Preparing for Next Week’s Message
This reading plan will get your heart and mind set for the next message on July 3, 2016:
- SUNDAY: James 1,
- MONDAY: James 2,
- TUESDAY: James 3,
- WEDNESDAY: James 4,
- THURSDAY: James 5,
- FRIDAY: Ephesians 6, Matthew 4,
- SATURDAY: 2 Corinthians 10, Luke 4,
Reflecting on the Most Recent Sermon
Sermon Series: Real Faith Sermon Title: Pure Pleasure: Enjoying the Earth without Loving the World
Delivered On: June 26, 2016
I commend the enjoyment of life... ([bible]Ecclesiastes 8:15[/bible])
Thank God for the many ways he has blessed you through the years. Ask God to help you notice and enjoy the good gifts He has placed in your life. Pray for God to use you to bring joy and blessing to other people. Ask the Holy Spirit to give you self-control to keep good gifts from becoming destructive in your life.
Take a look at your life. Is pleasure a positive force for good, or has it been a destructive temptation? Have you ever considered that pure pleasure can be a true friend rather than a cunning enemy? Reflect on what it means that God made us so capable of experiencing so many distinct and powerful pleasures, and consider what that tells us about the God who created us. Ask God to help you begin using pleasure as a powerful force for spiritual, relational, and physical well-being in your life.
Small Group Discussion
Why do you think some Christians often feel guilty when experiencing pleasure? Do you think this is a biblical response? Why or why not?
Discuss the dangers of “spiritual thirst”—why is it unwise to push ourselves too far? What are the dangers of never accepting our God-given need for pure pleasure? What usually happens when we try to live as if pleasure is something to be avoided at all costs?
Read: John 15:15 and Romans 8:31 Would you say you have an antagonistic view of God—as if he is always displeased with you and angry at you and wants you to suffer—or a view of a loving Father who wants your best? How did this view (positive or negative) develop?
Read: Psalm 35:27 and 2 Samuel 22:20 Discuss some of the ways that David got into “trouble.” How do you think he was still able to testify that God delighted in Him? Do you think God delights in you or merely tolerates you? Why do you think it might matter for a believer to have an assurance that God delights in us, even with our sinful pasts?
Discuss the following quote from Dr. J.I. Packer: “Contempt for pleasure, so far from arguing superior spirituality, is actually…the sin of pride. Pleasure is divinely designed to raise our sense of God’s goodness, deepen our gratitude to him, and strengthen our hope of richer pleasures to come in the next world.”
Discuss the positive role of pure pleasure in how it can help us fight temptations toward illicit pleasures.
Discuss how embracing pure pleasure can serve us in our marriage and family life.