THE GOOD LIFE: PURSUING PLEASURE

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Message Recap | 07.27.2014

Speaker: Aaron Taylor, Lead Pastor

Have you ever experienced chasing something down? Maybe when the wind was stirred up and became more turbulent and it caught some papers you were carrying or even a hat you were wearing.  You tried and tried and each time the object got further and further away.  Well last week, in Part 1 of “The Good Life” we noted that Solomon had everything that could be classified as “The Good Life”.  Yet he describes it this way, “I have seen all the things that are done under the sun; all of them are meaningless, a chasing after the wind.” (Ecclesiastes 1:14 NIV)

Sometimes, the more we have, the more we want.  This too, is chasing after the wind.  Solomon begins his pursuit for meaning in life by pursuing pleasure.  We all have the desire to chase after what makes us feel happy.  We might seek after happiness in entertainment, in approval, or exercise. Then there are those who find themselves caught up in repetitive habits and addictions like alcohol, illegal drugs, prescription pills, partying, and indulgence in food and shopping.  These desires are a powerful force.  It’s like an itch that has to be scratched.  The seeking after sensual pleasure is the common man’s treadmill. It is this factor that keeps most people working too hard, living too fast, and dying too young. Our society is geared to providing for ourselves whatever feels good as a substitute for providing for ourselves, that which is good.  In other words, too much of a good thing is too much.

Scientists have looked at this kind of pleasure seeking.  Whether a person is seeking virtue or vice, the brain is triggered in the same way, (The Compass of Pleasure, by Dr. David Linden) Seeking one’s own happiness is not a sin; it is a given in human nature.  Pleasure in and of itself is not a bad thing.  Blaise Pascal even said, “All men seek happiness.”  There is pleasure at every hand, but we are to receive the pleasures God gives us, and not pursue pleasure as an end in itself.

Interested in learning more about this topic?  Listen to our podcast at http://painesvilleag.com/good-life for the complete message.

Friend, life with Jesus is better than anything else and we cannot truly enjoy everything else the way it was intended to be without knowing Jesus.  Knowing Jesus is the one place where we can find the most pleasure; everlasting and irreplaceable.  God knows that apart from Him, we can turn pleasures into unsatisfying pursuits that leave us without joy.  This week, take some time in prayer and seek the presence of God.  Call upon the name of Jesus.  Prayer is relational and in the midst of prayer, God just might reveal to you exactly what you’ve been craving.  God bless you!

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