Jesus, The Way To A Better Life

In the preceding study, we introduced the theme of “Jesus, The Way”

Now we shall concentrate our attention on the subject “Jesus, The Way

   To A Better Life”

The popular goal of our generation is “the good life”

   a. This dream is not new

   b. It has been the desire of every age and every walk of life — of

      teachers and philosophers, of kings and common men

Jesus is the way to the truly good life.

To see how this is true, consider first …

JESUS CORRECTS OUR MISCONCEPTIONS

WHAT “THE GOOD LIFE” MEANS TO MANY…

      1. Material prosperity

      2. Pleasure

      3. Popularity

WHY MANY THINK THIS WAY…

Nearly everyone would agree that two words sum up what “the good life” is all about happiness and peace.

Many suppose material prosperity, pleasure and popularity will bring us these things.

But even a cursory observation reveals that most wealthy, high-living, famous people are extremely unhappy and lacking inner peace.

JESUS CORRECTS THIS MISCONCEPTION…

He taught there is more to life than material possessions

“And He said to them, “Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses.” (Luke 12:15 NKJV)

He offers a peace which things of the world cannot give, and a joy which is complete and full.

“Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. (John 14:27 NKJV)

“These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full. (John 15:11 NKJV)

What the world cannot give, Jesus can. How does He do it…?

JESUS LEADS THE WAY TO A BETTER LIFE

BY IDENTIFYING AND REMOVING THE REAL PROBLEM…

What is the cause of so much unhappiness?

What deprives so many of inner peace?

         Is it not things like immorality, theft, murder?

         Is it not things like coveting, deceit, envy and pride?

         Such things destroy families, friendships, and property

What then is the cause of these things?

Jesus declared the source to be the sinful hearts of men.

“For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, “thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lewdness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness. “All these evil things come from within and defile a man.” (Mark 7:21-23 NKJV)

James, the Lord’s half-brother in the flesh, concurred with His diagnosis.

“Where do wars and fights come from among you? Do they not come from your desires for pleasure that war in your members? You lust and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and war. Yet you do not have because you do not ask.” (James 4:1-2 NKJV)

What has Jesus done to remove this problem?

“For we ourselves were also once foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving various lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful and hating one another. But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior, that having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life. (Titus 3:3-7 NKJV)

Out of kindness, love, mercy and grace, God through Jesus Christ has saved us and made us righteous in His sight! This took place when we experienced the “washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit” (a reference to the act of baptism, in which one who believes in Jesus is truly born again of water and Spirit!

“Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.” (John 3:5 NKJV)

In other words, Jesus removes the problem of unhappiness and lack of inner peace by first removing the cause: Sin! But there is more…

JESUS LEADS THE WAY TO A BETTER LIFE

BY TEACHING US TO SEEK NEW GOALS IN LIFE…

He warns of the folly of seeking after riches … “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; (Matthew 6:19 NKJV)

         They are perishable

         They are open to theft

He teaches us to put our treasure in heaven … “but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. (Matthew 6:20 NKJV)

         Where it is imperishable

         Where it is secure … “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.” (1 Peter 1:3-5 NKJV)

How does one go about laying up treasure in heaven?

         By living for Jesus, even under the most adverse conditions … “Blessed are you when men hate you, And when they exclude you, And revile you, and cast out your name as evil, For the Son of Man’s sake. Rejoice in that day and leap for joy! For indeed your reward is great in heaven, For in like manner their fathers did to the prophets.” (Luke 6:22-23 NKJV)

          By following His teaching … “But love your enemies, do good, and lend, hoping for nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High. For He is kind to the unthankful and evil. “Therefore be merciful, just as your Father also is merciful. (Luke 6:35-36 NKJV) … Blessed are the merciful, For they shall obtain mercy. (Matthew 5:7 NKJV)

JESUS LEADS THE WAY TO A BETTER LIFE

BY GIVING US WHAT WE DO NOT EXPECT…

      Once we learn not to make material things, pleasure, and fame our goals in life, but to instead make following Jesus and His teachings our goal, He then provides us an unexpected portion of these very things!

Material things for those who put God first … “Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ “For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. (Matthew 6:31-33 NKJV) … Then Peter began to say to Him, “See, we have left all and followed You.” So Jesus answered and said, “Assuredly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or lands, for My sake and the gospel’s, “who shall not receive a hundredfold now in this time–houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions–and in the age to come, eternal life. (Mark 10:28-30 NKJV)

         Pleasure that is full and inexpressible … “These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full. (John 15:11 NKJV) “whom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory,” (1 Peter 1:8 NKJV)

         Fame that lasts forever … When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory. (Colossians 3:4 NKJV) … “when He comes, in that Day, to be glorified in His saints and to be admired among all those who believe, because our testimony among you was believed. Therefore we also pray always for you that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfill all the good pleasure of His goodness and the work of faith with power, that the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and you in Him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ. (2 Thessalonians 1:10-12 NKJV) … to which He called you by our gospel, for the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. (2 Thessalonians 2:14 NKJV)

In the very exercise of living for Christ and following His example

         We find peace and happiness … “So when He had washed their feet, taken His garments, and sat down again, He said to them, “Do you know what I have done to you? “You call me Teacher and Lord, and you say well, for so I am. “If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. “For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you. “Most assuredly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master; nor is he who is sent greater than he who sent him. “If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.” (John 13:12-17 NKJV) … “I have shown you in every way, by laboring like this, that you must support the weak. And remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.'” (Acts 20:35 NKJV)

The world sets before us goals which many people cannot achieve, and even if achieved, often do not satisfy … “He who loves silver will not be satisfied with silver; Nor he who loves abundance, with increase. This also is vanity.” (Ecclesiastes 5:10 NKJV)

But Jesus places before us goals which can be achieved, and that do satisfy…

   All can store up treasure in heaven

   All can live for Jesus

If there is any doubt that doing this brings lasting happiness and a much better life even now, just look any individual you may know who is truly following Jesus…

   Outwardly they may be suffering persecution, social ostracism, or physical illnesses. But even then they still have that joy that is full, that peace which is unspeakable.

If you are not happy, if you are not at peace in your heart, if you are looking for a better life, why not let Jesus be “The Way” for you?

Let Him take care of your problem of sin, which is the true cause of unhappiness in life…! Let Him be your guide in giving you new direction in this life!

           Let Him be your key to “the good life”!

As Jesus Himself said: “I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” – Jn 10:10

This is one of a short lesson series presented by brother Mark Copeland.

Note: The lessons are based on a Bible correspondence course entitled  “Jesus, The Way”, by brother Sewell Hall.

Our next study will discuss how Jesus deals with the problem of sin…