Ecclesiastes 12:13-14 The Duty Of Every Person

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. For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil. Ecclesiastes 12:13-14

Solomon started out this book stating that everything is meaningless. As one reads through it, he shows how worthless everything is in this life. People are born, they live for a while and they die. There does not appear to be any meaning in this life for what a person goes through.

As he finishes the book, he points out that everything has been considered and he came up with a conclusion. That conclusion is that the whole purpose of every person on this earth is to fear God and obey Him.

Having this viewpoint in a person’s life, puts God as the One who is in absolute control of everything and knows what is best for everyone. In the end this will be seen when God brings every deed into judgment. This is not just the deeds that are physically seen, but those that are hidden behind closed doors, or are hidden inside the thoughts of the mind.

This judgment will also include all deeds, both the good ones and the sinful ones. God is not just one-sided, He looks at everything, the whole person.

Some people may now say that keeping His commandments is difficult. On the surface this appears to be true, but if you really look at it, there are only two commandments to really keep. Those commandments are: love God, and love your neighbor.

If you are showing true love to God and your neighbor, you will not do anything to harm either one in any way. This includes harmful thoughts in the quiet of your mind, along with the physical actions many do.

Many people are searching for a purpose in this world. You may be searching for your purpose in this world. Now you know what it is: love God and love your neighbors.

Show your love to God and your neighbors by telling them about Jesus and what Jesus has done and will do for them. Be the witness of Jesus to this world today. That is what Jesus did and wants you to do today.

I pray today that you will know God’s purpose for your life; that you will see the opportunities to be His witness; that you will love God; and that you will show God’s love to everyone else.

Ecclesiastes 7:10 A Bad Question To Ask

Do not say, “Why were the old days better than these?” For it is not wise to ask such questions. Ecclesiastes 7:10

It is very common for people to look back on history and make the statement that those were the ‘good old days’. This usually occurs as someone watches a movie or tv show that depicts life years ago. Looking at what is being shown appears to be a great life, that is slow and full of meaning and purpose. Everything looks great.

Another time people think of the ‘good old days’ is when they are going through a very tough situation in life. Married couples begin to look back on their earlier years of marriage and think it was so much better. Or parents look at when their children were younger and think it was better.

Over and over in this nation people are looking back on years ago. Christians do it often when the government makes a bad ruling, or when someone does an extreme case of killing.

Solomon says that it is not wise to look back like that and ask the question why it was so much better.

Throughout a person’s life there are many ups and downs. Every period of life has its own unique challenges. At the time it appears as though it is the worst of times. Then later, after surviving the situation, another situation arises that appears to be even worse.

As a human being, you can only live in the present. You cannot live in the past or the future. Today is the day for salvation and you must live in it.

Do not forget what has occurred in the past, but do not dwell in the past. Learn from it and move forward. Accept what God has for you today and look forward to what He will have for you tomorrow.

It may appear that the past was good, but try to remember how hard some of the situations were at the time you were going through them. Today is no different. People are no better or worse than they were before. Situations are no better or worse, it is nothing new.

God has you on a journey in this life. Accept what He has given you and live your life to the fullest for Him. Don’t ask bad questions that are worthless.

I pray today that you will know the path God has for you; that you will live your life for God; that you will be content with what God is giving you; and that you will know the abundant life God has for you today.

Ecclesiastes 1:2 Meaningless And Worthless

“Meaningless! Meaningless!” says the Teacher. “Utterly meaningless! Everything is meaningless.” Proverbs 1:2

The words spoken in this verse are the words of a man who is broken and in great despair. He has looked at things in this world and could not find any meaning to anything. Everything that happens appears to have no meaning. The person speaking is Solomon, who had all the money and anything that he wanted. He was the wealthiest man that has ever lived in all of history, he made Bill Gates look poor, yet, he could not find meaning in life.

