Follow by Email

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Eternal Love


Ephesians 3:17-18 says so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love,  may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ,

We will spend the next few days looking at these four aspects of God’s love. Today we’ll look at the width and length of His love.

The Width of His Love. Jesus loves us so much that he that he stretched out His arms wide and sacrificed Himself on the cross for us. John 3:16) "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. His love removes our sins “as far as the east from the west” (Ps. 103:12).

The Length of His Love It is eternal, providing all who believe with everlasting life.  Psalm 100:5 says: For the LORD is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.

Contemplate today on the width and length of God’s love for you.

Have a good Godly day.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The Star and Lights of Christmas


After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem 2 and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.” – Matthew 2:1-2

The star stands out in significance as relevant and vital today as when God hung it in space. The Bible tells us that God commissioned a particular star to serve as a travel guide for a group of men from the East who had developed an interest in looking for a child to fulfill a prophecy that in Bethlehem a ruler to shepherd Israel would be born. They found Mary, Joseph, and Jesus in a house where they fell to their knees, worship the child, and gave Him gifts. The star is a symbol of God’s gift of direction to us. It is His travel guide to seekers who will look and follow. The star led the wise men to Jesus, the Light of world. As we light the tree and the star remember that Jesus is the true Light in a world of darkness, He points the way to God. 

Have a good Godly day.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Preparation


The prophet Isaiah writes: "Here is my herald whom I send and he will prepare your way." Prepare the way. Prepare your heart and mind. Let everyone stand silent. Let the stars and moon cease to move. Let the leaves of the trees and the tall browning grass cease to rustle in the wind. With expectant hush, and long awaiting yearning, we herald the coming of the long awaited Christ Child, the coming of the infant to Bethlehem

Advent is a Latin word for "Coming." Prepare the way. Prepare the heart to receive. Prepare the way. The Christ is coming. Let us prepare for the advent, the coming of the Christ Child. On this first week of Advent, let us prepare with repentance. Let us prepare with hope. Let us prepare with faith. For the light will come into this world - as God has promised. The Christ Child came into Bethlehem's stable. He will come into the world again, into every life that waits, and into every hopeful heart. The Messiah comes to bring Christmas to every waiting believer. 

Prepare to receive Him with your heart, mind, body, and soul.

Have a good Godly day.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Advent


Today is the first Sunday of Advent which means “coming or arrival”. May we seek God through Jesus Christ over the next four weeks and invite Jesus to come in to our lives in a very real way. He spoke of His arrival and mission in John 3:11-21:

11 I tell you the truth, we speak of what we know, and we testify to what we have seen, but still you people do not accept our testimony. 12 I have spoken to you of earthly things and you do not believe; how then will you believe if I speak of heavenly things? 13 No one has ever gone into heaven except the one who came from heaven--the Son of Man. 14 Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, 15 that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life. 16 "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God's one and only Son. 19 This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. 20 Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. 21 But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God."

Praise the Lord for His love and truth – found in His Son, Jesus Christ.
May we grow in our knowledge and relationship with Him.

Have a good Godly day.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

I Am Thankful


I am thankful to know the God who is charge of all things as seen in Ecclesiastes 3:1-8:

1 There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven: 2 a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, 3 a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, 4 a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, 5 a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain, 6 a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away, 7 a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak, 8 a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace. 

I am thankful for being connected to other believers in Jesus Christ. Look at what Solomon wrote in Ecclesiastes:

4:9 Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: 10If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up! 11Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone?12 Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.

