“Is this all there is?” June 27

 

Is this all there is? - We live in one of the most blessed and prosperous nations in the world. We have every kind of entertainment, all kinds of "toys," and yet, instead of finding satisfaction, we often find ourselves asking, "Is this all there is?"We live in one of the most blessed and prosperous nations in the world. We have every kind of entertainment, all kinds of “toys,” and yet, instead of finding satisfaction, we often find ourselves asking, “Is this all there is?”

 

Today’s Readings:
1 Chronicles 17 & 18
Psalm 78.17-25
Proverbs 19.25-26
Acts 8.1-25

 

Is this all there is?

 

Finding Satisfaction & Contentment in Him

Psalm 78.17-25:

 

In this portion of the psalm, the psalmist talks of the people’s dissatisfaction with God’s provision. It’s easy to point our fingers and shake our heads when we read passages like this, but how like us they were!

Proverbs 27.20 says, “Hell and Destruction are never full; so the eyes of man are never satisfied.”

We are living in one of the most blessed and prosperous nations in the world. Even those of us living relatively modest lives are abundantly blessed compared to many other nations, and yet, it is so easy to look around and want more, to look around and say “why does God seem to be blessing her and not me.” Or “if only I had such and such” life would be so much better.

We have every kind of entertainment, all kinds of “toys,” and yet, we are easily bored. “Is this all there is?” has been the theme of numerous books, movies and songs.

Psalm 90.14 in the American Standard Version says:

“Satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love, that we may rejoice and be glad all our days.”

We need to pray regularly that our hearts will be satisfied in God, the only true source of satisfaction, and not look to the world for it!

 

Today’s Other Readings:

 

His Hand Holds the Future

1 Chronicles 17 & 18:

 

The chronicler continues to recount the story of David’s reign. In today’s reading he emphasizes God’s promise to David that his son would sit on the throne after him. It had a near application in Solomon and a messianic application, as well.

Notice David’s response to all of this in chapter 17:  Continue reading

“Heroes, Culture & Your Treasure” August 26

 

Heroes, Culture & Your Treasure - Where is your treasure? Before you answer ... Who are your heroes? What do you enjoy reading more—your Bible or People magazine? On what game show would you do better—The American Bible Challenge or a pop culture version? What does all that say about where your heart or, as Jesus said, where your treasure is?Who captivates your attention? What do you spend your time reading? On what kind of game show would you want to compete? What do the answers to those questions have to do with where you have put  your treasure? Before you answer … you might want to read today’s post!

 

Today’s Readings:
Ecclesiastes 1 & 2
Psalm 102.1-11
Proverbs 24.1-2
1 Corinthians 7.20-40

 

Heroes, Culture & Your Treasure

 

Proverbs 24.1-2:

Where is your treasure?

 

Verse 1, “Do not be envious of evil men, nor desire to be with them.”

Perhaps your first thought was like mine, “I don’t hang out with evil people.” I go to church and hang out with my Christian friends. I don’t go out drinking. I try to avoid gossip. In fact, the list of ways I obey God might be long in my mind.

But just as we learn and grow from the good influence of mature believers, even those who have already gone to be with the Lord, by reading their books and watching or listening to them through all kinds of media … so we can be influenced by ungodly people.

People MagWho captivates your attention? Is it Hollywood celebrities or committed Christians? Do you spend more time reading your Bible, Christian biographies and other Christian books … or People magazine and the hottest new novel? Would you do better at The American Bible Challenge or a pop culture version? Do you know more about Kate Middleton, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Katy Perry … or the Apostle Paul, Susanna Wesley and Charles Spurgeon?

Jesus said, “… where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matt. 6.21).

What do your answers say about where your treasure is?

 

Today’s Other Readings:

 

Ecclesiastes 1 & 2:

Finding Satisfaction in the Daily Activities of Life

 

Solomon most likely wrote this book during the later years of his life after he had squandered much of his energy on earthly pursuits. He wrote this book to others, especially young people, to warn them about the futility of trying to find happiness in the things of this world. As he points out the “vanity” of such pursuits, he shares many nuggets of wisdom.

