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January 27, 2021 7:00 am
Today on Fellowship in the Word pastor Bill Gebhardt challenges you to become a fully functioning follower of Jesus Christ.
I might have the idea that it does not cast Solomon Sampson has been one of just joining us today on this additional fellowship in the world. Pastor Bill Gebhardt Fellowship in the Words the radio ministry of Fellowship Bible church located in Metairie, Louisiana when Pastor Bill Gebhardt now is once again he shows us how God's word. Our world is much as I have enjoyed being your pastor for all these years, there are certain heartbreaking aspects that I have a ringside seat. It's one people make choices that bring devastating consequences to their lives and not only theirs but to the people who love them. Most these choices undermine their potential for happiness. A recurring theme that I've seen on many occasions is that you are prone to choose pleasure over happiness.
And when you do ultimately you get neither. Would you open your Bibles to Ecclesiastes chapter 1 please. Ecclesiastes one. Look at verse 16 Solomon writing and he said I said to myself, behold, I have magnified and increased wisdom, more than all who were over Jerusalem before me in my mind is observed. A wealth of wisdom and knowledge and I set my mind to know wisdom and the no madness and folly. I realize that this too is striving after wind because in much wisdom there is much grief and increasing knowledge results in increasing pain when it comes this idea of choosing pleasure over happiness. Your intelligence will not help you.
Solomon was the wisest man perhaps ever on the earth, and he made that fundamental mistake and he made it in a grand way. Chapter 2 in verse one.
He said I said to myself. Come now and I will test you with pleasure. So enjoy yourself.
Behold it to his futility and a set of laughter is madness and a pleasure. What does it accomplish you said I export with my mind. How to stimulate my body with wine while my mind was guiding me wisely and how to take hold of folly until I could see what good there is for the sons of men to do under heaven. The few years of their lives. He said you know I really want to stimulate myself. I really wanted to see how much pleasure I could really happen. So he said I'd I tried it with and basically with alcohol. I love the way you said I tried to stimulate my body with wine. I wanted to fill the buzz is again it turned out to be kind of futility tries another method in verse four I enlarge my works. I built houses for myself I planted vineyards for myself and don't miss that when it comes to happiness.
Happiness is giving yourself a way of living for others when it comes the pleasure it's always about me knows I bought this for me I did for myself the unholy Trinity. Me myself and I made gardens parts for myself I planted them in all kinds of fruit trees. I made ponds and water for myself which to irrigate the fourth of growing trees. He says I bought male and female slaves and he said I had home. Born slaves and I possess flocks and herds larger than all proceeded me in Jerusalem. I thought if I accumulated enough stuff if I achieve enough stuff for myself it would to be so much pleasure to become happy, but it didn't. Verse eight I collected for myself silver and gold and treasure of kings and provinces.
I provided for myself male and female singers in the pleasures of men, many concubines I had parties and sex. I thought that would be the way would work. I have people singing my we are all enjoying ourselves. I tried that verse 10. In summation, all that my eyes desired I did not refuse them. He said I did not withhold my heart from any pleasure for my heart was pleased because of all the labor and this was my reward for all my labor because I considered.
He said all my activities as my hands are done in the labor which I exerted, and behold, all was vanity and striving after the wind. There was no profit under the sun. Solomon had no restraints for some of you thought that would have to be the greatest life ever. No restraints. I can do anything that I want to do anytime I want to do it. I'm not accountable to anybody.
I have the resources to do what I have the brains and I have the money. He said you know what was just just smoke nothing. It didn't do it all. In fact, look at verse 17 of chapter 2 is conclusion.
So I hated life for the work which have been done under the sun was grievous to me because everything is futility and striving after the wind. I hated it. See the message and I love the book.
As you know I love Ecclesiastes a favorite book in the Old Testament and I love this idea that this is a man who thought so deeply and so profoundly. I'm so glad that God had him experience all of these pleasures and find out what they really are so that we can say yeah but it would be that way for me I'm smart enough to get the most out of pleasure. I mean look at this from a completely different angle. Now I want to make it personal to you and I want to go to the gospel of John chapter 10 the gospel of John chapter 10 in the section were looking at here is tremendous action.
Some deep truths in it, but what I sort of get a kick out of about this is I can so much identify with what Jesus is going through here. Jesus is trying to teach something really profound and when he tries to teach it your be surprised at this. They don't get it. They have that stare that I look at every week.
