Monday, June 30, 2014

The Extremes of God's Love in Pain and Prevention

Scripture: Hosea 2:5-6
“For their mother has played the harlot;
She who conceived them has acted shamefully.
For she said, ‘I will go after my lovers,
Who give me my bread and my water,
My wool and my flax, my oil and my drink.’
“Therefore, behold, I will hedge up her way with thorns,
And I will build a wall against her so that she cannot find her paths.
Insights:   The two verses today cover two thoughts.  The first one deals with the pain Hosea must have felt as his wife, Gomer, bore him three children that were not his through her life of harlotry.  As a result of this life, Hosea had to purchase her off of the slave blocks for fifteen shekels of silver and a homer and a half of barley (3:2) three times.  I can only imagine the pain this caused him.  What we need to understand is that Hosea’s life is a literal living parable of God’s love for Israel (or we could even say of us because we all have played the part of the harlot in our relationship with God).  Yet, in spite of the pain we cause the Lord, He still loves us, just as Hosea loved Gomer.  The second thought is what Hosea did to prevent Gomer from getting away and running back to a life of harlotry.  He put a hedge of protection up for her and she ran right through it causing herself more pain and sorrow.  God does the same thing for us and we often times say, “I don’t care what God has done for me, I am going to run through this defense and have things my way.”  As we bust through the barricade we are injured but are too proud to humble ourselves and receive the healing we need from the Lord.  Gomer was just like this in her relationship with Hosea.  Beloved, today’s questions are reflective in regards to these two aspects of God’s amazing love.  I pray you will be honest with yourself and evaluate your life properly and recognize your sin and your rebellion.  Turn quickly back to the Lord and let Him heal your damaged life and bring joy back to your soul.  May your return bring Him glory!
1.  In what ways have you recognized God’s demonstration of love toward you while you remained in your sin?
2. In what ways have you recognized God’s demonstration of prevention in your life?

Prayer: Father, I know I often times walk in the realm of sin and my adulteress relationship with this world causes You pain.  I am sorry for this rebellion.  Thank You for also putting up hedges of prevention to protect me from myself.  Forgive me for the times I have bursted through those defenses and caused myself more pain.  In the midst of it all, thank You for Your amazing love.  Amen.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Service is a Majestic Master

Scripture: 2 Kings 7:9-11
Then they said to one another, “We are not doing right. This day is a day of good news, but we are keeping silent; if we wait until morning light, punishment will overtake us. Now therefore come, let us go and tell the king’s household.” So they came and called to the gatekeepers of the city, and they told them, saying, “We came to the camp of the Arameans, and behold, there was no one there, nor the voice of man, only the horses tied and the donkeys tied, and the tents just as they were.” The gatekeepers called and told it within the king’s household. them.
Insights:   Today we find the Lord’s purpose for our lives.  I believe the Holy Spirit convicted these four lepers of their malefic sinfulness.  Notice these four men even use the phrase good news.  The day was a day of rejoicing, but their actions had turned into a day of sin.  Their actions prove, however, that they repented of their evil ways and then began to serve the people of Samaria.  They went back to the city walls and proclaimed to the gatekeepers the good news of the peoples salvation.  For their need for food was literally there salvation because they were starving to death.  Beloved, here is the major point of this entire weeks Thoughts by Scott: Consumption without Service is NOT God’s Plan.  We cannot receive from the Lord (hearers of God’s Word) only.  We must also serve (be doers of the God’s Word).  FBCBG we presently are working with our Nominating Committee to fill positions of service.  We are having difficulty filling slots specifically related to our children's ministry.  Let me challenge you to pray and see if the Lord is leading you to serve in this capacity in our church.  We cannot be hoarders of God’s Word.  We have the good news of Jesus to share with this world.  Let us share well and bring the Lord glory!
1.  In what capacity are you presently serving the Lord?
2. In what capacity is He calling you to serve?

