1. Highway to Happiness 2. Comfort for Troubled Hearts Archive

Life of Christ Lesson 29: Highway to Happiness - Part I

March 15, 2020 @ 11:09 pm

There must have been an expectant atmosphere among the assembly gathered on the green hillside northwest of Capernaum to hear Jesus speak.  Hearts were high with hope for future glory; Rome might soon be chased from their land by an Israeli army under the leadership of this God-sent miracle-worker (another Moses was among them)!  No longer would they be poor and hungry as they filled Rome's coffers with their hard-earned money.  No longer would they mourn over their oppression, hardships, and constant fears.  No longer would Israel appear meek before the mighty Roman "Goliath" who persecuted them (another "David" was among them)!

 

But when Jesus "opened His mouth, and taught them," the people heard nothing about warfare with Rome.  Instead, they heard teaching so full of wisdom, spoken with an authority never before known - yet with a tone of genuine love and compassion that the crowd was mesmerized.  Their dry, thirsty souls and starvingly hunger spirits felt the raindrops of Heaven softening the hard, crusty ground of their hearts.

 

The people that day  were hearing the words of the greatest sermon ever preached from the lips of the greatest Preacher Who ever walked the earth!  They were the privileged, initial recipients of the Lord's famous, "Sermon on the Mount," which He began with what is called "The Beatitudes".   In Lessons #29 to #32 of our Life of Christ study, we refer to the 8 Beatitudes as "The Highway to Happiness". 

 

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Life of Christ Lesson 30: Highway to Happiness - Part II

March 15, 2020 @ 11:10 pm

In this continuing study of the Lord's Beatitudes, we come to the next three beatific virtues: hungering and thirsting after righteousness, being merciful, and being pure in heart. 

There is really no better "self-examination" a person can give himself (herself) with regard to his (her) Christian profession than to ask the Matthew 5:6 test question, "Do I genuinely hunger for the things of God?  Do I deeply thirst to know Christ?  Am I hungering and thirsting to be like Him in my life?"  

What exactly is the Biblical meaning of mercy?  What does "they shall obtain mercy" mean?  Have you ever heard of "God's Mercy Cycle"?  You will in this lesson.

The Purity of Heart Beatitude is the apex of all the others; the reason is the first 5 lead up to it and the last 2 flow out of it.  The world asserts that "happy" people are the physically beautiful, rich, powerful, famous, successful, highly educated, and elite.  Jesus says the truly happy people are those who are spiritually beautiful, rich,wise, and successful (fruitful) because their hearts have been purified by Him. 

Come join us in our continued walk down "The Highway to Happiness"!  Who doesn't want to know the key to inner JOY inspite of the chaos, confusion, corruption, and corona all around us?  [Yah, I know, there are some people who seem to enjoy being miserable.  Do you know why?  They've never been down the Beatific Highway.]

This lesson in written form (with Homework Questions) is found in our "Caldwell Commentary" entitled "Life of Christ Vol. 2" or "The Sermon on the Mount" (available through www.scripturetruth.com)

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Life of Christ Lesson 31: Highway to Happiness - Part III

March 15, 2020 @ 11:11 pm

 

On both a national and a personal level, mankind has a natural inclination toward fighting, quarreling, and warring.  Peace has been the most elusive of all goals in the world.  According to James (Christ's half-brother) conflicts come from our inner lusts (selfish desires) waging war in the heart (James 4:1, 2).  This is not only true for non-believers; it is true for Christians.  James was writing to the "brethren".  Just think about how divided "the Church" has become since the early days of the Apostolic Church in Jerusalem.  This is why it is important for us to understand the Lord's seventh Beatific virtue: peacemaking!  

What is a peacemaker?  What did the Lord mean by that word?  What does a peacemaker do, exactly?  How did Jesus set the example of being a Peacemaker?  Does it mean always agreeing with everyone, even when they are dangerously wrong or wickedly evil?  Why is a true "peacemaker" a soul-winner?  What is "the ministry of reconciliation" Paul talked about in Second Corinthians?  What are the five basic necessities that comprise a godly peacemaker?  Why is it sometimes necessary for the true peacemaker to stir-up trouble in order to make peace?  (What?)  Did you realize that the Christian peacemaker actually engages in real warfare, for he wrestles not against flesh and blood, but against the evil forces of the kingdom of darkness?  All this is discussed in this lesson.  

We also begin to discuss the final Beatitude, "Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake . . . Blessed are ye when men shall revile you . . . and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for My sake.  Rejoice, and exceedingly glad . . . " (Matthew 5:10-12a).  How can a believer happily rejoice to the point of exceeding gladness when he is persecuted, reviled, and slandered falsely?  That sounds like one of the greatest paradoxes of all, does it not - Happy are the Hated and the Harrassed?  Yes, but think of this truth, the reward for those who are willing to be a living sacrifice for Christ, is that they will gain everything - ". . . for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven" (5:10b)!  Compared to what is gained, even a martyr's price is small.  We begin our discussion of the final Beatitude in this lesson and continue it in Lesson #32 (so be sure to "follow up").   

