Are We Satisfied?

Are We Satisfied?

Guard your steps when you go to the house of God. Go near to listen rather than to offer the sacrifice of fools, who do not know that they do wrong. Do not be quick with your mouth, do not be hasty in your heart to utter anything before God. God is in heaven and you are on earth, so let your words be few. A dream comes when there are many cares, and many words mark the speech of a fool. When you make a vow to God, do not delay to fulfill it. He has no pleasure in fools; fulfill your vow. It is better not to make a vow than to make one and not fulfill it. Do not let your mouth lead you into sin. And do not protest to the temple messenger, “My vow was a mistake.” Why should God be angry at what you say and destroy the work of your hands? Much dreaming and many words are meaningless. Therefore fear God. If you see the poor oppressed in a district, and justice and rights denied, do not be surprised at such things; for one official is eyed by a higher one, and over them both are others higher still. The increase from the land is taken by all; the king himself profits from the fields. Whoever loves money never has enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with their income. This too is meaningless. As goods increase, so do those who consume them. And what benefit are they to the owners except to feast their eyes upon them? Ecclesiastes 5:1-11 NIV (read the entire chapter)

I’m going to leave this right here.

eda

 

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Humility!

Humility!

The fear of the LORD is the instruction of wisdom; and before honour is humility. Proverbs 15:33 KJV

Before destruction the heart of man is haughty, and before honour is humility. Proverbs 18:12 KJV

In the same way, you who are younger, submit yourselves to your elders. All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.” 1 Peter 5:5 NIV

By definition–humility is not an act–an attempt to fool others, but it is the essence of sincerity demonstrated by what we say or do. Per the dictionary–the quality or condition of being humble; modest opinion or estimate of one’s own importance, rank, etc.

When we are truly sincere–saying or doing–from the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks–and we don’t have to tell anyone, we are being sincere, they’ll know it by what they see or hear.

Solomon reminds us that when we have reverential fear–respect–of The Lord, we receive instruction from Him because He is the only wise person and then when we act upon the instructions given, we do not need to boast of anything–bringing attention to ourselves, but we always point people in the direction of Him and He then allows to be honored by mankind. Solomon also tells us that when a person experiences destruction (defeat) it is because of their haughty heart–arrogance in their thinking themselves superior to others. This is especially true of those who think they are a “savior” and promote themselves as such, saying things like, “I’m the only one who can fix all the wrong in the world.”

There is only one Savior and His job has already been completed on the cross. But He has given us power to do all things well through Him. When we acknowledge that it is His grace, mercy and goodness that guided us in all we do that honors Him, He honors us with favor from all we meet. Walking in God’s favor, without drawing attention to self, is the greatest knowledge in the world to me–and I know–without living to please Him, I cannot walk in His favor.

How does God honor us? I cannot speak for others, but I can certainly speak to what He’s done for me. I have obtained jobs–positions for which I did not meet the criteria–initially–but His favor was showered upon me and not only did I get the jobs, but I learned quickly and was promoted into other positions. Instead of bragging about me, I expressed an interest in the job and learning all I could to be a benefit to the place where I worked. At one job, because of my ability to get things done, within the my first year of being with the company, a promotional position was created–just for me–in order for them to adjust my salary based upon my worth to them (so my boss at that time said). That’s God’s favor–not my ability. All I did was what I knew to do.

When we are truly humble–we don’t need to broadcast, “I mean it sincerely, believe me”, rant or rave in order to get attention. God already knows our heart and when we honor Him in what we say and do, He honors us with His favor. We don’t have to beg for it or pray for it–He simply gives.

Humility–is also not a “tone of voice” especially when the words we speak have not changed their tone. We can whisper hateful, spiteful words and that is not a show of humility. True humility considers the words before they are spoken, before they hit the airwaves and are mindful of those who are going to hear them. We can shout our praise for God and demonstrate humility because it’s not about us, but about Him.

Understanding who He is and all He has done for us, ignites humility in all who love Him because our desire is to please Him and not ourselves.

Better Wisdom Than Riches!

Better Wisdom Than Riches!

Listen, for I have trustworthy things to say; I open my lips to speak what is right. My mouth speaks what is true, for my lips detest wickedness. All the words of my mouth are just; none of them is crooked or perverse. To the discerning all of them are right; they are upright to those who have found knowledge. 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. “I, wisdom, dwell together with prudence; I possess knowledge and discretion.” Proverbs 8:6-12 NIV

Whenever we think we are wise–about anything–we need only to go back to the book of Wisdom in Proverbs and read with renewed interest and zeal the words of the Wise One–through Solomon. Once again, I encourage all who read my blogs to read entire passages referenced for there is so much more revelation knowledge to be obtained.

