- Religion and Philosophy»
- The Role of Religion in History & Society
Pursuit of Happiness.
Pursuit of Happiness
Isaiah 55Invitation to the Thirsty
1 “Come, all you who are thirsty,
come to the waters;
and you who have no money,
come, buy and eat!
Come, buy wine and milk
without money and without cost.
2 Why spend money on what is not bread,
and your labor on what does not satisfy?
Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good,
and you will delight in the richest of fare.
3 Give ear and come to me;
listen, that you may live.
I will make an everlasting covenant with you,
my faithful love promised to David.
4 See, I have made him a witness to the peoples,
a ruler and commander of the peoples.
5 Surely you will summon nations you know not,
and nations you do not know will come running to you,
because of the LORD your God,
the Holy One of Israel,
for he has endowed you with splendor.”
6 Seek the LORD while he may be found;
call on him while he is near.
7 Let the wicked forsake their ways
and the unrighteous their thoughts.
Let them turn to the LORD, and he will have mercy on them,
and to our God, for he will freely pardon.
8 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways,”
declares the LORD.
9 “As the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.
10 As the rain and the snow
come down from heaven,
and do not return to it
without watering the earth
and making it bud and flourish,
so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater,
11 so is my word that goes out from my mouth:
It will not return to me empty,
but will accomplish what I desire
and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.
12 You will go out in joy
and be led forth in peace;
the mountains and hills
will burst into song before you,
and all the trees of the field
will clap their hands.
13 Instead of the thornbush will grow the juniper,
and instead of briers the myrtle will grow.
This will be for the LORD’s renown,
for an everlasting sign,
that will endure forever.”
The things we possess end up possessing us.
A. Humanity Seeks Satisfaction in Their Possessions:Humanity has an obsession in thinking their “things” will bring them contentment. We spend our time making money so we can spend it on more “things.” People are looking for contentment in the “things” they possess. I have a distinct conviction to say that for us in America, the American Dream is our biggest idol.What we fail to realize is that possessions are temporal. We cannot take anything with us. You won’t take your Xbox, your car, house, I Pad, IPod, or your playlist with you. Every “thing” you and I possess will be left behind someday. The crazy thing about possessions is that the “things” we possess end up possessing us
.B. Humanity Seeks Satisfaction in Their Pursuits:In verse 2 we read “Why do you spend money on what is not food and your wages on what does not satisfy”. We spend all our time and energy pursuing things that can never fill the satisfaction of the soul. For the deep summons the deep. The more you invest your time and energy in these “things’ the more they require from you. Think about playing your sport, Xbox/Playstation, golf, an affair, Sportscenter, HGTV, plays, boys/girls, and what about alcohol, partying, drugs, sex? Can you see how much time and energy you first put into your pursuits compared to now? Regardless of what your pursuits are in the end your pursuits start pursuing you. No matter if your pursuits are pleasure or work in time the will consume you. Yet still a hole remains unfulfilled in the depths of your soul. And guess what? In the end just like your possessions…..you cannot take your pursuits with you.In these verses God gives us an invitation to the true source of permanent satisfaction. He issues a guaranteed “Invitation to Contentment” to ALL those who hear His voice AND responds.
C.) The Goods of the Invitation:There are three basic but essential substances offered in this passage.
a) Water: Water is THE most important substances to creation. Humans alone are made up of between 60-70% of water and it takes a lot to keep us alive. Unlike camels humans on average can only go three days without water. Which coincidently enough is how long it took for Jesus to rise from the dead? Water in the Bible is a reference to a new birth “Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the Kingdom of God.” John 3:5. This is the “good news” that offers us salvation by faith. In the next chapter of John we read Jesus said, “Everyone who drinks from this water will get thirsty again. But whoever drinks from the water that I will give him will never get thirsty again—ever! In fact, the water I will give him will become a well of water springing up within him for eternal life.” John 4:13-14 The word in verse 13 is drinks, which means a constant. This means that even if you drink continually from the well of Jacob you WILL become thirsty again. However the water that Jesus offers in verse 14 is an everlasting quenching of thirst. This water is offered so that you may never thirst again.The substance of water is offered to bring contentment to everyone who will drink of it. The super special spiritual water flows to the depths of the desires of your soul.
