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.

Psalm 133:1 Living In Unity

How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity! Psalm 133:1

Most people in the world are living at odds with each other. Each person wants to do things his own way. Each person wants to have everything work out in the way that works best for himself.

When this way of living occurs, there comes discord and fighting. No one is looking out for the other person, but his own personal interest.

The church often has the same problem as the world does. Each person in the church is trying to have everything run his own way. This creates disunity and discord also.

Think about a car engine and how it runs. If each piston chose to run on its own timing, the engine would not run at all. They have to run together in order for the car to run correctly and do its job.

Living together in unity brings about peace and strength. God is not a god of division but of love and peace and unity.  Remember that although He is the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, God is still One in unity.

The only people who can truly call themselves Christian, are those who believe in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ for the atonement of their sins. Any person who does believe this, becomes a member of God’s family and should live in unity with all others who believe with him.

There may be many differences between the way different believers worship, pray, preach, witness, and live life, but everyone has the belief in Jesus. That is the only thing that affects salvation directly. There is only one way to God and that is through Jesus.

As believers begin to live in unity with the focus on Jesus and not on all the little side petty details, there will be peace and unity.

As a believer, strive to live in unity with all other believers. There will be believers who get into heaven from every denomination from around the world, you will not be the only one in heaven, otherwise it would be very lonely there.

It is good when people in unity and keep from fighting each other.

How are you working at keeping unity with other believers in your church?

Community?

Workplace?

I pray today that you will live with God at the center of your life; that you will love others as God loves them; that you will live in the unity of God with others; that you will know the peace of unity with other believers.

1 Thessalonians 4:1 Live To Please God

“As for other matters, brothers and sisters, we instructed you how to live in order to please God, as in fact you are living. Now we ask and urge you in the Lord Jesus to do this more and more.” 1 Thessalonians 4:1

Paul commended the people of the Thessalonian church that they were living in a way to please God. He then encourages them to do this more and more. They were not to stop striving to please God.

There are people out there that when they look at all of the ways that God wants a person to live and the perfection He is looking for, they don’t want to even try to live for God. Many will start out living for God and striving to please Him, only to give up later.

People often give up, because it is, in reality, impossible to become perfect for God…on their own. They look at all of their faults and say they cannot do it, which is true, on their own. It is only when they rest in Jesus, trust in the power of Jesus, that they can become more like Jesus.

It is in the aiming for, striving to please God, that God finds pleasure. If you are aiming for perfection, just to be perfect, you are doing it for the wrong reasons. Your goal in life should be to please God.

Are you being a witness for Jesus?

Are you loving others? Including your enemies?

Are you serving others? Including your enemies?

Are you forgiving everyone?

Are you spending time with God?

Are you turning away from sin?

These and many other things are ways to please God. You may already be doing many or all of these things. That is great! Now Paul is saying do it more and more.

Keep working at pleasing God. Do everything as though you are doing it to and for God. Seek His Holy Spirit to give yo the strength and wisdom in what to do and how to do it. Living like this in the end will get you the “well done good and faithful servant”.

I pray today that God will reveal what He wants you to do; that your actions will please God; that your thoughts will be pleasing to God; that your heart will strive to please God; and that God will draw many to Jesus through you.

Philippians 3:16 Act Your Age

“Only let us live up to what we have already attained.” Philippians 3:16

After finishing talking about pressing onward towards the goal God has in him and every person, Paul tells the people to live up to what they had already attained. As the people are running the race and making progress going forward, they were not to go backwards in the way they were living for God.

Parents, teachers, and many other people often tell children to act their age. When this is stated, they are talking about what that child has learned on how to behave, they are supposed to actually do. They are supposed to mature in the ways of thinking and acting.

Along with children acting their age, many adults are told the same thing. There are women who dress like a teen-age girl who are in their thirties. There are men that just sit and play on game consoles all day and night that are in their forties. Some people will just act plain crazy or whine and complain like a little child. At that point many are told to act their age.

As a person grows up they are supposed to mature and change their ways and thoughts.

As a believer, you have learned new things about God. You have learned how to live for God in different ways. You have learned how to pray and read the Bible. You have learned that you need to be His witness.

Each person is a different levels in all of these, and many more different areas, in their lives. The challenge is that wherever you are in Jesus, you must live up to that level.

Have you learned to study the Bible? Are you studying your Bible?

What have you learned about being His witness? Are you applying it to your life?

Everything you have learned about God and how to live for God, you must begin to apply to your life. Live up to what you have learned. Do not go back to your old ways of living. Do not become a little child again.

God wants you to become more and more like Jesus. Are you doing that?

I pray today that God will remind you of what you have learned; that God will guide you in how to apply what you have learned in your life; that you will be more like Jesus every day; and that you will not step backwards in your life.

