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« Reply #1500 on: February 08, 2008, 10:52:15 AM »

  Extravagant Love

While he was in Bethany, reclining at the table in the home of a man known as Simon the Leper, a woman came with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume, made of pure nard. She broke the jar and poured the perfume on his head. Some of those present were saying indignantly to one another, "Why this waste of perfume? It could have been sold for more than a year's wages and the money given to the poor." And they rebuked her harshly. "Leave her alone," said Jesus. "Why are you bothering her? She has done a beautiful thing to me. The poor you will always have with you, and you can help them any time you want. But you will not always have me. She did what she could. She poured perfume on my body beforehand to prepare for my burial. I tell you the truth, wherever the gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her. Mark 14:3-9

Have you ever heard of a love that is extravagant?  You may say to yourself, "what is extravagant love?"  "What is the meaning of that?"  Jesus explains this concept of love in these verses from Mark Chapter 1.  The woman with the perfume was unknowingly going to teach the Pharisee's an important lesson about love.  The reason I say unknowingly is that she gave of herself in a manner that was completely unselfish.  She wasn't looking for anything for herself, she was merely worshiping her Lord in the best way that she could.

The idea that she would give up her most prized possession, the perfume in her alabaster jar, was evidence of what the condition of her heart truly was.  In her book, Extravagant Worship, Darlene Zschech, Worship Pastor at Hillsong Church Australia, discusses why and why she believes we also ought to be extravagant worshipers.  She writes "The cause of Christ pumping in our veins should cause extraordinary praise to the Father.  I long to worship Jesus as did the woman with the alabaster jar of perfume.  Excessive. abundant, expensive, superfluous, lavish, costly, precious, rich, priceless, valuable." 

What the Christian church needs today is believers who have a heart that beats so hard for Jesus that they are literally willing to give Him all that they have, regardless of the cost.  Worshipers who want to be so excited for Christ that their passion and enthusiasm for Him spills over onto others around them.  It is this type of worship that not only provides a satisfying experience for the worshiper, it also is an awesome example to those around us and can light a flame of excitement for them.

Ask yourself this question; am I worshiping Jesus in such a way as to give Him the glory, honor and praise that He truly deserves from me?  If not, what would you have to let go of, willing to give up, or start doing differently to be that an extravagant worshiper?  When the Lord sends us out to the front line to do His work, He wants us to be fully prepared and equipped to stand firm against the adversities that are going to come against us.  Worshiping and praising God in extravagant ways, will provide with us the extraordinary strength, ability and wisdom that is needed for us to be victorious in any circumstance that comes our way.


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« Reply #1501 on: February 09, 2008, 10:41:34 AM »

  Battery X

He heals the broken hearted and binds up their wounds.  Psalms 147:3

The other day, I noticed something seriously wrong with my laptop computer.  When I tried to use my computer when it was unconnected to the power source, it refused to work.  I finally noticed that it wasn’t recognizing the battery.  I did everything I could to try to make it work.  I turned my computer off, reinstalled the battery, attempted all of the trouble-shooting suggestions, but nothing helped.  Finally, I turned to the discussion forum on the trouble-shoot website.  There, I found suggestions that pointed me back to a store where my problem will easily be remedied with a new battery.

Though reaching out and getting help may seem like an everyday occurrence, it really struck me how you can relate this situation to the kingdom of God.  One day, as you are going along in life trying to do everything on your own, you run across a group of people that direct you to God.  Once you give your life over to Him, He is able to take it and fix it so that it is better than new.

Turn your life to God today.  He can fix all broken lives and problems.  No matter what your situation is, in His hands, everything will turn out ok.


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« Reply #1502 on: February 10, 2008, 05:47:17 AM »

  Quality Time With The Father

But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your father, who is unseen. Then your father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. Matthew 6:6

My question for you today is do you spend quality time with the father? Do you make time for him? Is there a specific time in the day you keep just for you and your heavenly father? We all need a time and place where it is just you and your heavenly father. Too often we become too busy doing other things rather than the most important things. I believe we will make time for things that are important to us. Whatever our heart desires to do, that what we will do. Too often we make excuses to why we can’t pray and read our word. I work lord, I have homework, I have responsibilities, I have kids lord to look after, I have to wash the clothes, cook, clean. All kind of excuses we come up with. I found in my own life that I need to make more time with the father. Lately I have been hungry for the word of God because the word of God is an amazing book, you learn a lot from it. Find a place in your house, where you can talk to God, where you can read your word, shut the door and connect with your heavenly father. He is waiting to hear from you. He hasn’t heard from you in a long time. He wants to hear your voice. He wants to connect with you. Will you make time in your day for him? I am not talking about those rush prayers and fast reading of the word but getting to a place where you can talk to God and he can talk to you. There are so many things he wants to share with you and show you. He is just waiting for you to get away and get to a quiet place and shut the door and spend quality time with him. Will you do that today? Will you make this your priority for the rest of your life?