Have a good, thankful, and Godly day.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Thanks Giving

Thanksgiving- 1 Corinthians 1:4­9
 4 I always thank my God for you because of his grace given you in Christ Jesus. 5 For in him you have been enriched in every way—with all kinds of speech and with all knowledge— 6 God thus confirming our testimony about Christ among you. 7 Therefore you do not lack any spiritual gift as you eagerly wait for our Lord Jesus Christ to be revealed. 8 He will also keep you firm to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 God is faithful, who has called you into fellowship with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

We come to God so often with our complaints, requests, or needs that we tend to neglect giving thanks to Him. Consider these things we should be thankful for:

    1. God's People (v. 4).
    2. God's Grace (v. 4).
    3. God's Wisdom (v. 5).
    4. God's Salvation (v. 6).
    5. God's Gifts (v. 7).
    6. God's Protection (v. 8).
    7. God's Faithfulness (v. 9).
    8. God's Fellowship (v. 9).

All believers will receive these eight blessings; thank you, Jesus.

Have a good, thankful, and Godly day.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Twas the Night of Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving to all! I received this in an email years ago, and it always brings a smile to my face. I pray it will to you as well.

'TWAS THE NIGHT OF THANKSGIVING,
BUT I JUST COULDN'T SLEEP
I TRIED COUNTING BACKWARDS,
 I TRIED COUNTING SHEEP.

THE LEFTOVERS BECKONED -
THE DARK MEAT AND WHITE
BUT I FOUGHT THE TEMPTATION
WITH ALL OF MY MIGHT
TOSSING AND TURNING WITH ANTICIPATION
THE THOUGHT OF A SNACK BECAME INFATUATION.
SO, I RACED TO THE KITCHEN, FLUNG OPEN THE DOOR
AND GAZED AT THE FRIDGE, FULL OF GOODIES GALORE.
GOBBLED UP TURKEY AND BUTTERED POTATOES,
PICKLES AND CARROTS, BEANS AND TOMATOES.

I FELT MYSELF SWELLING SO PLUMP AND SO ROUND,
TILL ALL OF A SUDDEN, I ROSE OFF THE GROUND.
I CRASHED THROUGH THE CEILING, FLOATING INTO THE SKY
WITH A MOUTHFUL OF PUDDING AND A HANDFUL OF PIE.

BUT, I MANAGED TO YELL AS I SOARED PAST THE TREES....
HAPPY EATING TO ALL - PASS THE CRANBERRIES, PLEASE.

MAY YOUR STUFFING BE TASTY,
MAY YOUR TURKEY BE PLUMP.
MAY YOUR POTATOES 'N GRAVY
HAVE NARY A LUMP,

MAY YOUR YAMS BE DELICIOUS
MAY YOUR PIES TAKE THE PRIZE,
MAY YOUR THANKSGIVING DINNER
STAY OFF OF YOUR THIGHS.

MAY YOUR THANKSGIVING BE BLESSED!

Have a good, Godly, and very thankful day.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thank God for His Son, Jesus Christ

We cannot spend a week looking at Scripture for thankfulness without praising God for His Son, and our Savior, Jesus Christ. Let’s take a look John 1:1-14 today.

The Word Became Flesh

 1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. 4 In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome] it.
 6 There was a man sent from God whose name was John. 7 He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all might believe. 8 He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light.
 9 The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world. 10 He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. 11 He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. 12 Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— 13 children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.
 14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

Praise God for sending His Son Jesus – the Way, the Truth, and the Life!

Have a good, thankful, and Godly day.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Thank God for His Righteousness

As we celebrate Thanksgiving week with Scripture Readings let’s be thankful for a holy God. Let’s look at Psalm 11 today.

1 In the LORD I take refuge. How then can you say to me: “Flee like a bird to your mountain.
2 For look, the wicked bend their bows; they set their arrows against the strings to shoot from the shadows at the upright in heart.
3 When the foundations are being destroyed, what can the righteous do?”
 4 The LORD is in his holy temple; the LORD is on his heavenly throne.
He observes everyone on earth; his eyes examine them.
5 The LORD examines the righteous, but the wicked, those who love violence, he hates with a passion.
6 On the wicked he will rain fiery coals and burning sulfur; a scorching wind will be their lot.
 7 For the LORD is righteous, he loves justice; the upright will see his face.

May God help us seek Him and see His face.

