1 Kings 11:9 Making God Angry

Highway into sunset

The LORD became angry with Solomon because his heart had turned away from the LORD, the God of Israel, who had appeared to him twice. 1 Kings 11:9 

Starting out great is something that is easy to do, but finishing at the same level or better is difficult. To finish well, one must stay focused the entire time. There must be a goal kept in the center of the mind and it must be aimed for, or else one will falter and fail.

There has been a lot of people who have started out doing great, always making the right choices, being successful, but in the end they lose focus and walk away from the good choices.

Solomon had started out serving God faithfully. God had even chosen to appear directly to him, an unusual thing to occur. God had blessed Solomon with more wealth, wisdom and fame than another other man has ever known before or since his time. Yet, near the end of his life, Solomon let his wives lead him astray to follow false gods and walk away from God.

Living like this, God had become very angry with him and chose to remove the kingdom from him. God had mercy, in that He allowed to keep the kingdom in his lifetime, but would pull it from his sons.

There are believers today who have done the same thing. They start off their life following God with a whole heart, then along the way, they allow someone to lead them away from God. They begin to choose to follow after the ways of this world, rather than follow and obey God.

Some completely leave the church, while others just live with one foot in the world and one foot in the church. They are no longer serving God with their whole heart. This will always upset God. He has given everything for the believer.

The world will tempt you to turn away from God, to lose your focus on God. They want you to choose to leave God and follow them.

Keep your focus on God. You began the walk with Him, don’t give it up for some temporary pleasure. Do not allow others to guide you down a wrong path.

Jesus gave His life up for you, don’t make it a waste for Him. Live your entire life focused on serving and obeying God with all of your heart. Don’t make God angry.

I pray today that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will obey God in every area of your life; that you will have a heart after God’s; and that God will strengthen you to keep focused on Him. 

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Purpose Of Living On Earth

LifePurpose

Everyone you look people are busy about things in their life. Busy at work, at play, at taking care of the home, at taking care of children or parents, repairs, relationships, making money, paying bills, and the list goes on forever. People are always busy doing something.

If you are like me and my family, we are always busy doing something. We are always wishing things would slow down so that we could breath. There is always something to do and a whole list of things we are behind on in getting done.

Then comes the questions of what is supposed to be done. What is the purpose in everything that is being done? Does the things that we are doing have any real purpose or is it just being busy?

Many people wonder what their real purpose is. They want to know why they are where they are and what they are supposed to be doing. They wonder if there is any real meaning to what they are doing.

Ecclesiastes 12_13

Solomon had written Ecclesiastes looking at life and the purpose of life. He was the wealthiest man who ever lived in all of history. He makes Bill Gates look as though he has not even started to make any money.

Since Solomon had so much money and fame, he was able to have and do anything that he wanted. This book that he wrote, looks at everything and sees everything as meaningless. Things that just happen over and over. Everyone lives and dies, and can take nothing with them…meaningless. Solomon searches for meaning in many different things, wisdom, knowledge, joy, wealth, entertainment, and work.

meaningless word on concrette wall

Yet, in the final verses of the book, he draws everything to a final conclusion. The purpose of man is to fear God and keep His commands.

To fear God is the first thing Solomon lists as a duty of all men. This is to have a reverence for God. You are to respect God for who He is.

Who is God?

He is the One who created everything, including you. He created this world for man to live on and He created every person and everything in this world. Since He created it all, that means He is the Boss, the One in charge, the One who can make all the rules.

Is God In Control

This slides into the second duty of man that Solomon listed: man is to obey God.

A lot of people will claim that they love God. They will go to church every Sunday and wear their Sunday best. It all sounds good, until you look at their life. Then the question of whether they are really loving God or not comes up in deciding whether they are really obeying God.

Some will live in sinful lifestyles or do not show Christ in any area of their life, other than at church. Is this really obeying God? Claiming to love God is easy, but proving it is another matter, though not difficult.

1 John 5:3 New International Version (NIV)

In fact, this is love for God: to keep his commands. And his commands are not burdensome,

John said that for a person to love God, he must keep His commands–obey Him. He finishes this verse with saying that the commands are not burdensome. In other words, they are not that difficult to keep and obey.

Obedience Is An Expression

When talking about the commands of God, many people look to the Old Testament and the book of Leviticus and see hundreds of laws. They see that and say that there is no way they can obey all those laws.

