The Pursuit of Pleasure

I said to myself, “Have fun and enjoy yourself!” But this didn’t make sense. Laughing and having fun is crazy. What good does it do? I wanted to find out what was best for us during the short time we have on this earth. So I decided to make myself happy with wine and find out what it means to be foolish, without really being foolish myself. I also tried to find meaning by building huge homes for myself and by planting beautiful vineyards.   I made gardens and parks, filling them with all kinds of fruit trees. I built reservoirs to collect the water to irrigate my many flourishing groves. I owned slaves, and their sons and daughters became my slaves. I had more sheep and goats than anyone who had ever lived in Jerusalem. Foreign rulers brought me silver, gold, and precious treasures. Men and women sang for me, and I had many wives who gave me great pleasure. I was the most famous person who had ever lived in Jerusalem, and I was very wise. I got whatever I wanted and did whatever made me happy. But most of all, I enjoyed my work. As I looked at everything I had worked so hard to accomplish, I realized it was all so meaningless—like chasing the wind. There was nothing really worthwhile that I had done.

-Ecclesiastes 2:1-11

1.  I must learn to keep pleasure in a  in my life because its appetite is unending.

I decided there is nothing better than to enjoy food and drink and to find satisfaction in work. Then I realized that these pleasures are from the hand of God. For who can eat or enjoy anything apart from him?

-Ecclesiastes 2:24-25

I have come so that you may have life and live life to the fullest.

-John 10:10

2. I must escape living in the land of “ ”.

“No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and be enslaved to money.   “That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing? Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are?   Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? “And why worry about your clothing?  Look at the lilies of the field and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith? “So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’   These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs.  Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.

-Matthew 6:24-33

LIFE APPLICATION

To discuss during the week with your family or Life Group

  1. In what way(s) have you gotten caught up in the pursuit of pleasure in the past? What did you learn from it?
  2. Of today’s 2 main points which one do you struggle with the most? What can you do about that?
  3. Re-read Jesus words from Matthew 6:24-33. What jumps out at you?
    How is God asking you to change your thinking or lifestyle?
  4. What is your next step as a result of this message?