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’s Hanging Around Your Neck?

What’s Hanging Around Your Neck?

The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction. Listen, my son, to your father’s instruction and do not forsake your mother’s teaching.They are a garland to grace your head and a chain to adorn your neck. Proverbs 1:7-9 NIV

In teaching the role of words in a sentence and in understanding word usage, it is important to note that a pronoun can never be used without an antecedent (the noun it is replacing). Looking at verse 9 in this passage–“They” is referencing instructions and teaching. If obey the instructions and teaching received from parents becomes grace on our heads and adornments around our necks, how on earth did we get to the place in which so much sin abides in the world?

By deductive reasoning we can conclude that since there is so much sin in the world that one of two things have happened: either parents are not instructing and teaching children how to do what’s right or the children have deliberately disobeyed and ignored the instruction and teaching of the parents. On a natural level–the interaction between a parent and child most people can relate to this. However, on a spiritual level, most have apparently missed the intent–God is our Father and we are His children–therefore, we should obey His instruction and honor His teaching.

When we ignore and disobey His instruction and teaching our heads explode with delusional thinking–we can get away with it and even entice others to ignore and disobey, not realizing what we have set ourselves up for with the consequences. “We should never be a stumbling block to others.”When we’re exposed our heads hang in shame and guilt, while our necks strain from the weight of our hanging heads. The foolish can never hold their heads high–unashamed of their deeds because there is no pride in being foolish.

Given this thought–about instructions and teaching–what’s hanging around your neck? Is it pride in honoring God’s Word or shame and guilt from ignoring it?

Lord, help us to develop and maintain reverential fear of You in obedience to Your Word so all might see wisdom enacted in our lives as we honor Your instruction and teachings.

 

Why We Trust The Word!

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 NIV

Although there are many naysayers and doubters in the world who “refute” the bible as we know it as God’s Word, we who know and Believe God, know the truth.

All scripture–not some or just portions or selected passages–was written by man as inspired by God to do so–hence–God-breathed into man’s spirit and man wrote. That sounds far too simple for those who would complicate God’s Word and His intent for mankind, but it is just that simple. Of course, since many believe that the King James Version is the only right version–there lies another complication.

I am convinced that the original language that man spoke was accurately translated by many (not all), but God’s intent for mankind remains static–no matter what language is used. My conviction in this area is derived from my relationship with God who has revealed His truth to me by guiding me in search of truth. So, I believe the Bible–any good translation that does not pervert or distort God’s Truth–is good for instruction and correction, in guiding anyone to living a life that is pleasing to God.

How do I know this? I tried living without The Word as a guide in my life and almost ended my life when life got too tough to bear. It was The Word that saved me and exposed all the lies the enemy had tried to use against me. It was The Word that showed me how much I am loved by God. It was The Word that convinced me that pleasing God is far more important than trying to please man. It was The Word that demonstrated God’s mercy and grace towards all who had fallen short of His perfection. And it was my faith in God that led me to understand The Word for my life.

The desire to please God–once we understand His Word–puts us on the path to serving others and that’s why The Word is important–so all who know it and trust it can accomplish all that God desires for them to accomplish.

For any who doubt the value of The Word–I offer this challenge–have faith in God and in developing a relationship with Him and then open a bible–with an open mind and willing heart to hear Him. I guarantee–you’ll never be the same–once you find yourself in God’s Word!

How Are Your Angels Performing?

“The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear him, and he delivers them.” (Psalm 34:7 NIV)

Before the resurrection of Jesus Christ, we see “angels” discussed as being the messengers of God. After the resurrection, especially in Revelation, we see the angels are still referencing the messengers of God in the church–those in leadership. I say this for clarity only simply because of the misrepresentation of angels in the entertainment industry. There are angels (spirit beings) who have been assigned to every Believer and in the end, we shall judge their abilities pertaining to us.

The bible tells us in 1 Corinthians 6:3 that we shall judge our angels as well as those things that pertain to this life. Contrary to what many think and say, those who believe God shall judge what people do–according to the Word--not their opinions or bias. Whatever God says, we say. And we shall judge those angels (in the spirit realm) who have been assigned to us to protect us.

While many may not believe in angels, I know that my angels have been on duty and because of them, I am still here today. They have warned me about impending danger and cushioned me from being harmed, irreparably in two accidents that should have killed me. In both accidents, cars were totalled and my physical injuries were superficial at best. I walked away from both of them without a scratch, but suffered delayed reactions due to the impact. As a result, my vision was impaired from the last accident and at one point, I was told I’d be blind before long. That accident occurred in 1994. Though I strain at times to see words clearly, I can still see. My angel(s) took the brunt of that impact and I am here to tell the story.

