"Nehemiah said, 'Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is holy to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the Joy of the LORD is your strength.” - Nehemiah 8:20 NIV
Thoughts for Today
What about fun? Is it okay for Christians to have fun? How much fun? What kind of fun? God wants us to enjoy ourselves. But pleasure can be serious business. In today's scripture, an assembly of Israelites is instructed to enjoy themselves. They had just listened to a reading of the sacred Scriptures and were crying and mourning over how poorly they had been paying attention to God's Word regarding how to live purposefully and reverently. It is interesting to see how preceding and following a time of pleasure were periods of studying the "Book of the Law" (See Nehemiah 8:1-2, 13).
After hearing the reading of Scriptures, the Israelites were told to have a feast, to celebrate. They were celebrating with the joy of the Lord.
To pursue pleasure sensibly, we need to include God. We need to be grounded in God's life instructions.
Consider this …
How do we include God? By finding joy in His love for us and our walk with him. By asking him to help us find balance in our lives. By finding ways to have fun that don't lead to disobedience to the Scriptures. By always putting him first in our lives.
When we leave God out, we tend to revert to our sin nature. Our priorities get out of balance. Pursuing pleasure can become more important than anything else. We tend to revert to our sin nature and may even pursue evil desires leading to addictive and destructive behaviors.
Father, I thank you that you want me to enjoy times of fun and celebration. But help me always to put you first. To find balance. To include you in every area of my life. In Jesus' name …
These thoughts were drawn from …Where is the Image of God in You? by Brad Rymer. The purpose of this study is for us to see how some of the different character traits we have can be used in constructive rather than destructive ways in our lives and relationships so that we are operating more and more in the image of God according to the way He created us. Also, this study can help us better understand others as we build godly relationships. Note: This curriculum was written especially for small groups, and we encourage people to use it that way. However, it can also be used effectively as a personal study for individuals or couples.
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