“And I saw that all labor and all achievement spring from man’s envy of his neighbor. This too is meaningless, a chasing after the wind. The fool folds his hands and ruins himself. Better one handful with tranquility that two handfuls with toil and chasing after the wind.” (Ecclesiastes 4:4-6)
Living modestly is better than “chasing after wind” of wealth. Labor should be done to meet God’s goals for our lives not to meet the standard set by our neighbor. Christ said that life does not consist of things, no matter how abundant. Real living is in giving and serving, not in getting and indulging. Inner peace and tranquility, not personal wealth and prestige, mark true success.
PRAYER FOR THE DAY:
Precious Abba, we have many problems in our country right now, not least of which those are the eternal rat race, seeking more money, more status symbols, and part of the problem is our previous two generations and the current one, seeking to be relevant by selling drugs, real estate, legalized gambling, and on and on. Abba, the meaning of life is and always has been to live within our means and to serve You in all that we do. These are good for us and for others, but many other people seek something so important, that though it stands right in front of them, they cannot see the church because their vision is not on You. That which they truly seek is to make them relevant stands right in front of them; yet the church doesn’t seem to know how to speak to these people. They want to serve, just not so much in the manner that has been used before. Today, we seek Your help in speaking to both sides and to bring them together in conversation, not seeking anything specific but serves God’s will in a new way. This we pray. Amen
THOUGHT OF THE DAY:
“I asked Jesus, how much do you love me””and He stretched his arms wide….and died.”
“Another thing you do: You flood the Lord’s altar with tears. You weep and wail because he no longer pays attention to your offerings or accepts them with pleasure from you hands. You ask, ‘Why?’ It is because is acting like the witness between you and the wife of your youth, because you have broken faith with her, though she is your partner, the wife of your marriage covenant.” (Malachi 2:13-14)
Giving or ceremonial worship does not remove the necessity for right living, including respect within families. The breakdown of respect within families is a foundational problem for the whole family and will destroy the family if left unchecked.
“He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver; he will purity the Levites and refine them like gold and silver. Then the Lord will have men who will bring offerings in righteousness, and the offerings of Judah and Jerusalem will be acceptable to the Lord, as in days gone by, as in former years.” (Malachi 3:3-4)
God is working His people how to worship Him. He wants to refine and teach His people how to worship Him. He wants to refine and purify us so righteous living will accompany our offerings. Only as we present ourselves acceptable to God can our offerings be acceptable.
2ND THOUGHT OF THE DAY:
“When Jesus had called the Twelve together, he gave them power and authority to drive out all demons and to cure diseases, and he sent them out to preach the kingdom of God and to heal the sick. He told them: ‘Take nothing for the journey—no staff, no bag, no bread, no money, no extra tunic. Whatever house you enter, stay there until you leave that town. If people do not welcome you, leave their town, as a testimony against them.’ So they set out and went from village to village, preaching the gospel and healing people every where. Now Herod the tetrarch heard about all that was going. And he was perplexed, because some were saying hat John had been raised from the dead, others that Elijah had appeared, and still others that one of the prophets of long ago had come back to life” (Luke 9:1-8)
The early disciples obeyed the Lord, who blessed their ministry as He had promised. We miss many blessings by not doing what the Lord has said to do. Our task is to preach and heal. God will then work through our words and even the laying on of hands, to heal those in need, but we so often forget He doesn’t do this in our time, but in His time. We must not neglect either task, or we will miss a blessing.
The action that Jesus took by training His followers to preach and teach was important. The instruction of going into a town and if not received, to dust off their sandals and move along, is still applicable today. Some churches would rather live by traditions only, not allowing new ideas or approaches is the same as rejecting God. We are not to stay, but leave and see where it is Jesus wants us to go to next.