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Religion


Psalm 1: Part 2


By Pastor Philip Howle
web posted January 30, 2013
RELIGION – Since we made it to the end of January, how are you doing with your New Years Resolution? Have you quit smoking, started exercising, reading the Bible and losing weight? My guess is some of you have already quit some of the resolutions you made not only a month ago. I am not going to hate on you. Last year, I resolved at the first of 2012 to lose some weight. I did awesome with my resolution. Last year I lost 60 pounds, but I currently weigh the same as I did at the start of 2012.

Let me explain, my wife will not buy me bigger pants. And if I split them because they don’t fit I have to sleep on the couch.  So I have good motivation. But three times last year I lost 20 pounds in around a month and then gained it back over the course of the next few months (see yo-yo dieting).

Why did I do this? Because I hate dieting and sin by not exercising self-control.  Feel free to remind me of this if you see me at Pizza Hut. So I reform for a few weeks, the whole time with my eye towards Krispy Kreme. My resolve is not enough to overcome my sheer delight in food, and so my pleasure in food wins and the structural integrity of my pants is tested yet again.

You see we are going to do whatever it is we delight in doing. It is that simple. We are made to seek joy, happiness, and pleasure. I believe God made us to seek pleasure, and when a man truly seeks pleasure he will only find it in God. Blaise Pascal writes that “All men seek happiness. This is without exception. Whatever different means they employ, they all tend to this end. The cause of some going to war, and others avoiding it, is the same desire in both attended with different views. The will never takes the least step but to this object. This is the motive of every action of every man, even to those who hang themselves.”

Sam Storms adds “Your choice isn’t whether to passionately seek pleasure. Trust me, you do. Your only option is where you’ll look or whom you’ll love or whose offer of pleasure you’ll accept. I hardly need remind you, or perhaps I do, that the world will do everything in its power and employ whatever means necessary and spare no expense to capture the allegiance of your heart. ( One Thing, 2004, p.17)
   
So where do you turn to find your delight? You know where you turn. For the person who turns to the bottle, in the words of Dr. Phil, how is that working out for you? For the person who turns to pornography, how is that helping your relationships? For the person who turns to shopping, how is the stress of the debt weighing down on you? For the person who turns to adultery for excitement, how painful is the broken home now? For the person who turns to food, how are the issues related to the over indulgence affecting you? For the person who turns to religion and church activity, how happy does the judgmentalism and condemnation of others make you?
   
You see, in Psalm 1:2 we read about a man whose delight is “in the law of the Lord.” This phrase does mean this dude loves reading Leviticus over and over, but this is a man who has learned that the path and plans of God for his life are best. The folly and reason behind all our sinful pursuits is that we believe that we can do a better job than God can in securing our happiness.  This never works our well for any man. Solomon, who had it all and was miserable, wrote Proverbs 14:12 “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death. “
   
Where is your delight today? What is the indulgence of your delights costing you?  I bet its price is far greater than you can pay. Why is Christ not your delight? Have you ever sought joy in Christ? If not, a good effort ought to be given. I can guarantee God will give you all the joy that you seek from Him.
  
We will look next week at the result of this delight in Jesus.
      
Pastor Phillip




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