Prayer: Father, stretch me outside of my comfort zone and let me serve You and those in whom You intrust to me.  Let my life be characterized as a life of service.  May my life bring You glory.  Amen.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Consumption is a Malefic Master

Scripture: 2 Kings 7:8
When these lepers came to the outskirts of the camp, they entered one tent and ate and drank, and carried from there silver and gold and clothes, and went and hid them; and they returned and entered another tent and carried from there also, and went and hid them.
Insights:   Today’s Thoughts by Scott is titled Consumption is a Malefic Master.  The word malefic is the root word by which Disney created one of their most diabolical villains.  Her name was Maleficent.  Malefic literally means: causing or capable of causing harm or destruction.  I prepose to you today that these four lepers were being malefic in their response to God’s mighty move to perform a miracle for the city of Samaria.  Two times in this verse we are told these lepers hid the spoils of God’s victory.  Their self-centered actions perpetuated the pain and suffering of those in the city of Samaria.  Beloved, I would purport that when we come to church each week and hear the words of life and then go home and do nothing with it, we are being just as malefic as those four lepers were.  How is it possible to have such a life saving gift and refuse to extend it to those in need?  Tomorrow we will learn the proper response to the Lord’s amazing grace which we receive.  Do not be a hoarder of the Lord’s gift of life.  Don’t cause harm or destruction to those without Christ Jesus.  Spread His word and let Him do the miraculous in their lives as well.
1.  Are you hoarding all the good the Lord has given to you?
2. Do you recognize that your selfishness is actually causing harm or destruction to those around you?

Prayer: Father, forgive me for my selfish ways.  Help me to become a generous person.  I desire to be a type of person that reflects Your mercy and grace to those around me.  That kind of transformation is not possible if I remain self-centered.  Change my heart, O’ Lord.  Amen.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

God is a Mighty Mover

Scripture: 2 Kings 7:6-7
For the Lord had caused the army of the Arameans to hear a sound of chariots and a sound of horses, even the sound of a great army, so that they said to one another, “Behold, the king of Israel has hired against us the kings of the Hittites and the kings of the Egyptians, to come upon us.” Therefore they arose and fled in the twilight, and left their tents and their horses and their donkeys, even the camp just as it was, and fled for their life.
Insights:   In today’s verses we see the mighty moves of God’s amazing grace.  In other words, the miracle Elisha had prophesied would come to pass in deed did came to pass.  God made the Arameans hear the sound of great armies and those sounds drove those soldiers into a crazy panic which lead them to flee for their lives.  In their haste to depart, they left everything.  They did not take a single thing with them.  They left their currency.  They left their food.  They left their clothes.  They left their tents.  They left their live stock.  All of this points and reveals the power of God.  He is actively involved in our world and bringing about His plans and purposes.  Beloved, I have a pastor friend who says, “Only those who are facing the impossible are a candidate for a miracle.”  Well, Samaria was facing the impossible and a miracle came, praise the Lord!  The Lord still performs miracle today.  I have observed Him do the miraculous on many occasions.  Whatever you are facing, take the problem to the Lord.  He may still move mighty mountains for you.  Whether God moves the mountain or not does not negate His love, power and ability to work powerfully in your life.  As His children our job is to trust Him and believe He knows what is best.  It does, however, give me great comfort to know, He does still move mountains and He can still route armies if He so desires.  He is the One worthy of praise because of His awesome power!
1.  Are you a candidate for a miracle of God?
2. Do you believe God still works miracles today?

Prayer: Father, I am grateful You are still a miracle working God.  I am thankful You don’t leave us in this world alone, but are actively displaying Your glory and presence in order for us to know You better.  Thank You for Your mighty moves of grace.  Amen.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Desperation is a Major Motivator

