What’s Life All About Lord?

He actually tells us, through the man that He made the wisest that ever lived – King Solomon.

After God gave him all that wisdom, He left him with an important piece of information regarding what to do with it:

“And if you will walk in my ways, keeping my statutes and my commandments, as your father David walked, then I will lengthen your days.” 1 Kin. 3:14 ESV

So, regardless of all King Solomon’s wisdom, it was the godly application of it that brought the blessings. Indeed, as long as Solomon followed that advice, he and his kingdom remained blessed:

And Judah and Israel lived in safety…every man under his vine and under his fig tree, all the days of Solomon. 1 Kin. 4:25 ESV

You have to understand however, that there are no shades of gray with God. You are either doing what He says to do, or you are not. There are no half measures. And unfortunately, regardless of all his wisdom, Solomon veered off his Creator’s path:

Now King Solomon loved many foreign women…from the nations concerning which the LORD had said to the people of Israel, “You shall not enter into marriage with them, neither shall they with you, for surely they will turn away your heart after their gods.” 1 Kin. 11:1, 2. ESV

Just as God said, it came to pass:

For when Solomon was old his wives turned away his heart after other gods… 1 Kin. 11:4 ESV

And when you violate His commands, there are always consequences:

So the LORD said to Solomon, “ Because you have done this, and you have not kept My covenant and My statutes, which I have commanded you, I will surely tear the kingdom from you, and will give it to your servant. Nevertheless I will not do it in your days for the sake of your father David, but I will tear it out of the hand of your son for the sake of My servant David and for the sake of Jerusalem which I have chosen.” 1 Kin. 11:11 – 13. NASB

God must mete out His punishment or His word would not stand in truth. But because of his father’s (King David) obedience, God showed mercy to Solomon by delaying His retribution until the time of Solomon’s son’s reign. Moreover, you can see that out of His mercy, God would also leave Solomon’s son one tribe (Judah) to perpetuate the throne in Jerusalem.

Solomon knew that he messed up in a big way and fell into a deep depressive funk, for which he tried to find solace by immersing himself in the ways of the world. Thankfully for all of us, Solomon eventually repented, turned his life around and made himself right with God. At that point, God’s wisdom returned to him in his old age and Solomon left us the wisdom gleaned from his wayward journey:

“Behold, I have acquired great [human] wisdom and experience, more than all who were over Jerusalem before me; and my mind has observed a wealth of [moral] wisdom and [scientific] knowledge. And I set my mind to know [practical] wisdom and to discern [the character of] madness and folly [in which men seem to find satisfaction]; I realized that this too is a futile grasping and chasing after the wind. For in much [human] wisdom there is much displeasure and exasperation; increasing knowledge increases sorrow.” Eccl. 1:16 – 18. AMP

Solomon is saying that the pursuit of the world’s wisdom is laden with errors and dissatisfactions and the only fruit that it bears is misery – a lesson he learned from direct experience:

I said in my heart, “Come now, I will test you with pleasure; enjoy yourself.’ But behold, this also was vanity. I said of laughter, “It is mad,” and of pleasure; “What use is it?” I searched with all my heart how to cheer my body with wine…I made great works. I built houses and planted vineyards for myself. I made myself gardens and parks…I made myself pools…I bought male and female slaves…I also had great possessions…I also gathered for myself silver and gold…I got singers, both men and women, and many concubines… Eccl. 2:1 – 8. ESV

King Solomon had immersed himself in the world – yielding himself over to gluttony, drunkenness, pride, fornication and greed; i.e. he gave into everything that his flesh yearned for. His conclusion?

Thus I considered all my activities which my hand had done and the labor which I exerted, and behold all was vanity and striving after the wind and there was no profit under the sun. Eccl. 2:11 NASB

Then, Solomon applied godly wisdom to his observations and came up with the Holy Spirit-inspired meaning of life:

There is nothing better for a person than that he should eat and drink and find enjoyment in his toil. This also, I saw, is from the hand of God, for apart from him who can eat or find enjoyment? For to the one who pleases him God has given wisdom and knowledge and joy, but to the sinner he has given the business of gathering and collecting, only to give to one who pleases God. This also is vanity and striving after the wind. Eccl. 2:24 – 26. ESV

So, the ‘meaning of life’ begins with finding contentment through God and from His provisions, as you walk in His ways and know that you play a special part in HIs plan – finding your joy as you perform the tasks that He assigns you.

