing more than you have.

If you increase the amount of money you need to be a success you will become more and more unhappy.

  • We choose to set the goal post much higher than our current position.

“No attained wish can give lasting satisfaction.”

If you are content that means that you don’t need anymore

In the world we think “I am not happy because what I have right now is not enough“

  • “if I had more than I would be happy“

Expectation of Perfection

The enemy of your peace is your expectation of perfection

Peace is not found in a set of circumstances that is a problem free

It is not that he delivers me from it… It is that he meets me in it

Story: Joseph In jail with God

Not because I’m not going through it, but because I am not going through it alone.  

If I need people to change in order to have peace -TT

  • Then it’s out of your control

I don’t wanna peace that comes from

  • A promotion at work
  • What convenient circumstance
  • Feeling
  • Situation

I want a peace that the world didn’t give… And the world can’t take it away

You can’t experience peace when you are expecting perfection

How can I get a peace that isn’t dependent upon my circumstances?

How can I get a peace that isn’t dependent on the behavior of the people I interact with?

The Kingdom: A Way of Life

Reasons Not to Worry

Matthew 6:25

“For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is life not more than food, and the body more than clothing?

3 Responses to this

  1. Carefree person
  2. Detail oriented worrier
  3. Going through tragedy

Don’t worry about

  • Food
  • Drink
  • Clothes

Greater to Lesser Argument

  • Birds
  • Lilies of the field

Gentiles

Only Applies to the Kingdom Path

For this reason...

Seek Ye First the Kingdom of God

Matthew 6:33-34

33 “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be provided to you.

34 “So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

  • There is a condition
  • All these things will be provided
  • If you are seeking first the Kingdom
  • If the Kingdom is your Master

Mode of living

  • Jesus’ mode of living only applies if you’re living in the kingdom of God
  • If your life is centered around  becoming a CEO it won’t work
  • If you’re Life is centered around becoming an Olympic athlete

Matthew 6:31

31 “Do not worry then, saying, ‘What are we to eat?’ or ‘What are we to drink?’ or ‘What are we to wear for clothing?’

If you  are seeking the Kingdom of God as your main priority then all these things will be given to you

If you are seeking the Kingdom of God then God will step in and provide these things when you need them

How can you find out if that is true?

There’s no way to find out if that is true unless you do it.

You have to be all in in this game

… but seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness

Vegetarian Example

Joke: part meal vegetarian

What if somebody told you that being a vegan had many health benefits like low in your correct cholesterol etc.   What if someone told you they were vegan… But only on Sundays from 10 o’clock to 11:30.   And they aren’t seeing these health benefits.

You can’t add veganism to your diet and expect to get the results of veganism.

It is either all or nothing.

Being led by the Spirit

So what does this look like?

  1. Ask the Holy Spirit for a specific task in the Kingdom
  2. Orient your life around that task
  3. Deal with the daily problems that occur
  4. Continually check with the Holy Spirit if you’re still headed in the right direction

“Don’t worry about what to eat or what to drink” promise is only promised if you orient your life in this way.

If you have oriented your life in that way...Jesus is saying that God will provide for you day to day

Once you have set your path, now you can focus on the day to day challenges

Example: Missionary in Cambodia

If God told you to be a missionary in Cambodia then orient your life around that

Orient Your Life Around that Goal

You set your path toward some goal. As you navigate towards that goal you have problems that come up day by day. You address those problems as they come up.  Then you can live in the day.  if everything you do every day is related to that goal… That makes every moment of the day super charged with meaning.  

What else is there to do that is more important?

What If No Direction Was Given?

If you haven’t gotten clear direction from God… Serve in the church

Your Target May Change

You know more now than you did 10 years ago. 10 years ago you knew more than you did 10 years prior. How can you assume you know everything right now?

Seasons change

My Kingdom Moments

Called to teach 7 years ago

I grew up in the church, but God had never spoke to me prior to that

It wasn’t asked by someone at church to lead a bible study

  • I started a bible study outside of the church

That became my priority in life

  • Jobs
  • Relationships
  • Social events

My highest priority in my job… Is to teach my Bible study on Tuesday nights

  • Not teaching a Bible study
  • Not teaching in general
  • Not serving the church

Story: I tried to quit

  • Was working overtime
  • Travelling
  • My boss knows it’s my priority

Story: pandemic

My priority

  • Never cancelled a bible study
  • Never missed
  • Never late
  • My boss knows that it’s my priority

Conclusion

Jesus came to proclaim the Kingdom of God.

Most of Jesus’ teaching was about the Kingdom of God.

If we call ourselves Christians we should seek to inherit the Kingdom of God and it’s righteousness...not just its salvation.

What that means is that you need to get a relationship with God and have a connection to the Holy Spirit that allows him to lead you.  You allow God to give you your primary direction in life.   You then need to orient your life around that goal.

And then you need to constantly check in with a Holy Spirit day today to determine which action to do.

The concept of not worrying about tomorrow only works if you are seeking the kingdom of God. If your life is structured around your job this won't work for you.  If your life is structured around your kids this won’t work for you.  If your life is structured around your romantic relationship this won’t work for you.

This only applies if your life is structured around a Kingdom goal.

Jesus is not giving advice.  He is explaining the structure of reality.  

But it is up to you to choose what reality you live in.

Instructor: Michael Leadon






References

Jordan Peterson: Sermon on the Mount

https://www.whatchristianswanttoknow.com/does-the-bible-promise-happiness/#ixzz6wToZIx6b

Serving God and the concept of Mammon

John Everson

Material management Matthew 6:19 - 34

Gary Hamrick

Supernatural Peace (John 14:27)

https://youtu.be/V8NuRq9mW8s

How to overcome negative emotions

Creflo Dollar

The Path of Peace

Steven Furtick