Scripture: 2 Kings 7:3-5
Now there were four leprous men at the entrance of the gate; and they said to one another, “Why do we sit here until we die? If we say, ‘We will enter the city,’ then the famine is in the city and we will die there; and if we sit here, we die also. Now therefore come, and let us go over to the camp of the Arameans. If they spare us, we will live; and if they kill us, we will but die.” They arose at twilight to go to the camp of the Arameans; when they came to the outskirts of the camp of the Arameans, behold, there was no one there.
Insights:   Let me set up the scene for today’s verses.  The Arameans have laid siege to the city of Samaria.  The people are literally starving to death.  In fact, in the previous chapter we are told this horrific story of two women who agree to eat each others children over a couple of days.  Well king Joram is humbled by such a scene and he seeks out Elisha who informs him that the next day there would be deliverance.  Today’s verses begin the history of that deliverance from the Lord.  Notice how desperate these men are for food.  They recognize the reality of their deaths to such an extent they are willing to risk their very lives for food.  Their desperation motivates them to head toward the Aramean camp and surrender themselves for just a scrap of food.  Their rational is if they die, they die, because that is going to happen anyway if they stay where they currently are residing.  Beloved, this scene makes me think about our situations in life.  Most of ours are not so dramatic as these four lepers, but we have each had times of desperation in our lives.  I wonder if we are willing to respond to our situation with such reckless abandon as these four men did in their situation.  My prayer is that I would have that kind of desperation for the Lord God.  I would desire for Him to be my satisfaction in life.  I need Him just as much as those lepers needed food.  Beloved, whatever situation you are presently facing, the Lord is the only one that can truly minister to you.  As I so frequently say, run to Him.  Become desperate for Him.
1.  For what are you desperate?
2.  Are you willing to take any action necessary, even at the risk of life, in order to have your desperation met?

Prayer: Father, am I desperate for You with this kind of intensity?  I fear the answer is no.  Forgive my self-centered heart and grow me in Your grace.  Help me to walk with You daily and intentionally.  Let my life bring You glory.  Amen.

Friday, June 20, 2014

The Crop is Harvested

Scripture: 1 Kings 12:16-20
When all Israel saw that the king did not listen to them, the people answered the king, saying, “What portion do we have in David?  We have no inheritance in the son of Jesse; To your tents, O Israel!  Now look after your own house, David!”  So Israel departed to their tents. But as for the sons of Israel who lived in the cities of Judah, Rehoboam reigned over them. Then King Rehoboam sent Adoram, who was over the forced labor, and all Israel stoned him to death. And King Rehoboam made haste to mount his chariot to flee to Jerusalem. So Israel has been in rebellion against the house of David to this day.  It came about when all Israel heard that Jeroboam had returned, that they sent and called him to the assembly and made him king over all Israel. None but the tribe of Judah followed the house of David.
Insights:   Today’s verses reveal the full results of Rehoboam’s seed planting.  He reaped a harvest of division and rebellion.  His kingdom was split and it never again was restored under a unified monarchy.  I think we have beat this horse of we reap what we sow long enough this week.  Let me take a moment and rant on one of my soap boxes.  I want you to clearly know there is a difference between the biblical pattern of sowing and reaping verses the Hindu doctrine of Karma.  When Christians say, “Well that’s Karma for you,” they do not really know what they are saying.  The doctrine of Karma is one of the most vile and evil doctrines ever created by Satan to enslave a people.  We use the term to describe the thought as what goes around comes around and we use it very similarly to that of reaping what one sows.  The problem is Karma has to do with the entire concept of reincarnation and the caste system which so enslaves people in India.  In Karma doctrine, what I do in this life affects what and how I will come back in my next life.  So, if I did evil, then I come back in a poorer and more depraved state of humanity and I am getting exactly what I deserve.  As a result, people from different castes refuse to help those who are truly in need because they view those people as having gotten their just rewards through Karma.  This concept is evil and vile and ought not be used by Christians.  I encourage you to think twice before you say, “Well, that’s Karma for you.”
1.  Are you surprised by your crop you are presently harvesting?
2.  Do you understand the difference between the biblical pattern of sowing and reaping verse
    the Hindu doctrine of Karma?

