In studying Mark 12:1-12 and the Parable of the Vineyard (some might also call it the Parable of the Tenants) I did what I normally do when studying a particular passage and read what Spurgeon preached. On March 6, 1887 C.H. Spurgeon preached a message from Mark 12 entitled The Pleading of the Last Messenger. The encouragement I received in reading that sermon compels me to share an excerpt here.
Do not refuse Him [Jesus]! If you reject Him, He answers you with tears. If you wound Him, He bleeds out cleansing. if you kill Him, He dies to redeem. If you bury Him, He rises again to bring us resurrection. Jesus is Love made manifest.
He does not urge us to anything which will be for our loss and detriment—obedience to Him is happiness for ourselves. He does not urge us to follow a life of misery, nor to begin a course which will end in our destruction. Far from it! The ways in which He would have us run are ways of pleasantness. And all the paths in which He would lead us are paths of peace. Even repentance is charming sorrow, far more sweet than the joy of sin. They that repent and turn to God through Jesus Christ find such joy, such happiness, that earth becomes to them the vestibule of Heaven! The joy-bells ring within the Father’s house when a soul returns to its home! The great Father leads the joy and all the household rejoice with Him! To persuade you to be holy is to induce you to be happy! To urge you to seek God is to urge you to seek your own best welfare! To urge you to lay down the weapons of rebellion and be reconciled to the Most High is to set before you the wisest, safest and best course that you can follow. Therefore, hear Him! The Lord God out of Heaven cries to you—“This is My beloved Son; hear Him!” Well may you hear Him, when every word that He speaks intends your salvation!
Happiness and holiness are not mutually exclusive. Just the opposite is true. One’s happiness directly corresponds to one’s holiness. Stated another way, right obedience – being conformed to Christ alone – equals genuine happiness – enjoying this life and the one to come.