I have seen the business that God has given to the children of man to be busy with…I have perceived that there is nothing better for them than to be joyful and to do good as long as they live… Eccl. 3:10 & 12. ESV

Added to the ‘meaning of life’ then, is that walking in God’s ways includes laboring to help others reach their highest and best.

Knowing the meaning of life and living that way allows us to get the most out of it. It doesn’t mean that there will not be hardships from time to time however:

In the day of prosperity be joyful, but in the day of adversity consider: Surely God has appointed one as well as the other… Eccl. 7:14 NKJV

Our lives have cycles of ups and downs; but the ‘downs’ are not times where God is throwing obstacles in your way. He doesn’t do that. God allows adversities to manifest in your life (usually of your own making) so that you can gather strength of character and godly wisdom to draw you closer to Him and increase your dependence upon His love.

Every day, God gives you an opportunity to connect with Him to see the meaning of life through the eyes of love, so that each day can be the best day of your life.

The last aspect revealed to Solomon about the ‘meaning of life’ is the vision we must keep in our hearts while we live it, that of the eternal paradise that awaits us. God wants us to live our lives to their fullest but even so, the day of our heavenly arrival will far surpass it:

…the day of one’s death is better than the day of one’s birth. Eccl. 7:1 NASB

Finally, King Solomon sums up all the aspects of the ‘meaning of life’ in one scripture;

The words of the wise are like goads, and like nails firmly fixed are the collected sayings; they are given by one Shepherd. My son, beware of anything beyond these. Of making many books there is no end, and much study is a weariness of the flesh. The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. Eccl. 12:11 – 13. ESV

Thus, all meaning in life is found in knowing and loving your God and living by the tenets of His love – which guarantees you a life now and forever, surrounded in complete love. That’s what it’s all about…

Goodnight and God bless.

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September 13 2017 | experiencing god's love | No Comments »

God’s Wisdom Trumps Earthly Knowledge Every Time

When King Solomon was handed the rulership of Israel, God came to him in a dream and asked him what He could give him. As we know, instead of riches and power, Solomon asked for wisdom, to be able to rule effectively over the children of God. (1 Kin. 3:9)

God was so impressed with the king’s humility that He also showered riches and honor on him as well as wisdom. (2 Chr. 1:11, 12.) Just how wise did God make Solomon?

Now all the earth sought the presence of Solomon to hear his wisdom, which God had put in his heart. 1 Kin. 10:24 NKJV

Thus, King Solomon received wisdom directly from God, making him the wisest man on the planet.

What does ‘wisdom’ mean? In the Bible, it is translated from the Hebrew chakam, meaning ‘intelligent, skillful, artful and cunning;’ and from the Greek saphes, which means to be clear. English dictionaries define wisdom as ‘the quality of having experience, knowledge and good judgement.’

It would appear then that wisdom is a character trait you learn from having experienced what life has to teach you and from the processing of what these life lessons taught, leading to gaining an ability to astutely apply the knowledge that is beneficial – all with a mind and a heart that is clear from misconceptions:

The ear that hears the rebukes of life will abide among the wise. Pr. 15:31 NKJV

God is the Source of life; therefore, it is His lessons that bring wisdom to the willingly listening student. But, where does one start?

