Isaiah 39:6 Failing In The End With Pride

The time will surely come when everything in your palace, and all that your predecessors have stored up until this day, will be carried off to Babylon. Nothing will be left, says the LORD. Isaiah 39:6

Hezekiah had faithfully followed God and led the nation towards God all his life. At some point, he came down with a sickness and was told he would die. After crying out to God, he was told he would live another fifteen years.

The king of Babylon had heard of Hezekiah’s sickness and recovery, and so he sent envoys to him with a gift. When they showed up, Hezekiah showed them everything that he had in his entire kingdom. Right after showing all of this stuff, Hezekiah was told that after he dies the kingdom would be taken from his descendants.

At first glance at this, one may ask why all of his stuff would be taken away? And what did he do that was so wrong?

As Hezekiah was showing off all of the stuff that had been accumulated over the years, he did it without giving God the credit. It was pride that was showing off everything. The king of Babylon had sent a gift because of the illness and recovery. It had nothing to do with what had been accumulated or done before.

It was a great opportunity to tell the king of Babylon how he had recovered from the illness. It was not the time to show off all of the treasures.

There are times when God may do a healing or some other miracle in a person’s life. Often, instead of pointing people to what God has done, they continue on with life and show off what they have done.

When God does some healing or miracle in your life, take the time to show people what God did in that situation. Point people to who God is and His great mercy on you.

Do not be like the rest of the world, and point them to what you have accomplished in life. The pride of the things you have accumulated will be a downfall and failure in the eyes of God.

You did not get all that you have because of your own power, it was blessed to you by God and His power.

Do not allow pride to bring your downfall at the end of your life.

I pray today that you will recognize God’s work in your life; that you will point people to God; that you will not show pride in your own things; and that you will give credit to God for all that you have and do.

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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 30:8-9 Truth And Contentment

Keep falsehood and lies far from me; give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily bread. Otherwise, I may have too much and disown you and say, ‘Who is the LORD? Or I may become poor and steal, and so dishonor the name of my God. Proverbs 30:8-9

Agur makes two requests of God to be granted. The first is very understandable and many will ask of it also: to be kept from falsehood and lies. Many understand this and do not want to be in lies. Telling lies gets a person on a slippery downward slope that is difficult to get back up. The farther from the edge of that slope a person is the better off he is.

The other request is to have neither poverty nor wealth. Many struggle with this one, because most people want wealth. There is nothing wrong with wealth, in and of itself. The problem comes in that when a person gets wealthy, he will usually forget about God. The reliance on God will go away.

It will cause many people to stop relying on God for their provision and rely on their own works.

Along side of not wanting extreme wealth, Agur does not want to be extremely poor. He fears that he will end up stealing to survive, which dishonors God.

His request is to have just enough for his daily bread.

The challenge with having just enough for your daily bread, is that you cannot directly see what there will be for tomorrow. It is a walk of faith, not by sight. It is trusting that God will meet all of your needs from day-to-day. It is not worrying about tomorrow.

This can be a scary journey, if you do not realize who God is, how much He loves you, and how much He can do. God is the master of the universe, He loves you with an undying, perfect and eternal love, and He is all-powerful and can do anything needed.

How is your trust in God today?

Are you trying to get rich, to provide for yourself?

Are you stealing to provide for yourself?

Or are you trusting God to provide just what you need, when you need it?

I pray today that you will know God’s love for you; that you will see God’s provision for you; that you will trust God for day-to-day needs; and that you will not try to do everything on your own.

Proverbs 23:4-5 Only Glance At Riches

Do not wear yourself out to get rich; do not trust your own cleverness. Cast but a glance at riches, and they are gone, for they will surely sprout wings and fly off to the sky like an eagle. Proverbs 23:4-5

Getting wealthy is the goal of many people. They desire to have a lot of money. The reasons for wanting a lot of money can vary from person to person. Some want all the large things; some want to be able to give more away; others fear any debt; others may want to provide everything for their families; and yet there are many other desires for wealth.

In order to get the desired wealth many people will go to extreme measures. They will work extra long hours or work an extra job. Many will even work a job that they hate, only because it pays so much more. As they strive to be wealthy, many will try out different get-rich-quick deals. People will bounce from selling one product to another, just to make a lot of money.

The common factor in all of these is that people are wearing themselves out in order to gain more wealth. They can never get enough.

Solomon says to just give a quick glance at wealth, because they will be gone quickly. Wealth is here today and gone tomorrow.

Take a look at your paycheck. It doe not matter how much it really is or how little it really is. Either way, once payday hits, within a few short days it is usually gone. Bills are paid, food and gas are bought, needed items are purchased, and suddenly all the money is gone. All that hard-earned wealth has disappeared.

In light of eternity, all wealth is very fleeting. No matter how much you have it will be gone soon. As Solomon says it sprouts wings and flies off quickly.

As you are going through this life, do not make getting wealthy a high priority in your life. Seek God and find out what He wants you to do. Make doing God’s will your highest priority. Then be content with what He has given you.

God will give you all that you need to live an abundant life. This may mean you may or may not be wealthy, but it will mean a full life. Don’t wear yourself trying to get rich.

I pray today that you will know God’s provision in your life; that you will know the abundant life God provides you; that you will not trust in wealth, but in God alone; and that you will be used by God to reach this world for Jesus.