The first thing we have to do is–listen–to what wisdom is saying. We cannot do that if we are not open to hearing from those who are wiser than we are. And the only way we can know we lack wisdom is through the humility of understanding, none of us–know everything. For The Believer in Jesus Christ–our wisdom should only come from above from the only Wise God–not people who think they know. How do we know when we are hearing from God? We find confirmation in His Word–already spoken through those who were willing to hear Him.

Additionally, we need discernment–ability to separate truth from lies, wisdom from foolishness, true believers from those simply using Christianity as a banner. How do we gain discernment to separate fact from fiction? We listen to Holy Spirit who will not tell us anything other than what God has already spoken and what He says, is readily available for confirmation in His Word.

Then we need to determine our priorities–establishing the importance of everything we encounter in our lives. If living according to God’s Word is not a priority, we end up grasping for anything to hold onto as we free-fall through life’s many challenges. Unfortunately, many grasp onto whatever sounds good rather than what is good. We are deceived through desires to obtain riches rather than wisdom and our pursuit of wealth makes us do foolish things because we have not wisdom. Seeking wisdom is better than seeking riches or wealth for with the wisdom, we discover avenues to wealth that will last a life time rather than for a moment.

When knowledge accompanies wisdom, we walk the path of righteousness, we understand foolishness and we avoid the pitfalls and snares the enemy has planned for us. We know when to speak and when to be quiet. We know how to measure the impact of our words by thinking before we speak. We know how to serve others rather than waiting for others to serve us. We know who belongs to God and can separate them from those who don’t, simply because of the love that flows from those who know God. We operate with knowledge and prudence–remembering that God sees and knows all–and He is never deceived by any our attempts to fool others.

If we really take the time to think about all God has to say to us through His Word, we would begin to realize that pursuing riches and wealth–cannot begin to compare to the value of wisdom and knowledge.

Mockers and Fools vs Wisdom and Knowledge!

Mockers and Fools vs Wisdom and Knowledge!

The wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down. Proverbs 14:1 NIV

A fool’s mouth lashes out with pride, but the lips of the wise protect them. Proverbs 14:3 NIV

The mocker seeks wisdom and finds none, but knowledge comes easily to the discerning. Proverbs 14:6 NIV

Stay away from a fool, for you will not find knowledge on their lips. Proverbs 14:7 NIV

Looking at The Word through Solomon’s insights, there really is no competition between the foolish and the wise. Wisdom trumps foolishness every time.

Wise people build–their houses with solid foundations that will endure the test of time and storms. Any foundation that is week and has not been properly shored up, will buckle and eventually cave in causing destruction to the whole house. And whenever there is a problem with the foundation, steps should be taken to make sure it stabilizes before it crumbles and falls.

The building principle is true of every aspect of our lives–we build relationships on solid foundations. We build careers on solid foundations and we build up our faith in God, on the solid foundation of The Word.

Pride speaks without thinking–not considering its ways or how what is said will affect the hearer. Pride doesn’t care and since pride doesn’t care–they are often revealed as fools. While the wise are careful to research and think before speaking, mindful that words carry impact and impact affects those who hear their words.

The mocker–those who mock others for whatever reason–seeks wisdom in all the wrong places and from the wrong people and therefore never obtain what he/she is seeking. But those who have knowledge and wisdom, easily discern what the fools never understand.

Solomon reveals the valuable lessons he’s learned throughout the Proverbs and carried over into Ecclesiastes–the wisdom he gained from God who gives liberally and from making mistakes in his disobedience. He learned that wisdom never leads anyone astray, but a fool–will also find himself lost, without direction, never knowing right from left or up from down–when to stay and when to quit–when to speak and when to be quiet.

With all that Solomon has to say about fools–and there is quite a bit–we, who read The Word with understanding, are without excuse in recognizing a fool when we see or hear one. And if we are wise, we know to stay away from fools for there is no knowledge or wisdom in them and all they do–is mock others–because they have no foundational substance in the make up of their character.

Now, we need to think–before making a decision about what we’ve read–and determine where we are in the greater scheme of things. Are we in the camp of the wise or the foolish?

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.

Wisdom Is Needed To Lead!

Wisdom Is Needed To Lead!