In chapters 1 and 2 he warns that even wisdom for wisdom’s sake is vanity, as are seeking after pleasure, building projects, and accumulating possessions. He tried and failed to find satisfaction in power, great wealth, and fame. Work for work sake didn’t bring satisfaction either. In fact, he came to realize that all his accomplishments meant nothing in light of eternity. Everything he accumulated here on earth would someday be left to others.

In the midst of all this we read this nugget:

“Nothing is better for a man than that he should eat and drink, and that his soul should enjoy good in his labor. This also, I saw, was from the hand of God” (2.24).

Instead of seeking satisfaction in success, wealth, power, and other pursuits, we should learn to find satisfaction in the daily activities of life.

 

Psalm 102.1-11:

Living by Feelings

 

Here in the first part of this psalm the writer focuses almost entirely on his feelings. When he did, he felt as if God had abandoned him. The same can happen to us.  Continue reading

“What makes you a Christian?” July 10

 

What makes someone a Christian? Is it based on taking certain sacraments or belonging to the right church? Is it based on living a godly life, doing good deeds, or is it based on something else?What makes someone a Christian? Is it based on taking certain sacraments or belonging to the right church? Is it based on living a godly life, doing good deeds, or is it based on something else?

 

Today’s Readings:
2 Chronicles 15 & 16
Psalm 81.1-10
Proverbs 20.24-25
Acts 16.1-21

 

What makes you a Christian?

 

Acts 16.1-21:

Do our “good deeds” play a part in our salvation?

Chapters 15 & 16 record two situations concerning circumcision. The Scripture makes it clear that there was no requirement to be circumcised. But here in chapter 16 Paul had Timothy circumcised, not because it was necessary for Timothy, but so it did not become a stumbling block and shut the door on ministry to the Jews they were trying to evangelize.

In another situation, there was a disagreement over eating meat that had been sacrificed to idols. Paul said that though there was no harm in doing it (it was just meat!), he would rather never eat meat again if it made his brother stumble (1 Cor. 8.13).

But in chapter 15, the Judaizers were adding something to the gospel. They were “unsettling” the faith of the gentile believers by telling them they couldn’t be saved if they didn’t meet the requirements of the law.  Continue reading

October 23 “On women teaching, modesty & pearls”

tattoosLadies, do you ever chafe against some of the Bible’s teaching on modesty, authority, and the role of women?

 

Today’s Readings:
Jeremiah 31 & 32
Psalm 119.49-56
Proverbs 27.20
1 Timothy 2.1-15

 

Jeremiah 31 & 32:

“Is anything too hard for Him?”

Chapter 32.17, “Ah, Lord GOD! Behold, You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and outstretched arm. There is nothing too hard for You …

And verse 27, “‘Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh. Is there anything too hard for Me?’”

Do we even begin to understand who God is?—the omnipotent creator of the universe! He is not only omnipotent (all powerful), but He is omniscient (all knowing), omnipresent (present everywhere), and sovereign (totally and completely in charge and in control! Add to that—the fact that He is good (Ps. 119.68); He is love (1 Jn. 4.8); and He is holy (1 Pet. 1.15). And that’s just the tip of the iceberg! Continue reading

August 26 “Heros, culture & your treasure”

treasureWhere is your treasure? But, before you answer …

Who are your heroes? What do you enjoy reading more—your Bible or People magazine? On what game show would you do better—The American Bible Challenge or a pop culture version? What does all that say about where your heart or, as Jesus said, where your treasure is?

Today’s Readings:
Ecclesiastes 1 & 2
Psalm 102.1-11
Proverbs 24.1-2
1 Corinthians 7.20-40

Ecclesiastes 1 & 2:

Finding satisfaction in the daily activities of life

Solomon most likely wrote this book during the later years of his life after he had squandered much of his energy on earthly pursuits. He wrote this book to others, especially young people, to warn them about the futility of trying to find happiness in the things of this world. As he points out the “vanity” of such pursuits, he shares many nuggets of wisdom.

