< What I Learned Teaching Sunday School: Good to Great in God’s Eyes - Enjoying Great Moments

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Good to Great in God’s Eyes - Enjoying Great Moments

I’ve shared 2 other lessons I taught from Chip Ingram’s book Good to Great in God’s Eyes: here and here . This is a third lesson from the chapter Enjoying Great Moments.

CS Lewis wrote, “Joy is the serious business of heaven.” And Chip Ingram says moving from good to great requires the ability to enjoy great moments.

But a lot of us think we need to take life SO seriously. That it’s somehow bad to have fun. That’s not true - we just need balance. We need to be serious of course about some things, but stop and have fun too.

Have you ever asked yourself, “Am I enjoying my life?” or “Am I really satisfied?” If someone asked a friend of yours if they thought you enjoyed life – what do you think that friend would say?

Chip says if you say you are enjoying your life, than you are unusual. That most people wait to enjoy life when their to-do list is done, or after they get a job, or after they retire, etc. It’s always right around the corner.

I have 2 friends who are both cancer survivors. One never flew until she got cancer because she was afraid to. But some medicine they gave her when she was going through chemo made her feel calm and she had to fly for some reason while on it. She felt calm on the flight, decided she didn’t mind flying and now she’s never home – in the past 2 years she’s probably made 50 trips – from Israel to Costa Rica to California.

The other friend has had cancer since she was 14 – she’s now 53. They are treating it as a chronic disease. But you’d never know it to see her – she is always in the middle of all the fun! Both friends live life large.

It shouldn’t take cancer or a near death experience for us to do that too. Especially Christians who have God and heaven on our side!

GREAT Christians do enjoy life.

The Bible is all about the balance Chip mentions. Yes, we are warned we will go through difficult seasons and will have trials. We all have serious responsibilities. But as Christians, our foundation is a deep lasting joy. Without it we can’t say we’re being conformed to the image of Christ.

Ecclesiastes 3:1,4 1 There is a time for everything,and a season for every activity under heaven: 4 a time to weep and a time to laugh,a time to mourn and a time to dance

That was written by Solomon, the wisest person in the world. And:

Ecclesiastes 3: 11-13 11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end. 12 I know that there is nothing better for men than to be happy and do good while they live. 13 That everyone may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all his toil—this is the gift of God.

Being happy and finding satisfaction are gifts from God. The New Testament is full of reasons and reminders to rejoice. In the midst of a fallen world filled with pain and disappointment we can rejoice in our salvation, in the knowledge that Jesus is coming back and where we will be spending eternity. Everything else is icing on the cake.

Think for a minute how many people don’t know that and how lucky you are that you do! Now – doesn’t that bring you joy? You are one of the lucky ones! The blessed ones! This is better than winning the lottery!

Solomon went on to write Ecclesiastes 5:19-20 19 Moreover, when God gives any man wealth and possessions, and enables him to enjoy them, to accept his lot and be happy in his work—this is a gift of God. 20 He seldom reflects on the days of his life, because God keeps him occupied with gladness of heart.

We can be content from simply being alive; knowing God loves us and seeing the opportunities He’s placed before us. We don’t need to look back in regret or forward in anxiety.

Instead of chasing after things we think we are “supposed” to be doing – we should just enjoy the life God has given us. But again, balance. Chip says Great Christians are focused and disciplined, make great sacrifices and take great risks. They get a lot done, but are still fun to be around.

We don’t need permission to start enjoying life. God wants us to enjoy it. Life is a gift from Him to us.

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