The [reverent] fear of the LORD [that is, worshiping Him and regarding Him as truly awesome] is the beginning and the preeminent part of knowledge [its starting point and its essence]; Pr. 1:7 AMP

God is saying that wisdom is found in Him:

…those who seek the LORD understand all things. Pr. 28:5 NASB

That makes sense. We seek God by living in and by His word. We gain His wisdom from the Holy Spirit, who reveals the meanings of those words to our spirit:

…there is a spirit in man, and the breath of the Almighty gives him understanding. Job 32:8 NKJV

The good part is that God gives it freely to those who ask in faith:

…if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But he must ask in faith without any doubting… James 1:5, 6. NASB

Let’s ask God why we need this wisdom:

For the LORD gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding; he stores up sound wisdom for the upright; he is a shield to those who walk in integrity, guarding the paths of justice, and preserves the way of his saints. Then you will understand righteousness and justice and equity, every good path; for wisdom will come in your heart, and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul; discretion will watch over you, understanding will guard you, delivering you from the way of evil… Pr. 2:6 – 12. ESV

So, with wisdom comes the ability to know God intimately – understanding His plan for you and His path for getting you there. Furthermore, God keeps you covered on all sides during that journey…

God puts wisdom above all things:

Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom. And in all your getting, get understanding. Exalt her, and she will promote you, she will bring you honor when you embrace her. Pr. 4:7, 8.  NKJV

Once we seek wisdom, God will keep pouring it into us:

“He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding.” Dan. 2:21 NKJV

So, we’ve looked at why God wants us to have wisdom (primarily to facilitate having an intimate relationship with Him, and in so doing, have an extraordinary life). But what happens to those who don’t seek out His wisdom?

Therefore My people go into exile because they lack knowledge [of God]; Is. 5:13 AMP

My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Hos. 4:6 NKJV

If you’re seeking God’s wisdom, you must also keep the company of others who do likewise:

He who walks with wise men will be wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm. Pr. 13;20 NASB

Ultimately, those who act in opposition to God’s plan for them, will be subject to the whims of the god of this world, because they invited him (Satan) in, by rejecting the kingdom wisdom:

When anyone hears the word of the kingdom [regarding salvation] and does not understand and grasp it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. Mt. 13:19 AMP

It doesn’t have to be that way if you stick with God’s ways:

The law of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul; the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple; the precepts of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart, the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes… Ps. 19:7, 8. ESV

Blessed is the one who finds wisdom, and the one who gets understanding, for the gain from her is better than gain from silver…and nothing you desire can compare with her. Long life is in her right hand; in her left hand are riches and honor. Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace. She is a tree of life to those who lay hold of her, those who hold her fast are called blessed. Pr. 3:13 – 18. ESV

So, it is the use of God’s wisdom that promotes our highest and best life, not the so-called wisdom of the world:

Let no one deceive himself. If anyone among you thinks that he is wise in this age, let him become a fool that he may become wise. For the wisdom of this world is folly with God. 1 Cor. 3:18, 19. ES

There is no [human] wisdom or understanding or counsel [that can prevail] against the LORD. Pr. 21:30 AMP

Just remember, when you get your wisdom, don’t forget form whence it came; and don’t allow yourself to get puffed up with your new-found awareness:

When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with the humble is wisdom. Pr. 11:2 ESV

Thus says the LORD, “Let not the wise man boast of his wisdom…but let him who boasts boast of this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the LORD, who exercises lovingkindness, justice and the righteousness on earth; for I delight in these things,” declares the LORD. Jer. 9:23, 24. NASB

For we get these very qualities by walking in His wisdom…

Goodnight and God bless.

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August 02 2017 | experiencing god's love | No Comments »

Will You Help God Help You? – Part 2

In part one of this series, we looked at how Satan planted a seed of rebellion in Adam and Eve – one that when it took root, distorted their thinking and devastated their love-connection with God. We saw how that ‘stinkin’ thinkin’ then became a curse that brings havoc to everyone who indulges in the same.

The trouble is, we get locked into that mindset (with a lot of help from a malevolent voice we create in our head) and our lives become permeated with misery in the form of fear, guilt, shame, loveless-ness and loneliness.

We can go to God, ask for help and He will expunge that old life and those old ways – turning you around and setting you on the right path (that He already planted in you at birth). Once that happens and you keep and nurture your relationship with Him, every single aspect of your life comes together for your good so that you can live the life of your dreams.

