Praise God from whom all blessings flow…
It is right and good for the Christian to find delight in worshiping God. He is our source and strength. He is our joy and peace. He is worthy of praise.
It is saddening to me when I meet Christians who are just full of sour grapes. I wonder what their understanding of the gospel is. Now, I don’t mean that someone who is going through real tribulation has a sober spirit about them. I don’t think the Christian life has to be a big rally with cheers and hoot and hollers.
But I do think that the Christian who really has come to understand the goodness of God and has experienced his grace through the gospel has to have some sense of joy and satisfaction in God that is seen in their life.
As John Piper likes to say, “God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in him.” God is satisfying.
This lesson reminds us of these truths as we study the Psalms together. Let’s find our joy in Christ before we stand before anyone in any of our classes to encourage them to do the same.
Why do bad things happen?
Why do bad things happen to good people?
Why do good things happen to bad people?
These are some of the hardest questions we may face as Christians. As we walk through this life, suffering and hardships hit us at all sorts of times.
The great value of the book of Job is to give us a lens through which we can interpret the sufferings of life.
This lesson will not give you every answer about suffering, but it will remind us that in our sufferings, the most important help for us is God Himself.
What more could a man want when he had everything the world ever had to offer? Well, according to Solomon…just a little bit more.
I say that because of the deep discontent that he expressed in Ecclesiastes. Solomon tested out every conceivable means of satisfaction in life and all of them left him saying, “All is vanity.”
The question about the meaning of life points to the issue of worldview. How do you perceive the world around you and how does this perception answers the big questions of life?
What is real?
Where do we come from?
Why are we here?
What happens when we die?
Can I truly know anything at all?
What is the meaning of history?
With all of Solomon’s musings, he comes to the end of the book and finally gives us a word that should shape our worldview and give answer to our questions.
“Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.” Ecclesiastes 12:13
Let’s listen to Solomon this week as he helps us see that God must be at the very center of our understanding of this world and of our experience in it.
O, how the mighty have fallen.
While this is actually a quote from 2 Samuel 1, the phrase is used in our culture for the person who once had it all (or so they thought), yet now finds themselves in severe want.
This is a perfect picture of Solomon. The guy had everything he could have ever dreamed of, yet his idolatry ended all that. Solomon’s 700 wives (and 300 concubines) drew his heart away from the Lord. I would think that his heart was on its own way in that direction by the time he said, “I do” to at least number 6…20…150…or even 600. While his wives were not believers and urged him to walk into false worship, it seems like Solomon was already walking away from God as he sought to satisfy his own carnal desires.
This week we have the opportunity to help our people think about the nature of idolatry. Below, you will find a link to a great article by John Piper that makes us think through the difference between God-given desire and idolatry. Hard copies of this article will be in your Sunday School folder this week so you can distribute them to your class.
Discerning Idolatry in Desire by John Piper