Now, let me move on to the gist of this passage. Those who reference (not be afraid of) The Lord, obey Him out of that obedience, can expect their angels to be encamped around them and delivered from dangerous situations. This does not mean we should be foolish and try to tempt the devil. We are to be wise as a serpent–moving cautiously in life–aware of the tricks of the enemy–never intentionally jeopardizing our lives or the lives of others.

In those instances in which we are not responsible for any danger to ourselves or others, we are protected and delivered from harm, Satan’s plans cancelled and they sizzle out with the interference of our angels. I tend to liken the darts Satan flings at us like a tennis game. We see what he does and lob the ball back into his court and he never stands a chance at winning in his attempt to defeat us when we know how to keep the ball in play.

Today, thank God for the angels who have been assigned to protect you and remember to always be willing to hear Holy Spirit when He speaks a word of caution to keep us safe.

Those Who Understand, Have No Need of Control!

“I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you.Do not be like the horse or the mule, which have no understanding but must be controlled by bit and bridle or they will not come to you.” (Psalm 32:8,9 NIV)

God’s response to David’s entreaty was that He, Almighty God would instruct him, teach, and counsel him and at all times, would keep His eyes upon him. Our great and awesome God is the same God that spoke to David and He is yet speaking to us--He will instruct, teach, and counsel us–we have no need for those who have no understanding of His ways to teach us anything, provide us with instruction of anything and they certainly cannot counsel us about anything that pertains to God and His ways.

Those who are looking to men’s legislation or judgments are really wasting their time. The only thing that will be proven by the interception of men in the wake of God’s way of living, is that men and women will constantly be jerked around by the whims of men. God’s instructions have been written–not only in the book most know as a bible, but in the hearts of all who have a relationship with Him. Holy Spirit dwells within the consummate Believer who knows God cannot lie and He said what He meant and meant what He said. It is Holy Spirit who provides us with understanding as He hears from God to direct us and counsel us at all times. Without God, we become like those who have gone before us–lost and wander around like mindless creatures, not having a clue as to which direction to take.

But we see in current events that whenever the flesh is tickled or set ablaze with lust within those who have no fear or reverence of God, all must be embroiled in the mindlessness and only those who are standing firm in their faith, will survive to see the glory of The Lord prevail in all things. We are warned in The Word that flesh and spirit are enemies–we either allow flesh to dictate what we do or we allow Holy Spirit to dictate what we do. Holy Spirit will not force His will upon anyone and neither should man.

Judgment, for all who sin and especially those who lie, has already been determined and unless the guilty parties change their ways and see the need to have God in their lives, their end is established–in the lake of fire.

Those who stand firm have no need for godless men with no understanding to instruct us in the ways of a living God, who is yet keeping watch over us. It is the godless who need to be careful and watchful of the mighty hand of God. The same Hand–who comforts and protects His children, also delivers a blow to those who mislead God’s children.

Be encouraged! We are not like the horses or mules with no understanding that need others to lead us around when they have no direction. We know the way–and Jesus is the way, the Truth and the Light!

Our GPS!

“I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you.” (Psalm 32:8 NIV)

While we wander, lost and unsure

If we seek Him, and allow Holy Spirit

Navigation–our God-Planned-Solution,

Even when we go astray, He’ll nudge

Our spirits, “Hear Me and Endure”

The end is not yet, stay on the path

He is directing, arriving at the appointed position

In His timing, not our own; steering clear of the broad way,

Staying on the Narrow Path, not listening to what others say,

Renewing faith, day-by-day, hearing Him Speak

Making Hearts glad, being obedient, ensuring the devil

Being mad, at the loss of a soldier he used, abused,

But Jesus, Our Healer, Our Deliverer, Our Savior

Loved us enough to save and place us in the Army

Of The Lord, armored up, ready for battle, knowing

Victory is ours, in Jesus’ name, not fighting for glory

Or fame, but to let others know, we don’t have to go,

Our own way and be lost, Because Jesus paid the cost,

For you and I and whosoever will Believe

That He is and forever will be our Risen Savior,

Instructing, directing, by His Holy Spirit He knows,

The way to heaven, our mansions already built,

No more worries, pain, sadness, just joy while

We praise His Name forevermore. His love grows

And grows in our hearts so love, we’ll have to share

With everyone else, whose burdens we’ll bear

Until we reach the far-away shore, we’ll be the light,

The beacon the world needs, shining bright, igniting

Assurance and boldness in reaching our destination,

Unscathed, wiser and ready, knowing He’s our GPS!

Eyes On Me!

“I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you. Do not be like the horse or the mule, which have no understanding but must be controlled by bit and bridle or they will not come to you” (Psalm 32:8,9 NIV).

