Have you ever felt like your heart desires God, but then you struggle being satisfied in Him like you think you should? I often find myself on a rollercoaster of feelings because I “feel” like my desire is not good enough or I “feel” like there is something deeper I am missing. I came across this episode of the “Ask Pastor John” podcast and found it very deep, but encouraging. Hope you enjoy!
I Want Jesus to Be My Treasure — Is the Wanting Enough?
By John Piper. © Desiring God Foundation. Source: desiringGod.org
Dear Children’s Ministry Volunteers,
I just wanted to take a few minutes of your time and thank you for your service and dedication to our Children’s Ministry Programs at PFBC. Whether you serve in the Nursery, Sunday School, Children’s Church, or AWANA, I want you to know that your work is noticed and greatly appreciated! I mean that. Your work is hugely important to the mission and vision of our church.
Think about it. Our mission and vision is “to be a strong church that makes disciples for the glory of God.” As you serve our children, you are an active worker in this mission and vision. Indeed, you are helping us make new and better disciples as you showcase the Gospel (and all the implications of the Gospel) to our young people week after week. Thus, because of your work with our kids, we are moving forward as a strong church to the glory of God.
I know that volunteering is hard; and I know that our Children’s Ministry Programs provide unique challenges to you as it often tests your patience and endurance. But please keep on keeping on. Your work in this harvest field is vitally important! Who knows… maybe that young person who is trying your patience today might turn out to be a mother, a father, a business leader, a politician, or a pastor one day?
I remember back to one of my Sunday School teachers when I was a little boy. Her name was Gloria Landon. She was such a sweet lady who was small in stature, but mighty in service. She taught Sunday School for years. I was one of her students and I definitely tried her patience in class as I was a know-it-all who frequently blurted out the answers to questions before raising my hand. She really had to put up with a lot! But she kept at it as she taught, served, and corrected my well-intentioned, but annoying little habits. In fact, she was such an encourager as well. She was one of the first people to tell me: “David, you pray like a preacher. You should be a preacher when you grow up.” How grateful I am for Mrs. Landon and her service and dedication to her Sunday School class filled with little, annoying kids just like me.
So, there you have it. Just a quick note to tell you that your ministry among our students matters. It matters to God. It matters to the parents of those children. It matters to our church as a whole. It just plain matters. Thank you for serving and staying committed to your volunteer role, even when the going gets tough. I am truly grateful to each of you who serves so faithfully.
Serving With You,
This Sunday, we’ll be back in our mini-series through the Sermon on the Mount and we’ll be tackling the very complicated, somewhat unclear, and always painful topic of divorce. Indeed, the statistics of divorce in America are startling and alarming with nearly 50% of all marriages ending in divorce. But what does Jesus have to say on this issue of divorce? Is it allowed for any reason or only certain reasons? Is it our go-to option or our last resort option? Well, as we’ll discover this Sunday, when it comes to the issue of divorce, Jesus aims at our hearts in marriage instead of trying to establish laws and loopholes for our marriage. So, the key question to ponder as we approach Sunday’s topic is simply this: Where is your heart in regards to marriage and is it geared towards reconciliation or loopholes? To prepare you for this very difficult and uncomfortable topic, watch the video below and be reminded of God’s grand vision for your marriage…
Almost every morning before I leave for work, my wife does three things to me: 1) She gives me a kiss, 2) She affirms her love for me, and 3) She usually says (with much enthusiasm), “Have fun!” I love the first two items, but the third item usually makes me roll my eyes or gently huff under my breath. Why? Because my wife knows how I feel about that statement. She knows that I firmly believe that having fun is not one of the major priorities in life. Indeed, sometimes you just have to do what you have to do regardless of the fun factor. She believes these things as well, but because she truly loves me, she tries to get under my skin by repeating this statement to me almost every morning. Ironically enough, she is having fun by telling me to “have fun!”
But in all seriousness, it’s not always about having fun. And please hear me, I’m not anti-fun. I love to have fun and enjoy life, but sometimes life isn’t so fun. Sometimes tasks are not that enjoyable. Sometimes things in life are just plain ho-hum and boring. Can I get a witness? So, what are better movers and shakers in terms of motivation besides having fun?
- When you can’t have fun, stay committed. Marriage isn’t always fun. Stay committed. Remind yourself that your commitment to your marriage isn’t contingent upon your feelings of fun, but the promise you made long ago. Work isn’t always fun. Stay committed. Remind yourself that the challenges of work aren’t given to you by God for your entertainment, but for your growth and development. Church isn’t always fun. Stay committed. Remind yourself that churches are filled with imperfect, broken people (just like you), but God will use such people in your life despite their flaws. Yes, when you can’t have fun in these spheres of life, stay committed and, take heart, as you stay committed, your feelings will eventually follow and you’ll have moments of fun again.
- When you can’t have fun, be grateful. There is tendency for us to become dissatisfied and greedy when we are bored with life. That is to say, we become dissatisfied with what we have and become hungry for something more. When you find yourself not having fun, remind yourself that you do not deserve all of the current blessings in your life. Yes, you read that correctly. Don’t buy into the cultural lie that you deserve all that you have in life. You don’t! All the good things that you have in this life come from a good and generous God. Yes, even if you worked hard for what you have, who gave you the strength and energy to work hard? That’s right, God Himself. So, when you can’t have fun in this life, be grateful for what you do have in this life.
- When you can’t have fun, remember Jesus. As Jesus was in the Garden of Gethsemane, he wasn’t having fun. As Jesus was dying on the Cross of Calvary, he wasn’t having fun. As the sins of the entire world were placed on His shoulders, Jesus was not having fun. But what drove these actions on Jesus’ part? Two words: Duty and Love. That is to say, duty towards His Father’s will and love towards us. How incredible! Yes, when you can’t have fun, remember Jesus (His duty and love) and be motivated to continue onward and forward.