Sermon

GOD’S PROMISE OF ETERNAL JOY (ZEPHANIAH 3:8-20; MATTHEW 5:1-16)

Introduction.

I have wonderful news for you. God is happy when you are blessed (being happy and joyful).

  • I will rejoice in doing them good (Jer. 32:40-41).
  • Let the Lord be magnified who hath pleasure in the prosperity of His Servants (Ps. 35:27).

God has, therefore, promised to restore all that you have lost and give you everlasting joy (Oba.1:17).

  • God will have mercy on you (Rom.9:15-16)
  • Turn your reproach to glory and your sorrows to joy (Is. 60:15)

All you need to do is obey and serve God (Is.1:19; Job 36:11).

1st  Lesson (Zeph. 3:8-20) In Zephaniah Chp. 2, the prophet foresaw the future judgment of the wicked. After finishing with the nations, in Chp. 3, the hand of the Lord is stretched out over

Jerusalem, the rebellious city of corruption and oppression (Zeph. 3:1-2).

These are her sins:

  •  She neglected the word of God.
  • She obeyed not the voice of God.
  • She received not correction.
  • She does not pray to God. 
  • She trusted not in the Lord.
  • She drew not near her God (Zeph. 3:2).

Judgment and restoration

For this reason God says “…that I rise…to pour upon them my indignation (v8). Then He turn to the people and  restore then (v.9).

  • The rebellious, the proud and the haughty will be taken away (v11; 1 Sam.15:23; Pro.16:5;18).
  • Those who will be left here are the people who are afflicted, humbled and trusting in the name of the Lord (v12).
  • There will be joy for the remnant (vv14-15).
  • And greater joy for the Lord whose love will thus be satisfied (v17).

Hymn 602: The joy of the Lord lasts for long.

2nd Lesson (Matthew 5:1-16)

In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus teaches us how to live a blessed life; to be happy and joyful for ever (vv1-2).

Blessed is the person (v3-11):

  • Whose faith is simple and who does not depend on his own understanding.
  • Who sorrow for the wickedness of this world, without being thereby stopped from doing good and showing mercy.
  • Who for the sake of the Lord Jesus Christ put up with all kinds of injustice and persecution.

Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you (Matt. 5:12).

This is not the kind of blessing majority of us seek. But for believers, it’s the blessing approved by the Lord in order to be happy (Rom.14:17).

You receive it by:

Following Jesus and to first of all love and obey Him (John 12:26; 14:15; 15:14).

You are the ‘salt’ and ‘light’ of the world

  • In keeping from evil, you act as salt (preservation from corruption).
  • You have savor and must give it out (Job 6:6).
  • You are also light; with the responsibility of letting the moral features of God shine out before all men.

CCC Hymn 216: Jesus is the salt everlasting.

This is the conclusion of the matter:

Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven (Matt. 5:16).

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