August 30 “Settling for poor substitutes”

Fake crown, jewels

God gives us so much to enjoy within the framework of His commandments, but we constantly feel we have to go outside of His guidelines. We end up settling for poor substitutes for God’s best.

 

 

Today’s Readings:
Ecclesiastes 8-10
Psalm 103.6-14
Proverbs 24.10-12
1 Corinthians 10.19-33

Ecclesiastes 8-10:

Delayed justice

courtroom, judge, gavel,

“Because the sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil” (8.11).

And we wonder why our criminal justice system doesn’t work?

It’s not that we shouldn’t take the time to allow for a clear investigation and give an accused person a chance to defend him or herself, but when cases drag on for years and sentences are not carried out in a reasonable amount of time, punishment is much less of a deterrent.

couple at home eating  pizzaEat, drink & be merry

“So I commended enjoyment, because a man has nothing better under the sun than to eat, drink, and be merry; for this will remain with him in his labor all the days of his life which God gives him under the sun” (8.15).

This is not about living a party lifestyle, doing whatever we please, but about enjoying life’s simple pleasures within the framework of God’s will. The sad fact is that just like Adam and Eve, we constantly feel we must go outside the guidelines God has given to find the pleasure we think we “deserve.” God gave them the whole garden to enjoy and they settled for a lousy tree!

“Live joyfully with the wife whom you love all the days of your vain life which He has given you under the sun, all your days of vanity; for that is your portion in life, and in the labor which you perform under the sun” (9.9).

couple

Again, He gives us all the benefits of marriage to enjoy and we will settle for some other guy or some other woman who we think “understands us” or builds up our ego—forgetting the spouses they are willing to neglect while they commit adultery with us! We will destroy two families, our testimony, and our relationship with God to have what we think we want, and realize too late it doesn’t deliver.

Psalm 103.6-14:

Not what we deserve

8 The LORD is merciful and gracious,
 Slow to anger, and abounding in mercy.
 9 He will not always strive with us,
 Nor will He keep His anger forever.
 10 He has not dealt with us according to our sins,
 Nor punished us according to our iniquities (vss. 8-10).

Praise God for His mercy. Those of us who have accepted His offer of salvation, don’t get what we deserve, we get His grace!

depression, abuseProverbs 24.10-12:

Those who are drawn toward death

11 Deliver those who are drawn toward death, 
 And hold back those stumbling to the slaughter. 12 If you say, “Surely we did not know this,” 
 Does not He who weighs the hearts consider it?
 He who keeps your soul, does He not know it?
 And will He not render to each man according to his deeds? (vss. 11-12).

We cannot pretend ignorance regarding the world around us, especially those who are destroying their own lives and those of their born and unborn children. May God give us the strength and the boldness to speak truth to those He puts in our paths.

1 Corinthians 10.19-33:

Questions to consider

23 All things are lawful for me, but not all things are helpful; all things are lawful for me, but not all things edify. 24 Let no one seek his own, but each one the other’s well-being.

31 Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.

Some important questions to consider before we exercise our “freedoms”:

Is what I am doing “helpful” to me in my walk with God?
Will it edify me?
Will it edify others?
Does it bring glory to God, that is, will it cause others to have a right opinion of Him?

Blessings,
Donna

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2 thoughts on “August 30 “Settling for poor substitutes”

    • Kim,
      Sorry, I have been slow at responding. I was out of town for Labor Day week-end and catching up ever since.
      Thanks so much for stopping by,
      Donna