There are so many eyes–looking upon everything we do–judging, evaluating, assessing, criticizing, not knowing who we really are or who is guiding us. Or do they?

If the Lord is giving us instruction, and teaching us how to get to the destination He has planned for us, and counseling us as we journey in life, we have no need to be concerned about what others see–for they will only see our willing obedience to God, doing what must be done to obtain the goal. However, whatever we do, whatever others see–will determine whether we need to be “controlled or forced” to do something.

In spite of what many think, our obedience to God is out of a desire to please Him, not because He forces us to do anything. If we have a heart for God and we are hearing Him, we know that He only wants the best for us and we only want to please Him.

For those who do not understand God’s love or His plans, His Word will seem harsh and brash and controlling. But God–never forces or controls us to do anything–He gives us freewill to choose and to accept the consequences of our actions. When we choose not to understand or hear Him, we are left with those entities that will control–demonic spirits that lead us down the opposite paths of those God wants us to travel.

On the path to hell (and it is real), everything glitters and has much more appeal to our senses–sight, smell, feel, taste, hearing–it all looks good, smells good, feels good, tastes good and sounds good, but is it–all good? NO! The enemy deliberately makes everything that opposes God look better than anything God wants us to have because he–the devil–wants us to be miserable and to hate God.

Not convinced of the devil’s controlling influence? Take a good look around at our society--at those who are influenced by greed, drugs, and all other lusts of the flesh. The gambling looked good–easy money–until it’s all gone and now people have to steal to support their habit. The same is true with drugs and alcohol–controlling substances. On a personal level–hygiene takes a backseat to fulfilling the desires and cravings of those things which control the mind and behavior. Feelings and cravings in the lower extremities of bodies control–making sexual appeal for anyone more desirable and pleasurable than doing things God’s way. Even food controls–for those who lack discipline and self-control, overeating–which leads to health problems and early deaths. Oh, yes–the enemy controls, but God instructs, teaches, and counsels and leaves it up to us to hear and obey.

Whose eyes are upon you, today–the loving eyes of the Lord or the gleaming eyes of the devil? They know and we should, too–just by looking at what we do!

Wisdom and Instruction

“but whoever listens to me will live in safety and be at ease, without fear of harm” (Proverbs 1:33 NIV).

In the very first chapter of Proverbs–commonly referred to as the book of wisdom–we are see the importance of knowing God. In fact, Solomon begins by reminding us that, “the fear (reverential respect) of The Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction” (Proverbs 1:1 NIV). Throughout this conversation, we are told what happens when people refuse to hear God and obey and God’s reaction to our disobedience.

James tell us that “if any lack wisdom, ask of God who gives it liberally without condemnation” (paraphrased). Wisdom is mentioned 234 times in the KJV and instruction 33 times and knowledge 172 times, obey 69 times, pray 313 times, God 4,447. So, what’s the point? Wisdom, knowledge, and talking to God are important to Him.

Scoffers have always rebelled against any knowledge of God because they simply want to live their lives any way they choose. This is the way it has been since the beginning and this is still the way in the hearts of many. Any time a person or groups denies the credibility of The Bible or God–it is because they do not want to live a righteous life. By refusing to acknowledge moral values, they exempt themselves from the consequences of disobedience–they think.

When people violate or ignore “man’s laws” there are consequences when caught and man’s law states, “ignorance of the law is not an excuse to violate it” and fines or the consequences for breaking the law must be paid. What the rebellious have forgotten is that most of “man’s laws” were based on biblical principles. And now that lawmakers are changing laws, they think they are changing God’s principles, but when the consequences come due, they will understand that ignorance of God’s principles is not an excuse to ignore them or violate them. For those who have the mind of Christ, look around at our society right now and see the destruction already coming upon the land and know that when it’s over, God will have pronounced His judgment upon all because we refused to hear and obey.

What can we–who know God–do? We can continue to pray. “If my people, who are called by my name, would humble themselves and pray, turn from their wicked ways, and seek my face, then will I hear from heaven, forgive their sin, and heal the land” (2 Chronicles 7:14). The Believers must act with wisdom and follow God’s instructions–love Him and love others, and promote the Gospel of Jesus Christ by our actions.  We must become the true ambassadors in order to save the lost. When we think we lack wisdom in doing the will of God, we must ask Him for more wisdom and He won’t think less of us when we do.

Before the trumpet sounds, we must make sure we have built our faith on a solid foundation and know without a doubt, we have attained the right to enter into our eternal place of rest, to be with The Lord. When we listen to God, we have no need to fear what the enemy might do because the enemy is already defeated for those who know and hear God.

Help us O God, to always hear You and obey!