Have a good, thankful, and Godly day.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Thank God for His Creation

This week we will be spending time celebrating Thanksgiving with Scripture Readings, and why we should be thankful. Let’s look at Psalm 33:1-15 today.

 1 Sing joyfully to the LORD, you righteous; it is fitting for the upright to praise him.
2 Praise the LORD with the harp; make music to him on the ten-stringed lyre.
3 Sing to him a new song;  play skillfully, and shout for joy.
4 For the word of the LORD is right and true; he is faithful in all he does.
5 The LORD loves righteousness and justice; the earth is full of his unfailing love.
 6 By the word of the LORD the heavens were made, their starry host by the breath of his mouth.
7 He gathers the waters of the sea into jar; he puts the deep into storehouses.
8 Let all the earth fear the LORD; let all the people of the world revere him.
9 For he spoke, and it came to be; he commanded, and it stood firm.
10 The LORD foils the plans of the nations; he thwarts the purposes of the peoples.
11 But the plans of the LORD stand firm forever, the purposes of his heart through all generations.  
12 Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD,  the people he chose for his inheritance.
13 From heaven the LORD looks down and sees all mankind;
14 from his dwelling place he watches  all who live on earth—
15 he who forms the hearts of all, who considers everything they do.

May we have a thankful heart for God and His creation.

Have a good, thankful, and Godly day.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Be Blessed!

The Gospel, Wisdom, and Blessings are connected!

Solomon wrote in Proverbs 3:13-18  13 Blessed are those who find wisdom, those who gain understanding, 14 for she is more profitable than silver and yields better returns than gold. 15 She is more precious than rubies; nothing you desire can compare with her. 16 Long life is in her right hand; in her left hand are riches and honor. 17 Her ways are pleasant ways, and all her paths are peace. 18 She is a tree of life to those who take hold of her; those who hold her fast will be blessed.

Be blessed! Accept His wisdom and have a meaningful Christ centered life!

Accept God’s gift of salvation through Jesus Christ who forgives our sins.

Admit you are a sinner, and desire to turn from your sins.

Acknowledge Jesus as Lord in all areas of your life – using His wisdom!

Have a good, wise, blessed, and Godly day.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Beautiful Feet

The Bible tells us we can be wise or foolish.

The condemned are those who reject Christ.

How can one be saved?

Romans 10:8-15  - 8 But what does it say? “The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart,” that is, the message concerning faith that we proclaim: 9 If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved. 11 As Scripture says, “Anyone who believes in him will never be put to shame.” 12 For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile—the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, 13 for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”  14 How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? 15 And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!”

How does God want you to share the Good News?

Do you desire to have “beautiful feet”?


Tell someone about Jesus today!

Have a good, wise, and Godly day.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Contrasts


Let us look at the contrasts found in Matthew 12:38-42   in more detail.

1.     They were looking for a Sign
Jesus gave them the example of Jonah 3 days in the belly of a fish vs. His death and being buried 3 days.

2. He said that the people of Nineveh will stand up at the judgment vs a wicked generation.

Matthew 12:39 Jesus answered, “A wicked and adulterous generation asks for a sign!

3. The Queen of Sheba who was searching for wisdom will testify against them and all who reject him.

We need to understand, acknowledge, and celebrate the fact that there is one here who is far greater than Solomon and He is here with us today! As impressed as the Queen was with this earthly king we are told that she will “will rise at the judgment with this generation and condemn it”. 

Do you think that people are looking for a sign from God these days?

He has already given it!

Have a good Godly day.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Who is Greater?

Who in the Word of God is greater and wiser than Solomon?

His Name is Jesus!

