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God Commands Us to Enjoy Life!

The quotes below reinforce the point of last Sunday’s message from Ecclesiastes 11:7-12:8 – “God commands us to enjoy life in this world, while we can, in a way that pleases Him.”

     “For it is precisely in enjoying the world God has made that we show we have grasped the goodness of the God we say we love. Failure to enjoy is an offense, not merely an oversight. When the child does not enjoy the gift the parent has lavished on him, it is an affront to the parent’s love as much as the child’s deliberately breaking the toy. No parent is glad that Buzz Lightyear sits pristinely in the box rather than being lovingly bashed and bumped in daily adventures. Real relationship involves seeing another person take pleasure in gifts given; delight is what we ask of others as we freely give to them.

     “Although the analogy is not identical, God is like this too. It is striking that in Deuteronomy 28:47 Moses tells the people of Israel that the curses of the covenant will befall them, because you did not serve the Lord your God with joyfulness and gladness of heart, because of the abundance of all things. Christian living collapses when it is not delighted with the bounty God gives.” – David Gibson

Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment (1 Timothy 6:17). – The Apostle Paul


Family Discipleship Seminar for Parents – Begins January 7

I want to invite parents of children and youth (and couples who plan to have children) to join the Younger Couples’ Sunday School class that I teach for a Family Discipleship Seminar, January 7 – February 25 (eight weeks). Mike Sterlachini will be leading this seminar during the Sunday School hour in the Fellowship Hall. He will be sharing how and why the church can partner with parents in discipling the next genera- on. He will address concerns parents have about discipling their children, and share ways to overcome them. Mike will also review some of the methods and resources available to parents to help them effectively disciple their children/youth. Participants will have an opportunity to provide input on how our church can better equip parents to disciple their children, and how we can develop a dynamic family ministry here at PFBC.

I encourage all parents of children and youth (and future parents) to attend this class. You can sign up in the vestibule beginning this Sunday. Parents, please invite your friends from outside our church who have children or youth to come with you. I think this seminar will be a great help to all Christian parents who care about their children’s spiritual well-being.


Where Is God When Things Go Wrong?

In last Sunday’s sermon from Psalm 139, we learned that God shapes each of us into the person He wants us to be (vv.13 & 15) in order to carry out the purpose He has planned for our lives (v.16). Most Christians do not question such teaching when life is going well. But when life is hard, questions often arise about God’s goodness or fairness. John Blanchard addresses such questions in his booklet, Where Is God When Things Go Wrong? One of the most helpful answers to that question is a quote from Joni Erickson Tada. In 1967, at age 17, Joni became a quadriplegic as a result of a diving accident. She has spent the past 50 years in active Christian ministry, speaking all over the world and writing many books and articles – from a wheelchair and without the use of her hands. I think she is well-qualified to respond to questions about why God allows suffering and hardship in people’s lives:

“My accident was not a punishment for my wrongdoing – whether or not I deserved it. Only God knows why I was paralyzed. . . . If I were still on my feet, it’s hard to say how things might have gone. I probably would have drifted through life . . . dissatisfied and disillusioned. . . . I’m really thankful he did something to get my attention and change me.

“Today, as I look back, I am convinced that the whole ordeal of my paralysis was inspired by God’s love. I wasn’t the brunt of some cruel divine joke. God had reasons behind my suffering, and learning some of them has made all the difference in the world.

“When we learn to lean back on God’s sovereignty, fixing and setting our thoughts on that unshakable, unmovable reality, we can experience great inner peace. Our troubles may not change. Our pain may not diminish. Our loss may not be restored. Our problems may not fade with the new dawn. But the power of those things to harm us is broken as we rest in the fact that God is in control.”