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9 Keys to true happiness

9 Keys to true happiness
I want my children to be happy. I’ve never met a sane, balanced and sensible parent who would say otherwise. If you have daughters, like I have, they’ve worked out that I love them, and they have developed finely honed skills of manipulation which allow them to wrap daddy around their little finger. (But that is a story for another day!)
 
In the same way, God wants us to be happy. He wants our good, He wants our best, and He is for us, every day of our lives. What an awesome thought.
 
Sometimes called ‘The Beatitudes,’ or ‘The Kingdom Manifesto.’ Matthew 5 is a very famous section of the Bible, and not known well just by Christians. It is parodied in Monty Python’s sacrilegious ‘The Life of Brian,‘ and it is used as the basis of an entire episode of the chart-topping political drama ‘The West Wing‘ entitled “Blessed are the Peacemakers,” as well as dozens of other places.

What is significant here is that the first time Jesus opens his mouth to speak & teach publically, he says “Blessed are you…” and makes 9 statements containing ‘secrets’ or keys to being blessed. The literal meaning of the 9 “Blessed” statements can be translated as ‘…supremely happy, to be envied, and spiritually prosperous.’
 
Some Christians have been raised for years in rule-following, fun-free churches which have led them to believe that God is miserable, harsh, distant, a dictator, and swift to judge and virtually impossible to please.
 
But here is an incredible thought.
 
God is good and wants us to be blessed, to be supremely happy, and spiritually prosperous
so much so that others envy us!
 
Jesus always brings life. In fact, Jesus said, ‘I have come to bring life and life in all its fullness.’ (Jn 10:10)
 
It is entirely possible, as you read, you are thinking, ‘I am supremely happy with my lot in life…and people routinely tell me they wish they could swap placed with me.’ In which case, you don’t need to read the rest of Matthew 5. However, just on the off chance, you would not describe your current level of happiness as ‘supreme,’ it may be worth looking a little more deeply at Jesus’ manifesto…

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