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« Reply #1503 on: February 11, 2008, 05:49:31 AM »

  Do It For The Lord

And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ. Colossians 3:23-24

The other day I noticed that I was in a bad mood.  In fact, I couldn’t remember the last time I had even laughed....a real belly laugh.  I had a lot of work to do.  School, my job, my church responsibilities...  I found myself getting angry that I had so much to do and there just seemed not to be enough time and I was STRESSED!

Then, I heard a voice in my heart.  “Who are you doing this for?  Is it for Me, for Me?”  I knew it was the Holy Spirit convicting me of my problem.  In my business I had forgotten who I was living for.  Then I remembered a time when I was so bored and lonely, I thought I would go out of my mind.  But now, God has giving me lots to do, and many new friends, with great responsibilities.  He has trusted me with a lot.  I should be grateful, because I really do love what I do....for Him.

Then, in my quiet time with my Bible.  I read this scripture... “And whatever you do, do it heartily”......heartily, what does that mean?...with my heart in it, with joy and  purpose....”as to the Lord”......who am I to do this for?...the Lord. “And not to men”.  I do not do what I do to please others, or even myself....but I am to do what I do to please God...and yes, others will benefit from it, and I will be happy... “knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance”....from the Lord, I will receive my reward...not looking to men for my reward.....because it is the Lord that I serve.  Colossians 3:23-24

Okay, now I have my heart right!  I am thankful and Happy.  And I am excited even, I am back to doing all that I do for Him.  Isn’t God good? 

So, if you get bogged down with a lot of work or you  have an irritable teacher or bossy boss, or you think your parents are too demanding....just  remember Colossians 3:23-24....and do all that you do with a right heart.....for Him.


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« Reply #1504 on: February 12, 2008, 10:10:45 AM »

  Words

But i tell you that men will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken. For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned. Matthew 12:36-37

Speaking without thinking is like playing with a loaded gun.  Careless words are the bullets. When the gun goes off and injures someone, the damage is done. You can retrieve , but you cant undo the harm it has caused.  Have you ever hurt someone's feelings with careless words, then shrugged it off as their problem because they're too sensitive?  Have ever added to a story to spice it up with gossiping about someone?   Have you ever dishonored God by speaking His name  disrespectfully even though you knew better?

Most of us admit that we don't always choose our words wisely. If we really understood the power of our words, we would never shoot them off as carelessly as we do. God knows how damaging careless words can be, and He takes them far more seriously than we do. Jesus cautions us that one day we will be required to account for every word we ever spoken. Imagine standing before holy God in heaven and having every careless and hurtful word we ever spoke revealed before the hosts of heaven! If we're wise, we'll get in the habit now of thinking before we speak.
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« Reply #1505 on: February 13, 2008, 08:16:24 AM »

  Are You Taking Salvation for Granted?

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires.  Galatians 5:22-24

These two verses that Paul wrote in Galatians are very meaningful for all Christians and they are also quite important, as you will soon see.  In the verses just prior to these, Paul lists the behaviors that we are to stay away from; "The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery, idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like"  Galatians 5:21-23.

The previous verses describe what we were like before our salvation.  Those behaviors are the type that we used to engage in before we accepted Christ.  When we accepted His invitation, His grace washed the sins away and we became as good as new.  Our part in that is that we promised God to live a changed life and to live differently.  We have a responsibility to keep our end of the salvation 'offer'.  While God expects us to live changed lives, He also knows we will slip up occasionally.

Making a mistake and sliding back now and then happens to every Christian.  It only becomes a problem for us when that old behavior becomes a matter of habit on a consistent basis.  Now, we may have said the prayer and promised to repent and asked for and received forgiveness, however, we have to be very careful to walk in the Grace of God without taking advantage of it.  Living under the Fruit of the Spirit is the evidence that we have truly changed our hearts, received salvation and are committed to being like Jesus. 

