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Thou That Art Given to Pleasure (Tuesday, January 3, 2017)

Isaiah 47:8 Therefore hear now this, thou that art given to pleasures, that dwellest carelessly, that sayest in thine heart, I am, and none else beside me; I shall not sit as a widow, neither shall I know the loss of children:

9 But these two things shall come to thee in a moment in one day, the loss of children, and widowhood: they shall come upon thee in their perfection for the multitude of thy sorceries, and for the great abundance of thine enchantments.

Introductory Thoughts

Many of those who find joy in pleasure are eventually overcome by seeking out further pleasures. Eventually, they find themselves carelessly given to the seeking of those pleasures. Though the warning given in Isaiah chapter 47 was directed to the “virgin daughter of Babylon” (Isaiah 47:1), the principle applies to everyone. A man given to pleasure often dwells carelessly until he is consumed with self. He lives as though life is a game, void of future trials, difficulties, and judgments. This is sometimes done because he does not truly give thought to future things. For others, it happens in order to avoid thinking about future things. Nevertheless, each decision is based upon how much happiness it brings, rather than how it affects others or his future. The reality is that pleasure cannot stop the outcomes that a person wishes to avoid.

Devotional Thoughts

  • (For children): Instead of helping others, the rich fool took care of himself and only focused upon how happy he was going to live. God reminded him of his real future (Luke 12:16-21).
  • (For everyone): To be given to something is to be under its control. How can the desire for pleasure eventually control an individual? How does this often lead to greater dangers?
  • Are you given to any particular pleasure? Does anything worldly control your money and consume your thoughts? Does it in any way hinder your ability to serve the Lord?

Prayer Thoughts

  • Ask the Lord to protect you from the control of pleasure.
  • Ask God to help your first desire to be to please Him.

SONG: TAKE TIME TO BE HOLY

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He That Loveth Pleasure (Monday, January 2, 2017)

Proverbs 21:17 He that loveth pleasure shall be a poor man: he that loveth wine and oil shall not be rich.

Introductory Thoughts

The Bible says that pleasure-seeking breeds poverty. The more men require amusement and seek pleasure, the more they are willing to carelessly spend to have both. Proverbs 21:17 says, “He that loveth pleasure shall be a poor man.” Proverbs 29:3 speaks of the desire for evil pleasure when it says, “he that keepeth company with harlots spendeth his substance.” The prodigal son, who left home with his inheritance, offers one of the most well-known cases. The Bible says of him that he “wasted his substance with riotous living” (Luke 15:13). All pleasure is not sinful, but all pleasure can become costly and sinful when not properly balanced with the right level of wisdom and discretion. There are other pleasures which are directly sinful and should be completely avoided.

Devotional Thoughts

• (For children): Good moms and dads will never allow their children all the pleasures they desire. Too much money spent on toys, candy, amusements, eating out, etc., may not leave enough for the actual needs: food, clothing, monthly bills, emergencies. Learn to control your desires for pleasures and be content when you are young.
• (For everyone): What does the Bible say about sin and pleasures in Hebrews 11:25? How long do the pleasures of sin last? What happens when pleasure runs out?
• What kind of things might be considered pleasure, but not necessarily sinful pleasure? How can those things, though not directly sinful, become sinful?

Prayer Thoughts


• Ask the Lord to guard you from the dangers of pleasure.
• Ask God for wisdom to know your heart toward pleasure.

SONG: I AM RESOLVED

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Church Day (Sunday, January 1, 2017)

Amusements or Worldly Pleasures—found sixty-nine times in sixty-eight verses

Variations: pleasure, pleasures

First usage: Genesis 18:12 (pleasure)

Last usage: Revelation 4:11 (pleasure)

Defined: As a noun, pleasure means the condition of enjoyment. This study focuses upon the things that bring enjoyment to one’s life.

Interesting fact: Mankind spends an ever increasing amount of time, money, and strength seeking pleasure, but the true “pleasures” are found at God the Father’s right hand (Psalm 16:11). By comparing scripture with scripture, we understand the true pleasures one should seek are found in the person of Jesus Christ (Acts 2:25, 33, 34).

Bible study tip: The Lord often compares the earthly to that which is heavenly. Sometimes the comparisons are found in rapid succession, but at other times the comparisons are found over a broader portion of scripture. First Corinthians chapter 15 offers an example of rapid succession comparisons, especially in verses forty-two through forty-four. This section contrasts the saint’s present earthly body to his future heavenly body. These distinctions are noted by the rotating phrases of “it is sown” and “it is raised.” Here are the contrasts: “It is sown” in corruption (1 Corinthians 15:42), “it is raised” in incorruption (1 Corinthians 15:42); “It is sown” in dishonour (1 Corinthians 15:43), “it is raised” in glory (1 Corinthians 15:43); “it is sown” in weakness (1 Corinthians 15:43), “it is raised” in power (1 Corinthians 15:43); “It is sown” a natural body (1 Corinthians 15:44), “it is raised” a spiritual body (1 Corinthians 15:44).

