Monday, March 31, 2008

The Pursuit of Happiness - Temporary or Eternal

Well I hope you had a great weekend.

If you were there on Sunday morning you'll have heard the start of our four week series on The Pursuit of Happiness, and how we're fooled into living in the reverse of the kingdom as God originally intended it, where we believe that it's the temporary things in life which will bring us happiness. Thus we pursue careers, money, gadgets, physical fitness and fashion believing that those things will bring us true happiness. However, in the kingdom as God originally intended it, and as it will be restored when Jesus returns, then it's the eternal things such as our relationship with God, other people, feeding our own souls and doing Gods will which are the true route to happiness.

One aspect of living with this eternal perspective which I didn't mention on Sunday morning is prayer. With our eyes on what is temporary then prayer makes no sense, with our eyes on the eternal then prayer makes every sense. In the light of that there are a couple of situations I'd encourage us to pray about.

The first is the elections in Zimbabwe. We've seen recently how even a relatively stable country like Kenya can quickly descend into chaos over a disputed election. How much more true is that of Zimbabwe which in recent years has seen incredible hardship as a result of the policies of Robert Mugabe and his Zanu-PF party. But we've also seen in Kenya the incredible impact both the local church and prayer can have, so let's be praying for the same in Zimbabwe. Why not decide every time you see Zimbabwe and the elections there featured on the news to pray for the peacemakers and ask God to intervene. Let's also be looking to support and stand alongside those in the Kerith family who are from Zimbabwe and still have friends and family living there.

Secondly we have a meeting this Wednesday evening at The Kerith Centre where we're inviting local community leaders (councillors, schools representatives, leaders of local charities and business leaders) to let them know about the Hope08 week of social action at the end of August and to start a dialogue about how we could work with them. We're jointly doing this with our friends from Warfield and Easthampstead Baptist. Please pray that it will go well and that it will open even more doors for us into the local community.

I'm feeling the strongest I have all year so a huge thank you to everyone who has been praying for me - I so appreciate it. I'm on my (hopefully ) final course of antibiotics now which finishes in four weeks time which will be great.

More blog entries later this week hopefully - only 4 more and we'll be up to 100 since it started!



Anonymous said...

hi simon....the whole idea of an "upside down" life view was very well put...

there is an advert on telly at the moment that uses the phrase
"topsy turvy" life

all day today i have been aware of conversations with others about possessions and the "temporary" value of things and whether or not possessions bring any kind of happiness

its good to look at this with fresh eyes

was also good to take time in the evening meeting to reflect and share together and pray together
personal stories are always a great way to see how God is moving in all our lives...

irene m.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Simon for a great preach on Sunday. I thought it was interesting that we all found it much easier to think of temporary things than eternal things to write on the board! Various aspects of the message reminded me of Psalm 73:;&version=65;

To me, 'blessed' carries a bit more weight than just 'happy', but we can have that discussion another time...!


Anonymous said...

Hi Simon

Thank you simon for a great refreshing message on sunday from that point things have begun to make lots of sense to me. Can I make a suggestion that you look up salm 36 in the bible it has changed things for me it may do for you as well I got that verse from matt Price and by golly what with yours and his what an impacting day.



Anonymous said...

It's wonderful to be able to read Simon's blog and connect with our kerith family back home. We are here in central China in a city with just about no other foreigners. But we have a father who is the same here as back home. we are looking at it all through eternal eyes - thanks for the encouragement in the blog to keep doing that. to all our friends who are remembering us, thank you and know that your thoughts are working. The Landers

Simon Benham said...

Hi all and glad to hear that you enjoyed Sunday morning and seemed to have found it helpful. And especially good to hear from the Landers all the way from China - I never really had that sort of communication in mind when I started the blog but it's a great side benefit. Keep us updated on life in China if you manage to get to another place where you can access the internet.