Reaching for the Stars

Ecclesiastes begins,

bloghomeless-55492__340“The words of the Preacher, the son of David, king in Jerusalem.

Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher,

vanity of vanities; all is vanity.

What profit hath a man of all his labour which he taketh

under the sun?”

I enjoy a good book. In fact I try not to pick one up unless my other work is done. You can guess why. Solomon,  the accepted author of Ecclesiastes, does not begin this book with a good hook, at least not for me. It has the markings for being a downer with no happy ever after ending. A closer look reveals there is hope in opposition to the vain pursuits of one living, under the sun. Please, stick with me for the good part.

The first two chapters bemoan a life lived, under the sun. Solomon states his thesis in chapter 1, verse 14.

“I have seen all the works that are done

under the sun:

and, behold,

all is vanity and vexation of spirit.”

He proceeds to reinforce the statement with examples…the world’s wisdom, seeking pleasures, great accomplishments, and hard work. None of these things bring lasting peace, joy, contentment, or hope. They are all “vanity and vexation of spirit”. 

According to the apostle Paul in Romans those without Christ, those living only under the sun, are also without profit.

“What then? Are we better than they? No, in no wise: for we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin;

As it is written, THERE IS NONE RIGHTEOUS, NO, NOT ONE: THERE IS NONE THAT UNDERSTANDETH, THERE IS NONE THAT SEEKETH AFTER GOD. THEY ARE ALL GONE OUT OF THE WAY, THEY ARE TOGETHER BECOME UNPROFITABLE; THERE IS NOE THAT DOETH GOOD, NO, NOT ONE.”

No wonder there are so many depressed people in the world.

Now comes the good part. Paul’s words to the Colossians tell of those living and seeking, “those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.” In Ecclesiastes 3, Solomon makes reference to the ones knowing the gift of God.

“He hath made every thing beautiful in his time: also he hath set the world in their heart,(also translated, set eternity in their heart) so that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end…

I know that, whatsoever God doeth,

it shall be for ever:

nothing can be put to it,

nor any thing taken from it:

and God doeth it,

that men should fear before him.”

Ecclesiastes 3:11,14.

God has made everything beautiful in his time through Jesus Christ.

I know that whatsoever God doeth, it shall be for ever…

“Jesus took bread and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said,

Take eat; this is my body.

And he took the cup, and gave thanks,

and gave it to them, saying,

Drink ye all of it;

For this is my blood of the new testament,

which is shed for many for the remission of sins.”

Matthew 26:26-28.

“For the law made nothing perfect,

but the bringing in of a better hope did;

by the which we draw nigh unto God.

And inasmuch as not without an oath he was made priest…THE LORD SWARE AND WILL NOT REPENT, THOU ART A PRIEST FOR EVER AFTER THE ORDER OF MELCHISEDEC:)

By so much was Jesus made a surety of a better testament…

But this man, because he continueth ever,

hath an unchangeable priesthood.

Wherefore he is able also

to save them to the uttermost

that come unto God by him,

seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.”

Hebrews 7:19-22,24-25.

…nothing can be put to it…

“Be it known unto you all,

and to all the people of Israel,

that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth,

whom ye crucified,

whom God raised from the dead,

even by him doth this man stand here before you whole…

Neither is there salvation in any other:

for there is none other name under heaven

given among men,

whereby we must be saved.”

Acts 4:10,12.

“For by grace are ye saved through faith;

and that not of yourselves:

it is the gift of God:”

Ephesians 2:8.

nor any thing taken from it…

“But if it be of God,

ye cannot overthrow it;

lest haply ye be found even to fight against God.”

Acts 5:39.

and God doeth it, that men should fear before him

“Declaring the end from the beginning,

and from ancient times the things that are not yet done,

saying,

My counsel shall stand,

and I will do all my pleasure;”

Isaiah 46:10.

“WHO SHALL NOT FEAR THEE, O LORD,

AND GLORIFY THY NAME?

FOR THOU ONLY ART HOLY:

FOR ALL NATIONS SHALL COME AND WORSHIP BEFORE THEE;

for thy judgments are made manifest.”

Revelation 15:4.

There are two ways to live this life.

  • One is under the sun. It promises you fleeting pleasures without fulfillment of purpose. It lies and ends in eternal death apart from God.
  • The other is, seeking those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. It promises you abundance in life with fulfillment of purpose. It is truth and ends in eternal life with God and our Saviour Jesus Christ.

Only life with Christ can reach its highest level of purpose.

Are you reaching for the heavens or living under the sun?

 

A Beautiful Life

“The Proverbs of Solomon the son of David, king of Israel;516

To know wisdom and instruction;

to perceive the words of understanding;”

Proverbs 1:1,2.