All around the world people are looking for meaning in life. It is extremely difficult to find meaning in war-torn countries, or in gang infested cities. It is difficult to find meaning when a loved one dies of an illness or bad accident. It is difficult to find meaning in losing a job or finding out a loved one has a dreaded illness or other health issue.

The question is often asked, “why do bad things happen to ‘good’ people?” People have philosophized over that question for centuries. Even Christians have struggled with that question. Many people look at everything and agree with Solomon that everything is meaningless.

When looking at everything without God or Jesus in the picture, it is true that everything is meaningless. Without God it does make sense why someone would want to commit suicide and end it all. There is no meaning in life or reason for anything without Jesus.

To find meaning in this life you must know God. In order to know God you must know Jesus. He is the only way to the Father. Jesus gives meaning to this life. In this life there will be things that look bad, and are bad, but Jesus gives the hope of an eternal life without suffering.

He gives reason to hang on in this life and to spread the Gospel message around the world. Without Jesus there is no peace or meaning. Without there being an eternal life to look forward to, there is no meaning for the suffering going on today.

When things look hopeless and meaningless in your life, look to God for meaning. Put all your hope and trust in Jesus and find meaning to this life.

I pray today that you will know Jesus as your savior; that you will know God personally; that God will reveal meaning in your life; and that you will trust God through the meaningless times.

 

 

Proverbs 16:9 Planning And The Actual Journey

In their hearts humans plan their course, but the LORD establishes their steps. Proverbs 16:9

Plans for traveling are made by people all the time. In the process of planning a major trip across the country, many decisions are made. Where to get gas, where to eat, where to stop for the night, which roads to take, and where to stop for a visit are just a few of the plans made.

These decisions are based off of many different reasons that each person must make for the trip being made. Cost factors, time to drive, distance, what the goal is, and other individual choices have to be made.

Once on the road, however, changes in the plans can easily occur. Vehicle break down, traffic accident, bad weather, and other incidents could occur that change the plans without personal desire.

In the same way, plans are made by people to travel through life. Plans to live in a certain area, or work a specific job, or get a type of college degree and the list goes on indefinitely. A lot of these start out when the person is in high school. Others are made later in life.

Very often those plans get changed, often due to circumstances beyond the control of the person. God will step into the picture and guide the person’s steps through this life. One plan that no person personally chooses is to have trouble or pain. Everyone wants to avoid all trouble if possible.

Yet, it is trouble that can help build a person stronger. God uses everything to build a person more like Jesus.

In your own life, God may have to use some trouble in order to get you to move to a new location in order to bring you a greater blessing. In the new location you may be able to do twice as much for God.

As you go through this life, you can make plans, but hold them loosely in your hands. Allow God to change them for your benefit. Allow God to establish your steps on the best path for the greatest journey through this life that is possible.

Trust God’s plans for your life, they will be the best. Your journey may not turn out as you planned, but it will be the best.

I pray today that you will know God’s guidance for your life; that you will stay on the path God wants you on; that you will not lose faith when God changes your plans; and that you will know and live the abundant life God has for you.

Psalm 144:3-4 Who Are You, mortal?

LORD, what are human beings that you care for them, mere mortals that you think of them? They are like a breath; their days are like a fleeting shadow. Psalm 144:3-4

People like to think that they are pretty special, that they are worth a lot to everyone else. Some feel as though they are the best thing on the earth and that the world does revolve around them, and they will let everyone know it.

This type of thinking does not have boundaries as to who has those feelings. It happens with those who are poor and those who are very wealthy, and in every nation on the earth. It has no boundaries or prejudices of who thinks this way.

When a person thinks like that, often they have very little room for God. They do not see the real need for God in their life. Or if they do believe in God, they feel that He owes them something.

David realized how small he and all men really are in sight of God. Mankind is mortal, here today and gone tomorrow. Life is described as just a breath or a vapor. When a person thinks about how small he really is and how short his life really is, it then makes one wonder why God even cares about him.

God is infinite, eternal, absolute power, larger than all of the universe, and yet, He cares for you, a mere mortal human being on this earth. God is willing to step out of eternity and heaven to take time to be with you. He cares about your every thought, action, and feeling. He cares about your whole life.