Prayer: Father, I know it is difficult for us to at times except the responsibility for our actions as human beings.  Help me to take full responsibility for my decisions and give me the courage to bear up well under the weight of my choices.  Amen.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

The Seed is Planted

Scripture: 1 Kings 12:12-15
Then Jeroboam and all the people came to Rehoboam on the third day as the king had directed, saying, “Return to me on the third day.” The king answered the people harshly, for he forsook the advice of the elders which they had given him, and he spoke to them according to the advice of the young men, saying, “My father made your yoke heavy, but I will add to your yoke; my father disciplined you with whips, but I will discipline you with scorpions.” So the king did not listen to the people; for it was a turn of events from the Lord, that He might establish His word, which the Lord spoke through Ahijah the Shilonite to Jeroboam the son of Nebat.
Insights:   Today’s verses show us Rehoboam planting the seed he has chosen.  The people of Israel have come back after three days in order to find out what Rehoboam’s response to their demands is going to be.  He could choose the good advice (seed) of the older men or the bad advice (seed) of the younger men.  Today’s verses tell us he selected the bad seed to plant and he declares to Israel he is going to make their lives even more difficult than it had been before under Solomon’s reign.  At this point it makes me think of the definition of insanity: keep doing the same thing over and over again, but expect different results.  I cannot tell you how many people I know that make one bad decision after another bad decision and still believe that harvest is going to be different this time around.  Your harvest is going to be exactly what you planted.  Tomorrow, we are going to discuss a little bit more about the harvest aspect of our seed planting.  Until then, let me encourage you to make certain you are planting the seed which will produce the crop you really want.  Seek the Lord and let Him help guide you to plant the proper seed.

1. What seed have you planted recently in your life?
2. What kind of crop are you anticipating to be harvested?

Prayer: Father, I have strived to plant good seed and I know that You are the One that actually makes that seed germinate and grow.  May my efforts to bring You glory reap an abundance harvest for You and Your glory.  Amen.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

The Seed is Chosen: Bad Seed

Scripture: 1 Kings 12:8-11
But he forsook the counsel of the elders which they had given him, and consulted with the young men who grew up with him and served him. So he said to them, “What counsel do you give that we may answer this people who have spoken to me, saying, ‘Lighten the yoke which your father put on us’?” The young men who grew up with him spoke to him, saying, “Thus you shall say to this people who spoke to you, saying, ‘Your father made our yoke heavy, now you make it lighter for us!’ But you shall speak to them, ‘My little finger is thicker than my father’s loins! Whereas my father loaded you with a heavy yoke, I will add to your yoke; my father disciplined you with whips, but I will discipline you with scorpions.’”

Insights:   Yesterday we observed the good seed presented to Rehoboam.  Today, we notice the bad seed.  It has been my observation that people often times seek out advice in the hopes they will find someone to validate the choice with which they have already made.  In other words, a decision has to be made.  Down within the depths of their soul they know the good choice (seed) and the bad choice (seed) that lies before them.  They desire to make the bad choice and so seek out counsel until they find someone who will side with the choice they have already made.  Ironically, and not very surprisingly, this bad advice often comes from individuals who are not in an abiding love relationship with Jesus.  These bad advisors can be anywhere.  They can be family members, coworkers, associates at the local gym.  In other words, these people can be found anywhere.  In fact, we might even consult talk show hosts on television for our advice.  After all, they are the experts on every given subject matter under the sun, aren’t they?  Beloved, heed my advice from yesterday.  Seek out good godly counselors.  Let them point you to the way of the Lord that does not conflict with the Bible.  Then act on their advice even when it is hard.  In the long run you will be better off for such diligence and devotion to the Lord.  Choose the right seed to plant in your freshly cultivated ground.

1. Who has recently given you bad advice?
2. How frequently do you act upon bad advice?

Prayer: Father, I again pray, in this world there are a lot of advisors in this world.  They are not all good advisors.  Lord grant me the wisdom to know the distinction between the two and help me to honor You in the process.  Amen.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

The Seed is Chosen: Good Seed

Scripture: 1 Kings 12:6-7
King Rehoboam consulted with the elders who had served his father Solomon while he was still alive, saying, “How do you counsel me to answer this people?” Then they spoke to him, saying, “If you will be a servant to this people today, and will serve them and grant them their petition, and speak good words to them, then they will be your servants forever.”