2 Corinthians5:15 Not Living For Self

And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.” 2 Corinthians 5:15

In this world everywhere a person looks the views of most people are what is in it for themselves. Each person wants the best for his own life.

When a person goes to purchase a new car at a dealership, he is trying to get the lowest price possible. He is thinking about his own money, rather than thinking about the salesman who is trying to make a living for his own family. It is about himself, not someone else.

There are some wealthy people who give lots of money to some great organizations to help others. Although it looks good, often the purpose of giving the money is not so much to help others, but to get a tax write-off. Again, it is about self, not others.

When Jesus left the glories of heaven to come to earth it was with you and all others in mind. As He walked on this earth, He was focused on doing God’s will with you in mind. Ultimately Jesus died on the cross for you. Jesus died so that you might live.

Never once was Jesus living for Himself. His entire life on this earth was always about you and everyone else. His purpose was to save everyone.

Jesus died and rose again for you. No one can give or do for you anything more than He did. As a believer, you should live your life in the same way. You should be living to serve Jesus and others.

If you are living to serve Jesus, your whole purpose in this life will not be about yourself. It will not be about how much you can get or do. It will be about how many you can reach for Jesus. It will be about how many you can compel to follow Jesus.

When you are living for Jesus, He will provide for you. You will not have to worry about yourself. Your focus will be on Jesus, and His focus will be on taking care of you.

Die to yourself today, and live for Jesus, the One who died and rose again for you.

I pray today that you will know what Jesus has done for you; that God will show you how to live for Him; that God will reveal to you ways to reach the lost; and that God will build His kingdom through you.

1 Corinthians 3:1 Being Worldly

“Brothers and sisters, I could not address you as people who live by the Spirit but as people who are still worldly–mere infants in Christ.”

Paul was talking to the church in Corinth. He was making a very harsh statement to them about them. He was basically calling them babies that were refusing to grow up. It was border line stating that they were not Christian but only of the world because of the way they were acting.

They were accused of being worldly. Being worldly is being or acting like the world.

How does the world act? Selfish, jealous, fighting, demanding, cheating, accusing, and many other things. Look all around and you will see these things. Follow the news and everything is centered on these types of actions in one way or the other.

Many in the church today are often selfish wanting their own way. They throw pointing fingers at others. They fight with others to have their own way. They demand that others believe exactly as they do. They skimp out and cheat others in the dealings.

Think about how a little child acts. They will do all of these things because they do not know any other way to act. A little child has not learned how to act correctly. The parents should be working at leading the child to learn to act correctly.

In the same way as a believer you must learn from the Holy Spirit as to how to act correctly in this life. God is your Father who will train you to act as He would. Jesus would never act in any of these worldly ways. He was led by the Holy Spirit in everything He said and did. He was in this world but not of this world. He was set apart.

As you go through life today how are you living it? Could you be accused of being worldly? Are you living your life as the world does?

Or are you being led by the Holy Spirit? Are you separate from this world? Are you set apart from this world?

I pray today that you will be led by the Holy Spirit; that you will act and speak as Jesus would; that you will grow up in the Lord Jesus Christ; that you will be separate from the world; and that you will be God’s light in this world.

Romans 12:1 A Living Sacrifice

“Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God–this is your true and proper worship.” Romans 12:1

Paul had just talked about how God’s mercy brings salvation to both the Israelites and the Gentiles. Since this is the case, believers are to keep God’s great mercy in mind and offer their bodies as a living sacrifice. This is called true and proper worship.

In the Old Testament times, worship of God was done by sacrificing an animal on an altar. An animal was chosen that was without any defects and laid upon the altar. It was then killed and burned as a sacrifice of worship to God.

When Jesus died on the cross, He became the saving sacrifice for all time and all people. Unlike the sacrifices in the Old Testament for covering of sins, His sacrifice does not need to be repeated by anyone ever again. Yet, there needs to be sacrifices of worship to God.

Paul is stating that you should offer your body as a living sacrifice. You do not have to physically die on the altar, but your body must be sacrificed.

Sacrificing your body is doing God’s will with your physical abilities despite what you or your body wants to do. It is going the extra mile to help someone out, or to tell someone about Jesus. It is loosing that extra sleep in order to build someone else up in Jesus. It is denying sinful acts to live a testimony of who Jesus is. It is refusing to live in sin. It is going out of your way to be a witness to others.

Doing God’s desire is the greatest form of worship a person can give God. Speaking praises to God is good, but if the heart is not in it, and there is no action to back it up, it becomes meaningless. Jesus said that if you really love Him you would obey Him. This is the meaning of a living sacrifice–to obey God and do what He desires, even at the cost of your physical being.

Are you really worshiping God today? Or are you just speaking words of worship?

Are you worshiping God? Or are you worshiping yourself?

I pray today that you will know the mercy God has for you; that you will offer your body as a living sacrifice to God; that you will obey God’s desires for your life; and that you will be His witness everywhere you go.