We had a good First Friday Fellowship last night with a good turn out in spite of the icey weather. I preached on "How to have a Happy New Year."
There are many things in life that are depressing and discouraging but the child of God should not live in a constant state of unhappiness. Every year in January the world revels in the thought of a New Year and a new chance at happiness. Consider four negative tips about happiness and one positive fact. We’ll stay mostly in Luke 11 and the book of Galatians.
I. REFORMATION OF SELF WON’T WORK.
1. Lk. 11:24-26. When you go off your diet you gain even more weight. Try and quit a bad habit and sooner of later it is back again twice as bad. That is why we often make the same resolutions every New Year.
2. Gal. 1:1-5. Man made things won’t work to bring happiness.
II. ROMISH SACRAMENTS WON’T WORK.
1. Lk. 11:27-28. Jesus knew there was something better than the worship of Mary.
2. Gal. 1:6-12. There is a lot of false religion in the world today. It won’t work.
III. RELIGION OF SIGNS WON’T WORK.
1. Lk. 11:29-30. As they were in Christ’s day so it is today. People are ecumenical, charismatic, sign seekers. They all want dreams, visions and ecstatic feelings, but that won’t bring true happiness.
2. Gal. 3:1-3. It is the Spirit applied gospel that people need today, not carnal gimmicks and ecclesiastical gadgets for church growth.
IV. REVELING IN SIN WON’T WORK.
1. Lk. 11:31-32. People in Christ’s day were fleshly and carnal. They had no true spirituality and so it is with people today. How sad to think that even the unsaved heathen of the past condemn us. They saw God’s greatness with less light than we have. The complete word of God is ours today and we still can’t get folks to get their hearts and lives right with God. The pleasures of sin only last a season but they will not bring true happiness.
2. Gal. 6:7-10. You may rest assured that you will reap what you sow and sin will not bring happiness in the end. Live like the devil and you will die and go to hell with him too. If none of these things work, what will?
V. RELYING ON THE SAVIOR IS THE ONLY THING THAT WORKS.
1. LK. 11:33. When the light of God’s grace comes into your life by the gospel of Jesus Christ, it brings such joy and happiness that you cannot help but want to share it with others.
2. Gal. 6:14-16. Yes, we glory in the cross of Christ. Nothing else satisfies like Jesus. Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine.
Conclusion: God the Father purposed from all eternity to save a people according to His sovereign good pleasure. He gave them to Christ and He, the Eternal Son of God, purchased salvation for all them that the Father gave Him by His death, burial and resurrection according to the scriptures. This is the message that the Holy Spirit of God uses in our hearts to regenerate us and create in us true repentance and faith. When the triune God of the Bible does all of this, it brings real and true happiness for evermore. Hear Him today. Receive Him today. AMEN.