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The Journey to Great Joy (7 of 10)
Series: From Ruin to Renewal
Dr. Jeffery B. Ginn
October 19, 2003
a. In Dangers, Toils & Snares, John Ortberg writes: When we take our children to the shrine of the Golden Arches, they always lust for the meal that comes with a cheap little prize, a combination christened, in a moment of marketing genius, the Happy Meal. You're not just buying fries, McNuggets, and a dinosaur stamp; you're buying happiness. Their advertisements have convinced my children they have a little McDonald-shaped vacuum in their souls: "Our hearts are restless till they find their rest in a happy meal." I try to buy off the kids sometimes. I tell them to order only the food and I'll give them a quarter to buy a little toy on their own. But the cry goes up, "I want a Happy Meal." All over the restaurant, people crane their necks to look at the tight-fisted, penny-pinching cheapskate of a parent who would deny a child the meal of great joy. The problem with the Happy Meal is that the happy wears off, and they need a new fix. No child discovers lasting happiness in just one: "Remember that Happy Meal? What great joy I found there!" Happy Meals bring happiness only to McDonalds. You ever wonder why Ronald McDonald wears that grin? Twenty billion Happy Meals, that's why. When you get older, you don't get any smarter; your happy meals just get more expensive. Citation: John Ortberg, Dangers, Toils & Snares: Resisting the Hidden Temptations of Ministry (Multnomah, 1994), pp.99-100.
b. People was happiness. They want joy but they don't know how to get there.
c. Read Nehemiah 8:1-12.
2. A HUNGRY PEOPLE (8:1)
a. An awesome assembly
i. Unified presence: "All the people assembled . . ." (v. 1)
1. One day Sunday.
2. "There is a legend of a village in Southern Europe that boasted of a church called "The Hous3e of Many Lamps." When it was built in the sixteenth century, the architect provided for no light except for a receptacle at every seat for the placing of a map. Each Sunday night, as the people gathered, they would bring their lanterns and slip them into the bracket at their seat. When someone stayed away, his place would be dark; and if very many stayed away, the darkness became greater for thewhole. It was the regular presence of each person that lit up the church (Morgan, p. 127).
3. During VBS one year, pa pastor's wife had an experience with her primary class that can teach us all a great lesson. About an hour before dismissal one evening, a new student was brought into the room. The little boy had one arm missing, and since the calss was almost over, the teacher had no opportunity to learn the details of his situation, so she preceded cautiously with the lesson. As the class time came to a close, she asked the children to join her in their usual closing ceremony. "Let's make our churches," she said, putting her hands together to form the "church." "Here's the chur ...
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