Updated: May 18
Happy is the poor in spirit -- because theirs is the reign of the heavens (Matt 5:3 YLT).
Conclusion: Guard your heart, for your heart determines your well-being.
According to popular belief, the heart symbolizes love and compassion. It has long been used as a symbol to refer to the spiritual, emotional, moral, and in the past, the intellectual core of a human being. The heart symbol is an ideograph used to express the idea of the “heart” metaphorically or symbolically. Apart from its apparent association with compassion, love, and infatuation, the heart symbolizes much more. This includes the flow of creative energy that animates us.
What is your thought?
(2) Guard your heart
Why do you think it is essential to protect your heart?
Could you share your experience to explain your thoughts?
(3) How to protect your heart? Luke 11:34 - Your eye is the lamp of your body.
What do you value in life? What do you read, hear and watch? How do you practice?
PS 19:7-11 - The WORD is sweeter than honey.
Part 6: Be present, examining a moment of the life of Jesus. March 31, 2022
Could you share with us your typical mindset when you were preparing for a critical task? e.g., preparing for a job interview, a presentation for an important project, a surgery, or a trip.
Let us read a story of Jesus in Mark 5:21-43
Jesus Heals a Woman and Jairus's Daughter
21 And when Jesus had crossed again in the boat to the other side, a great crowd gathered about him, and he was beside the sea. 22 Then came one of the rulers of the synagogue, Jairus by name, and seeing him, he fell at his feet 23 and implored him earnestly, saying, "My little daughter is at the point of death. Come and lay your hands on her, so that she may be made well and live." 24 And he went with him.
And a great crowd followed him and thronged about him. 25 And there was a woman who had had a discharge of blood for twelve years, 26 and who had suffered much under many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was no better but rather grew worse. 27 She had heard the reports about Jesus and came up behind him in the crowd and touched his garment. 28 For she said, "If I touch even his garments, I will be made well." 29 And immediately the flow of blood dried up, and she felt in her body that she was healed of her disease. 30 And Jesus, perceiving in himself that power had gone out from him, immediately turned about in the crowd and said, "Who touched my garments?" 31 And his disciples said to him, "You see the crowd pressing around you, and yet you say, 'Who touched me?'" 32 And he looked around to see who had done it. 33 But the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came in fear and trembling and fell down before him and told him the whole truth. 34 And he said to her, "Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace, and be healed of your disease."
35 While he was still speaking, there came from the ruler's house some who said, "Your daughter is dead. Why trouble the Teacher any further?" 36 But overhearing[a] what they said, Jesus said to the ruler of the synagogue, "Do not fear, only believe." 37 And he allowed no one to follow him except Peter and James and John the brother of James. 38 They came to the house of the ruler of the synagogue, and Jesus[b] saw a commotion, people weeping and wailing loudly. 39 And when he had entered, he said to them, "Why are you making a commotion and weeping? The child is not dead but sleeping." 40 And they laughed at him. But he put them all outside and took the child's father and mother and those who were with him and went in where the child was. 41 Taking her by the hand he said to her, "Talitha cumi," which means, "Little girl, I say to you, arise." 42 And immediately the girl got up and began walking (for she was twelve years of age), and they were immediately overcome with amazement. 43 And he strictly charged them that no one should know this, and told them to give her something to eat.
We can learn many things from the story. However, I like us to focus on the mindset of Jesus, especially how He appeared to be always in the present.
Discussion (please support your answer by citing the text)
What was Jesus's initial mission?
What did happen when Jesus was on his way?
What was Jesus's mindset?
What would you have done if you were in Jesus' shoes (or in his situation)?
What are the reasons that Jesus was able to be present?
What can we learn from Jesus in the story?
What is some practice we can use in our lives?
Part 5: Living in a moment Mar 17, 2023
1. What are your thoughts about the quote? - Words/phrases to consider: Control; Enjoy, Let go, Live in the Moment
2. What does “Live in the moment” mean to you?
3. Why is it difficult for us to live in the moment?
4. What keeps us from living in the moment?
5. Why could it be harmful sometimes if not to live in the moment?
Matthew 6: 25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
6. What is the secret for us to live in the moment? - Words/phrases to consider: Worry, Sow/Reap, Store away in barns, Righteousness
Part 4: Building Positive relationships Mar 3, 2023
An 85-year Harvard study found the No. 1 thing that makes us happy in life is positive relationships. It helps us 'live longer.' Here is a quote from the study: “Contrary to what you might think, it’s not career achievement, money, exercise, or a healthy diet. The most consistent finding we’ve learned through 85 years of study is: Positive relationships keep us happier, and healthier, and help us live longer. Period."
1. What types of relationships do we typically have?
2. Could you share with us how you build a relationship, either at work, at home, or either a business relationship, friendship, or romantic relationship?
3. What is your secret to winning someone over?
4. The most excellent way to build a positive relationship: Love!
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no account of wrongs. Love takes no pleasure in evil, but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, and endures all things. Love never fails.
4. What does the scripture teach?
5. Why does following this teaching help build positive relationships?
6. Could you share an experience?
Part 3: Positive relationships Feb 14, 2023
An 85-year Harvard study found the No. 1 thing that makes us happy in life is positive relationships. It helps us 'live longer.' Here is a quote from the study: “Contrary to what you might think, it’s not career achievement, money, exercise, or a healthy diet. The most consistent finding we’ve learned through 85 years of study is: Positive relationships keep us happier, healthier, and help us live longer. Period." https://www.cnbc.com/2023/02/10/85-year-harvard-study-found-the-secret-to-a-long-happy-and-successful-life.html
1. What is your thought about the quote?
2. Could you share with us how you define a positive relationship?
3. Could you share a happy moment from a positive relationship?
Matthew 6:21 Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.
4. What does the scripture teach?
5. How do we know our priorities?
6. Could you share with us what your priorities are in life?
Part 2: Building blocks of a happy life.
Do you think the following are the critical factors of a happy life, and explain why? - feeling loved: How do we know we are loved? - having hope: What is hope? - feeling safe: How do you know you are safe? - feeling valued: How did you feel when you were the last person picked for the team, or worse yet, you did not make the team?
Romans 5:8 (NIV) 8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
What does it mean in real life? A happy life or a burdened life?
Ephesians 2:10（NIV） For we are God's handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
What does it mean we are God's handiwork?
Why has God prepared in advance for us to do good work?
Why are they related to a happy life?
Part 1: New Year's resolutions: why is changing so difficult?
Think about your life in the last week. Could you share a happy moment you had?
Could you explain what made you happy at that moment?
How do you describe or define happiness?
Would you want to have a happy life? What do you do about it, and why?
What are the obstacles for us to be happy?
Could you name one thing you do that can make you happy?
Why is it so hard for us to change?
Could you name one thing that keeps us from change?
What is the first step we should take?
blind, lame, or paralyzed