Jesus… Yeshua, the Christ, Messiah, Son of Man, Anointed One, Lamb of God, Son of God, Risen Savior, King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
Jesus… A carpenter’s son, born in Bethlehem, raised in Nazareth, killed outside Jerusalem, and resurrected three days later.
Jesus … my Lord, my Salvation, my Hope, and my Friend … Jesus

God’s Word tells us that:

Jesus gives us a Far Greater Sign
Jesus is a Far Greater Preacher
Jesus has Far Greater Wisdom

The world today needs to know Jesus more than ever. We need His light, love, and hope in a dark, evil, hopeless world. Just like 2,000 years ago skeptics and non-believers look for the supernatural and things that excite them. They will also put Christians on the spot, and try to force their ideas of how God should act instead listening to and trusting Him.

Have a good Godly day.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Motive

I think it’s interesting that Jesus would bring up Solomon when the Pharisees and teachers of the law wanted to apply “worldly” wisdom to what His mission was on earth. I can think of three reasons why they would demand a sign:
1. They really were looking for the Messiah, and prophesies told them He would perform miraculous acts and signs. They were sincere and wanted the truth.
2. They did not want to here what Jesus was preaching, and wanted to be amused. They did not want to hear the truth.
3. They were trying to trick Him or hope that He couldn’t perform on demand thereby showing himself a heretic. They wanted to hide the truth.

Regardless of their motive Jesus knew their hearts. His answer shows incredible insight and wisdom for them, and for us today.

Let’s look at this confrontation as found in Matthew 12:38-42

NIV 38 Then some of the Pharisees and teachers of the law said to him, “Teacher, we want to see a sign from you.”  39 He answered, “A wicked and adulterous generation asks for a sign! But none will be given it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. 40 For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish, so the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. 41 The men of Nineveh will stand up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it; for they repented at the preaching of Jonah, and now something greater than Jonah is here. 42 The Queen of the South will rise at the judgment with this generation and condemn it; for she came from the ends of the earth to listen to Solomon’s wisdom, and now something greater than Solomon is here.

Have a good Godly day.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Greater than Solomon

Over the last nine weeks we have followed the life of Solomon, and his search for wisdom. We have learned some crucial lessons on the meaning of life, and how to live life well. Even though we may slip and fall, God wants us to get back up like Solomon did. 13 Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the duty of all mankind. 14 For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil. (Ecclesiastes 12:13-14) At the end of his very full life, Solomon, says it comes down to fearing God with awe and wonder, and being obedient to His Word. The Lord knows everything about us. There are no secrets we can keep from Him. He desires us to have wisdom and fulfillment in life.

Godly wisdom is shown in the areas of: faith, hope, trust, love, obedience, and focus.

Faith – in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior and that God’s ways are the best
Hope – can only be found in Christ for eternity and today
Trust – in God for direction, protection, and provision
Love – the Lord God with everything you have
Obedience – follow his Word and plan for your life
Focus – keep your eyes on the things of God

Are we showing wisdom?

Have a good Godly day.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Wise Words

As believers we know that the one greater than Solomon and everyone else would be Jesus Christ. The Bible says that when we accept Him as our Lord and Savior His Holy Spirit comes to live in us. That makes us Christians or “Christ in us”. Having the Holy Spirit living in us gives us the power to bless other people.

God’s Word has a lot to say about the power of Words – especially the book of Proverbs.

All of us have been hurt in the past by things that people have said to us, but realize that a wise person knows that they have the power to bless people with our words – to encourage, love, support, and influence in a positive way. We glorify God when we use our words as a blessing and for His glory.

Let’s read words of wisdom from the Book of Proverbs about this topic: ……..
Proverbs 15:1 A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.
Proverbs 12:18 The words of the reckless pierce like swords, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.
Proverbs 10:19  Sin is not ended by multiplying words, but the prudent hold their tongues.
Proverbs 16:23-24 The hearts of the wise make their mouths prudent,  and their lips promote instruction. Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.
Proverbs 17:27-28  The one who has knowledge uses words with restraint, and whoever has understanding is even-tempered. Even fools are thought wise if they keep silent, and discerning if they hold their tongues.

May we apply this wisdom and all the things we have learned over the last nine weeks to our lives. Amen?