Sunday, Day 1—Church Day (no devotional)

Monday, Day 2—He That Loveth Pleasure

Tuesday, Day 3—Thou That Art Given to Pleasure

Wednesday, Day 4Church Night (no devotional)

Thursday, Day 5—Choked with Cares, Riches, and Pleasures

Friday, Day 6—Loving Pleasures More than God

Saturday, Day 7—A Servant to Pleasure

Day 1: Church Day

1 Chronicles 29:17 I know also, my God, that thou triest the heart, and hast pleasure in uprightness. As for me, in the uprightness of mine heart I have willingly offered all these things: and now have I seen with joy thy people, which are present here, to offer willingly unto thee.

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All Have Something to Offer (Friday, January 1, 2016)

Deuteronomy 32:7 Remember the days of old, consider the years of many generations: ask thy father, and he will shew thee; thy elders, and they will tell thee.

Introductory Thoughts

The strength of any people will be determined by how they deal with two people groups: their young and their old. If at any point, either of these two groups becomes viewed as simply burdensome, both will cease to effectively attain God’s intended desire for society. The aged members of society are most often its wisest. They have had successes and failures and learned from both (Deuteronomy 32:7). They have witnessed the Lord’s provision through difficult times (Psalm 37:25). God purposed for the aged to instruct the young in practical and spiritual matters (Titus 2:1-11). While the young should feed off of the wisdom of the aged, the elderly members of society can be nourished by the joy, strength, and life of younger people (Ruth 4:15).

 

Devotional Thoughts

• (For children): The Bible testifies of children helping their parents. David made sure his parents were safe when Saul chased him (1 Samuel 22:3-4). Joseph brought his father into Egypt where there was plenty of food (Genesis 45:16-18). Jesus made sure His mother was cared for after He returned to heaven (John 19:26-27).

• (For everyone): Would you be considered young or old? How could you best benefit those in your family, church, or community? Can you offer wisdom? Can you be a nourisher of someone’s old age?

• Around what people (young or aged) do you spend the bulk of your time and expend your energies? How could you benefit from fellowshipping with people who are both older and younger than yourself?

Prayer Thoughts

• Thank the Lord for the godly influences in your life.

• Ask the Lord to help you strengthen others.

 

SONG: BLEST BE THE TIE THAT BINDS

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Glory and Beauty (Thursday, December 31, 2015)

Proverbs 20:29 The glory of young men is their strength: and the beauty of old men is the gray head.

Introductory Thoughts

Each phase of life bears the marks of certain strengths and weaknesses. In youth, man has a great amount of zeal. In fact, the Bible points out that “the glory of young men is their strength.” A young man might have the fortitude, strength, and stamina to accomplish great things, but his limited knowledge hinders his ability to accomplish greatness. As time elapses, man learns from both failure and success. He obtains the knowledge and enjoys the wisdom that often eluded him during his youth. His glory no longer resides in his strength, but his beauty is now “the gray head.” The very thing that limited his ability to accomplish great things in youth is now a virtue he has achieved. The glory of his youth may have departed but there remains hope. He has the knowledge but lacks the strength he once possessed. Fortunately, he can invest his knowledge into those who still retain their youthful vitality.

Devotional Thoughts

• (For children): God calls grey hair a crown of glory for those who have trusted in Him (Proverbs 16:31). Even if they are confined to a bed or wheelchair, they can pray, praise God, and help others to know the Lord (Hebrews 13:15). Consider Anna (Luke 2:36-38).

• (For everyone): Who are the people you know with the greatest strength and zeal? Who are the people you know with the greatest amount of knowledge and wisdom? Are they one and the same?

• What would be the best way for young and old to use their strengths to best serve the Lord? How could they work together to accomplish more for the Lord than they could achieve separately?

Prayer Thoughts

• Ask the Lord to increase your wisdom and strength.

• Ask the Lord to help you serve Him to your fullest capacity.

 

SONG: HOW FIRM A FOUNDATION

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Church Night (Wednesday, December 30, 2015)

Ecclesiastes 12:1 Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them;2 While the sun, or the light, or the moon, or the stars, be not darkened, nor the clouds return after the rain:

3 In the day when the keepers of the house shall tremble, and the strong men shall bow themselves, and the grinders cease because they are few, and those that look out of the windows be darkened,

4 And the doors shall be shut in the streets, when the sound of the grinding is low, and he shall rise up at the voice of the bird, and all the daughters of musick shall be brought low;

5 Also when they shall be afraid of that which is high, and fears shall be in the way, and the almond tree shall flourish, and the grasshopper shall be a burden, and desire shall fail: because man goeth to his long home, and the mourners go about the streets:

6 Or ever the silver cord be loosed, or the golden bowl be broken, or the pitcher be broken at the fountain, or the wheel broken at the cistern.

7 Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.

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The Joy of Attendance (Saturday, January 3, 2015)

Psalm 122:1 I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the LORD.

