Ecclesiastes 1:2 Meaningless

Question on paper

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

People search for meaning to why things occur as they do. Children are always asking why they have to learn some subject or topic in school. They do not see any meaning or reason for it.

Murders occur on a regular basis and people wonder why a person does the killing, especially in mass levels of killing. People want to know the meaning of why there are wars going on.

Disasters and sickness occur in the lives of people and people are always asking why. There does not appear any reason for these events to happen.

As people seek to find answers to why things happen, most often the answer appears that the event was meaningless, with no reason that one can see or understand. When this occurs, there are many who find life is meaningless and want to end it.

Solomon starts out this book with stating that everything is meaningless. There was no reason for anything.

Looking at most things there does not appear to be any meaning for why they occur. From the world’s viewpoint of everything that occurs, there is often no reason. Things often look hopeless and with no real purpose.

Those who believe in God, however, see things from a different perspective. Events in this life are seen from God’s eternal point of view, though often it is also difficult to see or understand.

The believer knows that things that are bad that occur happen because of sin. Sin brings people to do what should not be done. Sin has brought death, sickness and meaninglessness to many things in the lives of people.

Only in Jesus does one begin to see reason and meaning to everything that occurs. Without God there is no purpose for anything. God is the one who gives life and purpose to a person.

Going through your life, you will encounter things and events that do not appear to have any meaning or purpose. Turn your focus off of those events and onto God. Gain an eternal perspective of what is going on.

Realize that a lot of things that occur are because of sin and sinful choices.

Holding onto and believing in Jesus gives meaning and purpose to everything. Never forget that God works all things out for those who believe and trust in Him.

Your life does have meaning and purpose in Christ Jesus. Lean on Jesus and hope in Him.

I pray today that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that God will reveal your purpose in this life; that you will know the hope you can have in Jesus; and that God will reveal meaning to events in your life. 

Job 35:3 Missing The Real Blessings

Missing piece

Yet you ask him, ‘What profit is it to me, and what do I gain by not sinning?’ Job 35:3 

The world does not see sin as sin. They do not have a solid foundational moral code to live by, so the rules to not sin mean nothing to them. Those in the world make the rules as they go along to meet their needs at the moment. It has to fit the rule: if it feels good, if it helps me, if it does not directly hurt anyone else, then do it.

Elihu pointed out a question that many believers have asked over time. People often want to know what benefit there is in not sinning.

This question is often asked of the world because of what they see in believers. If the believers they are seeing are living their life just as the world does, in sin, then it is a good question. There are many believers living in such a way, that they do not look any different than those who are not believers. Their lives are not set apart, holy unto God.

Living like this, causes a bad witness for Jesus. It turns people away from God, because why should they follow someone who requires some change, yet, they never see the change. There is no difference in how they live.

Other believers also question giving up sin, because of the troubles they are going through. They look at the challenges in life as God is against them. They watch non-believers seemingly going through life having everything going for them and no problems. As they see this, they begin to wonder why they should give up sin, why not keep sinning and enjoy it, life will be the same or even better.

Living like this misses the blessings God has for a person. The peace and joy of a relationship with God, the hope of eternal life, and the work of God in their lives.

God allows bad things in your life to build you and help you be His witness. It is not to tear you down or crush you, but to build you up.

Living in sin brings on many problems, ultimately separation from God for eternity. Having temporary pleasure in sin will not be worth losing eternal life with God.

Keep your focus on what God is blessing you with, even during times of struggle. Don’t allow yourself to look back and choose to go back to sin. It is not worth it.

I pray today that you will see the blessings God is giving you; that you will know the peace God has for you; that you will see the benefit of following God; and that God will help you to keep from looking back to sin.

Going To Church?

Dad Tired

Over the last few years I have had several friends who have chosen to no longer go to church, yet, remain a believer. The reasons are varied. Some because of being hurt by those in the church, others because of the way the church looks and acts.

Jerrad Lopes, founder of the national organization, Dad Tired, does a weekly podcast talking about different issues men may have in their lives. Jerrad encourages men to be dads who follow after God and put Him first in their families. In this podcast he addresses the issue of whether a  family really needs to go to church or not. He does not say it is wrong to not go to church, but does suggest that anyone considering not going to church should ask themselves some very good questions.

Please take the time to listen to this podcast, whether you go to church or not, and whether you are considering not going to church or not. It was a real eye-opener to the issue.

Does our family really need to go to church?

Matthew 16:15 Who Do You Say Jesus Is?

Who Do You Say I Am

“But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?” Matthew 16:15 

After having been in public ministry for a while, Jesus asks the disciples who the people think He is. They give the answers of different prophets of the Old Testament. Then Jesus asks them directly who they think He is.

The question of who Jesus is or was is still being asked to this day. Every year around Christmas and Easter, the news media is flooded with questions and answers on who Jesus was. The impact Jesus had on this world is still affecting people to this day.

There are very few people in the world today who deny that Jesus actually lived and died on this earth. The evidence of His existence is too great for any rational person to deny that He was a person. The question though that needs to be asked is not if He existed, but who was He?

People have not really changed their answer since the days Jesus asked the disciples that question. Although people today do not claim that He was one of the Old Testament prophets, many still look at Him as just a prophet or a teacher. Millions of Muslims will see Jesus as a great prophet. Millions of Buddhists will see Him as a great teacher. While both are right in that He was a great prophet and teacher, He was more than that.

Peter saw Jesus as the Messiah, Savior, Son of God. This was a lot more than just a prophet or teacher. This could also not be seen by just looking at Jesus. Looking at Jesus, He was just a regular man, just like everyone else. Looking with the eyes of God into the spiritual realm, revealed that Jesus was much more, He was God’s Son, the Savior.