In chapters 1 & 2 he warns that even wisdom for wisdom’s sake is vanity, as are seeking after pleasure, building projects, and accumulating possessions. He tried and failed to find satisfaction in power, great wealth, and fame. Work for work sake didn’t bring satisfaction either. In fact, he came to realize that all his accomplishments meant nothing in light of eternity. Everything he accumulated here on earth would someday be left to others.

In the midst of all this we read this nugget:

“Nothing is better for a man than that he should eat and drink, and that his soul should enjoy good in his labor. This also, I saw, was from the hand of God” (2.24).

Instead of seeking satisfaction in success, wealth, power, and other pursuits, we should learn to find satisfaction in the daily activities of life. Continue reading

July 10 “What makes a Christian?”

 

works

What makes someone a Christian? Is salvation based on living a godly life, doing good deeds, or something else?

 

Today’s Readings:
2 Chronicles 15 & 16
Psalm 81.1-10
Proverbs 20.24-25
Acts 16.1-21

2 Chronicles 15 & 16:

The only time we seek Him

As we saw yesterday God had done wondrous things through Asa as he worshiped and trusted in Him. After a great military victory over the Ethiopians, God sent the prophet Azariah to encourage him. His prophecy ended with these words, “… be strong and do not let your hands be weak, for your work shall be rewarded!” (2 Chron. 15.7).

Then God was with him as he called the people to repentance and removed his own mother from power because of her idolatry. And God blessed his reign for 35 years. But he began to decline in his relationship with God. Most likely he quit praying and seeking God. He quit listening to godly counsel and even threw Hanani the seer in prison for giving him God’s message. And instead of trusting in God, he relied on a pagan king to deliver him from trouble.

 

religionIt seems so foolish from our historical perspective, but we often do the same thing. When we’re in a desperate situation, whether financially or medically or in some other way, we pray and seek the Lord. But when God blesses us with a better financial situation, good health, medical insurance, or greater wisdom and maturity, we start handling things on our own. It’s not that we shouldn’t take care of our financial responsibilities or utilize our insurance, etc., but our ultimate trust must be in God and not in our ability to “handle things.” It’s no wonder God puts us in desperate situations over and over. For many of us it’s the only time we seek Him. Continue reading

July 7 “Consequences & bad advice” & LINKUP

bad counselTruth isn’t always comfortable or pleasing to our sinful, selfish nature, but it’s the truth that will deliver us from the consequences of foolishness and sin. Bad advice, on the other hand, tickles our ears and gives us the “go ahead” to do what we really want to do.

Today’s Readings:
2 Chronicles 9 & 10
Psalm 80.7-13
Proverbs 20.16-18
Acts 14.1-28

2 Chronicles 9 & 10:

Empty abundance

Can you imagine the wealth, the gold, the precious stones? Silver was too common to be called valuable—such riches and abundance! Solomon saw it all and had it all! And yet, in the book of Ecclesiastes, he said if that’s where you’re looking to find your peace,  joy and satisfaction, it’s all fleeting!

Hollywood

We see evidence of that all over the news these days. If wealth and beauty and fame and success could bring peace and joy, Hollywood should be the happiest places on earth. And yet, it’s elite often go from one partner to another, from one “high” to another, with few finding true peace and satisfaction. Continue reading

June 27 “Satisfaction: Is this all there is?”

satisfaction

We live in one of the most blessed and prosperous nations in the world. We have every kind of entertainment, all kinds of “toys,” and yet, instead of finding satisfaction, we often find ourselves asking, “Is this all there is?”

Today’s Readings:
1 Chronicles 17 & 18
Psalm 78.17-25
Proverbs 19.25-26
Acts 8.1-25

1 Chronicles 17 & 18:

His hand holds the future

The chronicler continues to recount the story of David’s reign. In today’s reading he emphasizes God’s promise to David that his son would sit on the throne after him. It has a near application in Solomon and a messianic application, as well. Continue reading