Okay they just have that look and so what what happens verse one truly, truly, I say to you. Amen, amen. This is important. Jesus is truly, truly, I say to you, he will does not enter by the door into the fold of the sheep, but climbs up some other way. He's a thief and a robber, but he who enters by the door is a shepherd of the sheep and to him. The doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice and he calls them his own sheep by name and leads them out and when he puts forth all his own, he goes ahead of them in the sheep follow him because they know his voice strange. They simply will not follow but will flee from him because they do not know the voice of strangers. The analogy here is an interesting analogy.
He says that there's a shepherd that's gonna be me. You see, and then there's this gate and enters a gatekeeper, a doorkeeper in the sheep of all and there so he said I want to talk to you about that in a sort of got the idea because they truly understood sheep but sheep then and she now are very different in the way they why you would be in the business in New Testament times are almost exclusively in the business for nothing, but will now we have people that will slaughter sheep and make them trumps. That wasn't the normal case at all in the world. The shepherd therefore had a long-term relationship with the sheep. There's another thing it's different today. We would use like sheepdogs and shepherds would drive the sheep what you want them to go in those days is not the way work at all.
The shepherd did not drive the sheep.
The sheep follow the shepherd they got to know his voice wherever he wanted them to go. He went first and and he called them and they came to him.
That's the analogy know what's verse six.
This figure of speech.
Jesus spoke to them, but they did not understand what her things were what you been trying to save ecu the doorkeeper was that come from what defined assembly speak into here so Jesus is looking. Maybe I wasn't quite clear up will be clearer this time.
Jesus is truly, truly, again, amen, amen. Truly, truly, I say to you I am the door.
The sheep is that clear enough. I am the door.
The sheep also come before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them. I am the door. And if anyone enters through me. He will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture.
Jesus and I am that this is sounds just like I am the way the truth and the life. No one will come to the father but through me. I'm adored want this to be clear, if you want a relationship with God is going to be through me. Well, he then says in verse 10 the thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. The inference here is clear is talking about the religious leaders of Israel, scribes and Pharisees is talking about the corrupt priesthood of Israel. He said the thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy any says something profound makes it apply to this message.
He said I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. They may have life, and may have it abundantly to sources of influence in verse 10, he said your sheep can be influenced one of two ways. You see, thieves may influence you and if they influence you what ends up happening that will be marked by stealing and killing and destroying he says in verse 11.
Though I am the good shepherd and the good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. He says, look, you're either going to be influenced by thieves or by the good Shepherd is cow loss.
It's intrinsically good. I am the good shepherd. How good are you, I died for the sheep. That's really good how many shepherds died for the sheep. He said that's right on the good Shepherd. You see, that's how good I am. But notice he says when I influence you your life will be marked differently. You may have life in any says and you will have it abundantly. Paris us abundantly. The NIV says fool not very good. That's just not that's pretty poor doesn't have quite the pizzazz it meets this word. Their size means excessively, utterly abounding, abundantly, he's on the lake if you follow me are going to have life eternal life. You can have life exceedingly abundantly. You can have a great life. You see your you're going to have if you follow me life by which you find yourself happy. That's what I offer as we say every week. Here is a life if you are a follower of Jesus Christ and you listen to his voice. Your life will be marked by joy and peace and hope and meaning and purpose and if all that's going on in your life you're happy Jesus is. That's what I'm offering you that's what I want. It's really going to be up to you.
You see, here's the tricky part applying it to you who in your life has the greatest potential to steal your future kill your relationships and destroy your life. Think about that. Who in your life has the greatest potential to steal your future. The chili relationships and destroy your life. I think you saw them this morning when you looked in the mirror that you you have the greatest potential to never get to this abundant life that Christ spoke of that you might be saying are you sure emphatically yes. How do you know okay you bought it you ate it you drank it you smoked it you watched it you dated, and sometimes you even married it. You were there for all of it that you you see that you you know I'm saying is true because how many times have you said thought or heard other people say you know what all comes down to simply as this point. Sometimes on my own worst enemy. That's who we are. See that's what can happen that becomes, in a sense the thief you see the mistake that you make often in your lives that we all make is simply this, you thought pleasure would bring you happiness. Soon to follow your voice. The voice of the other sheep, or the good Shepherd. See if you don't follow the voice of the shepherd. You know what you going to do you make plenty of bad decisions. That's what's going to happen to you them illustrate this point with me. Now back to judges chapter 13 C doesn't matter how well it starts out it really depends whether you make the mistake of choosing pleasure is a priority over happiness. Judges 13 and verse three. What's the beginning of this and then the angel of the Lord appeared to the woman and said her behold now you are barren, have more no children.
