Friday, November 16, 2012

Fall Back Into Faith Fridays - Part 10 Fun

I can't believe our fall study is almost over!  We've tackled Faith, Family, Fortune, and now, in the last part of Fall Back Into Faith, we take these final weeks to tackle FUN!  What fun!  Also, drum roll please, my new website goes live Monday.  There will be some fun giveaways and some series I'm rolling out, so I will try to make sure this redirects to what will be next week!

I think a lot of folks, even those that have had a longstanding relationship with God, disassociate their faith and fun.  That's a shame because they should work hand in hand and your faith should inform the decisions you make in the "fun" aspects of your life. 

Today we're going to look at some Christianity misconceptions about what a faith-filled life looks like.  Next week we'll take a look at things to consider when you're having "fun," and our last week will focus on friendships, one of my favorite topics!

Here are Two Common Myths About Christianity: 

(1) If you’re a Christian, then life will be all suffering (using scripture like II Timothy 1:8 in a silo);

(2) If you’re a Christian, then life will be all blessings (using scripture like I Chronicles 4:10 in a silo).
God gives us extraordinary joy that could not come outside of following Him   Did you know that there are 72 references to suffering and 242 references to joy in scripture?  God is a fan of fun.  I want everyone just to hear that statement.  My grandaddy minister, who was one of the funniest people I've ever known, always gave great examples of God's sense of humor that started with the duck-billed platypus and ended with his hair loss!  However, the road is not joy-filled all the time.  The really key thing to remember is that if you are living in a time of blessing or of suffering neither, that fact alone does not reflect the depth (or lack thereof) of your walk with God. 
So today, let's just look at what Scripture shares about God's love of fun, and remember that Jesus' first miracle was performed at a wedding feast!  Talk about fun!
Zechariah 8 - This is what the LORD Almighty says: “Once again men and women of ripe old age will sit in the streets of Jerusalem, each of them with cane in hand because of their age. The city streets will be filled with boys and girls playing there….” This is what the LORD Almighty says: “The fasts of the fourth, fifth, seventh and tenth months will become joyful and glad occasions and happy festivals for Judah. Therefore love truth and peace.”
Ecclesiastes 8 - So I commend the enjoyment of life, because there is nothing better for a person under the sun than to eat and drink and be glad. Then joy will accompany them in their toil all the days of the life God has given them under the sun….

Nehemiah 12 - At the dedication of the wall of Jerusalem, the Levites were sought out from where they lived and were brought to Jerusalem to celebrate joyfully the dedication with songs of thanksgiving and with the music of cymbals, harps and lyres. The musicians also were brought together from the region around Jerusalem.

Esther 8 - And the city of Susa held a joyous celebration. For the Jews it was a time of happiness and joy, gladness and honor. In every province and in every city to which the edict of the king came, there was joy and gladness among the Jews, with feasting and celebrating.

Deuteronomy 16 - Be joyful at your festival—you, your sons and daughters, your male and female servants, and the Levites, the foreigners, the fatherless and the widows who live in your towns. For seven days celebrate the festival to the LORD your God at the place the LORD will choose. For the LORD your God will bless you in all your harvest and in all the work of your hands, and your joy will be complete.

Psalm 149 - Let Israel rejoice in their Maker; let the people of Zion be glad in their King. Let them praise his name with dancing and make music to him with timbrel and harp. For the LORD takes delight in his people; he crowns the humble with victory. Let his faithful people rejoice in this honor and sing for joy on their beds.
{See also the Parable of the Lost Son, Luke 15 (when he came near the house, he heard music and dancing);  and Jesus’ first miracle at Cana, John 2 (the wedding feast!).}

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