Matthew 5:1-12 New King James Version (NKJV)
1 And seeing the multitudes, He went up on a mountain, and when He was seated His disciples came to Him.
2 Then He opened His mouth and taught them, saying:
3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4 Blessed are those who mourn, For they shall be comforted.
5 Blessed are the meek, For they shall inherit the earth.
6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, For they shall be filled.
7 Blessed are the merciful, For they shall obtain mercy.
8 Blessed are the pure in heart, For they shall see God.
9 Blessed are the peacemakers, For they shall be called sons of God.
10 Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11 “Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake.
12 Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
God wants His people happy and blessed. How can we?
--God's Word tells us how. Gives us the keys.
--How can one be happy when things go against us, you may ask? When fear, pain, and trouble is around us?
--When marriages are shaky? Loved ones with needs?
--When there is so much uncertainty, and division?
Claim God's promises. Trust and obey the Lord.
--"Who so trusts in the Lord, happy is he" Pro. 16:20.
--"Happy is the one whom God corrects" (Job 5:17).
--"Happy is the people whose God is the Lord" Psa. 144.
In the Sermon on the Mount Jesus tells how to be happy.
--In nine verses of Matthew 5, called the Beatitudes, the word "Blessed or happy" is used, and so translated in The Living Bible.
--He is not telling how to be saved, but how to live - when "born again" in Jesus. For a good attitude.
--Once converted, "happy are we if we do these things"
--Not if we know them, but if we "do them."
It is seeking to accept what God seems to bring to us.
--Bearing in mind that God loves us, most of all; and wills only His best .. His will .. for each one.
--I read of a Christian businessman in Ohio, so happy in the Lord, he seeks to bring joy and cheer,, by a kind word, deed, or gift, to others each day.
--"In so doing," he said, "I have a grand, happy day."
--This man found what Christianity is all about.
Consider Jesus, all He faced in trials and temptation of the devil, and disbelief of some He came to save.
--Yet, our Lord had an inner, deep, spiritual peace.
--Hebrews 12:2 says of Jesus, "Who for the joy set before His endured the cross, despising the shame, and has set down at the right hand of the throne of God
--Jesus said, "In the world .. tribulation; but in Me, peace .. so be of good cheer" (John 16:33).
I think of Fanny Crosby, blinded at birth, so joyous.
--She wrote hundreds of hymns we all love to sing.
--Without sight, she had needs; met with great faith!
At age 8 Fanny Crosby wrote: "0 what a happy soul am I, although I cannot see. I am resolved that in this world, contented I will be. How many blessings I enjoy that other people don't. To weep and sigh because I'm blind, I cannot, and I won't." What faith! Attitude!
God wants His children happy! To enjoy living in Him.
--What is the key? How do we get it .. and keep it?
--That's why Jesus came! Suffered for us; has the key.
--Let's think of the keys of the musical scale.
I. THE KEY OF A - ACCEPT CHRIST AS SAVIOR AND LORD.
--Let's begin with the key of A - accepting Jesus.
--Our Immanuel, God with us. Our Messiah and Savior.
--As God, He came to show us what God is like, and die in our place, for our sins, for He had none.
--He proved Himself, fulfilling countless prophecies.
--By innumerable miracles, of all kinds. Died for us.
--His greatest, was rising from a guarded tomb, as none had done before nor since! Ascended into heaven!
In John 3, Jesus said to a religious man, "you must be born again." And Nicodemus was!. Life changed.
--In John 4, to a woman who had had five husbands, and living with one not her husband, was forgiven, saved and ran back to town witnessing to all she met!
--She received the "Water of Life," that was not from the well. Received the joy of forgiveness!
--Washed clean by the "water of the Word" by the Lord!
--That's why Jesus came, "to seek and save the lost."
--He paid the price, Himself the sacrifice, our Lamb!
F. W. Boreham said, "We make decisions, and decisions make us." Let's make the right decisions, friend.
Believe the Lord, believe me, this is the best life!
--It doesn't mean everything will always be sunny, and without any difficulties or disappointments. No, no.
--But following Jesus does mean, He gives us joys!
--Godly, genuine, lasting, priceless happiness!
He did it for me, and millions of others. You can too.
