Materialism and Life #258

10 Whatever my eyes desired I did not keep from them. I did not withhold my heart from any pleasure, for my heart rejoiced in all my labor; And this was my reward from all my labor. 11  Then I looked on all the works that my hands had done And on the labor in which I had toiled; And indeed all was vanity and grasping for the wind. There was no profit under the sun. (Ecclesiastes 2:10-11)

King Solomon was wise, wealthy and powerful. In wisdom he considered the purpose of life in an effort to know “what was good for the sons of men to do under heaven all the days of their lives” (Eccl. 2:3). He discovered that indulging his pleasures and rewarding his labors did not satisfy his deepest yearning for fulfillment. He worked hard and he rewarded himself with material goods. By doing so he learned that material things are only temporary and cannot fulfill life’s purpose. Honest labor is good, and to enjoy the fruit of one’s labor is honorable. But, acquiring material goods is not the defining objective of life. Material things can never satisfy life’s purpose for those who are made in the image of God. Finding life’s meaning in material gain is like trying to catch the wind. “Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is man’s all” (Eccl. 12:13).

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The Lord does Valiantly #257

The LORD is my strength and song, and He has become my salvation. The voice of rejoicing and salvation is in the tents of the righteous; The right hand of the LORD does valiantly. (Psalm 118:14-15)

Jesus Christ is the world’s only Redeemer; there is salvation in no other name under heaven (Acts 4:12). As the Lord’s mighty strength delivered Israel from exile in a foreign land, Christ Jesus saves sinners from the bondage of sin. God alone is our salvation; we do not earn the right to be saved. Yet, it is in the “tents of the righteous” that the joy of salvation rings out. God will not save the faithless and disobedient. Sing songs of joyful praise, O faithful one. God is mighty to save!

Blessed are You, Lord God #256

10  Therefore David blessed the LORD before all the assembly; and David said: “Blessed are You, LORD God of Israel, our Father, forever and ever. 11  Yours, O LORD, is the greatness, the power and the glory, the victory and the majesty; For all that is in heaven and in earth is Yours; Yours is the kingdom, O LORD, and You are exalted as head over all. 12  Both riches and honor come from You, and You reign over all. In Your hand is power and might; In Your hand it is to make great and to give strength to all. 13  Now therefore, our God, we thank You and praise Your glorious name.” (1 Chronicles 29:10-13)

Ponder the exalted greatness and power of God. He is worthy of praise and adoration for His matchless splendor and His unrivaled excellence. Everything you will come into contact today belongs to Him and is ruled over by His wise providence. That includes you. All that you possess comes from Him. Never fail to give Almighty God the respect, honor and thanksgiving He is due.

To the Law and to the Testimony #255

19  And when they say to you, “Seek those who are mediums and wizards, who whisper and mutter,” should not a people seek their God? Should they seek the dead on behalf of the living? 20  To the law and to the testimony! If they do not speak according to this word, it is because there is no light in them. (Isaiah 8:19-20)

Countless people seek guidance from those who claim the ability to communicate with the dead. Untold amounts of money is spent seeking after the dead. The irony is obvious: these people refuse to seek after the living God, the One who has true enlightenment! Ancient Israel did the same thing and fell farther into the futility of darkness. Unless we go to God’s Scriptures and “speak according to this word”, there is no light in us, either. There is only the darkness of sin and death.

What Shall I Render? #254

12  What shall I render to the LORD for all His benefits toward me? 13  I will take up the cup of salvation, and call upon the name of the LORD. 14  I will pay my vows to the LORD now in the presence of all His people. (Psalm 116:12-14)

Christians are blessed with “every spiritual blessing” in Christ (Eph. 1:3). Such incredible goodness from God’s hand prompts us to recognize the great opportunities and responsibilities placed in our hands. Never forget to be thankful to God and to live with a grateful heart toward Him. One of the best ways to do this is to keep the vows you have made to God, immediately and publicly (“now, in the presence of all His people”). Live the good confession you made that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God (1 Tim. 6:12; Matt. 10:32). Be an example to other believers, and do it without delay.

He Has Heard My Voice #253

1  I love the LORD, because He has heard My voice and my supplications. 2  Because He has inclined His ear to me, therefore I will call upon Him as long as I live. 3  The pains of death surrounded me, and the pangs of Sheol laid hold of me; I found trouble and sorrow. 4  Then I called upon the name of the LORD: “O LORD, I implore You, deliver my soul!” 5  Gracious is the LORD, and righteous; Yes, our God is merciful. 6  The LORD preserves the simple; I was brought low, and He saved me. 7  Return to your rest, O my soul, for the LORD has dealt bountifully with you. (Psalm 116:1-7)

God attends to the pleas of His children when they are in trouble, delivering them from trials and sorrows. Such overflowing mercy compels us to love God and to always call upon Him. God’s grace comforts the weary heart, bringing rest to the soul. Christian, trust God to hear and answer your prayers. Call on the Lord as long as you live, and rest your soul in His love.

Unfaithful Children #252

2  Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth! For the LORD has spoken: “I have nourished and brought up children, And they have rebelled against Me; 3  The ox knows its owner and the donkey its master’s crib; But Israel does not know, My people do not consider.” (Isaiah 1:2-3)

The Lord God knows the pain of children choosing not to follow wise counsel. He yearned for His  children to understand His guidance and to amend their ways. His every desire and provision for Israel was for their good, yet they responded with sinful rebellion. As a loving father, God “daily rose up early” sending His prophet to Israel to teach them of righteousness and to warn them of their sins. God ceaselessly tried to reach them, but Israel would not obey His voice (Jer. 7:25-27). Similarly, as fathers and mothers nurture their children “in the training and admonition of the Lord” they are likely to meet with resistance, and at times, even rebellion and faithlessness. God understands the heartache that causes. He cares. Be like God and keep showing the way of salvation.