Jesus made the laws of God very simple. He summed the entire law up into two very simple laws: 1) Love God, 2) Love others.

Matthew 22:37-39 New International Version (NIV)

37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’

All of the commandments God gave to mankind are summed up under these two simple commands. When you love God, you will obey His commands. When you are obeying God, you are loving Him. And when you love God, you will love every person. And when you love every person, you are loving God. These go hand in hand and cannot be separated, because God is love.

Everything that you do must be about love. Either love to God or love to another person. All of it sums up into love for God.

Now to get back to what I was talking about at the beginning, the purpose of life and the busyness of life. Many people are questioning their purpose in this life and why they are running so hard.

Questions

As you go into each day or plan for days to come, are you seeking out God’s purpose for you? God has a reason for you to be where you are, when you are there, and for what you are going through. Ultimately it is to bring you closer to Him and be a witness to others to bring them closer to Him.

As Jesus left the earth, He told the disciples to go into all of the world and make disciples of every one. They were to point people to Jesus and teach them everything Jesus taught them.

making disciples

This command has not been pulled back to this day. God has given you the same command to tell others about Jesus. This is showing the ultimate love to any person on this earth. It is also showing the ultimate love for God. Jesus died for every person and it is your job and my job to tell them about Jesus and what He did.

Look at your day and ask yourself if what you are doing is fulfilling this command in some way or another. No matter what your job is, you can still be a witness, you can still tell others about Jesus.

If you are not fulfilling God’s command to be a witness in this world, then you need to make some changes in your life. Your life will be meaningless and without purpose, if you are not doing God’s commands and loving Him and others.

When you are busy doing God’s work, you will have strength that will not fail. God will continually open doors for you to be His witness. The doors will never stop opening, unless you close them. In doing this God will restore your energy so that you may continue to do more of His work. In this, you will find your purpose for where you are and what you are doing and what you may be going through.

God Be In Control Prayer

I trust and pray that you will find your purpose on this earth today. Live for loving God and loving others.

 

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 17:14 Stop And Drop It

Starting a quarrel is like breaching a dam; so drop the matter before a dispute breaks out. Proverbs 17:14

Many people love to argue about their view with someone else who disagrees with them. Each person feels that they are right and that the other person must agree with them completely or he is a fool.

Take a look at how many news talk shows there are. Each one has different views on what should have happened or what should happen in the political realm of the news. Watch a sports game and the same thing occurs. The announcers of the game will argue points as to what should have been done or how the call should have been made. There are many other ways that people disagree and fight for their way.

Occasionally these disagreements will end in peace, but often they end up in a heated dispute. Words get said that are hurtful or wrong. Friendships are broken. And all of this because each person wanted his own way in what was being talked about.

Solomon likens it to breaching a dam. Breaching is breaking a hole in the wall of the dam. If a little hole is breached in a dam, the water will start pouring through. It will be extremely difficult to stop it, and it will quickly break the entire wall down, flooding and destroying the area. It is extreme foolishness to breach that wall.

In the same way continuing a quarrel or argument just to get your way, is destructive. Once you start, it will be extremely difficult to stop it.

So you need to stop and drop the matter as quickly as possible. Remember that Jesus did not argue or dispute with the soldiers or Pharisees as He was being placed on the cross. He allowed Himself to be wronged.

You do not always have to be right. And not everyone has to always agree with you. This is true whether you are right or wrong. Allow God to deal with the person if he is wrong. Love will cover the disagreement.

So stop and drop it today while there is time.

I pray today that you will love others as God loves them; that you will not keep a quarrel going; that God will strengthen you to hold your tongue and keep quiet; and that you will be an example of Jesus to this world.

2 Chronicles 9:6 What Is Your Report?

“But I did not believe what they said until I came and saw with my own eyes. Indeed, not even half the greatness of your wisdom was told me; you have far exceeded the report I heard.” 2 Chronicles 9:6

The queen of Sheba had heard reports of the wealth, wisdom and achievements of Solomon. She had a hard time believing the reports, because they were so great. She decided to go and visit Solomon and see for herself. After being shown many things, she realized that all the reports were true, and still did not even tell everything.

The news is constantly filled with reports about people. It is very debatable about how true those reports are, although almost every report does have some element of truth in them, regardless of how bad the report is. Most of the reports are focused on the negative parts of a person’s life, usually some celebrity or politician. They look at what the person did wrong and want to tell everyone about it. Occasionally reports are done in the positive talking about the good someone is doing.

