Daily Devotion

The Pursuit of Pleasure

You will show me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy; at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.
The Bible tells us that one of the signs of the last days would be that people are lovers of pleasure rather lovers of God (see 2 Timothy 3:1–3). That is an accurate assessment of our culture today. We are a pleasure-mad society.
Yet the Bible does not tell us that pleasure is necessarily wrong. In fact, God promises a pleasure that comes from knowing Him and walking in His presence. The psalmist said, "You will show me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy; at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore." (Psalm 16:11).
The problem is when pleasure is the driving force in our lives. The Bible says, "She who lives in pleasure is dead while she lives" (1 Timothy 5:6). Peter describes those who revel in their pleasures as blots and blemishes (see 2 Peter 2:13).
The pursuit of pleasure rarely brings what we are searching for. Rather, it brings emptiness. One only has to read the writings of Solomon to recognize this. Here was a man who basically went on a pursuit of every pleasure his heart desired. He said, "Come now, I will test you with mirth; therefore enjoy pleasure" (Ecclesiastes 2:1). But he concluded, "Surely, this also was vanity. I said of laughter—'Madness!'; and of mirth, 'What does it accomplish?' " (verses 1–2).
Jesus told us how to deal with this selfish pursuit: "If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me" (Luke 9:23). Jesus didn't say we are to love or esteem ourselves; Jesus said we are to deny ourselves. We are to take up the cross daily and follow Him.

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Psalm 125; Matthew 26-27

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