Have a good Godly day.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Choices

Think about this. There are three choices we can make in order to have meaning in this life:

1. Choose Jesus as Lord and Savior. We can have an intimate relationship with God!

2. Choose to know the Word of God and apply it to your life. This gives us intimate knowledge of Him and His purposes!

3. Choose to live your life connected to other Believers. True fellowship with other believers leads to intimate friendships not intimate strangers!

Solomon wrote in Proverbs 3:13-18  13 Blessed are those who find wisdom, those who gain understanding, 14 for she is more profitable than silver and yields better returns than gold. 15 She is more precious than rubies; nothing you desire can compare with her. 16 Long life is in her right hand; in her left hand are riches and honor. 17 Her ways are pleasant ways, and all her paths are peace. 18 She is a tree of life to those who take hold of her; those who hold her fast will be blessed.

Be blessed by God’s wisdom. He is offering it to you.

Will you accept it?

Have a good and Godly day.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

My Way or God's Way

How can you tell who is a My Way or a Gods Way person?
Is 55:8 says our thoughts and ways are not His naturally.

My Way Person is:
1. Controlling - uses words like never, always, and “I” a lot.
2. Opinionated - short with others, always right, guarded, saving face is critical.
3. Sets the agenda - not involved in all areas of Christian growth. They are late or not reliable in attendance to things they are not in charge of.
4. Keeps God on His level - doesn't listen to God, follows tradition, friends, or the world.

God's Way person:
1. Trusts in the Lord - heart, mind, body, and soul (loves God).
2. Doesn't have all the answers - has faith in the one who does (knows it’s not about them)
3. Let God set the agenda - His purposes and plan.
4. Lives a life of worship - the Word is alive in him and the world sees it in them.

Jesus is the Way to truth and life (John 14:6)

Are you willing to do things His way starting today?   

Have a good Godly day.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Finding Your Purpose

For us as followers of Christ, it matters a great deal which way we go because we have a definite destination in mind. We have set forth on a journey. We are people who are valued by God and equipped with what we need to make it where we are bound. – Isaiah 50:7

It’s far easier to talk a good talk than to walk the walk.
Even Elijah had his low moments. – 1 Kings 19

What Are We Doing Here?

Is there a verse that guides your life and way of thinking?

God establishes a little section of His Word deep within you that becomes a spiritual foundation upon which to build your life. Keep your eyes and heart open for a Scripture that speaks to you in a personal way. When you come across verses that speaks to you, write them down, memorize them, and hide them in your heart to meditate on their meaning for your life.

What has brought true joy into your life so far?

Look back over your life and identify those events and activities that seem to inspire your soul or encourage your heart.

The more you get to know yourself, the more likely it is that you’ll hone in on the purposes that ring true in your life.

How can you best honor God?

You don’t have to become a missionary or minister to give a right answer.
Honor God with your lives – dependable, loving, caring, doing our best, and sharing Jesus with the world around us. – 1 Peter 3:15

Each one of us has been given “unique” eyes to see God’s grander view in a way that honors Him. We are blessed. – Psalm 20:4

Have a good Godly day.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

To Be Blessed

Do you see life’s meaning through God’s eyes and wisdom?

Have you lost your focus?

In Ecclesiastes 12 some of Solomon’s last recorded words were: (Ecclesiastes 12:13-14) 13 Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the duty of all mankind. 14 For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil. Praise the Lord! I think he finally got it. It’s not about us – it should always be all about God.

Another wonderful source of wisdom (Fearing God and keeping his commandments,) is found in Matthew 5:1-20. Also known as the Sermon on the Mount and The Beatitudes. Listen to the instruction that Jesus gives to us here.

    1 Now when Jesus saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him, 2 and he began to teach them.  He said:
3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4 Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
5 Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.
6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.
7 Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.
8 Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
9 Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.
10 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11 “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12 Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

Who are blessed here according to Jesus?

If that’s all you heard would that sound like a blessing?

What outcomes are promised?

Sounds like wisdom to me.