Verse 24 says that our sinful nature has literally been crucified, just as He was.  This means that it was killed, it is dead.  As verse 23 explains, there is no law against living by the Fruit of the Spirit.  If you see a pattern of the sinful nature in your life, stop and take a personal account.  Compare how you live against those verses and make whatever adjustments that might be necessary to bring you back in line with God's Word. 

After salvation, we are under God's Grace, however, we are not to take license with it.  We are accountable to God to follow His Word and show others that we in fact, have a changed life.  It indicates to others that accepting Jesus as our savior was real and that it truly is the way in which we desire to live now.  As Paul wrote earlier in Galatians 2:20  "I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me."  Through salvation, your body has become a temple of the Lord, Christ is living in you.  Live your life in such a way that proves it to those around you.


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« Reply #1506 on: February 14, 2008, 08:45:38 AM »

  Never Would Have Made It Without God

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go. Joshua 1:9 NIV

Sometimes we have to reflect and think on the goodness of God in our lives. I believe we should just take a moment to just think back on what God has brought us out of and where he has brought us from. If you look back over your life, there were some things you couldn’t get out of. There were some things you thought you wouldn’t have survived but God came through. You never would have made it without God. Sometimes we tend to forget the faithfulness of God in our lives. We should thank him daily for his grace and mercy that brought us through. Some of us had some near death experience. Some of us had some problems and situations that were bigger than us and we had nobody else to turn to. God steps in and he show up and show out. Don’t get so busy and successful that you forget God and his goodness. You wouldn’t be alive today with God. You never would have made it without God.

Marvin Sapp sings a song I Never Would Have Made It with You. He goes on to sing I am stronger; I am wiser, better so much better. Can you testify of that? You are a stronger person. You are a wiser person. You are a better person because of God. I challenge you to daily just think and thank the lord for everything he has done for you.


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« Reply #1507 on: February 15, 2008, 11:03:43 AM »

  The Lord's Prayer

Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as [it is] in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.  Matthew 6:9-13

I don’t know how many times I have heard and recited the Lord’s Prayer.  It seems to be a staple in church, and sometimes it can become commonplace to us.  In Sunday School this week, my teacher went through it step by step and by refreshing it, I had a deeper and more connected understand of the precious prayer that I would like to share with you.

First of all, we open the prayer with “Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be your name.”  This shows how God is so awesome and his name is to be reverenced.  God is so amazing, and as we pray, we should start by recognizing this.  We then move to “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.”  This means God is establishing a kingdom here on earth with his will at the foremost part.  This might seem odd at first, but God wants us to follow after Him and love him and this showcases this fact.  “Give us this day our daily bread” comes next.  This shows how God sustains us from day to day and that we are not promised tomorrow, so what He offers is enough to fill us for the day.  We need a new refreshing of His spirit everyday.  After this comes “Forgive our debts as we forgive our debtors.”  This not only shows how we need forgiveness, but how we must also extend forgiveness to others.  “For thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory forever and ever; amen” ends the prayer.  This line indicates that God is the king of all and all power belongs to him and it will forever.

Going step by step through this prayer can show us several key aspects that we should keep in mind as we pray.  My hope is that the prayer can become alive in your life as you think of what it means, as it has come alive in my own life.  As you pray this, keep the meaning in the front of you mind and remember what all God has done for you.


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« Reply #1508 on: February 16, 2008, 09:58:11 AM »

  Uncomfortable?

Yet I am not ashamed , because I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that He (Jesus) is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him for that day. 2 Timothy 1:12

Ever notice how sometimes its hard to voice your opinions about your faith? The world we live into today has taught us to keep the touchy "religious" subjects on the down low, as to not offend anyone. We tip toe around people not wanting to rub anyone the wrong way. Its almost like we take God and stick Him in our pocket when we go out in public, and then when no one is around we take Him back out. We don’t want to talk about the Lord at work, we don’t want to talk about Him in front of our friends, our family, ANYONE. I’m not just talking about non-believers I’m talking about the Christians as well. Unless we are at church we don’t talk about the Lord. Because if we do , we may say something that will offend someone. Usually when a Christian is "offended" by something that more often than not means that they are convicted of a certain sin in their life. No one likes being convicted in our faith, we all fancy ourselves to be these "Mega Christians" , that we never want to feel t he uncomfortableness of being convicted. The Bible tells us that we should not be ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ. That means telling and talking about the Lord to anyone and everyone, no matter how uncomfortable It makes others feel.