Introductory Thoughts

David was a man after the heart of God (1 Samuel 13:14; Acts 13:22). He loved the Lord and it repeatedly showed in his life. Even on the occasions when he failed the Lord, he repentantly sought the Lord. In fact, one of the greatest manifestations of David’s love for the Lord manifested itself in his love for the house of God. In our passage, David spoke of the overwhelming gladness he had when contemplating a trip to God’s house. He received great joy in knowing that it was there that he could meet and fellowship with God whom he so deeply loved. As born-again believers, we have many reasons why we should long to meet with the saints of God in worship. We too should rejoice when others say, “Let us go unto the house of the LORD.”

Devotional Thoughts

  •  (For children):Read Psalm 84:2, 4. David loved to go to God’s house. The things he learned there helped him to have joy in his life every day. Are you regularly happy about going to church?
  •  (For everyone):Do you feel as though you “have to go” to church or that you “get to go” to church? Is church attendance a burden or a joy? Do you find gladness in knowing you get to meet with the Lord?
  •  What are some reasons David could find joy in going to the house of the Lord? What are some reasons we should find joy and gladness in attending church?

Prayer Thoughts

  •  Ask God to give you a longing for His house.
  •  Ask the Lord to help you have the right spirit when attending the place of worship.

 

SONG: TBD

 

Quotes from the next volume

(VOLUME 3, WEEK 1)

Subject: Aging

The strength of any people will be determined by how they deal with two people groups: their young and their old.

From youth, man is bent toward sin. As he ages, the source of temptation may change, but the fact that he is tempted remains constant.

Many believers have wasted precious years of youth succumbing to the youthful lusts of which Paul warned Timothy, while others have fought the good fight in their youth, only to regretfully compromise in their waning years.

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Behaviour In the House of God (Friday, January 2, 2015)

1 Timothy 3:15 But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.

Introductory Thoughts

The word church is frequently and almost exclusively used to refer to the building where the saints meet. A careful study of the scripture reveals that the church actually consists of the people. However, this passage also teaches that there is a proper behaviour when and where the saints assemble. It is a holy time meant to be accompanied by sobriety. In fact, believers are instructed that everything is to be done “decently and in order” (1 Corinthians 14:40). As we approach the time of preaching or instruction, we should be ready to hear and slow to speak (Ecclesiastes 5:1-3). During the invitation, as the Lord moves in our hearts to repent and do right, we should pay [keep] what we vow [promise] (Ecclesiastes 5:4-7). Always keep in mind that the house of God is the pillar and ground of the truth and we should treat it as such.

 

Devotional Thoughts

  •  (For children): Samuel was not in a church service when he said, “Speak; for thy servant heareth”; yet it would be good for us to respond to God in that fashion when we meet with God’s people. Samuel listened to God and was able to tell Eli what God said. Can you tell dad or mom something that you remember about the pastor’s message?
  •  (For everyone): How do you behave when you go to the house of God? Do you take the gathering of saints as a holy time or as a time to see what people are wearing or as a time to laugh and only have fun?
  •  What are some ways we can show respect when we gather together with other believers at the place of worship? How can our behaviour affect the world’s opinion of the house of God?

Prayer Thoughts

  •  Ask the Lord to teach you how to behave when you gather with other believers.
  •  Ask God to give you a sobriety concerning His work and worship.

 

SONG:TBD

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Missed Blessings (Thursday, January 1, 2015)

John 20:24But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came.

Introductory Thoughts

Nothing testifies more to the regrets of missed blessings than Thomas’s absence when the risen Saviour met with the disciples. Of all the times to forsake a meeting of believers, Thomas will be known for missing this meeting until the Lord comes. The Bible does not disclose why he was not with the other believers, but we do know what special event he missed – the presence of the risen Lord. Although the Lord Jesus will not visibly or physically show up in our church services, missing a service could cause us to miss His presence in a very special way. For instance, a lost sinner could get saved, or a brother or sister who had wandered from the Lord could find repentance. Maybe something for which you have faithfully prayed was to be answered during the service. Regardless of what might take place, missing the service will mean missing wonderful blessings, some of which can never be recovered. The one service you take for granted could be the very one that God meant to be most special for you.

Devotional Thoughts

  •  (For children): David greatly desired to be in God’s house (Psalm 27:4). He loved to think about God and get his questions answered. He longed to learn God’s word (Psalm 27:11a). When God gives the pastor a special message for us, we need to be present to hear it.
  •  (For everyone): What could happen if you invited someone to visit church and then did not show up on the day that he or she visited? How would you feel if a friend got saved and you were not there to encourage him or her?
  •  Some things in life cannot be undone. Thomas could not go back and change the fact that he was missing when the Lord showed up. What blessings are you willing to miss simply because of a lack of faithful church attendance?

Prayer Thoughts

  •  Ask God to show you the importance of attending each service.
  •  Ask the Lord to remind you of blessings you would have missed.

 

SONG:TBD

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