1642) Happiness With or Without God

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     What Satan put into the heads of our remote ancestors was the idea that they could “be like gods;” that they could set up on their own as if they had created themselves, they could be their own masters, and they could invent some sort of happiness for themselves outside God, apart from God.  And out of that hopeless attempt has come nearly all that we call human history—greed, poverty, ambition, war, prostitution, classes, empires, slavery—the long terrible story of man trying to find something other than God which will make him happy.

     God cannot give us a happiness and peace apart from Himself, because it is not there.  There is no such thing.

–From Mere Christianity by C. S. Lewis

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Genesis 3:1-5  —  The serpent was the shrewdest of all the wild animals the Lord God had made.  One day he asked the woman, “Did God really say you must not eat the fruit from any of the trees in the garden?”

“Of course we may eat fruit from the trees in the garden,” the woman replied. “It’s only the fruit from the tree in the middle of the garden that we are not allowed to eat.  God said, ‘You must not eat it or even touch it; if you do, you will die.’”

“You won’t die!” the serpent replied to the woman.  “God knows that your eyes will be opened as soon as you eat it, and you will be like God, knowing both good and evil.”

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Exodus 20:3  —  You shall have no other gods before me.  (the First Commandment)

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Matthew 22:34-38  —  Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together.  One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question:  “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”

Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’  This is the first and greatest commandment.”

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Thanks be to Thee, my Lord Jesus Christ;

For all the benefits Thou hast given me,
For all the pains and insults Thou hast borne for me.
O most merciful Redeemer, friend and brother,
May I know Thee more clearly,
Love Thee more dearly,
Follow Thee more nearly.

–Richard, Bishop of Chichester  (1197-1253)

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