Hi members! So glad you are going to be walking with us even closer through the bible study portion of this new series. For the sake of convenience, each bible study lesson that I will post for us, including a mini-video lesson, will be abbreviated in the title like this:
7HHH – and then I will include the “title” of the topic/habit. It will look like this:
7HHH – Happy; 7HHH – Contentment; 7HHH – Serving; 7HHH – Enjoying, etc.
Also, I will be posting from time to time “devotions” in-between each video bible study lesson that will help us dig deeper in what we are learning, and what we are learning to leverage in our life.
Before our 1st bible study lesson, there is ONE thing we all need to do:
- Go to the back of your bible (your concordance) and look up the words “happy” and”happiness” – jot down the references and read as many verses as you can on those two words. You can jot it all down in your journal. If you do not have a concordance, go to www.biblegateway.com – put “happy” in the search engine and see all the gathered verses that include that one word. Choose whichever translation you prefer, too. Begin to see just how God inspired that one word in context you find it in.
- Write down in your journal any insights you see in those verses – WHO is the author of the book/chapter you find the “happy” verse? HOW is it used in context? WHAT is the Lord teaching or instructing you?
- Read the article I’ve shared below, (by Warren Wiersbe) – it is short, but an article on HAPPINESS that we need to read before we have our first video bible study lesson.
Happiness: Jesus and the Disciples (13:12-17)
John 13:17 is the key–“If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them.”
The sequence is important: humbleness, holiness, then happiness. Aristotle defined happiness as “good fortune joined to virtue … a life that is both agreeable and secure.” That might do for a philosopher, but it will never do for a Christian believer! Happiness is the by-product of a life that is lived in the will of God. When we humbly serve others, walk in God’s paths of holiness, and do what He tells us, then we will enjoy happiness.
Jesus asked the disciples if they understood what He had done, and it is not likely that they did. So, He explained it: He had given them a lesson in humble service, an example for them to follow. The world thinks that happiness is the result of others serving us, but real joy comes when we serve others in the name of Christ. The world is constantly pursuing happiness, but that is like chasing a shadow: It is always just beyond your reach.
Jesus was their Master, so He had every right to command their service. Instead, He served them! He gave them an example of true Christian ministry. On more than one occasion during the previous three years, He had taught them lessons about humility and service, but now He had demonstrated the lesson to them. Perhaps the disciples remembered His lesson about the child (Matt. 18:1-6) or the rebuke He gave James and John when they asked for thrones (Matt. 20:20-28). Now it was all starting to fall into place.
The servant (slave) is not greater than his master; so, if the master becomes a slave, where does that put the slave? On the same level as the master! By becoming a servant, our Lord did not push us down: He lifted us up! He dignified sacrifice and service. You must keep in mind that the Romans had no use for humility, and the Greeks despised manual labor. Jesus combined these two when He washed the disciples’ feet.
The world asks, “How many people work for you?” but the Lord asks, “For how many people do you work?” When I was ministering at a conference in Kenya, an African believer shared one of their proverbs with me: “The chief is servant of all.” How true it is that we need leaders who will serve and servants who will lead. G. K. Chesterton said that a really great man is one who makes others feel great, and Jesus did this with His disciples by teaching them to serve.
However, it is not enough just to know this truth; we must put it into practice. James 1:22-27 makes it clear that the blessing comes in the doing of the Word, not the hearing. Wuest translates the last phrase in James 1:25, “This man shall be prospered spiritually in his doing.” Even studying this section in John’s gospel can stir us emotionally or enlighten us intellectually, but it cannot bless us spiritually until we do what Jesus told us to do. This is the only way to lasting happiness.
Be sure to keep these lessons in their proper sequence: humbleness, holiness, happiness. Submit to the Father, keep your life clean, and serve others. This is God’s formula for true spiritual happiness.
All along the way of our journey together in this series, write down on your index cards ANY verse(s) you read that just seem to jump off the page at you. Memorize it…embrace it…do it…believe it! And then also write in your journal. When you go take that long soak in the tub at the end of the day, grab your journal and just write for the sake of taking WHATEVER your thoughts are, whatever is on your heart, on your mind and simply pen it all. You are NOT writing for a blog, or for anyone to read. You are writing for the sake of learning the discipline of … thought. Treasuring your life and your walk with the Lord, treasuring your family, friends and feelings by writing it all down is such an intimate way of actually tracking God’s faithfulness. You may choose to write in sentences, or you may choose to write in fragmented sentences – or in bullet form – or even jotting down phrases or words that are flooding your soul. You may write a poem or a letter or simply draw a picture. But each day, put the date on the next page of your journal and simply enjoy writing.
Here are a couple of links that will encourage you if you have never had the habit of journaling –
With HAPPY HEART,