That night God appeared to Solomon and said to him, “Ask for whatever you want me to give you.” Solomon answered God, “You have shown great kindness to David my father and have made me king in his place. Now, LORD God, let your promise to my father David be confirmed, for you have made me king over a people who are as numerous as the dust of the earth. Give me wisdom and knowledge, that I may lead this people, for who is able to govern this great people of yours?” God said to Solomon, “Since this is your heart’s desire and you have not asked for wealth, possessions or honor, nor for the death of your enemies, and since you have not asked for a long life but for wisdom and knowledge to govern my people over whom I have made you king, therefore wisdom and knowledge will be given you. And I will also give you wealth, possessions and honor, such as no king who was before you ever had and none after you will have.” 2 Chronicles 1:7-12 NIV

Believers know the story about Solomon and how he asked God for wisdom instead of riches and God gave Him the riches and honor, too. Amazing! The king humbled himself before God and acknowledged he didn’t have what it would take to lead God’s people!

There are so many lessons that can be learned from Solomon’s life. First of all, his ascension to his father’s throne was fulfillment of prophecy.  There are some things that are going to happen in our lives that are simply fulfillment of God’s plans. What we do with those plans are on us.

Then, we need to know within ourselves when we need help. Thinking we know everything when we don’t is probably the detonator that will trigger disaster in our lives. None of us knows everything and we all need people in our lives to help us to accomplish anything worthwhile.  We own what we do not know and ask for help before either cause an implosion or an explosion that destroys us and others.

When we understand God, through our relationship with Him, we know there is no wisdom like His and we go to Him to ask for wisdom and direction in all area of our lives. And get this–He won’t think badly of us when we come to Him for help. What He will do, is to honor our request. He will give us more wisdom than we can handle at one time, but He will also guide us in using the wisdom He gives.

Another lesson we obtain from learning about Solomon is to not get so full of ourselves that we forget how God expects all of His people to live. Solomon allowed his wealth–the material things to mean far too much to him to the point that he boasted–to the wrong people–of all he had. And to make matters worse–he married all sorts of women and had concubines and lived long enough to understand–he had gone astray and what befell him was because of his disobedience to God.

I have heard and seen many people proclaiming that even though Trump is not qualified to be the president of this country that we should just pray for him. Here’s the challenge with that approach–all the prayer in the world will not make him fit to be president if he is not willing to hear God. Presently, I see no evidence of him ever listening to God because he’s too busy listening to himself. We must remember that God allows all of us freewill choice-He does not make anyone do anything and He won’t change who He is because of Donald Trump or anyone else.

Therefore, my prayer is for the nation–that as Americans we will stand firm on God’s Word and seek Him in all things–including who we put into office. When we are willing to listen to God, He will speak to us and we will hear what He says–even over the barrage of insults and media sensationalism.

Lord, give us a heart to hear You and then give us the desire, the will, and the courage to obey what we hear.

 

How We Get Rest and Peace With Him!

“Praise be to the LORD, who has given rest to his people Israel just as he promised. Not one word has failed of all the good promises he gave through his servant Moses. May the LORD our God be with us as he was with our ancestors; may he never leave us nor forsake us. May he turn our hearts to him, to walk in obedience to him and keep the commands, decrees and laws he gave our ancestors. And may these words of mine, which I have prayed before the LORD, be near to the LORD our God day and night, that he may uphold the cause of his servant and the cause of his people Israel according to each day’s need, so that all the peoples of the earth may know that the LORD is God and that there is no other. And may your hearts be fully committed to the LORD our God, to live by his decrees and obey his commands, as at this time.” I Kings 8:56-61 NIV

Solomon’s prayer for the Children of Israel is just as relevant today as it was then. We need peace in the land so all can rest from the uncertainty that stems from all the hate and upheaval. “Oh that man would cease from strife over trivialities that mean nothing.”

People are concerned about things that they have the power to conquer if they would just learn from the wisdom of those who have walked the earth before us. There is no savior in the person of any political candidate, modern-day hero, or any other such person. We have a Savior and His name is Jesus!

Did He not tell us to cast all our cares upon Him? Did He not tell us that He would give us rest? Did He not tell us we shall peace with Him? If we believe what He said, then why can’t we just do what Solomon did?

Let’s praise Him all day long, being thankful for all He has done, is doing and will do for those who love Him. If we have unrepented sin in our lives, let’s repent, rejoice, and move on–to the victory promised to us in Him.

There’s not much I can add to Solomon’s prayer and so I wont’ attempt to alter it. In fact, all I can say is, “Amen.”

Thank You for rest and the peace in Jesus, Lord!