Okay, you know I don't typically address anything theological, but God is leading me to say something regarding a recent video that is going viral on Facebook.
First off I want to say that a person by the name of B. Harris is the person who posted the video on YouTube, not Bill Cosby.
I don't know Mr. Harris, Mrs. Olsten, or Mr. Cosby. Who I do know is Jesus Christ. He carries me.
When I first viewed this video I was disappointed in the words that were and are being shared with thousands of people. I knew the moment I viewed it that I had to look deeper into what God wanted me to know.
The words are "I just want to encourage every one of us to realize when we obey, we aren't doing it for God. I mean that's one way to look at it. We're doing it for ourselves. Because God takes pleasure when we are happy. That's the thing that gives Him the greatest joy this morning. So, I want you to know this morning, just do good for your own self. Do good cause God wants you to be happy. When you come to church, when you worship him, you are not doing it for God really, you are doing it for yourself because that's what makes God happy. Amen"
As a Believer, I am led to turn away from those who do not provide scripture with every deliverance of God's message. 1 John 4:1 says, Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world.
As I took each segment of the quote and broke it down, visited scripture, and looked at it as a whole, I discovered that Mrs. Olsteens words for the most part are true.
Yes -- God wants us to be happy (Ecclesiastes 2:24; 3:12-13,22; 5:18-19; 9:9; 1 Peter 3:10; 3 John 2). There is no debate about this - God wants us to enjoy life here on earth, and be happy. He wants us to live joyfully, to see good days, and enjoy the rewards of our labor.
BUT -- if we really want to pay attention to what God wants, let's observe this -- Not only does God want me to be happy, He also wants me to be HOLY!! (2 Corinthians 7:1; Ephesians 1:3-4; Hebrews 12:10; 1 Peter 1:15,16; 1 Peter 2:5,9; 2 Peter 3:11).
I cannot say whether a scripture reference was provided to the people in attendance, but I can say there is none on this excerpt. Bill Cosby's, "the dumbest thing" ending may be seen as truth by many, but the Jesus I know is would not say that to this. Did Mr. Cosby give permission to use these words, taken out of context? Probably not.
I do not agree with the Olsteen's ministry style. That is my personal choice. On the other hand, maybe God wanted us to search our hearts and his Word to discover what is true. He certainly is going to take it and use it for His glory, I know that. He did it for me today. God wants me to be happy. He wants me to be holy.
God tells us throughout scripture to do for others (Matthew 7:12), turn your cheek (Matthew 5:39), etc. In Matthew 25:40, "The King will reply, Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me."
What we must remember is that this happiness he wants us to have is found in humbling ourselves into glorifying His Kingdom. Our focus turns from self to serving.
This brings obedient pleasure to God. Then we are blessed with peace that passes all understanding.
Fresh Find: What a fun stag head necklace. Ready for fall time!