Insights:   Yesterday we cultivated the ground for Rehoboam.  In other words, the scene was set for him to make a decision.  At this point in the process we learn there are good and bad seeds with which he could plant in his freshly tiled field.  Today’s verses reveal to us the good seed or good advice he received from those more experienced men.  It would be wise for us to listen to the advice of our elders when it comes to many matters in our lives.  They have a lot more knowledge and wisdom than we like to give them credit.  Beloved, one of the ways we know the will of God is by the council of fellow Christians.  It is important for us to receive godly advice from our fellow brothers in sisters in Jesus.  I think one of our problems as Christians is we try to do everything on our own; and as a result, we often times make major mistakes because of our lack of humility in regards to areas of importance in our lives.  Let me encourage you to seek out good seed and listen to the advice of these wise and godly individuals with whom you know.  As you follow their advice may the Lord be brought glory.

1. Who can you go to in order to receive good advice?
2. How frequently do you act upon this good advice?

Prayer: Father, in this world there are a lot of advisors in this world.  They are not all good advisors.  Lord grant me the wisdom to know the distinction between the two and help me to honor You in the process.  Amen.

Monday, June 16, 2014

The Ground is Cultivated

Scripture: 1 Kings 12:1-5
Then Rehoboam went to Shechem, for all Israel had come to Shechem to make him king. Now when Jeroboam the son of Nebat heard of it, he was living in Egypt (for he was yet in Egypt, where he had fled from the presence of King Solomon). Then they sent and called him, and Jeroboam and all the assembly of Israel came and spoke to Rehoboam, saying, "Your father made our yoke hard; now therefore lighten the hard service of your father and his heavy yoke which he put on us, and we will serve you." Then he said to them, "Depart for three days, then return to me." So the people departed.

Insights:   Throughout this week I am going to use farming imagery.  I am discussing the biblical pattern of sowing and reaping.  Having stated this premise notice with me today’s verses.  They are the scene which is setting everything that we are going to be looking at this week into motion.  Using that farming imagery, today’s verses are the same as getting the ground cultivated for planting seed.  Here is a brief bit of background to help us understand the soil of this particular field.  David was a man after God’s own heart, but he was not the best family man.  Solomon, his son and heir, was less devoted to the Lord and began to worship Baal.  He had 700 wives and 300 concubines.  His family life was far less desirable from that of his father’s poor example.  Now comes Solomon’s son and heir, Rehoboam and he is even less desirable than Solomon.  My point is that the ground in which Rehoboam is about to plant his seed would be considered rocky at best.  Every decision made by David, Solomon and even Rehoboam have led up to this moment in time.  Each has helped establish a precedent.  Now, the beautiful thing about choices is no matter what our past we don’t have to make the decision that we are predisposed to make.  Through the power of Christ Jesus we are capable of saying, “No, I will not follow the dead end pattern of my past, but rather will choose to follow Jesus.”  Now it is true that all those previous decision will be bearing down on us and telling us we have no choice but to follow our past and it is very difficult to break that pattern, but it is possible in Jesus.  The scene or ground is now set and cultivated for Rehoboam.  This week we will observe his choices.

  1. What circumstances are surrounding your life presently which is setting up your scene of choice?
  2. Have you evaluated how your past decisions have led you to this present situation?

Prayer: Father, life is a series of choices which continue to progress to a specific end.  Help me to understand the importance of every decision I make in my life and grant me the wisdom to make wise choices.  Amen.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Obey God and Bring Him Glory

Scripture: Ecclesiastes 12:13c-14
and keep His commandments, because this applies to every person. For God will bring every act to judgment, everything which is hidden, whether it is good or evil.

