Three Steps to Guaranteed Happiness, Part 1 (Just Jesus Evangelistic Campaign, Day 203)
TEXT: John 13:12-17
12 So after he had washed their feet, and had taken his garments, and was set down again, he said unto them, Know ye what I have done to you?
13 Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am.
14 If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another’s feet.
15 For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you.
16 Verily, verily, I say unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him.
17 If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them.
Today, I am continuing the daily Just Jesus Evangelistic Campaign sermon series, which is aimed at sharing the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ with unbelievers and reminding Christians, in this important election year, to keep the main thing the main thing — and that is reaching unbelievers with the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ and praying for their salvation, for the problem in America is not only disobedient presidents, politicians, and people, but disobedient pastors, preachers, and parishioners who have refused to obey the Lord’s Great Commission which is to, “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” and who have refused to obey God’s repeated commands to “pray without ceasing” for unbelievers, believers, and political leaders. Yes, you should pray for the right candidate to win; yes, you should vote for the candidate that the Lord gives you peace about voting for. But, don’t get caught up in it like the world does. Nothing much is going to change until people get saved and get their hearts right with the Lord.
This campaign is inspired by the following three verses: 1 Corinthians 2:2 which says, “For I determined not to know anything among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.” Acts 5:42 which says, “And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ.” And 2 Timothy 2:4 which says, “No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.”
This series is not for Christians necessarily. However, I do hope you are one of those saints who still loves to hear the “Old, old story of Jesus and His love” — As another hymn says, “For those who know it best Seem hungering and thirsting to hear it like the rest.” This series is primarily for unbelievers, so they can hear and understand the Gospel and be saved from sin and the punishment of sin which is hell. This is message number 203.
Andrew Murray said, “Christ is the humility of God embodied in human nature; the Eternal Love humbling itself, clothing itself in the garb of meekness and gentleness, to win and serve and save us.”
Webster’s dictionary defines happiness as: “a state of well-being and contentment; joy; a pleasurable or satisfying experience.” Everybody wants to be happy. Books, seminars, and self-help programs promise to reveal the ‘secret of happiness.’ More often than not, however, these paths to happiness fall short because they are based on man-made ideas rather than the eternal principles of God.
In our passage for today, Jesus Christ explains to His disciples the meaning of the object lesson that He had just given them by washing their feet. In so doing, He reveals the secret to true happiness.
Dr. Warren Wiersbe said, “Jesus asked the disciples if they understood what He had done, and it is not likely that they did. So He explained it: He had given them a lesson in humble service, an example for them to follow. The world thinks that happiness is the result of others serving us, but real joy comes when we serve others in the name of Christ. The world is constantly pursuing happiness, but that is like chasing a shadow: it is always just beyond your reach.”
In Jesus’ explanation of His actions, He provides three steps to happiness.
The first step to happiness is humility. Jesus said, “Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am.”
Peter had just tried to boss Jesus around, telling Him first not to wash him at all and then telling Him to wash his head, his hands, and his feet, neither of which Jesus did. Earlier, Matthew tells us that Peter ‘took Jesus aside and began to rebuke Him,’ telling Him that He should not go up to die at Jerusalem. Both times, Peter was out of line. Jesus was the Master and Lord; Peter should have humbly submitted to Jesus’ leadership even though he did not understand it.
The reason why humility is the first step to happiness is because, if you are humble, you will learn to let go of what you want. A harsh truth about life is that you and I do not get everything we want when we want it. Sometimes we have to wait. Sometimes we never get what we desire. A humble person can accept this as God’s will for him at that time and move on with his life, content in the knowledge that God knows what is best.
On the other hand, a proud person is typified by striving desire. A person who is proud thinks he deserves certain things and will always strive to get those things even when it becomes apparent that he can’t or shouldn’t have them. G.K. Chesterton said “pride is the one thing guaranteed to make us unhappy.” W.M. Whittemore provides this explanation: “The worst of pride is this — it makes us more like the devil than any other sin, and therefore less like the Lord Jesus who was ‘meek and lowly.’ It raises a barrier between us and God, preventing us from going to Him and driving Him from us. It will shut us out of Heaven and His presence if we do not get rid of it. It makes us unhappy here, and causes all the quarrels that happen; and it will make us miserable in the world to come.”
Jesus drove home His point about how His followers were to be humble with these words: “If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another’s feet.” If the Teacher — the Lord and Master of the Universe — could stoop down and wash someone’s feet, surely the students who were not above the master could do the same.
Now, Jesus did not institute a foot-washing ritual here. He was not establishing foot-washing as an ordinance in the church. (In some Catholic Churches, Maundy Thursday is marked by the church leadership washing the feet of the people.) What Jesus is emphasizing here is that His people are to be servants of each other and servants of the world in His name. They ought to be humble enough to serve. Any Christian who refuses to be a servant is pridefully saying that he is better than Christ, and he forfeits the blessings and happiness that only God provides.
I think that with this demonstration of humility, the disciples finally got Jesus’ message regarding how they needed to stop jostling for preeminence and begin serving as their Lord had done. In so doing, they were on the path to happiness.
In closing, take note of this poem by William Cowper:
’Tis my happiness below
Not to live without the cross;
But the Savior’s pow’r to know
Sanctifying every loss.
Trials must and will befall;
But with humble faith to see
Love inscribed upon them all—
This is happiness to me.
Did I meet no trials here,
No chastisement by the way,
Might I not with reason fear
I should prove a castaway?
Trials make the promise sweet;
Trials give new life to prayer;
Bring me to my Savior’s feet,
Lay me low and keep me there.
If you are ready to follow Jesus Christ in His example of humility (which is the first step to guaranteed happiness), I encourage you to start by making Him the Lord and Master of your life today.
First, please understand that you are a sinner and that you have broken God’s laws. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” Please understand that because of your sins, you deserve punishment in hell. Romans 6:23 says “the wages of sin is death…” This is both physical death and spiritual death in hell.
But here is the good news. John 3:16 reads, “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.”
The phrase “For God so loved the world” means that if you are in this world, God loves you no matter what you have done.
The next phrase, “that He gave His only begotten Son” refers to Jesus Christ. He is God’s son who suffered, bled, and died on the cross for your sins and for mine, and He was buried and rose again.
Our next phrase is “that whosoever believeth in Him”. The word “whosoever” means anybody at anytime. The phrase “believeth in Him” means to trust in Him, to depend upon Him, to rely on Him, or to have faith in Him for your salvation.
Our next phrase, “should not perish”, refers to eternal punishment in a place called hell.
And, lastly, the phrase “but have everlasting life” means to live eternally in Heaven with God.
The Bible also says in Romans 10:9 and 13: “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved…. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
Dear friend, if you are willing to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation, please pray with me this simple prayer: Heavenly Father, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I now believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.
If you believed in your heart that Jesus Christ died on the cross, was buried, and rose again, allow me to say, congratulations on doing the most important thing in life and that is accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour! For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”
If you accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior today, please e-mail me at email@example.com and let us know. There is some free material that we want to send you. If you have a prayer request, please e-mail that to us as well, and we will pray for you until you tell us to stop.
God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.