Thursday, August 18, 2011

What Would You Pay For Happiness?

          In a world where we spend thousands of dollars yearly on plastic surgery, diet, anti-aging creams and lotions, exercise, weight loss products, what would you be willing to pay for peace, contentment, and happiness? Would you be willing to fast for a week? Go on a yogurt diet or grapefruit? It seems every week there’s a new diet fad or a new cream or lotion that supposed to make us beautiful. We constantly color our hair, have to have the latest style, the latest color and highlights. And still, we are not satisfied because the trends and fashions are constantly changing.
          Ladies, who are we competing with? Why are we so insecure? What will it take to make us happy with who we are? How much is it going to cost to finally get there?
          Let me take this a step further before I answer that question.  Think about it. No matter how much we spend on nails, perfumes, creams and lotions, hair, make-up, clothing, anti-aging stuff and diet and exercise, it’s NEVER enough. We look in the mirror and all we see is flaws. If it is never enough, then what, pray tell, is the point? You see, if we really were content with who we are we wouldn’t feel that we had to keep up with everyone else. We wouldn’t feel like we had to look like a supermodel or superstar. Those people get paid megabucks to look like they’re 25 when they are 60. Most of us spend far more than we can afford. It puts a lot of stress on a marriage.
          Most husbands want their wives to look nice, but most of them would be HAPPIER if we spent less money trying to keep up with Byonce and more money on household necessities. Our priorities have gotten way off track. I’m not saying we should go around looking like thrift store refugees, but find ways to economize on looking your best without jeopardizing your bank account and your children’s education.
          Here is the solution to the self-image problem: repent (turn away from and change your mind about) of your sin, ask God to fogive you, and invite Jesus to be your Lord and Savior. He will teach you to see yourself through His eyes, see what you are and what you can become. You see, deep down we know that, no matter how hard we try to be “good” people, we still have flaws. We are born with them. It is called sin. Sin entered the world when Adam decided to listen to his wife. It is because Eve allowed herself to be deceived that God wants us to be submissive to our husbands. It is why God chose a woman to give birth, rather than a man. Sin is passed down from the male line. Jesus did not have an earthly father and so did not have the sin nature. He was perfect in everything he said, thought, and did. He is the only person who can ever claim this.
          Here is what it cost Him to give us a sense of worth, a sense of value. He was in heaven with God before the world was ever formed. You can see the evidence all through the Bible, beginning with Genesis when God was creating everything. We find that God the Holy Spirit moved on the face of the deep in the very first chapter. When God got ready to make man He said, “Let US make man after OUR image.”
          Heaven is a perfect place where there is no death, so pain, no suffering, no war, no murder, rape, incest, none of those horrible things that happen down here on earth. Jesus was there with God, His Heavenly Father from the beginning. Then, in God the Father’s appointed time, He made Jesus into a tiny seed, planted in the womb of the virgin Mary, and caused Jesus to be born as a human being. He did this so that man would know that God understands what we go through down here. John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him, should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
           Jesus gave up everything to die on a cruel cross so we could have an abundant life (which doesn’t mean rich and carefree). He was treated more harshly than any human being who ever lived before or since. The book of Isaiah tells us He was whipped with a cat-o-nine-tails until He was unrecognizable as human. He was spat on; mocked, stripped naked for the whole world to see while people gazed on and mocked Him. His beard was plucked out by the handfuls. He was punched in the face. Then they nailed his wrists and feet to a cross which was then dropped into a deep hole in the ground. He had to lift himself up to breathe inspite of the pain and agony. Then the soldier thrust a spear through His side. On top of all of that, because He was covered with our sins and shame, God the Father turned His back on His only begotten Son because God is holy and can't look at sin. So until the debt was fully paid, the fellowship between Father and Son was broken. He came to earth to identify with us, to take our pain and suffering. It cost Him everything. When He started His ministry at the age of 30, He had no home, no place to call His own. He had no income yet He poured Himself out to others to the point of exhaustion on a daily basis.
          You are valuable and precious in His sight. Putting your trust in Him will give you a fresh perspective on your life. He taught me to like and accept myself. He can do the same for you.

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