by Mike Glenn
With the new month, we begin a new characteristic in the Joshua Generation. I have borrowed the title of this article from a book of the same name by Cleon Lyles. Our characteristic this month is happiness. Our slogan is, “Happiness is contagious, catch it.” Our emphasis this month will range from the outward manifestations of happiness (laughter, friendliness, smiling, energy, emotional peace) to the inner foundation of true joy (living God’s way). This first week’s memory verse is Eccl. 3:4. For those of you who do not receive the Joshua Generation bulletin, I have included the front page article.
Happy Is – – The Beatitudes
Good morning. Our JG lesson this morning comes from a well known section of scripture, the beatitudes, found in the sermon on the mount. We will do this study in two parts as they can well take the time for two of your home or family Bible studies as you consider the application of these characteristics.
Matt. 5:3: “Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 4: Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted. 5: Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth. 6: Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled. 7: Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy. 8: Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God. 9: Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God. 10: Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 11: Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. 12: Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.”
The reason this is such a good study (besides the fact that it is from our Lord) is that it puts a different than usual understanding on what it means to be happy. The word “blessed” is translated from a word that means “to pronounce happy” according to Vine’s Expository Dictionary. The Lord is pronouncing men and women to be happy who have certain characteristics. This is worth thought and practice in our life.
• Happy are the poor in spirit – those who know they need the Lord’s help in everything. They have put away pride and know they are not worthy, yet are yearning to be more worthy than they are. Such are humble inside, not just an outward act. Love “is not puffed up” (1 Cor. 13:4).• Happy are those who mourn – those who grieve over sin (their own and all other sin). This is also a characteristic involved in loving. Those who properly love God and others “rejoices not in iniquity, but rejoices with the truth” (1 Cor. 13:6).
• Happy are the meek – the original meaning of this word is gentle or mild. Jesus lifts it from the idea of being gentle or mild in an act to being of gentle character. It is not about weakness. It is about patience, compassion, inner strength. This too, is part of the description of love when Paul says, “love vaunteth not itself” and “seeketh not her own” (1 Cor. 13:4-5). Such people are not pushy, yet will be bold when acting rightly.
• Happy are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness – to want to be right with God as much, even more, than the desire for food or water. It is the intensity of real hunger and real thirst that will constrain a person to so live their life that contented happiness in the result. For such people, the word is continuously in their hand and mind, prayer is constantly on their lips and souls are continuously their concern in their actions.
My prayer is that you are happy.