You do not have to be a celebrity to have reports done about you. No matter where you are, there are people who are watching you and will talk about you. Many times this talk is in the form of gossip, which is sinful, but it still happens.

The real question comes down to what are they saying about you?

When a person sees you in church, they probably see a person who loves and worships God, and knows the Bible. That is an easy area to get that type of report.

However, in the life outside the church, what do they see when watching you? Are you one who loses your temper easily? Do you try to cheat and lie about things in life? Do you obey the rules? Are you a hard worker? Does the world even know that you believe in Jesus? Can they talk about how much you talk about Jesus?

In each of these areas, it is different for each person. You have to ask God what you should or should not be doing. You should seek God in guiding you in how much you are doing.

Although you do not have to be focused on what people are saying, you do not want them having to give a bad report about you. May the report about you be great and the truth of the reports be even better than what was said.

I pray today that you will know what God wants you to do; that you will live your life for God; and that other people will see that you love and worship God with all of your life.

2 Chronicles 7:14 Humility And Turning

“if my people, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14

Solomon had built and dedicated the new temple for God, who came down and inhabited it. During the night God appeared to Solomon to let him know that He heard his prayers and saw the work he had done. Then God tells Solomon that if His people, after walking away from Him, choose to humble themselves, repent and come back to Him, He will hear them.

This verse is a very commonly quoted verse by many believers. It is most common when things are going bad in the nation.

The “wicked ways” that is mentioned in this verse, is often looked at as the deep sinful practices of people in this world. Although it is true that some believers have turned from God and followed some wicked ways of this world, there can be more to those ways than just following this world.

Jesus had come to seek and save the lost in this world. When Jesus was getting ready to leave the earth, He told the disciples to go and make disciples in all of the world. Believers were to continue to do as Jesus had done. They were to be a witness of who He is and what He has done and will do.

Believers who have chosen not to do what Jesus told them to do, have fallen into wicked ways by omission. When people are not being told about Jesus, or are not being taught what Jesus taught, they will not follow God correctly. Those who are not being a witness and a teacher of the ways of Jesus, are living in sin. It is not gross “big” sins, but it is still sin.

God told Solomon that it was His people who had to humble themselves and turn from their wicked ways. It was not to the people of the world that He spoke to.

How are you living your life today?

You may not be living in some great, horrible sin, but are you being the witness of Jesus today to those around you. If you are not doing that, you are still living in a wicked way.

You definitely need to turn from all sin, but do not forget that in that process you must also begin to do the work God has called  you to do…be His witness. If you do one and not the other, you are still living in sin. Humble yourself and turn today.

I pray today that you will know God’s desire for your life; that you will be a witness for Jesus; that you will turn from all sin; and that you will seek to live fully for God.

2 Chronicles 1:10 What Would You Ask For?

“Give me wisdom and knowledge, that I may lead this people, for who is able to govern this great people of yours?” 1 Chronicles 1:10

Solomon had been made king of Israel. One night God came to him and asked Solomon to make a request for whatever he wanted. Solomon asked God for wisdom to lead the people correctly. God loved his request so much that He gave him more wisdom, wealth, and honor than any other person has had before or since.

The ability to ask for whatever a person wants and get it has been a dream for most people throughout all of history. People dream of finding the magic lamp with a genie in it that will grant them three wishes.

The desires of each person’s heart is most likely a little different, but most will also have one thing in common.

What do people desire? Wealth, health, fame, power, possessions, and position.

What do all these things have in common? They are all about self, pleasing and taking care of old number one–self.

There is nothing wrong with any of these things, but when asked for with the wrong reason, they become a bad item. When these things are asked for to make oneself look good or to put oneself above others, they become bad. It is the wrong motive for desiring these things.

As Solomon asked for wisdom, he was not asking for it just to look good or to be better than the other people. He asked for wisdom so that he could do God’s will–leading God’s people who God had put him in charge of.

As a believer, you are to love the Lord your God with all of your heart, soul, mind and strength. This means that you are putting God and all of His desires first in your life.

Jesus said you could ask for whatever you want and you would get it, if you remain in Him, doing what He wants you to do.

What are you asking God for today?

Why are you asking God for it?

If God answers that prayer, will it bring Him glory, or will it bring you glory?

I pray today that you will know God’s desire for you life; that you will love God with all that is in you; that you will ask for the things God wants you to have; and that you will never be selfish to God or to others.