Insights:   This week’s final thought is the conclusion of Solomon’s devotion found in the proper perspective.  In other words, we fear God.  Out of our love and fear of the Lord, we obey Him.  Because we obey Him, then our judgment reveals the good He has done within us and it brings Him glory.  I have a pastor friend named Jim Harris.  Earlier this week he posted the following thoughts.  If he had done it before Sunday, I would have used them in my evening service.  Considering he did not, I will post them here for you now.  I think his words wrap up this line of reasoning really well.  Enjoy: “The proof of desire is pursuit. What I am chasing in life reveals what I am interested in and have passion for. If I say I am a Christian and want God's will in my life yet I consistently use Sundays as a day for going to the beach, fishing, sleeping in, or some other personal hobby...I am being dishonest with myself and God. I will pursue what I love. I will pursue what brings me personal pleasure, fulfillment, and joy. If I say I love the Lord and want his will in my life, yet the only reading I do is Sports Illustrated or the NY Stock Exchange section and never pick up my Bible to discover the character of God, I am being dishonest with myself and God. If I say my passion is to be an Olympic swimmer yet I am in the pool one day a month, I am lying myself. If a man tells his wife he loves her yet is carrying on an affair, he is being dishonest with himself and his wife. What one says is useless unless what one does supports the claim. What do you pursue in life? I mean what do you chase hard after? What do you spend time and money tracking down? In what do you invest sweat equity and energy? What do you think brings you the highest level of happiness and fulfillment? The answer(s) to these questions pinpoint what I truly worship. I am convinced God deserves and has earned our worship by who He is and what He has invested in our redemption. He pursued us! He invested time, energy, and great passion to reveal his great love for the human species. He truly pursued what he loved! He desired us. The proof of desire is pursuit.”  Thank you Jim for your excellent words regarding our obedience and our heart’s devotion.

  1. Would you say your life is characterized as being obedient to the Lord?
  2. If not, why not?

Prayer: Father, my life of obedience brings You glory.  May I indeed bring You the glory You rightfully deserve.  Amen.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Fear God

Scripture: Ecclesiastes 12:13a-b
The conclusion, when all has been heard, is: fear God

Insights:   The subject for today’s Thoughts by Scott is not something new about for which I am to write.  It is, however, a subject I believe is severely lacking in the church of America.  If a survey of church people had been taken in the nineteenth century in regards to God’s predominant character trait, the people would have responded with His holiness.  If you were to take that same survey today, the answer would be God’s love.  Is God infinitely loving?  Absolutely!  Is He also infinitely holy?  Again, the answer would be a resounding yes!  Somewhere along the line, however, we as believers have lost sight of God’s holiness and His otherness, which is the reason He is to be feared.  Throughout the Scriptures we are admonished to fear the Lord.  We then try to down play this fear and talk about reverence or respect as the meaning behind this type of fear.  As I have written before, I think we are missing something when we minimize our fear of the Lord God.  He is to be feared because He is God and we are not.  Now remember the context of today’s thoughts.  Monday and Tuesday we looked at the conclusions of a desperate man.  In other words, Solomon’s premise after trying everything imaginable in life was the man was incapable of understanding and destined to repeat the cycle of life over and over again.  As a result, Solomon was frustrated.  The rest of the book is Solomon’s arguments for his desperate conclusion.  We then come to the last two verses of the book and God reveals to Solomon the whole reason we traverse through this world and it is for one reason.  Friday we will look at that reason, but the starting point to get to that concluding purpose is the fear of the Lord.  Solomon in these last two verses is basically understanding the call of a devoted man and beginning to understand the vast distinction between his years of desperation and his concluding wisdom he has now gained as a devoted man to the Lord.  It is as if Solomon were saying, “If I had truly feared the Lord as I ought to have, I would have saved myself years of misery as I tried to figure life out on my own.  How foolish was I for all my mental prowess?”  Beloved, I think we ought to learn from Solomon’s true conclusion of the matter—let us fear the Lord!

