Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – January 9, 2016
He who loves pleasure will become poor; whoever loves wine and oil will never be rich. Proverbs 21:17
The pursuit of pleasure leads to poverty. The logical conclusion of pleasure, void of eternal influence, is a man or woman poorly principled, poor with people, poor in soul and a poor manager of God’s provision. Pleasure, without a greater purpose, produces a lame life. However, earthly enjoyments, wed within God’s will, open up the windows of heaven. “And he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ…” (Ephesians 1:9). His pleasure is good.
Pleasure in and of itself is not evil, but when it becomes competition with our devotion to Christ it is down right dangerous. Paul said in the last days we will live with this tension. “But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— having a form of godliness but denying its power” (2 Timothy 3:1-5).
The Lord is not suggesting a ‘both/and’ proposition to loving Him and pleasure, but rather an ‘either/or’. We choose to love Christ or amuse ourselves to death. Luxurious living without the Lord is vain and unfulfilling. When you make pleasure subservient to serving your Savior, you will find fulfillment and peace. Thus retreat to the beach or mountains to find pleasure in God’s creation, while enjoying Him and those you love. Enjoyment of life on earth is an outcome of obedience to eternal expectations in heaven.
Lastly, find pleasure where your Heavenly Father finds pleasure. “His pleasure is not in the strength of the horse, nor his delight in the legs of a man; the LORD delights in those who fear him, who put their hope in his unfailing love” (Psalm 147:10-11). His pleasure is for us to do His good pleasure, which is humble trust and submission to Him (Matthew 11:25-27). Therefore, take pleasure in Him.
Prayer: How can I pursue the Lord’s pleasures?
Related Readings: Proverbs 10:23; Ephesians 1:5; 1 Timothy 5:6; Hebrews 11:25
Post/Tweet today: Enjoyment of life on earth is an outcome of obedience to eternal expectations in heaven. #pursuitofpleasure #wisdomhunters
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© 2016 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.
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