Ecclesiastes 2:26 Finding Happiness

To the person who pleases him, God gives wisdom, knowledge and happiness, but to the sinner he gives the task of gathering and storing up wealth to hand it over to the one who pleases God. This too is meaningless, a chasing after the wind. Ecclesiastes 2:26

Searching for happiness in life is a common challenge that many people strive for. It is common for people to think that if they just have the right job, or get married, or have children, or get a certain degree, or have a certain level of paycheck, or live in a certain area, and the list goes on forever, that they will be happy.

What usually happens is that they do get what they want. They are happy for a short time and then they get discouraged again. They were satisfied and happy for a while, but then the problems started to occur and they are no longer happy. Other times, the person wants more. Finding happiness, in the way the world does, is like trying a new drug. It makes a person happy for a time, but then he needs more or a stronger one, never fully satisfied.

Solomon says that a person who is not serving God is just working hard to gain things, just to have it handed over to someone else. Working very hard just to hand everything over to someone else is meaningless, a chasing after the wind. One can never catch the wind, no matter how hard he tries.

The way to find happiness is found in pleasing God. The only way you can please God is to follow and please His Son Jesus. In order to please Jesus, you must do what He has asked you to do.

Pleasing Jesus means that you have taken up the task He has started, to reach and save the world. You cannot save the world, but you can bring those in the world to the One who can save them.

Life is not about you. It is about others and God. It is about the kingdom of Jesus. Are you building that kingdom?

Or are you building a kingdom for yourself?

If it is for yourself, it will be handed over to others and you will not find any happiness in this life.

Serve God today.

I pray today that God will show you what He wants you to do today; that you will know how to please God with your life; that you will know the happiness God can give you; and that you will work to build God’s kingdom in this world.

Psalm 119:127-128 Hating The Wrong Path

Because I love your commands more than gold, more than pure gold, and because I consider all your precepts right, I hate every wrong path. Psalm 119:127-128

Love of gold or money is something that many people have a hard time getting past. In the economy of this world money is something that is needed in order to survive. To be able to eat, have clothing, or shelter, a person needs to have money. So it is needed…to a point.

The difficult part is that money is only needed to supply the basic needs, not necessarily for the extra pleasures of this life. Once a person has the basic needs met, he often continues on to ‘need’ other things, such as a more luxury of a car, a bigger house, a longer vacation, a bigger bank account and it goes on.

Very often in the pursuit of these other things, many will also start to head down the wrong path. They walk away from God’s ways of living and doing things. Church and ministry are put on the back burner and forgotten. The Bible is setting collecting dust, not being used.

In the pursuit of gold, many begin to compromise on God’s laws. They start to give into sin in their life. This does not happen suddenly or in a fast manner. It is a slow process of walking away from God for most. But they start to travel down the wrong path.

Those who love God’s Word and commands will keep themselves from walking the wrong path. They will, like the psalmist, hate the wrong path. They will love follow God’s ways of living and obeying His commands. Jesus said that if you love Him, you will obey my commands.

As you go through this life, you must ask yourself what is most important. Is it self or is it God?

When you love God and His commands, you will turn away from self and this world. You will no longer see great value in the gold of this world. You will also hate taking the wrong path in this life.

God knows what is best. Are you going to trust Him and follow Him?

Or will you seek the false gold of this world?

I pray today that you will love God’s commands; that you will trust God’s commands; that God will help you turn from wrong paths in life; and that you will serve God with all of your life.

Psalm 119:72 Better Than Gold

The law from  your mouth is more precious to me than thousands of pieces of silver and gold. Psalm 119:72

Money is something that seems to be needed by everyone. In order to purchase needed food, clothing or housing a person needs money. Because of this, people work hard to get it. They will put in long, hard hours to get the needed money to pay for various needs.

Once the basic needs are met, people will then work many more hours to get extra money for more things. The amount of money needed never seems to find an end. The more a person has, the more a person wants.

Once the money is in the bank account, it is difficult for many to lose it. That money is very precious, needed and wanted.

Yet, the psalmist states that God’s law is even more precious than all that money. Having God’s law means more than having thousand or millions of dollars.

The world looks at someone as crazy who would rather have God’s Word than a big bank account. The things that money can buy appear to be better and greater than God’s Word.

For a believer there is something different that is gained that the world cannot know or understand. That something is real life.

All the things that money can buy are temporary and will go away or fall apart. God’s Word is eternal. God’s Word gives a person direction in how to really live life to the fullest. It teaches how to have contentment and fulfillment in this life.

If you are searching after the wealth of this world, you will only find temporary satisfaction, it will be here today and gone tomorrow.

Seeking and knowing God’s Word will guide you in what is best for your life. It will teach you how to live a life that will last for eternity.

How much greater is something that will last for eternity than something that is only temporary?

Keeping this in mind, seek to know God’s Word more and more. Make it the first focus of your life. See the real value in His Word, a value that outweighs all the gold in this world and all that the world has to offer.

I pray today that you will know the value of God’s Word in your life; that you will find the life in God’s Word; that you will spend your efforts to know the Bible; and that God will fill your life with fulfillment and contentment in Him.

Psalm 119:37 Desire Of Worthless Things

Turn my eyes away from worthless things; preserve my life according to your word. Psalm 119:37

The psalmist asks God a strange request, to turn his eyes away from worthless things. This is in a psalm that the focus is on knowing God’s Word and honoring it. What are worthless things, when looking at God’s Word?

Going through life a person can easily get distracted with things that pull them off the path they need to be on. In the workplace, two co-workers can get to talking about their past weekend adventures. This can become a worthless thing, when it distracts them from doing the work they are there to do.