Have a good Godly day.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

The Search Continues

In searching for wisdom Solomon says in  Ecclesiastes 1:16-18: 16 I said to myself, “Look, I have increased in wisdom more than anyone who has ruled over Jerusalem before me; I have experienced much of wisdom and knowledge.” 17 Then I applied myself to the understanding of wisdom, and also of madness and folly, but I learned that this, too, is a chasing after the wind. 18 For with much wisdom comes much sorrow; the more knowledge, the more grief. ... the conclusion ... much study is a wearies the body ... (Ecclesiastes 12:12)

Look at the five things that Solomon was searching for and what was the outcome.
1. Searching for Pleasure: Ecclesiastes 2:1-2 ... this is vanity. I said to myself, “Come now, I will test you with pleasure to find out what is good.” But that also proved to be meaningless. 2 “Laughter,” I said, “is madness. And what does pleasure accomplish?”
 3 I tried cheering myself with wine, and embracing folly—my mind still guiding me with wisdom. I wanted to see what was good for people to do under the heavens during the few days of their lives.

2. Searching for Prosperity: Ecclesiastes 2:4-6 4 I undertook great projects: I built houses for myself and planted vineyards. 5 I made gardens and parks and planted all kinds of fruit trees in them. 6 I made reservoirs to water groves of flourishing trees
3. Searching for Property: Ecclesiastes 2:7 I bought male and female slaves and had other slaves who were born in my house. I also owned more herds and flocks than anyone in Jerusalem before me.
4. Searching for Possessions: Ecclesiastes 2:8 8 I amassed silver and gold for myself, and the treasure of kings and provinces. I acquired male and female singers, and a harem as well—the delights of a man’s heart.
5. Searching for Power: Ecclesiastes 2:9 I became greater by far than anyone in Jerusalem before me. In all this my wisdom stayed with me

Look how many times Solomon says I in Ecclesiastes chapter 2 - at least 24 times! When we focus too much on ourself it will bring destruction. We develop a bad attitude and become jaded about life. This not only affects ourselves, but also those around us.

Is life all about us or about God and His purposes?
Have a good Godly day.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Questions


We live in a world that doesn’t know God and therefore has no hope. Ecclesiastes is a case study on someone trying to find meaning in this world and in their personal life. Solomon went farther and farther from God, and turned his interest to nature rather than worshipping the Creator of all things. Solomon ends up feeling that there is no purpose in life.

We all deal with questions about the meaning of life.

What do you think it means?
 
In what ways have you searched for the meaning of life?

Once someone has found peace in God through Jesus Christ why would they look elsewhere?

Solomon’s search leads to Ecclesiastes 2:1-11
1 I said to myself, “Come now, I will test you with pleasure to find out what is good.” But that also proved to be meaningless. 2 “Laughter,” I said, “is madness. And what does pleasure accomplish?” 3 I tried cheering myself with wine, and embracing folly—my mind still guiding me with wisdom. I wanted to see what was good for people to do under the heavens during the few days of their lives. 4 I undertook great projects: I built houses for myself and planted vineyards. 5 I made gardens and parks and planted all kinds of fruit trees in them. 6 I made reservoirs to water groves of flourishing trees. 7 I bought male and female slaves and had other slaves who were born in my house. I also owned more herds and flocks than anyone in Jerusalem before me. 8 I amassed silver and gold for myself, and the treasure of kings and provinces. I acquired male and female singers, and a harem as well—the delights of a man’s heart. 9 I became greater by far than anyone in Jerusalem before me. In all this my wisdom stayed with me. 10 I denied myself nothing my eyes desired; I refused my heart no pleasure. My heart took delight in all my labor, and this was the reward for all my toil. 11 Yet when I surveyed all that my hands had done and what I had toiled to achieve, everything was meaningless, a chasing after the wind; nothing was gained under the sun.

Things that we do on our own do not last.

The things of God are eternal. Amen?

Have a good Godly day.

