Is Everything Meaningless?

Is Everything Meaningless?

“Meaningless! Meaningless!” says the Teacher. “Utterly meaningless! Everything is meaningless.”What do people gain from all their labors at which they toil under the sun? Generations come and generations go, but the earth remains forever.The sun rises and the sun sets, and hurries back to where it rises. The wind blows to the south and turns to the north; round and round it goes, ever returning on its course.All streams flow into the sea, yet the sea is never full. To the place the streams come from, there they return again. All things are wearisome, more than one can say. The eye never has enough of seeing, nor the ear its fill of hearing.  What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun. Ecclesiastes 1:2-9 NIV 

Unless a person understands the stage of life Solomon was in, one could think that Solomon was decreeing that life was not worth living. But that is far from the case and since his proclamation came before Christ arrived, we know that every moment of life is precious in His sight and when we accept His gift of salvation–everything has meaning.

Having received the gift of wisdom–beyond measure of any other mortal–Solomon lived according to God’s Word until he connected with many women who did not know God and in fact worshiped other gods. Gradually, he began practicing some of the forbidden rituals (the danger of being unequally yoked in faith and beliefs) and by the time he realized he fallen far from where God desired him to be, he realized he had wasted the gift given to him. Wisdom without knowledge produces disasters. Knowledge without wisdom is just as catastrophic. This is why we’re told, “Wisdom is the principle thing, and in all our getting, get understanding.”

Giving a teenager a car when they don’t know how to drive usually has negative consequences. They know what the car is, but they do not know the details of how the car functions and without instruction, the car may never move and doesn’t benefit them. However, with instruction and knowledge of not just how the car functions, but also the laws pertaining to legally driving, and understanding consideration on the roads, the car benefits them.

We have been given a great gift–salvation–and until we know what it means and begin to practice the instructions in The Word–we may never benefit from the gift. If we never understand the benefit of salvation, life really is meaningless.

With the abundance of grace we’ve also been given, we learn from our mistakes and commit to doing better and as we continue in life, we’ll see just how great our God is and how wonderful life can be–even when we miss the mark–as long as we get back on the path.

There are valuable lessons living provides for us, so let’s live to the glory of God and learn how we please Him and be a blessing to others. Living for Him, gives life meaning that is sometimes difficult to understand and express, but so worthwhile.

What The Righteous Can Anticipate For Obeying God!

“Surely the righteous will never be shaken; they will be remembered forever.They will have no fear of bad news; their hearts are steadfast, trusting in the LORD. Their hearts are secure, they will have no fear; in the end they will look in triumph on their foes.” (Psalm 112:6-8 NIV)

What can the righteous–those in right-standing with God expect? The first verse begins the expectations for the righteous. “Blessed is the man who fears (reverently respects) the Lord and delights in keeping His commands.” And then, the blessings are enumerated along with the curses for those who do not reverently respect The Lord or delight in His commands.

The righteous shall never be moved or ruffled by current events–not wars, nor rumors of war, not the foolishness of politicians or the ungodliness of judges. They shall not be moved the obvious influences of Satan that lead to the deaths of innocents or plots to overthrow. The righteous shall be remembered forever for their attempts to live a life that pleases God and not man.

The righteous shall have not fear or be moved by all the bad news in the world. They will–with every event–look to the Lord for comfort and solace and keep praising Him for His goodness. With every newscast that broadcasts events that cause others to shudder and quake, the righteous will continue to pray, and not be overly concerned about what they see on the surface, for they know The Word and the times in which we live. The righteous understand that certain events must take place as the final revelation unfolds for all the world to see. The righteous are not concerned about their end for they know, their final destination is to spend eternity with Jesus.

As we get closer to seeing those things that must come–we know the end is not yet–but we are getting closer. Satan’s influence in the minds of people can be see in every aspect of our daily lives. He is the author of confusion and chaos and where ever he reigns, we can see the results. When men and women are distraught over who God intended them to be and change to please themselves, it is confusion that ignites the change and chaos that ensues. Throughout history–if one would care to investigate–every time man rises up against God and His intent for our being, tragedy occurs on every front, leaving some shaking their heads, confused because they do not realize we were created for His good pleasure and not our own.

Finally, when the end comes–the righteous will have opportunity to see the look amazement on the faces of all those who attempted to belittle and persecute those who trust in The Lord. For when The Lord returns to claim those who are His, the rest will have only a fiery lake to anticipate–their eternity for unbelief and disobedience.

Of course, there will remain those who continue to pacify flesh instead of seeking God’s wisdom and obeying Him. They will be without excuse for their final outcome for the righteous–those in right-standing with God–have ever continued to point them in the right direction and they refused to see the benefit of obeying our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Don’t Let Him Cut You Off!