But you shall suck. It's conceiving a birth to a son. Now therefore, be careful not to drink wine or strong drink, nor anything any unclean thing, behold, you shall conceive and give birth to a son and no razor shall come upon his head for the boy shall be a Nazirite to God from the womb, and he shall begin to deliver Israel from the hands of the Philistines, barren woman has her prayers answered and she's going to have a little boy.
Not just any little boy this little boy is a Nazirite just like John the Baptist, set apart by God is going to be the judge of Israel and you know his name is Samson.
This great warrior judge was moved to chapter 14 then Samson went down to Tim.
Then he saw a woman in Temne.
One of the daughters of the Philistines, and so we came back in and told his father and mother. I saw woman in Temne.
One of the daughters of the Philistines. Now therefore better for me as a wife.
He knows that's forbidden by God but is okay. The watch then his father and his mother said to him, is there no woman among the daughters of your relatives are among all of our people that you should take a wife from an uncircumcised Philistines. But Samson said to his father get her for me, for she looks good to me.
There is the way to base a lifelong relationship you want to be happy for the rest your life. Just see don't even look past anything except that they look good to me. There's depth while what is he doing pleasure go with me now to chapter 16. To show you how habitual this becomes them. Chapter 16 verse one. Now Samson went to Gaza and he saw a harlot there. He went indoor how Frank Blunt was he doing seeking pleasure. You see, he objectifies women whether be a wife or a harlot, he simply seeks pleasure will house the outcome of all this, verse 21 and then the Philistines seized him and gouged out his eyes and they brought him down to Gaza and bound him with bronze change and he was a grinder, the prison. What a happy ending. No, you see the problem with Samson was simple, set apart by God to be a judge but he thought pleasure as a priority over happiness. By the way, Solomon's dad did the same thing. Danny he sees Bathsheba and what to do. He says well this is to be pleasure. Now, that event led to the murder of Uriah the Hittite and the irony of it is. Yes I know Dave is a man after God's own heart. I guess I know we confess that he's a great man is and he is the hallmark of the Davidic covenant.
I get all that you want to know something he never had a happy family. Read about his relationship with his kids, especially Me How Difficult It Was. Why Is a Pleasure for Happiness.
Look, I Understand That God Created Us for Both. Please Understand, God Created Us Both the Pleasure and Happiness Such As God's Idea, by the Way, Not Ours. But God Says the Idea of It Is Arguing to Follow the Voice of the Good Shepherd Are You to Follow Me, and Pursue Happiness by Which You Will Get Pleasure.
But If You Prioritize Pleasure and Say That Will Make Me Happy. You Will Be Disappointed Because You Get Neither. That's the Way It Works. You Now This Is When You Seek Pleasure. You Know What It's like It Falls under the Law of Diminishing Returns. That's a Pleasure Does Not Notice That It's Never the Same. The Second Time the Third Time. The Fourth Time. The Fifth Time, It Really Doesn't Matter Each Time There's a Law of Diminishing Returns for Pleasure. Remember the First Time You Ever Bought Something Significant. I Mean Just Something That You Were Really Just All It Gave You Tremendous Pleasure. It Could Have Been Something in It We Could Been a Stereo or Could've Been Your Clothing or Could've Been a Car and You Think All My Goodness I Don't Know If Anything's Ever Given Me That Much Pleasure.
I Do Remember My First Car.
It It Was Almost Out Of Body Experience for Me. I Love Cars.
My Last Car That's Nice Not Given Notice That Those First Two Pair Shoes You Bought How They Made You Feel. But by Time You're Pair 2025 3035 Glob Diminishing Returns. It Happens in so Many Areas, There Is an Incredible Problem among Gods and Men in This Country a Pornography and It Falls under the Law of Diminishing Returns and What Ends up Happening.
It Just Becomes More and More and More to Becomes an Insatiable Appetite That Not Only Will Make Sure You're Not Happy, but It Will Wreck the Relationships That Matter Most in Your Life. We Have To Be Careful with This, This Idea That I'll Pursue Pleasure.
I Have the Right, It's My Life. Let Me Do What I Know It's Going to Work. It Won't from God's Point of View, It Is Always a Matter of Priority.
How Many Times Did Somebody Start out with 1/2 a Glass and Then a Glass and Then Two Glasses and Five Glasses and a Glasses Men Are Hiding the Liquor and Drawers and All Kinds of How Many Times You See How Many Times That's the Law. You See It's It's a Thief.
