Friday, April 7, 2017

Why True Happiness is Compassion


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Among clear Kingdom teachings we find in the Gospel is how real happiness is really about compassion. The world often pictures a happy person as one who travels a lot and enjoying posh vacation resorts in the world, eating in fancy exotic restaurants, wearing the best apparels, riding the most expensive cars, owning huge mansions, etc. And all these could be a lot fun, really. 

But the Gospel (the good news of the Kingdom) never highlights these things as true fun or happiness. It tells us real fun is what Jesus spoke about in the Beatitudes, which defined the life of Jesus Christ. And foremost among what the Gospel considers real fun is that happy are the poor in spirit.

Jesus was the picture of a happy man, although he didn't travel the world or caroused day and night, or shopped till he dropped. Being poor in spirit means you find a lot of happiness in whatever you have or find before you. You're so easy to please. You don't need to look for other things to be happy. And what did Jesus have right before him? People, especially those who were in need.

Believe me, it is genuine fun and happiness to be around problematic people who seriously look for a remedy to their problems, and then you give it to them through the power of God. Most of all, you do this without any strings attached. Not even a thin thread. Nothing can be more fun, I tell you. I should know. Genuine fun is God using you to make others happy.

To see what God is doing in these last days to make people truly happy in him, click here.

Artificial or fake fun is searching for things that make you happy. Initially, you help people but that eventually leads to your own selfish happiness. You're not really after their genuine welfare. You're just after satiating the cravings of your ego and you use them to accomplish this. This happens even in church.

For instance, in church ministry, artificial happiness is when you gather hundreds or thousands of people, help them and share the Gospel to them, all because you want to keep them in your church denomination and increase your membership. Church folks do this because it makes them happy. They often offer people baited happiness---like bait on a hook. Bite into it and you're trapped.

But this happiness is often short-lived. Anything that feeds the flesh will not result to LIFE. It often ends up in rotten character, a self-centered one. Soon you have a lot of office or church politics in your hands.

Jesus healed people, preached the good news of the Kingdom and then left. He didn't get people's addresses to later visit them and follow them up, or invited them to attend his church or be back next Sunday. His main aim was for people to "have LIFE, and have it abundantly," not keep them as statistics for his ministry. And the LIFE is nurtured only by "seeking first the Kingdom of God and his righteousness," not becoming members of a church denomination and being active there.

The few who got serious followed him as disciples. In Jesus' ministry, people pursued him, not the other way around.  Today, pastors pursue people and will do everything to keep them in church.

But sometimes, Jesus would seem to "discourage" even those who have seriously considered to be his disciples. Watch this passage:
Then a teacher of the law came to him and said, “Teacher, I will follow you wherever you go.”
Jesus replied, “Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.”
Another disciple said to him, “Lord, first let me go and bury my father.”
But Jesus told him, “Follow me, and let the dead bury their own dead.”
Jesus wanted only truly serious followers, those seeking true Kingdom happiness and capable of genuine compassion for people, not those seeking how they can become happy in this world.

When his disciples have learned how to use God's power to make needy people happy in God, Jesus was so happy. Here is the account:
The seventy-two returned with joy and said, “Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name.”
He replied, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you. However, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.”
At that time Jesus, full of joy through the Holy Spirit, said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children.Yes, Father, for this is what you were pleased to do.
Genuine happiness makes Satan quickly fall from heaven. Imagine that power! But true happiness is revealed only to "little children," those who have child-like faith to believe the good news of the Kingdom---those who'd seek first the Kingdom and his righteousness over seeking material possession. True happiness cannot be understood by the "wise and learned" of this world. No wonder, most titled and degreed church people are the saddest of all.

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Wednesday, April 5, 2017

The Gospel is about How to be Happy


Our Happy Cat
One day I told a religious church leader that the Gospel was about how to be happy in life. His eyes widened, like he saw a ghost, and he protested: "The Gospel is about how we can be saved from sins!"

I was about to tell him that the Gospel was also about being successful in life and career, but I thought I better not. He might have rebuked me like I were a demon.

Of course, the Gospel is about how people can be saved from sins. But it's not limited to that. It's about many other things. It can be about how to deal with your boss or your subordinates effectively. Or how to choose the right career for you. Or how to save money and invest to grow it exponentially. Or how to be healthy and fit. God's Word is profitable for everything because it is about LIFE. And LIFE is not just about being saved from sins. Some folks may be shocked at this, but there's actually LIFE after salvation.

And God wants that life to be happy.

In fact, another rendition of the word "blessed" in The Beatitudes is "happy." So you can read it, "Happy are the poor in spirit" Or, "Happy are the meek." "Happy are they who mourn."

God wants you to be happy after getting saved, not live the life of a cast away or monk who do nothing all day but look serious and get religious. That's a sad life to live. I cannot live that life (I think neither can Jesus). I want a life that allows me to laugh freely, go places and eat good food. And the Gospel tells me how to get them.

However, the Gospel defines "happy" only in the way God's Kingdom defines it. It's not anything we see in this world. Happiness in the world is fake. Kingdom happiness is 10 times more fun than how the world presents it. But you can only appreciate it if you have become well acquainted with Kingdom culture. For instance, Kingdom culture says being poor in spirit is the way to happiness.

In the world, you have to boast about your self and your achievements, prove yourself always correct, and prove to everyone what you're capable of. That's how you get happy here, which really bores me a lot. I don't know why you have to introduce speakers in churches by talking about their titles and degrees and achievements. The church assumes worldly standards that's why most churches are sad.

But in Kingdom culture, you just have to keep quiet and enjoy being average. Some folks may tell you how good you really are at things, but you just remain simple and average. You give back the praise to God who alone deserves it.

Watch this:
Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, [Philippians 2.3]
"Vain conceit" is what a lot of people cling to for happiness but it's really the number one happiness wrecker. In God's Kingdom, however, valuing others above yourself is what really makes you happy. Can you get used to that culture? If you are full of yourself, you can't. But if you want to be genuinely happy, embrace the culture of the Kingdom. Consider yourself average and others supreme. 

But don't get me wrong. See others better than yourself but never let them use that against you. People who don't deserve respect like that will abuse you. Don't let them. Kingdom culture also says, "Be wise as serpents and innocent as doves." Serpents or snakes always go away from the source of harm and fight back to free themselves when trapped in a corner. 

When people abuse you, you should be like a snake getting far away from the source of harm and even fighting back, not to hurt, but just to free yourself, when trapped in a corner. Remain innocent as doves by not stooping down to the level of your abuser and being like-minded or like-hearted with them. This is how you remain happy amid chaos, especially the chaos of office or church politics. 


In summary, the (only) key to happiness is to "deny the self and pick up our crosses daily" as we follow Christ. It's to live a simple life of obedience, staying out of the limelight, remaining low-profile, and living a quiet life. Always remember, in the Kingdom the least is the greatest. Just keep being the least and you'd never go wrong. Most people want to be great and are in fact so obsessed by it that they pursue it all their lives. You can never be truly happy like that, even if you have a lot of money and possessions and accolades and recognition and travel the whole world (and planet Mars) 10 times over.

For more radically life-changing insights, get our e-books!

GOD's Flesh: "And after my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see God; I myself will see him with my own eyes—I, and not another. How my heart yearns within me!" [Job 19.26-17]. LIKE US ON FACEBOOK!