Monday, June 16, 2008

the pursuit of happiness

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness..."
Our Declaration of Independence contains the famous statement above in its early arguments for our freedom from England.  We felt impinged in our collective ability to "pursue happiness" as we labored under the yoke of British rule.  So we declared our independence and then somehow defeated the world's strongest army to back up our words with resolve.  This morning it occurred to me that true freedom is found through our declaration of "dependence" on the living God.  Truly He is a benevelolent ruler and certainly He wants us to be free of sin's yoke.  But our fulfillment comes not from total freedom to pursue what is right in our own eyes, but in our yoke with Jesus that causes us to plow straight furrows and to learn of Him and His gentle ways.  "Pursuit" is a word worth considering in particular.  Surely He loved us so much that He pursued each of us who have come to know Him.  And just as surely, He'd have us pursue Him on a daily basis.  I suspect this is the kind of happiness Jesus referred to when He said, "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven".  
Matthew 5:1 And seeing the multitudes, He went up on a mountain, and when He was seated His disciples came to Him. 2 Then He opened His mouth and taught them, saying:
       3 " Blessed are the poor in spirit,
For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
       4 Blessed are those who mourn,
For they shall be comforted.
       5 Blessed are the meek,
For they shall inherit the earth.
       6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for 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 sons of God.
       10 Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake,
For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
 11 "Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. 12 Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
Rob Smith

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