Faithlife Sermons

Steps to a Happy Life

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Would anyone disagree with me that there are a lot of miserable people in our society today?
Depression, Anxiety, Anger issues are prevalent in our culture.
Margie’s Story - Margie hung up the phone from her mom and felt sick in the pit of her stomach. She had called her mother to wish her a happy birthday , but it didn’t take but a minute for the conversation to go sour. Instead of being happy that Margie had called her, her mom criticized her for not visiting enough.
Then when Margie related that her son Kevin had a cough, she was criticized for not being a good enough parent. The tension mounted and Margie hung up as soon as she could.
She felt guilty about hanging up on her mother and she felt worthless. Listen that’s not what Jesus wants for our lives.
Has anyone had a phone call like that? Of course you have.
John 10:10 NLT
10 The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.
Jesus came so we could enjoy an abundant or a rich and satisfying life. So we are going to look at some steps we can take to enjoy that Abundant Life. By following these steps, we will put ourself in the position to live a rich and satisfying life.
Mark 12:29–31 NLT
29 Jesus replied, “The most important commandment is this: ‘Listen, O Israel! The Lord our God is the one and only Lord. 30 And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.’ 31 The second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ No other commandment is greater than these.”

Step 1: Live your life to glorify Jesus every day.

Earlier Paul talked about bad and good habits to give the Colossian believers an idea of what to expect and what was expected of them in their attitudes and actions towards others. Paul did not want to try and regulate every area of life, so he gave a general principle to guide all of our behavior.
1 Corinthians 10:31 NLT
31 So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.
Colossians 3:15–17 NLT
15 And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful. 16 Let the message about Christ, in all its richness, fill your lives. Teach and counsel each other with all the wisdom he gives. Sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs to God with thankful hearts. 17 And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to God the Father.
Everything we do as believers should be done in the name of Jesus and for his glory.
He also says that we are to do it with a thankful heart. We are thankful for what he has done in our lives, is doing in our lives and will do in our lives.
We are not slaves to rules and regulations, but we voluntarily place ourselves under Jesus lordship and we live to glorify him.
As Christians, we are representatives of Jesus… and we are to represent him well.
ILL - Years ago, Alexander the Great was conquering the world. During one of his campaigns, he was visiting his wounded soldiers and he came to a young man who had deserted his companions and was just plain scared. Alexander went to him and asked the boy his name to which the boy replied, “Alexander.” Alexander the great paused for a minute and then said, “Son, you either need to change your name or change your ways.”
Action Steps
Action Step 1 - Wake up every morning and commit your life to bringing him glory. Wake up and thank him for another day and ask him to help you glorify him today.
Actions Step 2 - Pray for Self Control to overcome temptations and for forgiveness when you make mistakes.
By doing this, you will be reminded that you have committed your day to him. You will be surprised at how that will come back to you. It will help you be more patient, self-controlled, to be more loving, tolerant…

Step 2. Spend time reading, studying, meditating and applying God’s Word to your life.

God tell us that he wants to transform our lives and He does that though his word.
Psalm 119:15 NLT
15 I will study your commandments and reflect on your ways.
Psalm 119:27 NLT
27 Help me understand the meaning of your commandments, and I will meditate on your wonderful deeds.
Psalm 119:48 NLT
48 I honor and love your commands. I meditate on your decrees.
Psalm 119:78 NLT
78 Bring disgrace upon the arrogant people who lied about me; meanwhile, I will concentrate on your commandments.
Psalm 119:148 NLT
148 I stay awake through the night, thinking about your promise.
Psalm 143:5 NLT
5 I remember the days of old. I ponder all your great works and think about what you have done.
Joshua 1:8 NIV84
8 Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.
As we meditate on God’s word, it begins to sink in and we understand how it applies to our lives and it becomes such a part of us that it changes us. It changes our thoughts, the way we feel, and the way we act - - - who we are.
You may wonder why we need to be transformed. Aren’t we all born good people? NO. We are born with a sinful nature whcih causes us to be naturally sinful, selfish, and self deceiving.
Jeremiah 17:9 NLT
9 “The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is?
Don’t follow your heart.
Watch a baby when it doesn’t get it’s way - sinful nature.

Meditation on the Word reprograms our minds.

Bad experiences from the past affect our present day attitudes and emotions. They affect the way we see things, the way we taalk to ourselves during the day… and because of that they impact the way we feel.
Our culture will program you to be:
Think negatively
filled with self doubt and criticism
to doubt what God has done for you.
To question your relationships with others.

Reprogramming your mind begins at salvation.

2 Corinthians 5:17 NLT
17 This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!

Reprogramming your minds continues with renewing your mind.

Romans 12:2 NIV84
2 Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
We are constantly replacing bad programing with good programing.
How do we reprogram our minds?