As you read this, think about who you say Jesus is. Who is He really to you?

You cannot rely on the answers of other people, your parents, friends, or church. You need to have your own answer.

Read the Bible and see what it reveals about who Jesus is. Once you have made your decision, you must be willing to let others know also.

If you are truly open to what the Bible says, you will also be like Peter and realize that Jesus was much more than just another man.

Who do you say Jesus is?

I pray today that God will reveal who Jesus is to you; that you will know for yourself who Jesus is; that you will have a personal relationship with Jesus; and that you will share with the world who Jesus is.

Daniel 10:12 Set Your Mind

Then he continued, “Do not be afraid, Daniel. Since the first day that you set your mind to gain understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come in response to them.” Daniel 10:12

Daniel had a vision that troubled him and he could not understand what it meant. He chose to fast and pray, setting his mind to wait for God to give him the answer. When the person came to answer him, he was told that God had already dispatched the answer twenty-one days before, but was detained by the enemy.

There are many times that a person will want an answer from God about some situation in their life. He will pray for a moment, asking for the answer, then will give up on waiting for that answer. The prayers of many will not last more than a few moments, a few times, before many give up.

The reasons for giving up can be of several reasons. Some feel that they are not worth getting the answer, others are because they are impatient and give up on God, others feel God will not answer them, and still others just don’t make the time to wait on God for the answer.

Most people are in an instant, microwave set of mind in this world. They want the answer and they want it now. If God does not answer immediately, they immediately give up on God. Daniel did not do that, he set his mind and waited for God to answer.

God is always ready to answer, but He does not always answer immediately. Sometimes a person is not ready for the answer, while, as in Daniel’s case, the enemy holds back getting the answer. And when God does answer your prayer, be willing to accept His answer to you. Do not reject it because it was not the answer you desired. Let God be the one in control of your life.

When you are in need of God for an answer, you must set your mind to getting that answer. Deny yourself of yourself and focus on God and Him alone until you get the answer. Spend more than two minutes in prayer. Take time to fast, denying yourself the pleasures of this world. God will answer, in His time and way.

I pray today that you will set your mind to hear God’s voice and direction; that you will trust God to answer all of your prayers; that you will accept all of God’s answers for your life; and that you will not give up on God.

Ezekiel 20:49 Just Stories?

Then I said, “Sovereign LORD, they are saying of me, ‘Isn’t he just telling parables?'” Ezekiel 20:49

God tells the history of Israel in one chapter. He talks about how He had chosen them, but had to send them to Egypt. In the wilderness, while He was with them, they rebelled and He had to punish them. Later, when in the promise land, they chose to rebel against Him again, and He sends them into captivity.

Now as they are rebelling, once again, God is telling them that He will start a fire that will burn hot and destroy them because of their rebellion. The people do not believe it and just think it is a parable or a simple story.

Today, several thousand years later, there are many people who are still asking that same question. Although they don’t ask if it is just a parable, many believe the stories of the Bible are just a fable or fantasy story that was made up by someone.

God is still looking down at the world and seeing the actions of the people. He is still sending out a warning of a coming judgment. Alongside of the warning, God is also providing a way of escape from it. Since there has been no great judgment upon the world, people tend to not believe that there is a coming judgment.

Believers are telling others about the work of Jesus on the cross and that He will return some day. Many do not believe that Jesus actually rose from the dead. There are many who do not even believe He existed and that all of the Bible is just a story that was made up. Since Jesus has not returned in 2,000 years, many do not believe that He is real.

You need  to take a look at what you read in the Bible and decide if it is truly God’s Word or not. You have to make a choice in this. It cannot be partially true and partially false. It is one or the other. Either God spoke the truth, or He spoke a bunch of stories.

Do not allow yourself to fall into the beliefs of many in this world that the Bible is just a really good story book. It is God’s Word and all the words in it will be fulfilled.

I pray today that you will know the Bible as God’s word; that you will tell others what God is saying; that your heart will be kindled on fire to serve God; and that your life will be a witness that His word is true.

Isaiah 57:1-2 A Reason To Be Removed

The righteous perish, and no one take it to heart; the devout are taken away, and no one understands that the righteous are taken away to be spared from evil. Those who walk uprightly enter into peace; they find rest as they lie in death. Isaiah 57:1-2

Death is something that most people have been around at least once or more times in their life. The older a person is, the more that he has seen death. As it occurs, often the question is asked, why?

Death is very hard on those who are still living. Those living are hurting from missing the loved one. Many go through struggles as to why the person had to die, especially when the person was very young, and maybe in great health.

It is even more difficult to see a person die young, who was a strong believer in Jesus and very active in being a witness. Looking at that person, others ask why God would remove that person because he was doing great work for God.

Although the reasons that God takes the life of a believer are as numerous as the stars in the sky and no one can fully understand the reason, Isaiah gives one good reason. That reason is to spare that person from evil, to give him rest and peace.

God knows the past, present and future of every person on this earth. He knows exactly what is going to happen to that person. As a human being, you do not know those things. you do not know how rough life will get for a person if he stays alive, but God does. God in His great wisdom and mercy will take the life of a person in order to spare them from a great evil.

Although as a human, you will miss the person, keep in mind where a dying believer will be when he dies. When a believer dies, he gets to go to Jesus and be at peace and rest for the rest of eternity. He steps into a world that is without pain, suffering or any evil.

As hard as it is to let someone go, let God’s wisdom prevail and let that person have the peace and rest God provides. Keeping a person here on this earth may be worse than the pain you are feeling in losing him. Trust God today and seek His peace and strength in your loss.

I pray today that you will know God’s peace in your life; that God will comfort any loss in your life; that you will know the joy of others going to heaven; and that God presence will be strong in your life.