Proverbs fills its pages with practical principles instructing us in the art of “skillful living”. The Hebrew word for wisdom means skillful as an art. Proverb teaches us the most fundamental skill of all: living righteously before God in every area of life. But we cannot do this out of our own wisdom, we don’t have the skill nor discipline. We need the wisdom of Jesus Christ. He is the Artist with the power and the skill to take something marred and broken and turn it into something beautiful.

Jesus God’s wisdom in a human body.

“And when he was come into his own country, he taught them in their synagogue, insomuch that they were astonished, and said,

Whence hath this man this wisdom,

and these mighty works?”

Matthew 13:54.

“But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness;

But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks,

Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.”

1 Corinthians 1:23,25.

“… In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.”

Colossians 2:23.

The scriptures tell us of Christ’s wisdom and also show us the same, beginning with creation. Out of nothing He created a world of beauty, order, and abundance.

“The LORD possessed me in the beginning of his way,

before his works of old.

I was set up from everlasting,

from the beginning, or ever the earth was.”

Proverbs 8:22,23.

“For by him(Jesus) were all things created,

that are in heaven, and that are in earth,

visible and invisible,

whether they be thrones, or dominions,

or principalities, or powers:

all things were created by him, and for him:

And he is before all things,

and by him all things consist.”

Colossians 1:16,17.

Jesus is the skillful artist, destroying the marred vessel of death and molding it in life.

“For whoso findeth me findeth life,

and shall obtain favour of the LORD.

But he that sinneth against me wrongeth his own soul:

all they that hate me love death.”

Proverbs 8:35,36.

“Jesus said unto her,

I am the resurrection, and the life:

he that believeth in me though he were dead,

yet shall he live:

And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die.

Believest thou this?”

John 11:25,26.

“Verily, verily, I say unto you,

He that heareth my word,

and believeth on him that sent me,

hath everlasting life,

and shall not come into condemnation:

but is passed from death unto life…

The hour is coming, and now is,

when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God

and they that hear shall live.”

John 5:24,25.

Jesus covers a canvas of shame with His glory.

“Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith;

who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross,

despising the shame,

and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

Hebrews 12:2.

“and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands: Saying with a loud voice,

Worthy is the Lamb that was slain

to receive power, and riches,

and wisdom, and strength,

and honour, and glory, and blessing.”

Revelation 5:11,12.

In His infinite wisdom, God through Christ skillfully takes our marred image and molds each believer into the glorious image of His dear Son.

“This is the book of the generations of Adam.

In the day that God created man,

in the likeness of God made he him…

And Adam lived an hundred and thirty years,

and begat a son in his own likeness,

after his image:

and called his name Seth:”

Genesis 5:1,3.

Adam’s sin marred the image of God in him as it did each one born after him. Death had entered the world.

“Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee,

Except a man be born again,

he cannot see the kingdom of God…

Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit,

he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.

That which is born of the flesh is flesh;

and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.”

John 3:3,5,6.

Jesus restores the image of God in those who believe.

“And as we have borne the image of the earthy,

we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.”

1 Corinthians 15:49.

For we can say with the apostle Paul,

“I am crucified with Christ:

nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me:

and the life which I now live in the flesh

I live by the faith of the Son of God,

who loved me, and gave himself for me.”

Galatians 2:20

In Christ we are free to live life skillfully articulated by His wisdom.

“But of him are ye in Christ Jesus,

who of God is made unto us wisdom…

we have the mind of Christ.”

1 Corinthians 1:30a; 2:16b.

Wisdom is crying for someone to hear.

“Now therefore hearken unto me, O ye children:

for blessed are they that keep my ways.

Hear instruction, and be wise, and refuse it not.

Blessed is the man that heareth me,

watching daily at my gates,

waiting at the posts of my doors.”

Proverbs 8:32-34.

“And there came a voice out of the cloud, saying,

This is my beloved Son:

hear him.”

 

Luke 9:35.

Do you desire to live life skillfully as a work of art? The Father wants to be your artist. He has designed a beautiful life for His children and it begins when we hear His voice.

What do you believe makes a beautiful life?

How’s Your Life?

couple walking at pathway between trees
Photo by Heinz Klier on Pexels.com

“Thou wilt shew me the path of life:

in thy presence is fulness of joy;

at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.”

Psalm 16:11.

In what way do you identify with this Psalm? Maybe you don’t at all. Maybe the chaos of the world, the covid virus, or just your own set of problems have left you questioning the path life has taken. Maybe you feel robbed of your joy and even the simplest pleasures.