b.) Wine: So in biblical times wine was considered to be just as important as water. Back in the day some of the water was not good to drink. So, they added wine to the water to kill bacteria in the undrinkable water.Wine is associated with Joy (Psalms104:15), feasting, celebrations, the Holy Spirit, and transformation. On the day of Pentecost the Jews thought that the Disciples were loaded on “new wine” Peter quickly corrected them by saying that they were not drunk but were under the influence of the Holy Spirit. Consequently, just as the wine (desire) controls the alcoholic, so does the Spirit control the believers? (Eph. 5:18)
c.) Milk: It does a body Good. Milk has been and remains an essential component of one’s growth. The first substance you and I had was milk. Milk carries ALL the essential nutrients to transform a baby to a healthy kid.Believe it or not milk in the Bible is a picture for the Word of God. (1 Peter 2:2, 1 Cor. 3:2; Heb. 5:12-13)This is a “blow your mind” revelation. Not all of you are as intelligent as each other, no really. Some of you did not have the same family environment or benefits as you grew as a child. However, the world or peers may look at you as stupid or illiterate. God doesn’t care about the ways of the world. “For as heaven is higher than earth, so My ways are higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts”. The ONLY thing you have to get right in this world is to know the way to salvation, righteousness, and faith ALL which can be found in the Word of God.
d.) The Cost: Contrary to the world, which makes you pay for everything and religion which drives you to labor for every blessing you think you will receive. The act of sin (missing the mark) will literally cost you your soul if you try to find contentment in what it offers.God offers us everything as a FREE gift. He offers salvation and contentment to ALL who will hear his voice and respond. (Rom. 3:24) Since God gives free gifts, anyone can receive them. God doesn’t require good looks, good deeds, money, righteousness, or any other “thing”. The only currency that God wants is faith in Him. If you can take that FREE yet brave step he will surely open up the storehouse of heaven and make it rain blessings on you. Will it be easy? No. but it will fill the deepest part of your soul and you shall thirst no more.Conclusion:In conclusion, what does the person who accepts this free invitation receives?
a) Salvation: God promises that our souls shall live. Our souls our separated from God when we enter this sin filled world. God’s greatest desire is for us to reconcile ourselves to him by faith in his Son Jesus Christ. Without the sacrifice of Jesus we would all remain guilty of sin no matter what we did, said, or believed. God offers us Salvation
b) Satisfaction: God tells us that those who receive this invitation can let their “soul delight in abundance.” When God saves our soul he gives it new life….a better life. One of peace, joy, rest, acceptance, blessing, love, and salvation. God gives us the satisfaction we desire.
d) Security:We all like security regardless if we know it or not. Actually I would state that security is the #1 issue with the human race. God’s promise is the same as it was with the Jews “I will make an everlasting covenant with you”. A covenant is a contract that God makes with his people. God says that he will bless those who follow his statues. God’s smarter than us. He knows that him as a Just God cannot let sin go unpunished. For example say someone murdered the closest person to you. Then the Judge lets him off Scott free? Would you consider him/her a good Judge? Therefore, even though we have the most imperative element in life in salvation. For us to experience the Kingdom of God on earth we must follow the law. The good news is that nobody can ever take away your salvation!So, you have an invitation to come to the life giving pool of water that guarantees an everlasting life of contentment. And remember….Ask yourself this Super Bowl Sunday.-What are you pursuing?-Is that same thing pursuing you?-What have your possessions given you to date?-Are your possessions something that you possess you?If that question is anything besides Jesus Christ then I ask you “If not now….when?”