Monday, November 7, 2011

The Meaning of Life


We saw in last week’s study that Solomon corrupted his heart by: caving in to worldly pressures, focusing on processions, and didn’t put in to practice his Godly wisdom. He lost focus on what was important – an intimate relation with God. He truly was the “wisest fool” who ever lived!

Solomon decided that instead of trusting and obeying the Lord, he would rely on his own wisdom, power, riches, and fame. He put himself on the slippery slopes of disobedience and fell. This fatal mistake of relying on self took him away from God. In the later years of his life he became sad and despondent. So much so that he writes in Ecclesiastes 1:1-2 that
everything in life is meaningless!
    1 The words of the Teacher, son of David, king in Jerusalem: 2 “Meaningless! Meaningless!” says the Teacher. “Utterly meaningless! Everything is meaningless.”
Solomon’s fall left him with these sad words -- Vanity of vanities, all is vanity, Useless, useless all is useless, and Everything is meaningless (different Bible translations).

Why would a man with so much wisdom say these words?

1.     He lost his focus
2.     He lost his moral compass
3.     He lost hope

Has life no meaning?

Maybe we need to work on what pleases God, and these things can be found.

Have a good Godly day.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Seeking God

Seek God through His Word and listen to His instruction.

Our desire should be to be constantly in His presence. Psalm 27:4 - One thing I ask of the LORD, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to seek him in his temple.

The Greatest Commandment –   Love     God . Matt. 22:35-38 -One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: "Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?" Jesus replied: “`Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 'This is the first and greatest commandment.

God calls us to spend time with Him . Micah 6:8 - He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.

Boast in the Lord. Jeremiah 9:23-24 - This is what the LORD says:
"Let not the wise man boast of his wisdom or the strong man boast of his strength or the rich man boast of his riches, but let him who boasts boast about this: that he understands and knows me, that I am the LORD, who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on earth, for in these I delight," declares the LORD.

God doesn’t want us to just have knowledge of Him, but have intimate relationship with Him.Psalm 34:8 - Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in him. 

The Word today leaves us with 3 things: a challenge, a warning, and a benefit. Will you take them?

Psalm 27:1 -The LORD is my light and my salvation-- whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life-- of whom shall I be afraid?

Have a good Godly day.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Stand Firm

We can learn a lot from Psalm 73 about almost slipping and how to protect ourselves.

   1 Surely God is good to Israel, to those who are pure in heart. 2 But as for me, my feet had almost slipped; I had nearly lost my foothold. 3 For I envied the arrogant when I saw the prosperity of the wicked. 4 They have no struggles; their bodies are healthy and strong. 5 They are free from common human burdens; they are not plagued by human ills. 6 Therefore pride is their necklace; they clothe themselves with violence.
7 From their callous hearts comes iniquity their evil imaginations have no limits. 8 They scoff, and speak with malice; with arrogance they threaten oppression. 9 Their mouths lay claim to heaven, and their tongues take possession of the earth.
10 Therefore their people turn to them and drink up waters in abundance.11 They say, “How would God know? Does the Most High know anything?” 12 This is what the wicked are like— always free of care, they go on amassing wealth. 13 Surely in vain I have kept my heart pure and have washed my hands in innocence. 14 All day long I have been afflicted, and every morning brings new punishments. 15 If I had spoken out like that,  I would have betrayed your children.
16 When I tried to understand all this, it troubled me deeply 17 till I entered the sanctuary of God; then I understood their final destiny. 18 Surely you place them on slippery ground; you cast them down to ruin. 19 How suddenly are they destroyed, completely swept away by terrors! 20 They are like a dream when one awakes; when you arise, Lord, you will despise them as fantasies. 21 When my heart was grieved and my spirit embittered, 22 I was senseless and ignorant; I was a brute beast before you. 23 Yet I am always with you; you hold me by my right hand.
24 You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will take me into glory. 25 Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you.
26 My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. 27 Those who are far from you will perish; you destroy all who are unfaithful to you. 28 But as for me, it is good to be near God. I have made the Sovereign LORD my refuge;  I will tell of all your deeds.