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Life of Christ Lesson 32: Highway to Happiness - Part IV

March 15, 2020 @ 11:12 pm

The Beatitudes of the opening verses of the Sermon on the Mount are referred to as "The Sacred Paradoxes" (Thomas Watson), for they tell us that opposites often can and do co-exist.  The Lord Jesus is "The Master of the Paradox"!  Think about some of the seeming contradictions He taught - the first shall be last; giving is receiving; losing is finding; dying is living; serving is ruling, weakness is strength, being His bondslave is being set free; and the least is the greatest.  The Beatitudes contain some equally paradoxical statements:  the poor are rich; the sad are happy; the meek are winners; the hungry are satisfied - and, strangest of all, the persecuted rejoice!  This lesson continues the discussion from Lesson #31 on the final Beatitude, "Blessed are they which are persecuted for My sake".

Why did the Lord spend three times the space on the last Beatitude?  Why did He mention the word "blessed" twice in this last Beatitude?  What are the three primary types of persecution of Christians?  What does it mean if a Christian is experiencing not one of those three types of persecution in his life?  How is the believer in Christ to respond to both persecution and the persecutor?  And how in the world can a Christian rejoice because he is persecuted (which includes not only physical harm, but verbal abuse, and false witness - including slander)?  One more question: is it wrong to be motivated by heavenly rewards to live righteously?  

Would you like to hear answers to the above questions?  Okay.  Push the play button on this message!  Enjoy. 

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Life of Christ Lesson 33: Shake and Shine!

March 15, 2020 @ 11:13 pm

In Lessons #29 and #30, we looked at the characteristics of Kingdom citizens as presented in the Beatitude virtues.  This lesson is about the function of Kingdom citizens!  After we have entered onto "The Highway to Happiness," we have a responsibility to the insipid, dark world around us.  What is that responsibility as followers of Christ?  We are to "Shake and Shine"!  We are called by Him to be the salt and light of the world!  We are to be salt for a corrupt world and light for a confused world.  To put our Christian responsibility in two words, we are to INFLUENCE and ILLUMINATE.

Lord, shake on me Thy savory salt, 'til I am ready to burst!

Fill me so full with righteousness that others for Thee will thirst.

Shine on me Thy radiant light so I almost seem to glow;

Help me, Lord, guide others to Thee, so Thy Truth they also might know.

O Lord, make me salty!  O Lord, make me shine!

Use me, dear Saviour, for Thy glory divine.

O Lord, make me salty!  O Lord, make me bright!

May I create thirst, and guide men to Thy Light! 

                                                                                                                   Katherine Caldwell

 

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Life of Christ Lesson 34: The Reliabilty of Scripture!

March 15, 2020 @ 11:14 pm

Since the remainder of the Lord's teaching in "The Sermon on the Mount" was based on the Old Testament, He prefaced the remainder of the sermon with a "prologue" (Matthew 5:17-20).  In just four very significant verses, Christ affirmed to His listeners the absolute "Reliability of Scripture"!  

The Lord's words in this critical passage confirm for us He did not come to destroy the Law and the prophets (the Old Testament), but to fulfill them!  He confirmed His belief in the preeminence (the superiority) of Scripture; in the permanence of Scripture; in the pertinence of Scripture, and He understood the purpose of Scripture (obviously, for He is the Author and Finisher of Scripture)!

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Life of Christ Lesson 149a: True Comfort for Troubled Hearts - I

March 16, 2020 @ 2:18 am

Sub-titled, "The Heavenly Home Promised".  The number one "destroyer" of Christians is heart trouble caused by anxiety and stress.  That is why so many are now concerned that the consequences to the Coronavirus shutdown could be more devastating than the virus itself.  Anxiety is a killer.  That is why the Great Physician spoke soothing, "medicinal" words of His very anxious men on the night of His betrayal and arrest.  He ministered to their great mental and spiritual needs with words that began with, "Let not your heart be troubled"!

The great, comforting words of Christ in John 14:1-6 have brought immense comfort to Christians in times of trouble and bereavement throughout the Church Age.  We study them in detail in this two-part study (see also Lesson 149b), for they are worth knowing to the depth of our souls.  If you are anxious about living in these troublesome times, take these verses and hide them in your heart!  They will help you remember the fact that Christ Jesus is in complete control of every aspect of your life.  He cares for you from head to toe.  He will never leave you nor forsake you even though you can't see Him!  

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Life of Christ Lesson 149b: True Comfort for Troubled Hearts - Part II

March 16, 2020 @ 2:19 am

Sub-titled, "The Heavenly Highway Proclaimed".  This message is about the well-known words of immense comfort from the Lord Jesus on a night when He should have been receiving words of comfort from His men, for He told them He was going to be betrayed and killed.  Instead, He was selflessly concerned for them and how they were going to need to remember the things He was telling them to strengthen their faith for all that lay ahead for them in the days, weeks, and years to follow.  These words have helped millions of Christians go through all manner of troublesome times.  They are words of truth about our sure future with the One Who is even now preparing dwelling places for all who belong to Him, where we will enjoy fellowship with Him forever.

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