“Consider therefore the kindness and sternness of God: sternness to those who fell, but kindness to you, provided that you continue in his kindness. Otherwise, you also will be cut off.” (Romans 11:22 NIV)

Like any good parent, God is more than a one-dimensional parent. He can stern, but also kind. His sternness appears when we disobedient children won’t conform to His ways. For those who are quick to obey, they receive the benefits of His kindness.

If we remember when we were kids, most of us wanted to receive the benefits from being a good kid. Kind words from parents, privileges, and even special treats–the benefits of being obedient. Few of us–if normal–ever wanted to be on the receiving end of a parent whose anger was directed at us because of disobedience. There is no pleasure in the benefits of disobedience if the result was a loss of privileges, being grounded or severely punished (not abused).

What makes us think that God does not operate in the same manner? He does. The benefits He has for us are immeasurable when we are obedient, but the punishment for disobedience, could be a little difficult to handle. But in the midst of His sternness, grace abides–providing us room to improve our attitudes and behavior, becoming obedient and being brought back into a position to receive His benefits.

However, if we continue to disobey, He will cut us off and leave us to fend for ourselves. He told the prophet Jeremiah to stop praying for people because He would not hear his prayers. I don’t know about you, but I never want to think He is not hearing my prayers because I’ve been disobedient. I do not want Him to cut me off!

Walking through this journey called life leaves us in position to make many choices. We can choose to follow the straight and narrow path and receive His guidance and benefits or we can take the broad path, depending upon the guidance and counseling of man and get cut off from God’s benefits. Which will it be for you?

Following the crowd–going along to get along will get a person cut off from receiving God’s best in their lives. Don’t let Him cut you off!

I Will Tell It!

“But as for me, it is good to be near God. I have made the Sovereign LORD my refuge; I will tell of all your deeds.” (Psalm 73:28 NIV)

Now, where else have we heard, “As for me and my house, we will serve The Lord?” Joshua reminds those around him that they have a choice and if they chose evil and not to obey God, they could, but he chose to serve The Lord.

Good choice for all who love the Lord and want to stay in position to receive all of His many benefits. What are they? His love and mercy begin the story. He loved us enough to come down from heaven to save us from ourselves, even when we didn’t deserve it–having mercy upon us.

We healed by His stripes–received on the cross.

We are delivered from being tempted to do evil when we function with the mind of Christ.

All of our needs are met through Him who loves us.

We are more than conquerors because of His great love for us.

We can do all things well through Him who gives us the strength and courage to do so.

We know that no one weapon formed against shall ever prosper–Satan’s plans are null and void–because of God’s hand of protection around us.

He hears us when we call upon Him and never leaves us alone.

When friends and family forsake us–we can look to Him who is our help.

All of our help, comes from the Lord.

We have been provided the means–through receiving His wisdom–to amass wealth and prosper as our soul prospers so we may help others.

There is no body like The Lord in all the earth who sees our need and responds.

There is no body like Jesus to will uphold us, protect us, strengthen us, love us, forgive us, and give us favor with men and women in every station of life.

There is no body who loves us enough to speak to us in the midnight hour to encourage our hearts, bring back to our remembrance all we have been taught and show us things to come–like Holy Spirit.

We are blessed beyond measure and our imagination because His spirit dwells in us and we hear Him when He speaks!

As for me–I choose to serve our living God and I will tell of His goodness at all times and at all times, He will demonstrate His goodness through me! I WILL TELL IT UNTIL I CAN SPEAK NO MORE!

Glory Hallelujah to our God–our Father, our Savior and Comforter!

He’s Doing Amazing Things!

“Yes, the LORD has done amazing things for us! What joy!” (Psalm 126:3 NLT)

Singing a song of praise for all The Lord has done is as natural to some people as breathing is--when we acknowledge Him.

Throughout the Psalms, we see prayers, songs of contrition, repentance, and praise for all the amazing things He has done for the people He loves.

What I’m reminded of in reading this entire Psalm is that the captivity or bondage of people is a result of willful disobedience on the part of those who are held captive. When we continually ignore God when He speaks through those He has chosen to be a vessel of communication, we reap the consequences of our actions. God has never planned for His people to be held captive, but He allows it when we refuse to turn away from ungodliness and turn back to Him.

And when we turn back to Him, we can reflect upon the time of captivity and understand that even in the state of bondage, He never leaves us, but patiently waits for us to get our act together.

Those who were held in exile rejoiced in returning to their homeland. We, who have been held captive to our fleshly dictates–whatever they are and they are different for different people–can rejoice and sing praises to Him who does all things well for our benefit.

Many are those who were held captive to all sorts of addictions–who lost homes, jobs, family trust–and yet were brought back to a state of total redemption and trust in The Lord for what He allowed them to go through, yet brought them out to His glory.

Many are those who were held captive to their own ideologies when they thought they were based upon sound doctrine, but discovered their faith was in religious affiliation and when they discovered Truth, were turned around and turned to Truth in relationship with God–who loves us so much, He is not willing to see any of us lost or held captive by erroneous beliefs.