More often than not you will hear Christians defend certain behavior. Drinking , for one, is probably one of the most controversial things to talk about with different Christians. I believe that drinking is wrong. Why drink alcohol and put that temptation in front of you? Why have one or two when you could be setting an example to other believer that may make them fall? So on and so forth. A lot of Christians get very defensive when they enjoy doing things that know that are against or taking that step to being against the Lord. They take what the Bible says and put it into their own version that fits their lifestyle. But think about what kind of example you would be if you were standing in a room holding a beer talking about the Lord? Wouldn’t be a very good one would it? Believers need to stop being so afraid to speak the truth. We need to stop being afraid we will offend others with what we say and how we live our lives. In the Bible Jesus says if we deny Him in front of others , He will deny us in front of His Father (God). Denying Jesus isn’t just saying we don’t personally know Him as our Savior. Its living how we please , not what how God says we should live. You don’t want to get to judgment day and after sticking the Lord in your pocket and living how you please, Jesus looks at you and denies He knows you. Don’t stick God in your pocket, speak out your faith!


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« Reply #1509 on: February 17, 2008, 10:51:26 AM »

  Keep Your Faith Big!

But without Faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.  Hebrews 11:6

What is faith?  “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.  For by it the elders obtained a good testimony.  By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible.”  Hebrews 11:1-3     Faith is believing even what we cannot see it.

Everything about our Christian experience is based on faith.  If we could see everything, understand everything, know everything, control everything, then we wouldn’t need faith. 

Remember Moses?  God used Him and did many miracles to deliver the children of Israel from slavery in Egypt.  God even parted the Red Sea for them to pass through and drowned the Egyptians who were close on their heels.  He delivered them from their enemies.  He was with them and He even rained down manna from Heaven to feed them.  But then in Numbers 11, the people COMPLAINED!  They were tired of the manna, they wanted meat and onions like they had back in Egypt. They wondered why God would deliver them from Egypt and take them out in the wilderness to starve!  At least back in Egypt they ate good.  Can you believe that!  How could people who had experienced such mighty miracles from God complain and doubt that He was going to keep taking care of them.  God was angry.  The people were ungrateful and unbelieving.

In Numbers 11:31-34 God sent quail for them to eat.  But while the meat was still between their teeth, the wrath of the Lord was aroused and  he struck them with a very great plague and they died. 

Why is it that we all can be like this at times?  We see God move and do mighty things and then when we don’t get our way or we think God isn’t moving fast enough, we begin to complain and doubt.  Don’t be like the children of Israel who complained and doubted.  Keep your faith Big!

Jesus teaches us all through the Gospels, that faith is what pleases God.  He said, “Why are you fearful, O you of little faith?” Matthew 8:26

“And He said to him, “Arise, go your way. Your faith has made you well.”Luke 17:19
“Then He said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you. Go in peace.” Luke 7:50
“Then He touched their eyes, saying, “According to your faith let it be to you. “Matthew 9:29
“And He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well.  Go in peace, and be healed of your affliction.”Mark 5:34
“When Jesus heard these things, He marveled at him, and turned around and said to the crowd that followed Him, I say to you, I have not found such great faith, not even in Israel!”Luke7:9
Keep your faith BIG!
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« Reply #1510 on: February 18, 2008, 09:33:45 AM »

  Our Everlasting Savior God

O Lord, are you not from everlasting? My God, my Holy One, we will not die. Habakkuk 1:12

In this verse from the minor prophet Habakkuk, he is recounting the battle against Israel by the Chaldeans.  The Chaldeans are winning, mostly due to the sins that Israel has wrought against God.  Habakkuk is lamenting and trying to understand which is worse: the sins that they have committed, or the punishment that has resulted from them.  While Habakkuk realizes that they have brought this upon themselves, he wonders aloud if God is still on the side of the Israelites or not.  The Chaldeans  themselves were wicked warriors in their own right, who did not honor God, but worship other idols.

You might be wondering what the significance of this verse is, written by a lowly minor prophet.  First of all, just because Habakkuk isn't as well known as the Major Prophets like Jeremiah or Isaiah, God used the ordinary among the Israelites, as he does still today to deliver important messages.  God's ways are higher than our ways.  "As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts."

Isaiah 55:9.  That characteristic of God has never changed and is the same today as it was back then.