  1. Does your life reflect a proper fear of the Lord?
  2. In what ways do you display proper fear of the Lord?

Prayer: Father, You are sovereign and worthy of fear and admiration.  My problem is I often times take you for granted and do not revere Your holiness as I ought.  Forgive me for my disrespect and transform my heart to love and honor You as You rightly deserve.  Amen.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

The Understanding of Man and the Frustrations of Man

Scripture: Ecclesiastes 1:8-11
All things are wearisome; Man is not able to tell it. The eye is not satisfied with seeing, Nor is the ear filled with hearing. That which has been is that which will be, And that which has been done is that which will be done. So there is nothing new under the sun.  Is there anything of which one might say, "See this, it is new "? Already it has existed for ages Which were before us. There is no remembrance of earlier things; And also of the later things which will occur, There will be for them no remembrance Among those who will come later still.

Insights:   The first two verses today deal with man’s inability to truly learn from life experiences.  In other words, the pattern of man’s life is just as cyclical as the natural world around him.  For example, man built roads thousands of years ago and then man got better at making roads, but they are still roads.  Now our roads are made of concrete or asphalt, but they are still roads.  It is for this reason Solomon states there is nothing new under the sun.  Man’s search and quest for more leaves him empty because he does not truly grasp wisdom and understanding as he travels this world.  The last two verses reveal Solomon’s frustration with this pattern.  Understand that at this point Solomon is an old man and he has literally tried to fill the gap of his heart with everything and it has left him empty and wanting.  It is because of this reality that we can say these first eleven verses of chapter one point to the conclusions of a desperate man.  Solomon is desperate for an answer to his frustrations.  By the grace of the Lord, Solomon is given an answer by the Lord and starting tomorrow we will begin to look at the answer Solomon discovered which transforms his frustrations into gladness.

  1. Do you actually learn from the life lessons through which you traverse?
  2. Or are you full of frustration because of the desperateness of your situation?

Prayer: Father, grant me wisdom and help me to learn so I do not experience the frustrations of life.  Let me grow in Your grace.  Amen.

Monday, June 9, 2014

The Pattern of Man

Scripture: Ecclesiastes 1:1-7
The words of the Preacher, the son of David, king in Jerusalem. "Vanity of vanities," says the Preacher, "Vanity of vanities! All is vanity." What advantage does man have in all his work Which he does under the sun? A generation goes and a generation comes, But the earth remains forever. Also, the sun rises and the sun sets; And hastening to its place it rises there again. Blowing toward the south, Then turning toward the north, The wind continues swirling along; And on its circular courses the wind returns. All the rivers flow into the sea, Yet the sea is not full. To the place where the rivers flow, There they flow again.

Insights:   Some of you at FBCBG have probably run to your computers this morning to read blog postings from Sunday morning’s sermon from the book of Song of Solomon.  I believe I have embarrassed myself enough and chosen to write this week’s blog from the Sunday evening service.  So, in today’s verses we see the first conclusion of a desperate man is about the pattern of humanity.  Everything is cyclical in nature.  The sun rises and the sun sets.  The river runs to the ocean and the snows melt and new water runs down the river into the oceans, etc.  The pattern of the rivers running does not change.  The reality is the same thing is true of humanity.  This cyclical pattern can lead to a feeling of desperation.  Beloved, let me give a brief teaser for later this week.  You need to understand the only hope you have to break the cyclical pattern of life is Jesus.  If you have gotten yourself involved in destructive patterns, your only hope is Jesus.  If you continue to do the same things and expect different results, then you have lost your mind and tomorrow’s blog is going to speak to your condition.  Let me encourage you to strive to run to Jesus and let Him be your hope and peace in the midst of a cyclical world of human depravity.

  1. Do you feel like your life is cyclical in nature?
  2. Has this cyclical pattern caused you to feel desperate at times?

Prayer: Father, help me to understand You are the only one that can help me break the cycle of life which leads to desperation and frustration.  Forgive me for the bad habits I have allowed to creep into my life which take me away from You and the glory which is rightfully Yours.  Amen.