Friday, December 6, 2013

by Pastor Max Solbrekken, D.D.

"Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind...and thy neighbour as thyself". (Matt.22: 37-40)  - Jesus Christ
     Everyone is searching for true happiness! There isn't an individual who doesn't want peace, joy and fulfillment! 
Unfortunately, very few find it. Not because it is not available, but because they are not looking in the right place! Many are like a blind man, grasping in the darkness or someone searching for a needle in the haystack.
     Everything seems so impossible! Nothing works out. Happiness eludes them like a mirage on the desert or a phantom rider who disappears as he turns the bend in the road!
Judging from the great numbers who fill our divorce courts, love and marriage is often a bummer!
     Many, who on happier days laughed and loved, are now disappointed, bitter and angry. They want out ~ to call it “quits”.
The home has turned into a battlefield. The tenderness and caring is gone, along with any desire for romance! For them, love and marriage has not been the answer to the quest for true happiness!
     A large number will try again in a common-law (shack up) arrangement or a second marriage - hoping, hoping, hoping that this one will pan out better!
      In many instances, alcohol seems like a comfort and friend to the lonely divorcee, the aging gadabout or social butterfly. As well as, the businessman about to declare bankruptcy! And what of the person who has lost an expected promotion, the desire to compete or who has reached the top of the ladder with no place to go?
     Life has become boring, humdrum and a waste to a lot of people; for many and varied reasons. For some, the future looks bleak with high rents or mortgage payments, having to live on employment insurance or welfare cheques.
      Others are dogged by depression, fear, sickness, pain and even thoughts of dying or suicide! And so they try to drown their sorrows with alcohol or drugs. 
      But, drugs, alcohol and suicide is not a cure-all. Rather, these only further enslave and in the end, destroy totally! Alcohol and mind altering drugs are cruel despots and tyrants which refuse to stop, until all hope and life is gone!
      If you don't think so, ask the unhappy movie star who visits her psychiatrist regularly. Or consults her daily horoscope, personal clairvoyant or New Age channeller for guidance!
      Read the sad stories of millionaires and business tycoons who have become so miserable that they have blown their brains out, taken an overdose or leaped from the penthouse of their luxury apartments!
      Success is sweet, but it doesn't last long enough. And if it does, very often there is no satisfaction! And the rat race seems to be never-ending.
      Being successful doesn't come with a guarantee. Nothing in this life is 100% permanent or secure! Exceeding the quota this year, means it will be tougher next year!
     This year's champion is often last year's champion next year, and "president today" could mean "former president" after the board meeting or election. And "success today" often is only a memory in a few years, together with some mementos on the dresser and news stories in a scrapbook!
    Father Time marches on and always takes its toll, without favouritism. The young executive who worked so hard to make it to the top, suddenly finds himself nearing 65 with the prospects of a farewell dinner, a couple of speeches and the "traditional gold watch". And then it’s out to pasture!
      Time waits for no man...and it has a way of catching up to all of us! And the years do a job on the most healthy, robust and virile. As time passes, hair turns grey, wrinkles appear, muscles lose their tone and the strength of youth dissipates.
       Money and riches have a way of slipping out of our hands too, and even if we can hang on to it, what good is a fortune when you're too sick to enjoy it or too old to spend it?
      And even if we're blessed enough to have good health, there are only so many things to buy, see or do. Vacations and parties become boring too, don't they? After all, you can only sleep in one bed at a time, drive one car at a time, wear one suit of clothes at a time; and who needs three meals a day?
    And alcohol has the ability to make you a slave to its intoxicating power! True happiness does not come from a marijuana joint, a bottle of beer, a cocktail glass, great wealth and affluence or the applause of our fellowmen!
      Nearly 2,000 years ago, St. Paul wrote, "But godliness with contentment is great gain". (1 Tim. 6:6) Again he declared, "Not that I speak in respect of want. For I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be
content". (Phil. 4:11) 
     The Bible says, "The joy of the Lord is our strength". (Neh. 8:10) Jesus said, "My peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you.
     “Let not your heart be troubled". (John 14:27) And St. Paul declared, "For God hath not given us the spirit of fear, by of love and power and a sound mind." (2 Tim. 1:7)
     The only way to true happiness is going God's way, walking the Gospel road! And the two prerequisites that Jesus Christ spelled out are:
      Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth and the life. No man cometh unto the Father, but by Me". And St. Peter stated, "There is none other name under heaven given among men whereby we must be saved". (John 14:6)
      St. Paul said, "There is one God and one mediator between God and man, the man Christ Jesus; Who gave Himself a ransom for all". (1 Tim. 2:5-6)
      The only way we can love our fellowman, is to be filled with the Holy Spirit, for the "love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost". (Rom. 5:5). Then we will really have something to live for, and share with our children and grandchildren!
      Jesus stated that upon these two commandments "hang all the Law and the Prophets". (Matt. 22:40) Love for God translates into the desire and capacity of loving one's neighbour!
       The Bible gives us the blueprint for revival in the church, good community relations, peace on earth and prosperity among men!
      If everyone really loved God with all our being, we would keep His commandments! We would automatically praise the Lord, preach His Word and love our fellowman!
       Then, spontaneous revival would break out in our churches and sinners would flock into God's house to receive His blessing! They would "see our good works and glorify our Father in Heaven". (Matt. 5:16)
      If we all loved our neighbour as ourselves we would be kind, loving, merciful, gracious and forgiving!
      We would not judge one another or be proud, envious, jealous, resentful or biased! Not only would we all be truthful and godly in our living but also caring, compassionate and helpful!
      There would be a drastic reduction in crime, lawlessness and delinquency as parents loved, nurtured and disciplined their children.
       THE OUTCOME - Police departments would be reduced in size and jails nearly empty. Murderers and criminals would stop killing, stealing and raping, bingo halls and VLT gambling arcades would shut down, bars and taverns would go out of business! 
         And pimps, perverts and prostitutes would be praising the lord at the old fashioned revival meeting!
       If a genuine revival of righteousness came to our land, the banks would be forced to lower "the exorbitant usury" they usually charge their customers and be content with decent profits. Price gouging would be eliminated and bankruptcies would be virtually non-existent!
     Families would grow together in love and harmony and divorce lawyers would have to find something else to do. Abortion Clinics would be turned into ‘Adoption Centres’ and money-hungry, medical doctors 'turned executioners of unborn fetuses' would return to the practice of saving lives!