1. We reprogram our minds with the Word of God.

Isaiah 55:11 NLT
11 It is the same with my word. I send it out, and it always produces fruit. It will accomplish all I want it to, and it will prosper everywhere I send it.
Joshua 1:8 NLT
8 Study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do.
John 15:7 NLT
7 But if you remain in me and my words remain in you, you may ask for anything you want, and it will be granted!
Colossians 3:16 NLT
16 Let the message about Christ, in all its richness, fill your lives. Teach and counsel each other with all the wisdom he gives. Sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs to God with thankful hearts.
1 John 2:14 NLT
14 I have written to you who are God’s children because you know the Father. I have written to you who are mature in the faith because you know Christ, who existed from the beginning. I have written to you who are young in the faith because you are strong. God’s word lives in your hearts, and you have won your battle with the evil one.
When you depend on the Lord, you are healthy.

2. We reprogram our minds by monitoring what we think about.

Philippians 4:8 NLT
8 And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.
We can’t control our feelings, but we can control our thoughts. We can choose what we think about. Thoughts --- feelings ---- actions.
ILL - What happens too often is that someone hurts us and we think about what they did over and over again… robbing us of peace and the ability to get things that we need to get done - done until we do something stupid.
Listen, if you think angry thoughts all day - you will feel angry. If you think sad thoughts all day, you will be depressed. If you watch the news, you will be all that plus anxious.

Step 3: Get Rid of grudges daily.

Ephesians 4:26 NLT
26 And “don’t sin by letting anger control you.” Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry,
The Bible doesn’t say we are never to feel angry. It just says to handle it properly. First, don’t let the sun go down before you get with God about it. Never talk with someone who you are angry with before you speak with God. Then get with the person.
If possible take care of it in the same day because the longer you let it fester, the worse it will be. In the OT (Deut 24:13-15) Sunset was the time by when grievances should be handled.
When we don’t get rid of grudges, it will smolder and burst into a full fledged fire.
ILL - Arab - Israeli conflict we are immersed in these days began with Abrahams sin and two brothers who did not get along and never have.
Matthew 5:21–24 NLT
21 “You have heard that our ancestors were told, ‘You must not murder. If you commit murder, you are subject to judgment.’ 22 But I say, if you are even angry with someone, you are subject to judgment! If you call someone an idiot, you are in danger of being brought before the court. And if you curse someone, you are in danger of the fires of hell. 23 “So if you are presenting a sacrifice at the altar in the Temple and you suddenly remember that someone has something against you, 24 leave your sacrifice there at the altar. Go and be reconciled to that person. Then come and offer your sacrifice to God.
Jesus is saying that we demonstrate true spirituality when we love our brothers and sisters enough to face up to him, emotional pain and all, and resolve any and all anger towards him.

Leave vengeance to the Lord.

Forgive others all the time. Never get even with anyone. We are to forgive the other person. Forgiveness is a choice and you can make it. God has forgiven each of us a lot, and because of that, we are to forgive others.

Step 4: Spend time with those you love every day.

Ephesians 5:25 NLT
25 For husbands, this means love your wives, just as Christ loved the church. He gave up his life for her
Ephesians 6:4 NLT
4 Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger by the way you treat them. Rather, bring them up with the discipline and instruction that comes from the Lord.
Spend time with your family. parents, kids, uncles, aunts, cousins, brothers, sisters...
Play together, talk, work, help each other.
God said it’s not good for the man to be alone… an it’s not.

Step 5: Spend time each week with other Christians.

Choose your friends wisely and then spend time with them.
Proverbs 13:20 NLT
20 Walk with the wise and become wise; associate with fools and get in trouble.
Share with others and encourage them in their walk with the Lord.
Hebrews 10:24–25 NLT
24 Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. 25 And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.
Cultivate friendships with other happy Christians. Meeting with others (outings, connect groups, lunch after church) can help you grow in your walk with the Lord.
Proverbs 27:17 NLT
17 As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend.
Proverbs 17:22 NLT
22 A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit saps a person’s strength.
We are not islands. we were created to interact with others. Loneliness is painful so look after others who see who may be lonely.

Step 6: Develop a Daily routine.

Develop a routine that brings personal satisfaction to you as you seek to glorify the Lord. Your routine is part of God’s will for your life.

Set aside daily time with the Lord

Set aside time for your personal Mental health - unwind.

Set aside time for your important relationships.

Set aside time to earn a living.

Set aside time to use your talents for ministry.

Step 7: Do a good deed daily / weekly.

You might do something physical for someone like helping them with a chore // emotional like a word of encouragement // or spiritual like praying with someone.
Hebrews 13:16 NLT
16 And don’t forget to do good and to share with those in need. These are the sacrifices that please God.
Hebrews 10:24–25 NLT
24 Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. 25 And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.
Live your life to glorify Jesus
Spend time reading studying, meditating on and applying God’s Word to your life.
Get rid of grudges daily.
Spend time with those you love everyday.
Spend time each week with other Christians
Develop a daily routine.
Do a good dead daily / weekly.
If we will do these things, we will live the abundant life.
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