While at home, people get distracted with playing games or watching TV and do not get needed work done. In a restaurant people get distracted with their phones while talking to someone at the table. Each of these things can become worthless at the time of their being done, because they do not help accomplish the current goal.

On the grand scale of eternity, many things become even more worthless. God’s Word points people on how to live for God in the best way possible. Living your best for God includes not only keeping yourself from sin, but also serving God by doing His will and serving others in this world.

It easy to get distracted by worthless things in this world. They can pull you away from spending time in God’s Word or time in prayer. They can keep you from being the witness you are supposed to be. Being a witness can be found in words and in actions, but if you are focused on self and things of this world…worthless things, you will not do what needs to be done.

As you go through this life, train your eyes to focus on what is really important and of high value. The greatest value in this world is your soul and the souls of every person on this planet. Your soul and every other person’s soul, needs to be focused on God and controlled by God, serving God.

Where are your eyes focused today?

Are they on the worthless, temporary things of this world?

Or on the eternal things of God?

I pray today that you will focus  your eyes on the things God focuses on; that you will turn your eyes from worthless things; that you will focus on God’s Word; and that God will strengthen you to keep your eyes on Him.

Numbers 1:2 God Knows His People

“Take a census of the whole Israelite community by their clans and families, listing every man by name, one by one.” Numbers 1:2

The book of numbers is a book that list a lot of genealogies. It contains some very long lists of the names of many different families. It begins with God telling Moses to take a census of all the men in the entire community, naming each one directly. At this time there is around a million people. This would take some time to do.

Many people who read the book of Numbers like to skip over the genealogies. The lists are long in reading who is the son of who over and over, or they list who is the father of who over and  over. One may wonder why God put these long, boring lists in the Bible to be read.

In doing these lists God is showing His direct personal concern over the people. He knows each person by name. Each of those men had a part in God’s plan for the nation of Israel. Most of those men probably saw themselves as just a person with no real importance. They worked hard to provide for their families and do what they were told to do. Yet, God saw fit to place their names in His Word for all eternity.

Men, and women, today are no different. You probably see yourself as just a man or woman who is striving to provide for your family or future family. You don’t see yourself as very important. You don’t have some big ministry in the church. Your name is not in the limelight.

Yet, God knows your name. He has you counted in His book of life for all eternity. You have great importance to Him. Remember that God sent Jesus to die for you. He has a purpose for you. It may be something little or something great, but it is His work and it is important.

Make sure God knows your name by following Jesus. Accept what Jesus has done for you, so that your name will be in God’s Book of Life. Do not see yourself as just a nobody. You are a child of God in a great kingdom that will never end.

I pray today that God will reveal His plans for you; that you will know that you are God’s child; that your name will be in God’s book; and that you will know you have great value to God.

2 Timothy 3:16-17 More Than A Good Book

“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:16-17

The Bible has been around, as it is currently known, for several hundred years. It is classified as the number one best-selling book of all time. During the time Russia had banned Christianity from the country, their colleges were teaching the Bible as an excellent piece of literature. Yet, while all of this is true, it is something more than just a great piece of literature.

Although men did the physical part of writing it, the writings were inspired by God. They were led by God as to what to write. With this in mind it makes the Bible much more than just a piece of literature.

Looking through it you can find great teaching on every area of life. It will guide you in how to live correctly in the best way possible.

As it teaches, the Bible will also rebuke. When you are living in a sinful way, the Bible will point it out and show you Jesus. It can be used to show what sin is and the dangers of it.

As the Bible rebukes, it also corrects. When you slip up and start living in a way that is against God, it will correct you. It will get you back on the right path to God.

It also provides needed training. This training is again in how to live for God. It provides examples alongside the lesson plans.

All of these things are done to teach you to live a righteous life for God. The purpose of living a righteous life is to honor God and to do what He wants you to do. God wants you to do good works. If you are not taught, rebuked, corrected and trained by the Bible, you will not be able to do the good works correctly.

As you read the Bible, are you just reading good stories or morals? Or are you letting it change your life?

God’s Word is alive. Allow the Bible to impact your life and change it. Live for God. He has given you the manual on how to do it. Study it and live by it.

I pray today that God will make His Word come alive to you; that you will allow the Bible to change your life; that you will live by what you read in the Bible; and that you will allow God to equip you for every good work He has for you to do.

1 Timothy 4:8 The Best Training

“For physical training if of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.” 1 Timothy 4:8

Many people love to workout. They will go to the gym for various reasons. Some do it so that they will look good physically. Others do a workout so that they will stay healthy and in good shape. Some will do it because they want to be around others that work out on a regular basis. Still others will do it out of guilt that they should or because a doctor ordered it.

Working out in a gym does have its value. It does help a person stay healthy and in good physical shape. The problem is that is where this type of training has an end in value. It is only good for this life. How long is this life? Maybe 70-80 years for the average person that is in good shape, but then it is over and the eternal part of life starts. At that point all of the physical training a person did has no value at all.

This is where Paul says one is to train to be godly. Godliness has value both now and in the future.

When you are living a godly life, you will be taking care of yourself physically at the same time. You will be living according to God’s plan for your life. God will direct you to live the best way possible, if you listen to Him and trust Him.

Train yourself to read the Bible daily. As you read it, study it and apply it to your life. Train yourself to do what the Bible says: pray, worship, and witness. All three of these things take training to get better at it. You are supposed to live your life like Jesus did. As soon as you can match your life exactly like Jesus, then you have finished your training. Until then keep training.

Living like Jesus will help you in this life and in the life eternal that is to come.

How is your training going today? Is it just physical? Or is it training to be like Jesus?

Is it good just for today? Or does it hold value for eternity?

I pray today that God will show you how to grow more like Jesus; that you will train yourself be like God; that you will not focus on the physical of this temporary world only; and that your training will be of value both now and in eternity.