God on Patrol
Bible Reading: Psalm 16:1-11
You will show me the way of life, granting me the joy of your presence and the pleasures of living with you forever. Psalm 16:11
Quiz time for kids: Name an event you think would put a knot in the stomach of a parent. You have twelve seconds to guess. Go!
Your parents could bore you for hours with all sorts of adult worries. But somewhere on their list of uncheerful moments might be this: getting pulled over by the police for speeding.
They see the flash of lights in the rearview mirror.
They hear the whoo-whoo-whoo of a siren.
They watch the officer walk to the car, one hand holding a pad of tickets.
Parents don’t like watching money fly away as they pay the ticket. They hate thinking about the wad of cash they’ll lose when the price of their car insurance goes up. Getting a ticket is guaranteed to ruin their day. (Hint: It’s not a good time to ask for a raise in allowance.)
If getting a ticket makes a few days miserable, here’s something that could ruin your whole life: thinking that God is a big, mean, cosmic cop.
Lots of people think God is like a police officer, always monitoring us with his radar detector, not to keep the roads safe, but to nab anyone who looks like he or she might be speeding over the “fun limit.” (And they figure God’s fun limit is really low.)
They picture him talking like this. “Hey, you!” he snarls. “Yeah, you! You look like you’re having fun over there. Well, cut it out! We’ll have no more of that. Not while I’m on patrol.”
Talk about it: Have you ever thought that God just wanted to spoil your fun?
The same folks who see God as the ultimate bad guy imagine the devil as a fun-loving cartoon who sits on our shoulders and wants us to enjoy ourselves. That’s a lie. The devil isn’t interested in making sure we have fun. He hates our guts. Peter says that the devil is always “looking for some victim to devour” (1 Peter 5:8).
So don’t think of the devil as a fun dude just waiting to fill your life with excitement. Jesus dashed that myth when he said, “The thief’s [devil’s] purpose is to steal and kill and destroy” (John 10:10).
God’s goal for our life is the exact opposite. Jesus said, “My purpose is to give life in all its fullness” (John 10:10). God wants nothing less for us than to experience a life jam-packed with joy.
TALK: What does it mean to experience the full and joyful life Jesus promised?
PRAY: God, we know that you planned for us to have a joyful life. Help us to experience your best, within your wise boundaries.
ACT: Think of a way to show someone today that God wants Christians to have a full, fun-filled life.