       If we all loved God and our fellowman and embraced the teachings of the 'Good Shepherd' there would be a turning away from the deceptions of an ‘atheist science’ which promotes the fatally flawed evolutionary theory, dangerous occult practices of the New Age Movement and secular humanism!
      Anyone following the "Golden Rule" - do unto others as you would have them do unto you - would not rape, murder, steal, commit adultery, sexual perversion or lie!
      Automatically, 'born again' Christians seek the "high road of life" after an encounter with 'Jesus of Nazareth'. We become aware of the needs of others - spiritual, economical and physical - because of a changed life and a transforming spiritual experience!      
      The blessed Holy Spirit tenderizes our hearts with compassion for the needy, sick, suffering and unfortunate!
      ‘Loving God and our neighbours’ also has a therapeutic effect for those who follow Christ's teachings. By helping others, we get our minds off ourselves, thereby releasing any neurotic tendencies which may have developed in our lives!
      By pampering ourselves too much, we spoil ourselves and lose touch with the real issues of life! General William Booth - founder of the SALVATION ARMY. By God's grace and sheer faith, let us resolve to do the same. And we can do it!
       One day I received a telephone call inviting me to officiate at a funeral for a 59 year old truck driver who had passed away suddenly.
     The family had attended our church many years earlier but had moved away. They had recently returned to Edmonton, and then the father became the victim of a massive heart attack.
      I sought the Lord for an appropriate message. On my way to the Funeral Chapel God gave me the message I should deliver. It was called, ‘The Three Most Important Things in Life’. I knew I had the right message when I spoke with the family prior to the service.  His grown sons and daughters ranging in age from 25 to 35 were weeping unashamedly, as was their mother. I realized how much they loved their father and husband!


  1. A man’s relationship with his Maker.
  2. A man’s relationship with his family.
  3. A man’s relationship with his fellowman.
     First - When we are all dead and gone, the most important question will not be - “How much money did he have in the bank” or “How educated, influential or popular was she”? But, “Did he know Jesus? Was she born again?”
     Second – “What kind of relationship does a person have with his or her family? Did he love his loved ones, overlook their faults and forgive like Christ has forgiven us all? Were we kind, loving, understanding or mean-spirited, unkind and unforgiving toward one another?”
     Third – “How did we treat our neighbours, our fellowman? Were we honest, fair, understanding and forgiving or were we dishonest, unfair and mean-spirited?
      May God help us all to be the kind of Christians Jesus wants us to be! You may say, “How can I change? What must I do to become a loving caring person?”
      The Bible says, “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature (a brand new creation): old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” (2 Cor. 5:17)
      By receiving Jesus Christ as your personal Saviour your life will be transformed. He infuses us with His life, giving us His wisdom, knowledge and goodness! We become one with Him and His life becomes our life!
     St. Paul said, “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I have live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave Himself for me”. (Gal. 2:20)
     Jesus said: “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth My word, and believeth on Him that sent Me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come unto condemnation, but is passed from death unto life”. (John 5:24)
      Again St. John writes, “We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren...” (1 John 3:14)
      The Bible says: “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast”. (Eph. 2:8-9) 
      All that I am or ever hope to be, I owe to Jesus Christ Who came to rescue me from Satan, the World and Myself. To God be the glory forever!