How To Be More Than Happy - Part 1
How To Be More Than Happy
Matthew 5:1-3 NIV
Thesis - We are blessed when we are poor in spirit.
Evangelistic Objective - To cause people to acknowledge their spiritual poverty and receive Christ and thereby be blessed.
Let me see the hands of those of you who want to be happy. Thank you. Now, let me see the hands of those of you who want to be more than happy. Thank you. Those of you who want to be more than happy will be happy to know that this morning’s message is the first in a series of eight messages on how to be more than happy.
Some of you may be wondering, how can I be more than happy? Wonder no longer! You can be more than happy
I. By being blessed.
A. Happiness defined and described.
1. Hap, the root word of happiness, means chance.
2. We are happy when our circumstances are favorable.
3. Happiness “is a sometime thing, here today and gone tomorrow.”
B. Blessedness defined and described.
1. Blessed is what God Himself is, unaffected by the outside world.
2. “¼ a permanent joy that is not affected by the ups and downs of life.”
3. “An internal state of sufficiency (in Christ) that is neither produced nor affected by outside circumstances.”
“Happiness comes from earthly things; blessedness comes from God.” Understanding this causes another question to arise. How can I be blessed (or more than happy)? To put it another way, what conditions must I meet to be blessed? Jesus gives us eight conditions of blessedness in Matthew 5:1-12. This morning I want to focus on the first condition given in Matthew 5:3. Turn with me to Matthew 5 and follow along as I read verses 1-3 from the New International Version. (Read Matthew 5:1-3, pg. 958.)
According to Jesus you and I can be blessed
II. By being poor in spirit.
A. What does it mean to be poor in spirit?
1. What it doesn’t mean.
a) Anything in the non-spiritual realm like:
(1) Being poor in the smarts department;
(2) Being introverted;
(3) Being poor in self-esteem or image (like the teenager whose father always said, “You are good for nothing and will never amount to anything.”)
(4) The “equal access law” rules out all such non-spiritual and natural definitions.
b) Being suppressed in personality like Lawrence of Arabia aka Aircraftsman Shaw.
c) Being hypocritically humble like Uriah Heep the “umble servant” in Dickens David Copperfield.
(1) “Some people are so humble they’re proud of it.”
(2) They deny what everybody else knows is true.
2. What it does mean.
a) “¼ knowing yourself, accepting yourself, and being yourself to the glory of God.” -Warren Weirsbe
(1) “Self-Acceptance: The ability to accept yourself and your imperfections, and to enable others to be more self- accepting.” -The Serendipity Bible
(2) Then King David went in and sat before the LORD, and he said: ‘Who am I, O Sovereign LORD, and what is my family that you have brought me this far?’ 2 Samuel 7:18
b) Being genuinely humble
(1) “Humility is not thinking meanly of yourself. It is simply not thinking of yourself at all.”
(2) It is the opposite of how the Laodiceans saw themselves: rich ... and … not [in] need [of] a thing. Revelation 3:17
(3) “Poor in Spirit: I have come to the place where I feel accepted by God when I feel most unacceptable to myself. I recognize my need for God and know that I do not have to earn His love with wealth, status, or spiritual sophistication.” -The Serendipity Bible
(4) Humility is “a deep sense of spiritual destitution.”
B. What is the cause of the blessedness of the poor in spirit?
1. Theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
b) Jesus enters their hearts because they are humble enough to seek Him.
c) In Jewish poetic parallelism the second line answers the first.
2. Theirs is the character of Christ and anything that makes us more Christ-like is bound to bring blessing.
All I’ve said thus far should cause you to wonder, how can I become poor
in spirit and thereby be more than happy?
III. By looking to Jesus (Hebrews 12:2)
A. We don’t become poor in spirit when we look at ourselves, our sins and failures.
1. It is not our sinfulness that leads to repentance.
2. It is God’s goodness (cf. Romans 2:4).
1. ‘Woe to me!’ I cried. ‘I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the LORD Almighty.’ Isaiah 6:5
2. Peter (Luke 5)
a) “It was not his night of failure that drove Peter to his knees but the great success that Jesus gave to him!” -Warren Wiersbe
b) “Anybody can say ‘I am a sinful man!’ when he has failed; but it takes an honest humble man to say this when he has succeeded.” -Warren Wiersbe
Here it is. The first step in being more than happy is being poor in spirit. And the way to be poor in spirit is to look at the richness of God’s grace in Christ.
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