Proverbs 13:8 The Curse Of Great Wealth

A person’s riches may ransom their life, but the poor cannot respond to threatening rebukes. Proverbs 13:8

Gaining great wealth is the focus of many people. The desire to have more money in order to have more things and be able to do more is what many want. There are some who want it just to have a large bank account.

In order to get that extra wealth, there will be some who will get an extra job and study books or articles that tell how to get that money. They will go to great lengths in order to have all that they want.

Solomon says that having all that wealth can ransom a person’s life.

Having great wealth sounds great on the surface, but many do not see the problems that come with having that wealth. Once a person has great wealth, he has to protect and keep what he has. This can cause the wealth to become a curse for him.

The person who is driving a ten year old Chevy car will not attract the attention of a car thief like the one who is driving a brand new high-end Mercedes. The person with a huge bank account will not attract all the “friends” who would like some of that money in either begging for it, or by lawsuits. The person with a small two room, empty, run-down house will not attract the thieves as much as the one with a mansion with a large flat-screen tv in each room.

Those with little to no physical wealth do not have the worries and cares that those with great wealth do. Yet, they can have great wealth in a different form. The wealth of the poor can be in having a close family, no worries of theft, joy in life, and reliance on the presence of God.

There is nothing sinful about having great physical wealth, nor is there anything sinful about being physically poor. The important thing is that God is the center of your life. Seek Him and what He wants and desires.

Learn to be satisfied with what God has already blessed you with. Do not strive after greater wealth as the world does. You may get it, but then have the concerns and fears the wealthy have. God may give you great wealth, or He may not, but trust in God, not the wealth.

I pray today that God will bless your life; that you will see how God is already blessing you; that you will trust in God and not things; and that you will see how wealthy you are in God.

Proverbs 8:10-11 What To Choose

Choose my instruction instead of silver, knowledge rather than choice gold, for wisdom is more precious than rubies, and nothing you desire can compare with her. Proverbs 8:10-11

Wealth is something that many people strive for. People are always looking for a way to get rich quickly, with as little amount of work as possible. Many are striving to be able to purchase that new car, or house, or go on a fancy vacation. In the process of getting those things, many problems arise.

It is common for a person to get a loan to purchase that new fancy car, that is more than he really needs. Then a few months later, the car gets repossessed because he cannot make the payments. There was no wisdom used in the purchase, only the seeking out of gold and silver. Wisdom would have made the person choose another vehicle that was not so high priced.

Solomon, who was the wealthiest man who ever lived on the earth, had learned that seeking wisdom was more important than seeking after things or gold. It has more value than the gold, because wisdom can bring a person life. Wisdom keeps a person from making the wrong decisions.

Knowing God is the beginning of wisdom. No one is more wise than God is.  God had the wisdom to lay out the plan of salvation for each person. That plan brings about life, not death.

Seeking to run after the things of the world will only bring you dissatisfaction and disappointment. You may have a lot of things and are wealthy, but inside there will be no real life or enjoyment in this life.

The Bible does not directly tell you what to do or not do in purchasing things of this world. It does, however, give you guidelines in what to do. These guidelines are pieces of God’s wisdom for your life.

As you choose to follow God and His word, you will gain more wisdom. In the process of gaining this wisdom it will help you make the right choices in this life. Then you will be filled with the abundant life that Jesus said He came to give you.

Will you choose God’s wisdom for your life today?

I pray today that you will seek out God’s wisdom; that you will follow God’s wisdom; that God will show you the best paths to take; and that you will know the life that God’s wisdom can give you.

Psalm 73:2-3 Wanting What Others Have

But as for me, my feet had almost slipped; I had nearly lost my foothold. For I envied the arrogant when I saw the prosperity of the wicked. Psalm 73:2-3

One thing that is very difficult for many people is watching others prosper and succeed. This becomes especially true when the method of prosperity is done in a very bad way.

The majority in the world do not think anything of being envious of someone else. It is looked as part of the human nature to desire and really want what someone else has. Commercials are geared to bring out that envy in a person. They strive to get a person to want something someone else has so bad that they will do anything they can to get it.

As believers, the view should be different. Asaph, the writer of this psalm, writes that he almost slipped in envy. Envy is another word for coveting, which God said that His people were not to ever do.

There are times when a believer can look at someone in the world and be envious of what that person has or can do. Watching someone go on vacations around the world, drive fancy cars, eat out at fancy restaurants, and have big bank accounts can bring about envy in a person. Believers often struggle with this, when the person is very prosperous with sinful activities. Many will question God as to why that happens.

Some in the church will also be filled with envy for another person’s abilities or position in the church.

You should look at what God has given you in Jesus Christ. You have life for all eternity. The world may have all the fancy cars and houses with big bank accounts, but they will never have the peace and life that Jesus provides. They only have today and tomorrow will be death for them for eternity.

Do not look at their wealth and desire it. Do not allow your feet to slip into the sin of envy. Look at God and the wealth of life that He provides. God provides more blessings than anything in this world can ever provide.

What do you desire today?

More of God?

Or more of this world?

I pray today that you will see all that God has given you; that you will not desire the things of this world; that you will be a witness of what Jesus has given; and that you will know the blessings of God.