Summary: The sermon shows how we can exchange the temporal pleasures of this life for the eternal pleasures of God.
Far Too Easily Pleased
Text: Psalm 36:5-8
Quote: C. S. Lewis - If we consider the unblushing promises of reward and the staggering nature of the rewards promised in the Gospels, it would seem that Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in the slum because he can not imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.” C. S. Lewis, Weight of Glory
II. The dangers of ungodly pleasures
Illustration: After a violent storm one night, a large tree, which over the years had become a stately giant, was found lying across the pathway in a park. Nothing but a splintered stump was left. Closer examination showed that is was rotten at the core because thousands of tiny insects had eaten away at its heart. The weakness of that tree was not brought on by the sudden storm; it began the very moment the first insect nested within its bark. With the Holy Spirit’s help, let’s be very careful to guard our purity
Proverbs 9:13-18 - The woman Folly is loud; she is undisciplined and without knowledge. She sits at the door of her house, on a seat at the highest point of the city, calling out to those who pass by, who go straight on their way. "Let all who are simple come in here!" she says to those who lack judgment. "Stolen water is sweet; food eaten in secret is delicious!" But little do they know that the dead are there, that her guests are in the depths of the grave
Illustration: Sign in store window on a suit – “Slightly Soiled – Greatly reduced price!”
Transition: If the dangers of impurity exist around us, then how can we keep our way pure? Psalm 119 asks how a man can keep his way pure, to which the answer is given “By living according to your word.”
III. The source of true pleasures
A. The height of God’s faithful love (v. 5)
1. God’s love is too strong for anything to conquer
Romans 8:35-39 - Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written: "For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered." No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
2. God has given His love
Romans 5:5 - And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.
Romans 5:8 - But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Illustration: A certain medieval monk announced he would be preaching next Sunday evening on “The Love of God.” As the shadows fell and the light ceased to come in through the cathedral windows, the congregation gathered. In the darkness of the altar, the monk lighted a candle and carried it to the crucifix. First of all, he illumined the crown of thorns, next, the two wounded hands, then the marks of the spear wound. In the hush that fell, he blew out the candle and left the chancel. There was nothing else to say.
B. The strength of His mercy and justice (v. 6)
Mercy is the fulfillment of God’s love and God’s justice
Illustration: mother once approached Napoleon seeking a pardon for her son. The emperor replied that the young man had committed a certain offense twice and justice demanded death. “But I don’t ask for justice,” the mother explained. “I plead for mercy.” “But your son does not deserve mercy,” Napoleon replied. “Sir,” the woman cried, “it would not be mercy if he deserved it, and mercy is all I ask for.” “Well, then,” the emperor said, “I will have mercy.” And he spared the woman’s son.
C. The banner of His protection (v. 7)
Psalm 5:11 - But let all who take refuge in you be glad; let them ever sing for joy. Spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may rejoice in you.
Psalm 91:14-16 - "Because he loves me," says the LORD, "I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. He will call upon me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him. With long life will I satisfy him and show him my salvation."