Some are held captive to beliefs that their bodies are their own–thinking they can treat them any way they want and still know victory in long life. In spite of illnesses that could have been terminal, God has shown them a different path and now they praise Him with a renewed, energetic outlook of preserving their bodies to His glory.

Yes, our God is truly Amazing–look at how He loves us when we did not love Him. Look at the mercy He bestows upon us when we did not deserve mercy. Look at the favor He has given us with all–even though we did not earn it. He is truly amazing and we praise Him for being our awesome God, doing amazing things for our benefit, when we turn our lives back to living for Him!

The Irrefutable Testimony!

“The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children” (Romans 8:16 NIV).

There are a number of people who are confused as to whether or not they are descendants of Abraham and entitled to all the benefits of being one of God’s chosen. From the beginning, God chose those He wanted to call His own and bless. This relationship was based on a natural connection to Abraham through bloodline (the basis of most relationships claiming to be family). However, because many of the natural relatives were rebellious and disobedient, the connective relationship with God was broken and Jesus had to come to restore it.

When the relationship was restored through the work on the cross, all who chose to accept Jesus as their personal Savior and Lord became part of the family by adoption through Holy Spirit. Now, if we are adopted into the family of Abraham, and recognized by God as being part of the family, why on earth are we confused?

Instead of listening to those who are confused and allow negativity to reign in their lives, we must know for ourselves whose children we are. Imagine this event being played out in a courtroom. We have been charged with proclaiming we are joint-heirs with Christ (He’s our elder brother) and thereby children of the most High God. All of the witnesses of religious dogma have been called to testify against us, but there is One who testifies with irrefutable evidence-the Word of God. Holy Spirit convinces our spirit that we are the children of God and as such, entitled to all the benefits and promises of God!

Do we dare believe Him? Absolutely, we dare and proclaim from the mountain tops and throughout the valleys that we are children of God. We have a right to proclaim God as our Father, Jesus as our elder brother and Holy Spirit as our guide and counselor in all matters. We have a right to receive all the benefits God promised the Children of Israel from the beginning. We can claim with assurance that God has planned our lives and He planned them with purpose–that we might prosper and have a future with hope. We can proclaim that whatever we put our hands to when we obey God, will succeed. We can rest assured of His promises of victory–being the head and not the tail, being healed by the stripes Jesus bore before being nailed to the cross, having an eternal resting place with Jesus when we choose to be obedient. We have a right to make these claims when we have accepted the adopting agent–our faith in God.

Now with the right to receive all the promises, we all put ourselves in position to receive all the persecution and negativity that was directed at Jesus. We must stay focused on Him and never lose sight of the prize in Christ Jesus–our hope must remain intact until the end when we receive our eternal reward. However, when we choose not to be obedient, we must also expect to receive the consequences that were also promised to those children who disobeyed.

Think about it! Are you proclaiming to be a child of the Most High? I have been accused of proclaiming an inheritance in Jesus–and the evidence provided by Holy Spirit is irrefutable! Hallelujah! I am a child of the Most High, entitled to all His many benefits!

I Belong!

If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise” (Galatians 3:29 NIV).

A number of years ago, American Express used the marketing phrase, “Membership has privileges” (at least I think it was them), at any rate, the phrase is very true for those who “belong to Jesus”. If we belong to Christ, we receive the benefits and promises given to Abraham because we are the “spiritual seed of Abraham” in this life.

What are the benefits? While in the earth realm–power to get wealth, long life when we honor authority, healed of sickness and disease, power to be peacemakers and helpers to many who will receive, through Holy Spirit–power to forgive, love, and have insight to those things to come. For all eternity, we have access to heaven and we will rule with Jesus.

While some may doubt the authenticity of Paul’s letters (and his life), when we have received Holy Spirit to guide us, He guides us into all truth. So the truth here is that Paul was writing under the direction of Holy Spirit, just as many of us do today. Whether Paul was truly a changed man or not, should not be an issue for any who were once sinners and have been given a second chance–through mercy and grace. Without that mercy and grace, where would we be?

Accepting the fact that Paul’s letters were written by direction of Holy Spirit and receiving what he had to say as truth, anyone–regardless of race, gender, creed, faith, who makes a decision to belong to Christ, gets the same benefits. It does not matter when a person comes to Christ–whether a long time ago or recently, the benefits remain the same. The difference is how long a person may enjoy the benefits, not that they are not the same.

If you have not known the privilege of membership with Christ Jesus, today is a good day to make that decision. Grace and mercy abound towards all who will freely come and receive of His goodness. If you do know the value of belonging to Jesus Christ, I am honored to call you brother or sister. We are all in this life together and membership with Christ, makes it all worthwhile. Love to love you!