--No "maybe so, or hope so" relationship! A know so!
--When "born again" we know it, and in life, show it.
II. NEXT, THE KEY OF B - BEWARE OF SIN.
--God hates sin, the Bible says; because it hurts us.
--He says, "Abhor evil, cleave to that which is good."
--We don't like to hear about sin, but we all do it.
--Our conscience convicts us. Sin is all around us.
--And my friend, by nature, sin is within us.
--Easy to see evil all over. .. Beware of sin; avoid it.
Sure, there's "pleasure in sin," it appears enticing.
--Ah, but its "pleasure" is only "for a season" according to Hebrews 11:25.leasure gone; stain remains.
--God says, "Abstain from all ,appearance of evil."
--Sin is the greatest detective - "sin finds us out."
--"The wages of sin" have never been reduced.
--Sin can rob us of our health, wealth, peace of mind.
Sin takes us farther than we ever thought we'd stray.
--Keeps us longer than we ever thought we'd stay.
--Costs us more than we ever thought we'd pay.
--Brings more sorrow than we ever thought it may.
Growing up I'd ask Mother, what to do .. or wear.
--Her advice, "If in doubt, don't do."
--The Lord can reveal what's right and wrong by prayer.
--Told us He is able to "Keep you from falling, and present you faultless before His presence with exceeding joy. " (Jude 24). But suppose we do wrong?
III. THE KEY OF C - CONFESS OUR SINS TO GOD, TO JESUS.
--God is the One we sin against. So confess to Him.
--Go directly to the Lord. If others involved, to them.
--No need to hide, or deny. God knows of it anyway.
--The burden is lifted, peace and fellowship restored "If we confess our sin, Be is faithful to forgive."
--That's His promise in I John 1:9. Remember it.
As a Pastor, people come, in tears and heartbreak, confessing a wrong or unwise act, they now sadly regret.
--It is a heavy weight of worry. Needing lifting.
--Prayerfully, in the Lord and His Word, give it to God.
--Full confession, repentance, will always give peace.
Sure we all sin. Daily, we need to confess.
--May I say, if we sin, we don't lose our salvation.
--We lose sweet fellowship, until all is right again.
IV. THE KEY OF D - DAILY TIMES OF PRAYER TO THE LORD.
--We can do nothing better than pray .. after we pray, we can do everything better. It is a vital key.
--The Bible tells, "Jesus went often .. to pray." We are told, "Carry everything to God, in prayer." Jesus said for us to pray, "in My name." His name.
--It's like He gives us His signed check, in His name.
--When you cash a check, it depends on the name on it!
--What deposits they have at the bank; sufficient funds.
--Jesus asks we pray "In His name," from His account!
--In heaven's bank, He always has ample resources!
--Resources, power, ability, holiness, we do not have!
--Besides, He "ever lives to make intercession for us."
--Daily, often, make time for the Lord God in prayer.
V. THE KEY OF E - EYES ON THE LORD, NOT ON OTHERS.
--David says, "I have set the Lord always before my face, He is at my right hand, I shall not be moved" (Psalm 16:8). God's eyes are on you. Keep yours on Him.
--Let His grace be seen in us. Others may disappoint.
--But not the Lord. All He does is for our best good.
--There is good, better and best; never may we rest until the good is better, and the better, is best.
--How? Keep our eyes, not on others, but the Lord God.
Christians fail frequently when we take our eyes off of the Lord Jesus. Let His holy beauty be seen in us.
VI. THE KEY OF F - FAITHFUL READING OF GOD'S WORD.
--The Bible! Read it to be wise. Believe, to be saved.
--Men make books. This Book makes men, women, youth!
--No matter our education, degrees, station in life, we are not fully educated without a knowledge of the Bible, a president of a university once declared.
--Get it at home. Get it at God's own Home .. church.
--We have programs for the training in God's Word.
--God wants to speak to us daily, in His Word.
You see, these are simple keys to make harmony for us.
--To provide happiness, help, and holiness, for anyone.
--They can help you, me, and anyone, of any age.
--Jesus said, "If you know .. happy are you if you do."
--Let's do .. and do our best, to be happy in Jesus!
--"The joy of the Lord."
Wilbert D. Gough, ThD., DD. 32