Generous Life Devotional - Jan. 14, 2014

Day 10 – There are dangerous consequences in living only for pleasure

Ecclesiastes: 7:4

4 The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning,

but, the heart of fools is in the house of pleasure.

There are many pleasurable things in the world: whether it’s a trip to the beach, a great dinner, a comfortable bed, or just a hot shower. One of the ways we see the wonders of God’s creation is by seeing that God has truly blessed us with so many pleasing things in this world. But, pleasure, by itself, can never satisfy for long.

If we only pursue pleasure, what satisfaction will we have? Imagine the person who only eats cookies because cookies bring them the most pleasure. Will they be happy for long? Imagine a person who never attends to the needs of their spouse because they only pursue personal pleasures. Will they have a deep and enduring relationship? Imagine a person who neglects faith, love and righteousness to pursue a shortsighted life of passing excitement. Will they have joy in God?

This verse in Ecclesiastes 7:4 teaches that the heart of fools is in the house of pleasure. The reason this is so foolish is because to invest one’s life in pleasure will so obviously leave one wanting for more. It is only living a life that keeps our own pleasure in proportion to the whole of the Christian life will we find joy. A misunderstanding of how much pleasure really makes us happy is a big reason we don’t live generously. We don’t live generously because we fear that if we do we will be giving up what makes us truly happy. Once we realize that it is Christ in whom we find lasting joy, we realize that our soul’s eternal pleasure is tied to finding ways to please him. We realize that in fact, if we are not seeking to please God, we’re not really happy at all. You see we flee from a life of selfish pleasure because in the end it is poisonous to our soul. On the other hand, we flock to a life of generosity, because ultimately it is everlasting happiness.

Today’s Generosity Challenge:

How do you please God daily in order for you to know what makes you feel truly happy? What are the best ways you please God? How do you know? Write them down now. Though prayer, ask the Lord how can you focus on those activities in an ever-increasing way. Then, write out a plan in real tangible ways by journaling here at http://GenerousLife.net/Day10.

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