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What Are You Following Me For?

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Why are you here this morning?

John 1:35–38 KJV 1900
Again the next day after John stood, and two of his disciples; And looking upon Jesus as he walked, he saith, Behold the Lamb of God! And the two disciples heard him speak, and they followed Jesus. Then Jesus turned, and saw them following, and saith unto them, What seek ye? They said unto him, Rabbi, (which is to say, being interpreted, Master,) where dwellest thou?
What seek ye? What are you following me for? What do you hope to get out of following me? What is it that you think is waiting for you?
John 1:37–38 KJV 1900
And the two disciples heard him speak, and they followed Jesus. Then Jesus turned, and saw them following, and saith unto them, What seek ye? They said unto him, Rabbi, (which is to say, being interpreted, Master,) where dwellest thou?
Its a potent question that forces us to confront our motives, agenda and expectations.
Are you looking for peace? Well Jesus did not come to bring peace (at least not worldly peace).
Are you looking for love and acceptance, well Jesus loves you but his loves transforms you so that you no longer live like the gentiles live.
Are you looking for power? Well Jesus fills us with power, but its not power to rule or command its the power to serve in lowliness.
The bottom line is people often come to Jesus looking for the wrong thing, or having a wrong agenda or having a false expectation.
Perhaps the greatest false assumption about Jesus and what he offers is in the form of the “American Dream” or now the “western hope.” - “ Life, Liberty and the pursuit of happiness”

Happiness

Happiness is the pursuit of most lives. Thats the number 1 goal, dream, hope of the average person - just to be happy. Who doesnt?
This pursuit of happiness is the driving force behind almost all of our decisions: “Will this make me happy?” “Will he make me happy?”, “Will she make me happy”, will this job make me happy?, will thing thing make me happy, will this relationship make me happy?
We make some pretty big decisions in the pursuit of happiness, and one of the biggest is the belief, or hope that Jesus will make us happy.
And many people are seeking or hoping to find happiness through Jesus Christ.
The truth is the Bible nor Jesus ever promises happiness (at least not in the western sense of the idea), however it does promise joy.
There is a difference.
Happiness is mention only 40 times in the whole bible. But Joy is mention over 400 times.
Happiness is based upon “happenings,” meaning if things happen to go well, you’re happy, but if it happens that something bad occurs then you’re happiness is likely gone.
Not so with joy.
It’s easy to be happy when you have freedom from suffering, you’re financially secure, and all your relationships are good, but then you have trouble with one or more of these, what happens to the “happiness?”
It’s easy to be happy when you have freedom from suffering, you’re financially secure, and all your relationships are good, but then you have trouble with one or more of these, what happens to the “happiness?”
Happiness is a reaction to circumstances and sp your happiness is dependant on the external.

Joy

John 15:11 KJV 1900
These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.
Jesus never promises happiness because Jesus never promised external carefreeness.
Quite the opposite:
John 16:33 KJV 1900
These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.
But Jesus does promise us Joy:
John 15:11 KJV 1900
These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.
Full Joy, like a glass of water filled to the brim.

Let me explain Joy:

Joy is not an emotion. Joy is the a reaction. Joy is not a dependant.
Joy is a consequence.
Joy is only bestowed by god upon his children
Joy is a result of a transfer from one kingdom to another.
Joy is a trait of gods children in the same way rebellion is a trait of the devils children.
Luke 10:20 KJV 1900
Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.
Because your names are in Heaven, you are children of God, because you are children of God, you have been filled with the holy spirit, because you are filled with the holy spirit, you have the fruit of the spirit and one of those frut is:
Galatians 5:22 KJV 1900
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
Like i said: Joy is a consequence - a consequence of being a citizen of heaven by the saving grace offered through jesus christ.
Look at this:
Nehemiah 8:10 KJV 1900
Then he said unto them, Go your way, eat the fat, and drink the sweet, and send portions unto them for whom nothing is prepared: for this day is holy unto our Lord: neither be ye sorry; for the joy of the Lord is your strength.
Its the “Joy of the Lord” - the Joy that comes from the Lord, Joy that is based in the Lord.
Happiness is all about how YOU feel.
Joy is all about Jesus.
I presided over a funeral where sorrow and joy were felt at the same time.
The departed woman was born again and we were joyful knowing where she was at, but we were all still sorrowful about losing her.
Happiness is not much help under these circumstances but joy is! Some of those standing at her grave know they’ll be seeing this woman again and that gives them great joy, a joy that no one can take from them.
And even though mixed with grief, the joy remains.
many of you have all felt the same way. Joy and Sadness both at the same time.
James 1:2 KJV 1900
My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations;
So because joy is spiritual and heavenly, where as happiness is earthly and temporary.

Joy is everlasting.

John 16:20–22 KJV 1900
Verily, verily, I say unto you, That ye shall weep and lament, but the world shall rejoice: and ye shall be sorrowful, but your sorrow shall be turned into joy. A woman when she is in travail hath sorrow, because her hour is come: but as soon as she is delivered of the child, she remembereth no more the anguish, for joy that a man is born into the world. And ye now therefore have sorrow: but I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man taketh from you.
“No one can take it from you.”
We have all had people take our happiness from us, some people are so good at it too! But its not always on purpose, an acciendt, a phone call, a test result - all of these things can rob our happiness.
But because Joy is based in Jesus, NOTHING can rob you of your joy.
One is from God and one is from us.
One can come and go but the other will remain. If joy and happiness were friends, happiness would be the unfaithful one of the two.

The Pursuit of Happiness

trying to catch happiness is like trying to catch smoke with your hands. I would love it if you were all happy, all the time. But thats not possible. And thats not a bad thing.
I would love to tell you like bobby Mcferrin - Dont worry - be happy.
But 1: That does not work.
But i can tell you:
Romans 15:13 KJV 1900
Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.
Philippians 4:4 KJV 1900
Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice.
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