It Steals It Kills It Destroys the Apostle Paul Way on This Just a Moment. Why Does This Happen.
Romans Chapter 6 and Verse 16. I Love the Way the Verse Starts. It's One of Paul's Favorite Ways of Saying Something He Says Do Not Know Now.
Every Time He Uses This. I Think He's Meaning a Little Bit More Than Simply Do Not Know You Could Paraphrase and Say, Doesn't Everybody Know This or You Could Paraphrase It, and Paul Could Be Sent Really Really Do Not Know Everybody Knows This and He Sets a Principal for That We Would All Know, He Says That When You Present Yourselves There. The NIV Is Good. It Says Offer. I like That Word Better Uses. Do You Not Know That When You Offer Yourselves to Someone or Something As Slaves for Obedience. You Are Slaves to the One Whom You Obey Either of Sin Resulting in Death or Separation or Obedience Resulting in Righteousness He Says Don't You Know That When You Make Plays of the Priority over Your Happiness, You Become a Slave to Pressure. That's What Happens. All Of A Sudden You Find Yourself Unable to Resist Unable to Go Further or Deeper, More and You Become a Slave and It Always Feels It Always Kills and Always Destroys He Says, but When You Make Yourself a Slave to the Good Shepherd When You Settle, Follow You, Your Leg on Your Life for Me, Things Begin the Change You Have Life. Jesus, As You Have Life You Piece Peace with God, You Have the Peace of God, You Have Peace with Others. You Peace within Yourself.
You Don't Live with That Perennial Guilt If You're a Child of God, and You Make Plays of the Priority of Her Life. I Know for a Fact You Live Every Day with Guilt Whenever That Happens You so Better Decisions and Choices You Read Better Consequences in Your Life and Ultimately You Begin to Feel Better and Better and You Know What You End up Becoming Happy. Think What Happens When You Become Unhappy. How Many People Become Unhappy and Safe. I'm so Unhappy I Go Shopping Today Think That I'm so Unhappy.
I Got a Get a Tub of Ice Cream Today. I Got to.
I'm Unhappy and That's Will Be Doing That's What We Enslave Ourselves the Idea That We Think That That Short-Term Pleasures That Make Us Happy. It Does Not Connect Solomon. You Can Have Sampson. You Can Ask David You Could Ask Almost Anyone Else in This Room Just Doesn't Work That Way. Okay, You Know, Your Mind, so I Don't Want to Raise Your Hand.
You Owe This to Yourself.
Is There a Pleasure That's Undermining Your Happiness and Even Happiness of the People around You.
Is There a Pleasure That's Undermining Your Happiness. Are You Losing Your Freedom to Say No. That Place Is a Thief. It's Only There to Steal Your Happiness and to Kill Your Relationships and Destroy Your Life. Take Solomon's Advice. If I Would've Read on Ecclesiastes. He Simply Said This, You Can Never Find Happiness by Trying to Seek out God Is Always Why Does God Make Me Happy Leaving Them in Life You Choose Pleasure Pastor Broke Your Heart. The Radio Ministry of Fellowship in the If You Ever Missed One of Our Broadcasting or Maybe You Just like the Message One More Time. Remember That You Can Google a Great Website Called in One Place.com That's One Place.com and You Can Listen the Fellowship and the Word Online Event Website You Will Find on Today's Broadcast but Also Many of Our Previous Audio Programs As Well Have Fellowship in the Word. We Are Thankful for Those Who Financially Support Our Ministry and Make This Broadcast Possible. We Ask All of Our Listeners to Prayerfully Consider How You Might Help His Radio Ministry Continuous Broadcast on This Radio Station by Supporting a Monthly with Just a One-Time Gift Support for Ministry Can Be Sent to Fellowship in the Word. 4600 Clearview Pkwy., Metairie, LA 7006 if you would be interested in hearing today's message in its original format that is is a sermon, the pastor will deliver during a Sunday morning service of Fellowship Bible church visit our website FVC Melinda Ward that SBC and LA.O RG at our website you will find hundreds pastor Bill sermon you can browse through our sermon archives to find sermon series you're looking you can search by title.
Once you find the messenger looking for. You can listen online or if you prefer, you can download the sermon and listening room. And remember all this absolutely free of charge. Once again our website is FVC Nola.org forecaster Bill Gebhardt and Jason Hart you for listening to Fellowship in order