When Habakkuk makes reference in the first part of the verse, he is asking God about his everlasting nature.  The eternity of God's nature is valid; if he is from everlasting, then he will be to everlasting for the Israelites and also for us today.  The importance of that fact is that God will see to it that, unlike the Chaldeans, His children will still sit beside Him in heaven, no matter what ordeal they might go through.  The Chaldean idol worshipers will have a future of eternal strife.  This is a crucial promise that God has made to all Christians.

The second part of this verse provides an even greater comfort to us.  Habakkuk is reaffirming that God is his Holy One.  Because he believes that, and holds it in his heart as truth, Habakkuk will not die, but will in fact be with God in the end.  He is reminding the Israelites how important this is, to love God with all their hearts above all else.  Again, this is the same truth for Christians today.  As we profess our complete love for God just as Habakkuk did, and that God is our savior and not attribute the goodness in our live as from idols, then God will truly deliver us from the eternal torment of hell.


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« Reply #1511 on: February 19, 2008, 10:24:49 AM »

  A Faithful Lover

Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. John 15:13

As Valentine’s Day approaches, some of you are making plans to do something special for that special someone in your life. Some of you Valentine’s Day is a special day for you. For some others it may not be a happy day. Some are feeling lonely or alone. For some Valentine’s Day brings back memories of a lost love one or a bad relationship. Someone being unfaithful. Someone betraying you. Someone hurting you and causing pain. I want to bring to your attention that Valentine’s Day shouldn’t just be a day you spend with your boyfriend or girlfriend or husband or wife, it should be a day where we reflect also on the love of God. A faithful lover. God who has never left us. Never cheated on us, never forsake us. Just think for a moment on the love of God. His unconditional love. Think about what he had done on the cross for us. That is true love. Willing to give his life for us. Your heavenly father loves you the most. He is also near and there. You can trust him; he will remain true to you. Reflect; think about the true lover of your soul. No one can love you the way that he does. Just think about how much he loves you. Think about the times he has forgiven you. The bible says that love keeps no record of wrong. God forgetting your past, your mistakes, your short coming, you’re disobedient. I challenge you on Valentine’s Day to just take a moment to reflect and think and give God the honor and the praise for his love. He is a faithful lover.


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« Reply #1512 on: February 20, 2008, 10:05:26 AM »

  What Do You Desire?

Trust in the Lord, and do good; Dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness.  Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the DESIRES of your heart. Psalm 37:3-4

We all have desires.  Have you ever stopped to think about what you desire?  Do you desire more money, a new car, popularity, to be famous, to be well thought of, a bigger house, better relationships, to be healed totally, to be happier....the list is endless.  We all have things that we desire for ourselves.  Do we desire to be used more of God, to lead people to Christ, to see people saved and set free?  Do we desire world peace, no wars, no pain, no one suffering?  Do we desire to deny ourselves for Christ?  Do we desire to lay down our lives for Christ?  What is the desires of our heart? 

I have been thinking about that a lot this week. Mainly because my preacher preached about it Sunday at church and since then, I have heard other messages on this as well and finding it  coming up in my own quite Bible reading time.  Hmmm.  I know this is God speaking to me....and possibly to you. 

Psalms 37:4 says, “Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the DESIRES of your heart.”  This verse, I have read many times and it always makes me happy.  I guess because I believed that my desires were the Lord’s.

But look at this verse.  “Where do wars and fights come from among you?  Do they not come from your DESIRES for pleasure that war in your members?  You lust and do not have.  You murder and covet and cannot obtain.  You fight and war, yet you do not have because you do not ask.  You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures.” James 4:1-3

So what are we to do?  How are we to know if our desires are good or bad? If they’re of God or not?   Luke 9:23-35 shows us the way.  “Then He said to them all, “If anyone DESIRES to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.  For whoever DESIRES to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it.  For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and is himself destroyed or lost?”

I think our focus needs to be on Christ and not ourselves.  If we do things to “delight” in the Lord, with that being our motive, our DESIRE, then we are desiring the right things.  And God will give us the DESIRES of our hearts, because they will be His DESIRES.

Lord, Help me to DESIRE more of you and less for me!
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« Reply #1513 on: February 21, 2008, 10:25:30 AM »

  Who Knows About Tomorrow?

