First Baptist Church of Minneola
How Happiness Happens
- I'd Rather Have Jesus
- PO - Ever sense hearing the song “Sunday’s on the Way,” by Carman, I’ve held on to these words:On Friday night, they crucified the Lord at calvary, But he said, “Don't dread, in three days I'm gonna live again, you'll see!” When problems try to bury you, and make it hard to pray, It may seem like Friday Night, but Sunday's on the way!INTRO - This morning we continue our focus on the events of that first Easter Sunday. Last week we noted how easy it to slip into the habit of pessimism.We noted that a person seeking Jesus will not continue in pessimism.This week we will note how unhappiness, much like pessimism, is part of our nature that changes when we come into the presence of the Lord.EST - Our passage will relate the transition from sad to glad when people spend time with Jesus.ESS - Our sermon will discuss the time, the people, and the way of happiness.OSS - Our time with a challenge to do what it takes to replace sad feelings with glad feelings.TRANS - Let’s go back to the evening of that first Easter Sunday.It is a scary time to be a disciple of Jesus’.The word was out that the disciples were accused of stealing the body of Jesus:and said, “Tell people, ‘His disciples came by night and stole him away while we were asleep.’The disciples were scared and hiding behind closed doors:On the evening of that day, the first day of the week, the doors being locked where the disciples were for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.”Hiding from and afraid of the Jews, the disciples thought it was the end for them.The disciples felt doomed when Jesus enters and their grief and sadness changes to gladness and peace.Lets read our text, pray, and then study our passage.What does it say?On the evening of that day, the first day of the week, the doors being locked where the disciples were for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.” When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord. Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.” And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you withhold forgiveness from any, it is withheld.”Let’s pray and then look again at verse 20.PRAY:When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord.TRANS - Now let’s break this down into three parts.What does it mean?Let’s focus in on the last sentence of our verse.The Granting of Gladness “Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord.”Gladness was granted “then.”Does it seem that help often arrives at the last minute?Ever hear someone say “it is darkest before dawn?”Relief for the disciples came at their darkest hour.They thought everything was over; it was the end.They gave up; gave in.The good news of the resurrection was lost due to their unbelief.Ever notice how God will let us wallow in our own self-pity for a while before coming to our aid?ILL - Self-pity weeps on the devil’s shoulder, turning to Satan for comfort.His invitation is:“Come unto me all you that are grieved, peeved, misused, and disgruntled, and I will spread on the sympathy.You will find me a never-failing source of the meanest attitudes and the most selfish sort of misery.At my altar you may feel free to fail and fall, and there to sigh and fret.There I will feed your soul on fears, and indulge your ego with envy and jealousy, bitterness and spite.There I will excuse you from every cross, duty, and hardship, and permit you to yield unto temptation.”But, what would Jesus have us to say?:“Get thee behind me!”Why then the anguish?When God can free us from all misery, why do we feel so out of control and helpless?Could it be that we are so selfish that all we can do is look to ourselves?Does God want us to recognize situations beyond our control only to swoop in and come to our aid?Seems God wants to display His power when things are at their worst.Is God willing to let us suffer for are own good?ILL - I remember when Ashley had training wheels. I knew she had to learn to ride that bike without those wheels. I knew the only way she would learn was to allow her to fall. So, off came the wheels and sure enough, she fell. But, I’m a good daddy and made sure learnt how to ride without wheels while in the grass and not on pavement. It was not long when she was up and down the street joyfully riding her little pink bike without training wheels.God permits you to feel sad, but never really takes His eyes of you.It might seem like God is far away until we look up from our troubles and see His loving eyes are always focused on he much-loved child.For our disciples, the moment came and God stepped in, literally, stepped into the room with them.It was “then” when everything seemed as bas as it could possibly become that God stepped in to save the day.Jesus Christ showed up to grant them gladness and turn their day around.TRANS - We’ve touched on what the Bible teaches us here about the granting of gladness.Let’s shift to the focus of God’s attention; to who is was that gained gladness.The Gaining of Gladness “disciples were glad”This experience was not for all people.Jesus’ appearance was a disciples only event.Lot’s of the blessings and promises of the Bible are not for everyone, however, most everyone might thing they are for them.God gives his blessing to people devoted to Him.People who are not devoted to God, miss out on the promises that are for devoted persons only.Sure the disciples were full with faults, but they were devoted disciples.Jesus rewards the disciples devotion by appearing to them after the resurrection.Feeling left out of the bestowing of blessings?Better check that devotional dipstick.People who are devoted to Jesus will experience great blessings.TRANS - We noted there is a time when gladness is granted and the sort of people who gain this gladness.Let’s now shift to the source and see how blessings work.The Giving of Gladness “when they saw the Lord.”Get this picture, locked in a room, afraid someone is gonna point them out, suddenly Jesus appears out of no place.The disciples were undoubtly shaken.And what does Jesus say?Jesus says “peace be with you.”The words “peace be with you” occur twice in this context; in verses 19 & 21.Anytime something is stated twice in Scripture, we need to look at it twice.Closely following the words “peace be with you” we see something incredible in our text.Follow along now.Just following the first “peace be with you” Jesus shows them His hands and His side.They thought it was the end, but no, things are just getting started.Jesus gives them a reason to be extremely happy.He is the One they loved, who was crucified, died, and is alive.Everything is not lost.Jesus gives them proof; tangible evidence that can’t be denied.They are glad, happy, and maybe jumping for joy.What, or who, is the source of joy?Jesus is their source of joy.Do you know that where your joy is, that is the source of your joy.If your joy is in Jesus, he is your source.If your joy is in the world, it does not last.Jesus is forever and joy in him is eternal.What a blessing!But that is not the end of the blessings.It gets even better!Look here at verse 22:And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit.Just after the second “peace be with you” Jesus tells the disciples that he is sending them in the same way that the Father sent him.Next Jesus says “Receive the Holy Spirit.”Now, as far as blessings go, receiving the Holy Spirit is a giant blessing.Blessings like children and family are great.Blessings such as food and healing are wonderful.But, receiving the Holy Spirit, that blessing is in a whole different category.From that moment forward, the disciples’ mission to see to it that the church grew was established.The very presence and power of God to see through the will of the Father that began in Jesus continued from that moment.Today, that blessing is, in some ways, ours too.It was that blessing that empowered these disciples to go into a world with the purpose, ability, and knowledge that they were serving the one true and all powerful God.TRANS - We touched on the granting, gaining, and giving of gladness.Now is our time to respond to what the Bible teaches us.How will you respond?Your darkest hour is an opportunity to see Jesus shine.What a blessing!James says “count it all joy.”What can you change in order to get closer to Jesus?Did you get your daily bread today?Now that you are ready to charge the gates of Hell, nothing can stop you.(end)
- Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus
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