Then he said to me “Fear not, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart to understand and humble yourself before your God, your words have been heard and I have come because of your words.”
I like the message in this verse.
People say, where is God, why hasn’t God done what I wanted? Why hasn’t God taken care of me? How could God let this happen to me?
They conclude “Since my life isn’t what I think it should be or what I want it to be, there must not be a God.” The problem in that conclusion is the word “I”. It’s not about you and you wanting your carefree life. Continue reading
So the church throughout all Judea and Galilee and Samaria had peace and was being built up. And walking in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, it multiplied.
I liked this verse, it has a happily ever after feel, but my thoughts on this verse probably varies from others who read it.
When I young, before I started to really think about God and my faith, I had a pretty standard take on this verse. My upbringing in the church was one of a loving God, but also a fire and brimstone God constantly punishing us for every sin and then forgiving. So fear of the Lord was fear of an omnipotent being just waiting for me to screw up. I’d better walk the line. Continue reading
What has a man from all the toil and striving of heart with which he toils beneath the sun? For all his days are full of sorrow, and his work is a vexation. Even in the night his heart does not rest. This also is vanity.
These verses summarize what I have written in two of my previous posts. Those posts covered King Solomon and his quest for understanding man. In Ecclesiastes 1:13-14 Solomon writes about setting his heart to seek the understanding of man’s actions. As a result of this quest he realizes how hollow man can be.
In Ecclesiastes 1:2-11 Solomon writes about the forces of life, God, the universe, and the vanity of man. He tells me, for man to think that these forces don’t exist, or that man can change them, well that is truly vanity.
So now in Ecclesiastes 2:22-23, Solomon tells us the results of toiling and striving after worldly things under the sun. The constant toil for worldly items brings sorrow and vexation. It is vanity, it is pointless. Continue reading
1 Corinthians 15:33
Do not be deceived: “Bad company ruins good morals.”
I have written about Paul as a team builder. I guess you could say Paul spent his time going around putting together a team of believers. In this verse Paul is addressing something we all experience throughout our life, peer pressure.
Peer pressure is tremendous when we are young and in school. We develop our social circles and want to be accepted. We want to be a part of something. Maybe we conform to fit in with the “normal” kids, or maybe we rebel or gravitate to the “weird” and “strange”.
But no matter which way we go we end up accepting the moral standards of the crowd we choose. Continue reading
The years of our life are seventy,
or even by reason of strength eighty;
yet their span is but toil and trouble;
they are soon gone, and we fly away.
Who considers the power of your anger,
and your wrath according to the fear of you?
So teach us to number our days
that we may get a heart of wisdom.
How powerful are these words from Psalms?
I don’t care if you do or don’t believe in God or whatever form of God or superior being you worship or deny. There is no denying the power of these words.
Of course I had to write this verse down when I read it.
When you’re younger this doesn’t mean much but as you age and as the seventy years become a hell of a lot closer to you than when you were twenty or thirty, words like these start to take on a whole new meaning.
This is my take on what King David is trying to tell himself with this verse. Note his honesty, David has written this for himself, a reflection on his life. He was one of the most powerful individuals on the earth at the time yet he does not delude himself. Continue reading
Will any one of you who has a servant plowing or keeping sheep say to him when he has come in from the field, ‘Come at once and recline at table’? Will he not rather say to him, ‘Prepare supper for me, and dress properly, and serve me while I eat and drink, and afterward you will eat and drink’? Does he thank the servant because he did what was commanded? So you also, when you have done all that you were commanded, say, ‘We are unworthy servants; we have only done what was our duty.’
This is a lesson for many of us today.
So many of us feel we should be rewarded for just showing up in life and we teach this to our children. We start this “you are special just for showing up” at a very young age.
Participation trophies, attendance awards, etc., these are meant to make the mediocre special.
No wonder we now throw around hollow and meaningless compliments like pennies in a wishing well.
This feeling of mediocracy as something to celebrate spreads into our adult lives. We have a government that swears by it and promotes it. We have mass media that follows suit. Continue reading
You have wearied the Lord with your words. But you say, “How have we wearied him?” By saying, “Everyone who does evil is good in the sight of the Lord, and he delights in them.” Or by asking, “Where is the God of justice?”
Malachi is addressing the priests and rulers of Israel. In verse sixteen, Malachi tells the priests just how sinful they have been, but he also lets them know that there is still time for repentance. He also advises them of the consequences they will have to suffer if they continue on their current path. Continue reading