Let us thank you Jesus for His love, counsel, and wisdom. Amen?

Have a good Godly day.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Practices

In the king’s life there was a  failure to follow the Lord completely. "Thus, Solomon did what was evil in the Lord’s sight, he refused to follow the Lord completely, as his father David had done." (I Kings 11:6) Unwillingness to be wholehearted in our obedience, trust and love for the Lord eventually leads to self-destructive practices. Many people feel they can be neutral toward God.

"Jesus said, "Anyone who isn’t helping me opposes me, and anyone who isn’t working with me is actually working against me." Ask the Lord to help you always press onward and upward for the call of Christ Jesus by serving Him with all your heart, soul, strength and mind out of a love that comes from a choice to reciprocate His love for you. To do otherwise is a recipe for experiencing the opposition of God. NO one wins against God. Escape the corruption that is in the world by loving the world and putting away the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life. (I John 2:15-16)

The only thing that good men must do for evil to triumph is to avoid doing anything. (Edmund Burke)

You cannot remain neutral towards Jesus Christ.  Anyone who is not actively following Him has chosen to rebel against God. Solomon eventually realized that there are severe and lasting consequences for disobedience. Before you fall on to the slippery slope of sin, seek the Lord, His will and His service.  Contribute to the expansion of His kingdom and His righteousness as your greatest priority in life.

Matthew 6:33-34 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

What choices do you need to make to keep your relationship strong with Christ?

Choose to serve the Lord instead of slipping and falling away from God like Solomon did. Take instruction and apply God’s Word to your life!

Have a good Godly day.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Slopes to Avoid

Here are two examples of Solomon’s slippery slope and ones we need to avoid:

PRESSURE
Solomon at first resisted the pressure of his 700 wives and 300 concubine to worship idols but eventually became corrupt and turned his heart away from God. "Now it came about when Solomon was old that his wives turned his heart away from God and his heart was not wholly devoted to the Lord his God as the heart of David his father had been." (1 Kings 4:4) Before we allow worldly pressure to overwhelm us we must counter-act it by overcoming evil with good and not simply co-existing with its influence, presence or philosophies.

What worldly influences and pressures are weighing on you?

POCESSIONS
Solomon accumulated things that gradually became his focus and captured his heart instead of God, His word and His will. Avoid thinking that you can stock up on things that will become your security, satisfaction and source of success instead of the Lord. Solomon spent his life hoarding the following:
(1) Gold and silver
Solomon accumulated enormous quantities of gold, and his kingdom had so much silver that it was counted as common as stones (1Kings 10).
(2) Thousands of horses
Solomon’s herd and trade in horses from
Egypt was huge (1Kings 10).

God anticipated the future desire of the nation to have a king. This law was to apply to every king, including Solomon. You will find it in Deuteronomy 17:14-20: 14 When you enter the land the LORD your God is giving you and have taken possession of it and settled in it, and you say, “Let us set a king over us like all the nations around us,” 15 be sure to appoint over you a king the LORD your God chooses. He must be from among your fellow Israelites. Do not place a foreigner over you, one who is not an Israelite. 16 The king, moreover, must not acquire great numbers of horses for himself or make the people return to Egypt to get more of them, for the LORD has told you, “You are not to go back that way again.” 17 He must not take many wives, or his heart will be led astray. He must not accumulate large amounts of silver and gold.  18 When he takes the throne of his kingdom, he is to write for himself on a scroll a copy of this law, taken from that of the Levitical priests. 19 It is to be with him, and he is to read it all the days of his life so that he may learn to revere the LORD his God and follow carefully all the words of this law and these decrees 20 and not consider himself better than his fellow Israelites and turn from the law to the right or to the left. Then he and his descendants will reign a long time over his kingdom in
Israel.

Are possessions, money and things putting you on a “slippery slope” with your relationship with God? Or the pursuit of these things?

Have a good Godly day.