Hola Divas and welcome to our newest Bible Study, What Makes You Happy by Andy Stanley.
Over the course of the next few weeks, we will explore the pathway to REAL happiness. We will meet live May 14, May 28, and June 11, at the Parks and Recreation Center in Kernersville at 8:30am. At each live session, we watch a DVD teaching from the “What Makes You Happy” series by Andy Stanley, read God’s Word and discuss what we have learned. Can’t get up that early? Don’t live close to us? Don’t worry…follow this study right here! A link to the full message from Andy will be provided at the end of each post.
We all want to be happy. As Americans, happiness seems to be part of who we are. What we think will make us happy today, creates a new problem tomorrow we did not consider. The very thing we dreamed about and couldn’t wait to get two years ago is most likely sitting in a box waiting to be donated to charity.
Andy called the happiness “guaranteed” by magazine articles, tv commercials, and facebook ads,…caffeine-happy because happiness from stuff wears off and then we need another “fix”.
In session one, titled “Nothing,” Andy drove home a couple of ideas:
- Happiness is always associated with a WHO not a what.
- What makes you happy? NO THING
- Happy people are at peace with God, themselves and others.
- Peace with God paves the way to peace with ourselves and equips us to make peace with others.
Jesus replied “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind . This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it. “And love your neighbor as yourself”.
In session two, titled “Plan for It,” Andy reminded us of Jesus’ instructions on how to be happy by teaching on the beatitudes.
Matthew 5:1-10 (NIV)
5 Now when Jesus saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him, and he began to teach them.
3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4 Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
5 Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.
6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.
7 Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.
8 Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
9 Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.
10 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
In the original Greek text, the word makarios is used instead of the word “blessed”. Makarios means happy, blessed, to be envied.
At first glance, the Beatitudes don’t seem to have ANYTHING to do with happiness. But during our time together IRL (in real life), we learned they have EVERYTHING to do with happiness. Two verses that really stuck out during our discussion were Matthew 5:3 and Matthew 5:5.
Two verses that really stuck out during our discussion were Matthew 5:3 and Matthew 5:5.
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven”. (Matthew 5:3 NIV)
“Blessed [spiritually prosperous, happy, to be admired] are the poor in spirit [those devoid of spiritual arrogance, those who regard themselves as insignificant], for theirs is the kingdom of heaven [both now and forever]. (AMP)
“You’re blessed when you’re at the end of your rope. With less of you there is more of God and his rule. (MSG)
Andy illustrated Matthew 5:3 with a few statements:
- People who are “poor in spirit”embrace their daily dependence on God regardless of what they have.
- People who are poor in spirit recognize that everything is NOT up to them.
- Happy people are dependent on Him and have a personal relationship with Him
Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. (NIV)
“Blessed [inwardly peaceful, spiritually secure, worthy of respect] are the gentle[the kind-hearted, the sweet-spirited, the self-controlled], for they will inherit the earth. (AMP)
Andy provided a new way of viewing meekness and how it relates to happiness:
- Meekness is a proper estimation or valuation of oneself within the broader context of God’s creation and love.
- Meekness provides acceptance of the place where God has placed me
- Meekness helps me stop striving to go further than where God has called me to go. (WOW!!!)
Watch the full messages and get discussion questions here: