Happiness is… When I was growing up I had a set of Peanuts sheets (that is Charlie Brown and Snoopy, if you did not know) that had little comics all over saying “happiness is…” ice cream, friends, sports, etc…
Well, happiness this morning is–listening to the Ligonier Winter Conference while cleaning the kitchen, and my son comes in, sets himself down squarely in front of the laptop and listens along. Happiness is being a Titus 2 Woman, a Woman of the Word, a Spiritual Woman–walking in the Spirit, training up my Timothies (that is, my children). Happiness is knowing Him, the One True God, and Jesus Christ whom He has sent–and delighting in and growing in grace and knowledge–and sharing that knowledge with the family of God (in my local church) but more intimately with my own fellow disciples, the next generation, my children.
Happiness is not perfection–I am not perfect, I press on that I may know Him, and the power of His resurrection at work in me! I walk by faith and repentance, setting my mind on things above where Christ is seated, setting my mind on things of the Spirit that I may enjoy His life and peace (Colossians 3; Romans 8; Philippians 3).
Happiness is knowing that Jesus came to make God known, and we can know, and indeed do know!
Happiness is not in “your own truth;” in Christ is hidden all wisdom and knowledge–the beginning of which for us is the fear of God, not fear/awe of myself or of any fellow human being.
Apart from Christ we all are aliens, strangers, hostile in mind, foolish, ignorant, and actively working to suppress the truth (Ephesians 2; Colossians 1; 1 Corinthians 1; Romans 1). Happiness is the truth of God setting me free from all that! Happiness is Jesus calling me so that in Him I may choose the good portion, abide in His truth, and enjoy His words abiding in me (John 8, 14-16).
Happiness is doctrinal. Doctrine does not divide, our contrary opinions do. Doctrine is handed down, and delighted in (for this you must study 1 and 2 Timothy, Titus, and Jude; and then of course Deuteronomy, the Gospels, Romans, and all the other epistles…and indeed all the Old and New! No neat and tidy soundbyte theology will do, you need a robust, Scriptural understanding from all of God’s Word.)
Happiness is having the mind of Christ, and growing as a whole person. Knowing Him with my heart, mind, and might (Deuteronomy 6:4-9); loving Him with my heart, mind, and might; serving Him with my heart, mind, and might. And, fighting the cultural norm of dichotomising, compartmentalizing, or falsely believing that doctrine is only for pastors, elders.
Happiness is the Logos become flesh to dwell among us!
Logikēn spiritual, reasonable; the service rendered that comes from the thoughts and intents of our heart, which when informed by the Logos will be well pleasing to the Lord.
Romans 12:1-2 discusses our spiritual sacrifice; is our spiritual sacrifice to be of our body? Yes, the spiritual sacrifice of your physical self, for God wants worship that involves your whole being! Your spiritual sacrifice is your reasonable service, the stem of “spiritual” or “reasonable” is logikēn. Of the WORD. The Word will transform your mind, and indeed your whole being, such that your knowledge and your heart’s intentions and your actions would all be united in knowing and loving and serving God. And indeed, this is how the indwelling Spirit will lead us. Never apart from the Word, His sword; and never beyond the Word.
Beloved, abide in Him today–in Him who sent His Spirit to indwell and illumine and lead us; abide in His love and His Words. Guard yourselves from idols, from teachers who manipulate the Word or who claim to reveal mysteries that are not there, and from foolish controversies or course talk or legalism. May you grow in grace and knowledge!!!
Coming Monday, part two of our Christology series!