If you don’t identify, you can. You can have it all. Ask and the heavenly Father will show you the path of life that leads to fullness of joy and pleasures for evermore. If you do identify, you are a vessel to show others the path of living life to its fullest no matter your circumstances.

So, why have I chosen the Psalms I chose this past week and today for our walk with Jesus? They show Jesus as more than the fulfillment of prophecy. They reveal him as,

“the way, the truth, and the life.” John 14:6.

Jesus is the way to the Father, the truth of God revealed in flesh, and the life giving Savior.

“In him was life;

and the life was the light of men.

And the light shineth in darkness;

and the darkness comprehended it not.”

John 1:4,5.

“And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life,

and this life is in his Son.

He that hath the Son hath life;

and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.”

1 John 5:11,12.

“Then spake Jesus again unto them saying,

I am the light of the world:

he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness,

but shall have the light of life.”

John 8:12.

John 1:4,5- “In him was life”, implies apart from Him there is no life and life is the light that overcomes the darkness. The light of life found only in Christ, has overcome the darkness of death.

1 John 5:11,12-God has given us eternal life found only in His Son. Those who have Jesus have life. Those who do not, don’t.

John 8:12-Jesus promises those who follow His light-giving life have eternal life and will not walk in death.

Herein lies the problem and the solution. Multitudes walk through this existence in death, walking in fleeting moments of joy and pleasure, without understanding, without the knowledge their hope of life has been stolen by the enemy.

“The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy…”

The solution: Simply stated follow Jesus. He is the life. Yes, upon receiving His sacrifice for our sin, believing He is the Son of God who died, was buried, and rose again, we receive at that moment eternal life. It will be fully consummated when He returns for us. Until then, we live life to the fullest as He says,

“I am come that they might have life,

and that they might have it more abundantly.”

John 10:10.

David echoes this truth with a fountain in Psalm 36:7-10.

“How excellent is thy lovingkindness, O God!

Therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of thy wings.

They shall be abundantly satisfied with the fatness of thy house;

and thou shalt make them drink of the river of thy pleasures.

For with thee is the fountain of life:

in thy light shall we see light.

O continue thy lovingkindness unto them that know thee;

and thy righteousness to the upright in heart.”

How can you have joy in a dark world?

  • Know God’s lovingkindness toward you. He offers mercy and life.
  • Put your trust in Him. He protects through the fiercest storms.
  • Know the Lord abundantly satisfies with His abundant love those of His household.
  • He refreshes the thirsty with His pleasures. Drink from His fountain.
  • Light not darkness is your companion.
  • Pray to continue receiving His mercy; to know Him and His righteousness. He gives it all to those whose heart trusts in Him.

*With that we finish our walk together with Jesus through the Psalms. But you don’t have to stop here. Go further with Him. See how many Psalms you see Jesus in. I’ve listed some below to get you started.

I’ll leave this quote for you to consider:

“Without the way there is no going;

without the truth there is no knowing;

without the life there is no living.

I am the way which thou must follow;

the truth in which thou must believe;

the life for which thou must hope.”**


*Numerous scriptures in Psalms(22 are listed in my bible) point to Jesus clearer than the ones shared in my posts last week and today. Such as, 5 in Psalm 22, 2 in chapters 35, 69, 110, and 118. If you would like all the references leave your request in comments and I will include them for you.

**(a’Kempis, cited by Bruce; Source: Blue Letter Bible; David Guzik, Study Guide for John 14.)

 

God’s Story and You

bloglove-699480_960_720“Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual. The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven.

  • As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy:
  • and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly.
  • And as we have borne the image of the earthy,
  • we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.

Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.” 1Corinthians 15:47-50.

“Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee,

Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit,

he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.

That which is born of the flesh is flesh;

and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.

Marvel not that I said unto thee,

Ye must be born again.”

John 3:5-7.

“But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born,

  • not of blood,
  • nor of the will of the flesh,
  • nor of the will of man,

but of God.”

John 1:12-13.

You are a part of God’s story. Are you a protagonist or an antagonist?

Speak Words of Life

All we hear from the world is death and destruction.

  • “The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy…

If we listen long enough to words of death, they take root in our hearts and breed despair.

blogbook-1209805__340
courtesy of Pixabay free images

But,

  • “Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.” 

Let’s  speak words of life, Jesus’ words of life.

  • “I am come that they might, have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.”  John 10: 10.
  • “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:16.
  • “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.” John 10: 28,29.

I encourage you to take a moment to listen to the song, “Wonderful Words of Life.” You’ll find it on YouTube. May we each walk in the abundant life God has called us to. If you would like to talk or know how you can know this Lord, please, contact me through email or leave a comment. May our lives be filled with life and hope from the Lord.