Summary: The ability to enjoy life’s blessings with intensity is a gift from God, yet, like eternal life, many will not receive that gift.
The Gift of Enjoying Life
1. The Wildcat Creek here in Kokomo, IN begins building momentum on the east near the town of Phlox.
According to Neil Laymon of the Wildcat Guardians, The Mud Creek, Turkey Creek and a third Creek (Grass Creek) are separate ground-fed streams that merge near Jerome. This is the true starting point for the Wildcat. The newly formed creek widens and slows down at this point…
As we head west down the Wildcat, we enter the Kokomo Reservoir. This man made mini-lake is a combination of creek water and ground water. The Indiana-American Water Company processes our water from the reservoir, filtering and then incorporating additives to make our water healthy and pure…
…the Creek divides into three tributaries as it flows westward …The North Fork passes through Kokomo, the Middle Fork passes through (of all places) Middle Fork, while the Southern Fork travels near Russiaville and then to Dayton (Indiana). All three forks eventually merge into the Wabash River in Lafayette.
2. Just as the Wildcat originates originates from three streams, so our thankfulness to God can be divided into three streams: (1) being grateful (2) for the things one enjoys and, (3) expressing that thanks to God.
3. Our focus today will be on that second stream, “for the things one enjoys.”
4. Some people are so busy enjoying God’s blessings that they do not take the time to thank him, or they take personal credit for what he has provided. Others are thankful for the good in life, but do not bother to express their thanks TO God.
5. But today we will look at those who do not feel blessed, often because they do not know how to live or enjoy life.
Main Idea: The ability to enjoy life’s blessings with intensity is a gift from God, yet, like eternal life, many will not receive that gift.
I. Without the Gift of Enjoyment, Even Good Things Do Not SATISFY
A. The blessings that should make us HAPPY do not satisfy without the gift of enjoyment
1. WEALTH (which may be easily lost)
B. The opposite of the gift of enjoyment is DISSATISFACTION
1. Happier if never born
2. People who have not received the gift of enjoyment are often driven
3. Because not satisfied by simple blessings, they think complexity is the answer — or that more is better
C. The STUBBORN refuse to enjoy life and rarely budge (6) stubborn = unhappy
D. Some are INHIBITED from enjoying life
1. May feel guilty about enjoying life
2. May want to protect themself from letdown (cynical)
3. Have an obsessive nature, enjoying life interferes with their obessession
E. Moderation keeps us balanced, but moderate does not mean being FLAT
II. What Does the Gift of Enjoyment LOOK Like?
A. It is defined as the POWER to enjoy
Ecclesiastes 5:18-19, “Behold, what I have seen to be good and fitting is to eat and drink and find enjoyment in all the toil with which one toils under the sun the few days of his life that God has given him, for this is his lot. Everyone also to whom God has given wealth and possessions and power to enjoy them, and to accept his lot and rejoice in his toil—this is the gift of God.”
• Duck Dynasty may sometimes be slow moving, this is one family that exemplifies the ability to enjoy life
• Although they are millionaires, it is the simple things that float their boats
• Some of us have been traumatized or brought up harshly, and we find it difficult to enjoy life; everything has to have a purpose; some of us may have been born with an emotional thermostat where normal is mildly depressed
B. Instead of waiting for happiness when our ship comes in, we need to ENJOY the simple process of living
Ecclesiastes 2:25-28, “There is nothing better for a person than that he should eat and drink and find enjoyment in his toil. This also, I saw, is from the hand of God, for apart from him who can eat or who can have enjoyment? For to the one who pleases him God has given wisdom and knowledge and joy, but to the sinner he has given the business of gathering and collecting, only to give to one who pleases God. This also is vanity and a striving after wind.”
1. Boone and Julie in Nairobi — people living in cardboard boxes…happy!
2. Ruben had a job he enjoyed, was involved in church, hobbies, interests, and camped for vacation; Bradley hated his job and had little free time, but it paid well; he had the best of everything & enjoyed his annual cruise…
3. Which life would you choose?