The reason God cares so much is that He is love. He cares about you because that is who He is. God is a caring loving God.

His love and care is not based on who you are or what you have done. You cannot be so bad that God will not love you. You cannot do anything to earn His love.

Stop for a moment and realize how much God cares for you and loves you. Think about what God does to show His love to you. You are not worth loving, but God still loves you anyway. He is an amazing, loving God.

I pray today that you will know God’s love for you; that you will realize you cannot earn God’s love; that you will know how much God cares for you; and that you will find peace in knowing God in your life.

Psalm 138:1 Praise With Heart

I will praise you, LORD, with all my heart; before the “gods” I will sing your praise. Psalm 138:1

Going through the motions is a common practice of most people. People go to work each day and do the job they are required to do, but most are not excited about going to work. It is just something that they must do. They need money to buy the needed food and pay for the housing, so they must work.

Children go to school each day, because they are forced to go. Most children would not step foot in school if they did not have to do so. Those that would go to school, mainly go to be with their friends, not to learn.

The common thing in these situations are that people are not putting their heart in what they are doing.

Sadly this can often happen in the church. On Sunday mornings during worship, many sing the songs of praise just because that is what they do on Sunday mornings. Even throughout the week a person may be playing music from a Christian radio station, but are just hearing the music, not really listening or worshipping God.

Putting your heart into something means that you are giving it all you have to do it. You are not leaving anything behind.

David said that he would praise God with all of his heart. He was giving God everything he had.

The heart is what pumps the blood through the body. It is what gives the body life.

Each time that you choose to give God some praise, it must be done with all of your heart. Give life to your praise. Do not do it as just another ritual that must be done. Anything that is done as a ritual is dead and lifeless.

Anyone in the world who sees a dead, lifeless praise will not want to be a part of it.

When God hears a dead, lifeless praise coming from a person, He knows it does not mean very much.

How is your praise to God today?

Is it coming from your heart?

Is it alive with excitement and joy?

Or is it just a ritual, that is lifeless and dead?

I pray today that you will be filled with the joy of the Lord; that you will sing praises to God from your heart; that you will put all of your heart into your praise to God; and that you will have a song of praise in your heart all day long.

 

Psalm 129:4 Cut Free

But the LORD is righteous; he has cut me free from the cords of the wicked. Psalm 129:4

No one likes to be bound up in chains or handcuffs. They want to have their freedom to live life as they desire. Most people feel that they are free in this world to live their own lives. There are some countries where that freedom is not really felt as much, but most still feel that way.

The reality is that most people are bound up in the chains of this world. The world holds many people back from really living life to the fullest and best possible.

These chains are the chains of fear, ridicule, persecution, and shame. The world tries to tell a person that if he believes in God, he is ridiculous and crazy. Following God is being narrow-minded and often seen as bigoted and unloving.

When a person starts to believe these things, he begins to fear the world and chooses to stay far from God. In doing so, he has allowed the world to put chains on him. His hands, feet, and heart are bound up in chains that he, alone, cannot break.

Living like this keeps a person from living the life God has for him. He begins to live life as the world tells him to live, a life apart from God. This life is a life of death. It is on the path to destruction for all eternity.

Many believers fall into this trap. They are caught up in legalistic obedience to God. They do not have the loving relationship with God that God desires. They are bound up in chains that other “believers” have put on them.

God saw your inability to break those chains and did something about it. God had broken all these chains when Jesus died on the cross and rose from the dead.

Jesus chose to set you free so that you may live your life for Him. In living for God, you will be living a full and abundant life. There will be joy and satisfaction that cannot be found in the ways of this world.

Are you allowing Jesus to break those chains in your life?

Or are you allowing the world to keep you chained up?

I pray today that you will allow God to set you free; that you will live for Jesus; that you will not seek the ways of this world; that you will not be deceived by this world; and that you will live an abundant life for God.