What Will You Receive?

“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” (Ecclesiastes 2:26 NIV).

The writer, who most conclude to be Solomon before his health failed, provides us with nuggets of wisdom and insight that pertain to all–whether in relationship with God or not.

Sometimes, we don’t want to hear both sides of the story and there are usually two sides of every story.  We love to hear all the good stuff–the prosperity, fame, victory, etc., but there is another side of the story which will happen whether we believe it or not. In more than one place in scripture (in the Psalms, Proverbs, Zechariah, etc.) we are told that those who gather wealth–outside of a relationship with God–will see those in relationship with God, enjoy their riches.

God has stated in His Word that He has given us (His Children) power to get wealth and when we please Him, we get to enjoy it. When we don’t please Him, we won’t.  At this stage of life, here on earth, we must be more concerned about pleasing God, than pleasing man. Man’s favor may last for only a moment, but the favor of God will last as long as we please Him.

What to do, what to do? For those in relationship with God, there is but one answer. Our conduct and our lives must demonstrate what it is we want to receive from God–from which side of the fence (or the story). Our history–can be written with one of two endings–we lived to please God and enjoyed the abundance of His goodness or we lived to please self and suffered the consequences of our actions–sowing, but never reaping!

In which reception line will you be found? Receiving the wealth by pleasing God or watching others enjoy the fruit of your labor?

O God, help us to stay in position to please You and receive all of Your many benefits that we may be a blessing to others as You have blessed us.

Created To Do Good!

“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared for us in advance to do” (Ephesians 2:10 NIV).

Before we were formed in the wombs of our mothers, God had a plan for us and He prepared that plan specifically for each of us–in advance–of our acceptance of the work on the cross, inviting Christ into our hearts and in making Jesus Lord of our lives.

We are created in the image of God who can only do good works and therefore, if we love Him, we can do the works He created us to do.  God cares and so should we–about the plight of the poor, the vulnerable, the sick, and peace in the nations.  Since we were created to do good works, what’s stopping us?  Are too busy or too blind to see?  Are we too hard-hearted to care? Are we too insensitive to feel?  Are we limited by our own sense of insecurities and shortcomings?  If we take our focus off of us and what we want–we can see the needs of others, and know that we can do all things well through the strength we are given and can operate in by the Holy Spirit.

Lord, help us to see the needs of others and to do something about them when we see them.  Keep our focus on doing what You would do–loving all and helping where and when we can.  Help us to be the beacon of light that draws others to You so we can eradicate darkness and dark works that keep people in bondage.  In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen!