TODAY'S WORD FOR Wednesday, June 24, 2020:
A feeling of enjoyment or delight; a satisfaction derived from something that is to one’s liking; a cause or source of gratification; one's will or desire.
Therefore, we also pray always for you that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfill all the good pleasure of His goodness and the work of faith with power.
II Thessalonians 1:11.
There will be terrible times in the last days, people will be lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God.
II Timothy 3:1-4.
Do not fear, little flock, for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom.
KNOWLEDGE AND EXPERIENCE:
We are spending ever-increasing amounts of money each year on pleasure. Statistics tell us that Americans give $35 billion each year to churches and church related missions. But they also spend $150 billion on pleasure. That is over 4 times more spent on worldly pleasure than income given to churches and ministries.
There is nothing evil or wrong with wholesome relaxation and recreation, but there is something wrong when the pursuit of pleasure becomes a major obsession to a person or a family. It is so easy to get caught up in a whirlwind of pleasurable activity that lasts a short time and forget that heaven will be a place for "pleasures forevermore."
Personally, we enjoy the times we set aside for wholesome pleasure. Sometimes we are with family and other times we are alone just with the two of us. These are always important times in our lives because it gives us time to relax, regroup, and get to know family and each other better. This is valuable time well spent but we must also keep our priorities right. There is a time for work and a time for pleasure.
There is pleasure to be found in meeting new people, seeing new sites and going to new places. There is pleasure in doing what is to one’s liking. Some people find pleasure in playing golf. For others playing golf is frustrating. Whatever we find pleasure in it must not interfere with our relationship with God. We must not become lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God (II Timothy 3:4).
We are reminded of the account recorded in the book of Nehemiah of the building of the wall around the city of Jerusalem. Nehemiah was a common man but he led a comfortable and secure life. He was the cupbearer to the king of Persia. He was in the position where he had opportunity to take advantage of all the pleasures of the world, but that was not his desire. He was a man of God who wanted to be used by God. When he heard from others who had been to Jerusalem, that the wall and gates of the city had been broken, it distressed and saddened him.
Nehemiah was a man of action and vision and when he saw a need he took the responsibility to do something about it. The first thing he did was to go to the Lord in prayer. Then he went to the king and asked for permission to go to Jerusalem so that he could rebuild the walls. With the king's approval and help he went to Jerusalem. He organized the people and assigned them specific sections of the wall and completed the project in just 52 days.
Nehemiah is known as a man of prayer. Eleven times in the book of Nehemiah, we find Nehemiah praying for direction and guidance. His pleasure was doing the will of God. Nehemiah was a man that was willing to sacrifice and give up his easy life style and forego the pleasures of life to do the pleasures of the Lord.
Nehemiah was also a man that lived his life according to the "Law of Moses.” In Nehemiah 8:8, he informs us that he read and explained the book of the Law of God to the people. Nehemiah did God's work and did it God's way. He was a master builder that clearly followed the plan of "THE MASTER BUILDER."
Later in Nehemiah 8:9-10 it is written that Nehemiah was governor and Ezra was the priest and scribe of that day. After the people had the scriptures read to them and explained by Ezra they were told to go eat, give portions to those that had nothing prepared and then have pleasure by rejoicing in the Lord. They had reason to celebrate. They had not only completed the hard work of rebuilding the wall, but they now understood the words from the “Law of Moses” that were declared unto them.
We will find that when we communicate with God by reading His Word and praying then we will experience the pleasure in rejoicing in what the Lord is doing through our lives.
Our memory verse for this week is found in I John 1:9.
If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.
Thank You Lord for all that You have given me that enables me to enjoy the pleasures of this life, but help me to realize that lasting and true pleasure is found in serving You as my Lord.
These Family Devotional thoughts are written by Dr. Ken Phillips, Executive Director of America's Hunger
Solution, and his wife Dottie. Ken has had ministry positions
with The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, World Vision, Youth For Christ, World Opportunities International,
and World Bible Society. He also has consulted for more than 30 Christian ministries in management and stewardship
development. They have published a book called No Problems Only Situations that discusses the journey of their family.
Ken and Dottie have been married for 60 years, and have 6 children, 20 grandchildren, and 3 great grandchildren. Their
second book, TODAY'S WORD, includes 365 daily
devotionals and is now available for only $10.
Ken & Dottie Phillips
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