When times are good, be happy; but when times are bad, consider: God has made the one as well as the other. Therefore, a man cannot discover anything about his future. Ecclesiastes 7:14

Do you celebrate, thank and praise God when your life is experiencing the blessings that God sends in your direction?   While Solomon was not directly insinuating that we should do that, "be happy" certainly means in a sense that we ought to be thankful.  All blessings come from the hand of God, the other stuff we generally attribute as coming from the dream snatcher.  However, Solomon clears that reasoning up in the second part of this verse.  "God has made the one as well the other."

Everything that enters our lives, the good and the bad, is filtered through the hands of an all omnipotent and all-powerful God.  The main reason for this is so that we can realize that He is in control of every aspect of our lives, not just some of it.  This fact belies another great truth of God in our lives; only He knows the future for certain.  We do not.  The New Testament also refers this truth in James 4:  13 "Now listen, you who say, "Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money."  14 "Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes."   

So, you may think, does this mean that we should not make plans or decisions?  No, it does not.  For example, some decisions have to be made very quickly, such as stopping for a red light, or seeking shelter in a sudden storm.  Other decisions do not need to be made immediately.  In fact, they often need to be thought about and prayed over first.  For example, should I leave my spouse?  Do I spend a great deal of money on this fancy car, or take a trip to Hawaii? 

There was a time in my life before I completed my counseling degree in seminary, when I was going through a period of making some very difficult decisions.  I decided to seek the wise counsel of a friend counselor whom I knew.  Shelley gave me some excellent advice, which I had not considered before.  She said to me "time is safety" when making difficult or serious decisions.  This was good advice, because there are many decisions that God does not expect us to make 'on the spot', just because someone else might want us to.  It is far wiser to wait, pray and seek the Lord's guidance for those decisions.

This brings us full circle to Solomon's wisdom in Ecclesiastes.  Man does not know the future, only God does.  We are not promised tomorrow.  We can merely hope that it will come for us.  When it does, be thankful (happy) and praise God for another day to do something wonderful for the Kingdom.  Look to the future with expectancy and hold onto the dreams that God gives you.  Step into every new day you receive with the hope and assurance that God will use you in the way He knows best, as you follow the dreams that He has planted in your heart.


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« Reply #1514 on: February 22, 2008, 08:15:01 AM »

  Drive Through Car Wash

Then he got into the boat and his disciples followed him. Without warning, a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. The disciples went and woke him, saying, "Lord, save us! We're going to drown!"  He replied, "You of little faith, why are you so afraid?" Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm.  The men were amazed and asked, "What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him!"  Matthew 8:23-27

My wife and I just got a new dog.  He is an amazingly well tempered Lab/pit-bull mix.  He’s a big guy (about 60 lbs) and his name is Jake.  We took Jake on an outing to the beach.  We wanted to give him a good walk and work with him a little bit on his leash etiquette.  We walked about a mile or so then headed back.  The entire time we were there other people were really leery of him.  He is a big guy that isn’t scared of much.  He’s got a very outgoing personality so he is always anxious to visit with people along the way.  He just not scared of the cars or the other dogs or people.

On the way home we decided to get the car washed.  We went to a local gas station and rode through the car wash.  Jake was happily hanging out in the back until the water started shooting at the car.  Once he heard the water hitting the car and saw the soap on the windows he was scared to death.  Despite our repeated attempts to calm him down, he would not be satisfied.  His only thought was to get out of that car wash immediately.  Jake didn’t care that we were there and that we weren’t worried.  All 60lbs of that dog could only focus on one thing.  Escape. 

The disciples were in the same position in the scripture above.  Even though they had been through some experiences with Jesus and were accomplished fishermen, they were still very afraid of the storm and wanted only one thing.  To get out of it.  They didn’t stop to think that Jesus was with them, He was their master, He was in control and He was going to take care of the storm.  Their focus was on the storm, not on the sovereignty of Jesus.  When we face trials and storms of our own today, are we any different?

Just like Jake and the disciples, we need to learn to focus and trust in Jesus, not on the conditions around us.  We often mistake calm seas for a good walk with the Lord.  That is not the case.  Whether the seas of your life are calm or stormy, Jesus is still with you, He is still in control and will console you if you come to Him.  It’s easy to have faith in Jesus when life is going well.  But true faith only comes from the times of trial and suffering.  If your seas are stormy today, don’t focus on the storm.  Focus on the truth of the one who ensures that you won’t be destroyed by it.  No matter what storms may rage in your life, Jesus is with you.  He is holding you and He won’t let you down.  It takes faith to know He’s there, even when you can’t feel Him.


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Joh 9:4  I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work.
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