There is however, one thing we need to do. We must learn how to overcome the tendency of our flesh to unconsciously sink back into the mire of the ways of world, which leads us into that dark journey once again. It’s an awareness that we need to develop to trigger the recognition of our engagement in darkness and prompt our return to God for His deliverance.

We must be able to rise above this unconsciousness in order to exercise our ‘free will’ to make that request. God holds your free will inviolate, so you must employ it before He can move on your behalf.

Last time we talked about the first tool you need to employ to claim and maintain your good life with God and to get that life back when the world has wrapped its clutches around you. That tool is willingness.

You must be willing to take your life back by being willing to call upon God and be willing to change your ways of living (repent) in order to create the space for God to make it happen.

That leads us right into the second tool we require:

GOD

(Now I know you can’t really refer to God as a ‘tool’ because He is the center of everything we require; but humor me just for the sake of presentational syntax.)

Maybe you’re thinking, ‘I can change my life by myself!’ But clearly you cannot, or you would have by now. You’re way has not worked, nor has any other unconscious person’s way worked for them.

Oh sure, you can exist without God (without love), but how has that been working for you?

We all need help to rise above the fearful chaos that was thrust upon us and that we’ve subsequently created for ourselves. Given that most people in this world are mired in the same chaos, we must reach out to the only guaranteed help available. That help comes from the hand of God.

God is love. So He is where we must go before doing anything else, to put love back into our lives. When you ask Him to let you come back home, He blankets you with His forgiveness-driven permanent amnesia with regards to your past thoughts and deeds. (Is. 14:25; 2 Chr. 2:14). Thus, your heavenly slate with Him is wiped clean. In fact, if God Himself forgives you, who are you not to forgive yourself? (Why not? Most of your slate was already clean. You suffered from an illusion that it was not.)

When you let God guide you, that devil-inspired-and-encouraged voice in your head will be crushed into an impotent squeak. (Is. 49:25) God will heal your wounds and remove your roadblocks (2 Kin. 20:5; Ps. 147.3) and place you back on your love-driven path. (2 Sam. 22:9; Pr. 3:5, 6; Jer. 29:11.)

God helps you make all the right decisions in life by filling you with His wisdom (when you’re willing to receive it). Let’s look at some of that:

What about the way we think? That’s our primary problem!

For as he thinks in his heart, so is he. Pr. 23:7 NKJV

Yes, you literally become what you think. When we think about God and what He thinks, we will understand all that is true and good for ourselves and for everyone around us:

…those who seek the LORD understand all things. Pr. 28:5 NASB

…there is a spirit in man, and the breath of the Almighty gives him understanding. Job 32:8 NKJV

For the LORD gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding; he stores up sound wisdom for the upright; he is a shield to those who walk in integrity, guarding the paths of justice, and preserves the way of his saints. Then you will understand righteousness and justice and equity, every good path; for wisdom will come into your heart, and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul; discretion will watch over you, understanding will guard you, delivering you from the way of evil. Pr. 2:1 – 12. ESV

Living by the wisdom of God is not an option for those who want to have a good life:

My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Hos. 4:6 NKJV

Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; but acknowledge Him and He shall direct your paths. Pr. 3:5, 6. NKJV

And if we are habitually on the lookout for when we are not, our results will remind us to re-chart our course with God:

The ear that hears the rebukes of life will abide among the wise. Pr. 15:31 NKJV

‘Right thinking’ also includes letting go of the past so that we can live in present time (the only place life and love live):

Do not call to mind the former things, or ponder the things of the past. Is. 43:18 NASB

When we have God (perfect love), we can cast our fears away, knowing that He always has our back:

There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear… 1 Jn. 4:18 NKJV

“Do not be afraid…I am your shield, your exceedingly great reward.” Gn. 15:1 NKJV

When you are no longer afraid, then you can shed yourself of all the other variations of fear (anger, jealousy and envy) and walk in forgiveness (for yourself and others – because they suffer just like you did) and peace, which also brings joy:

Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you. Eph. 4:31, 32. NKJV

…counselors of peace have joy. Pr. 12:20 NKJV

When you connect with God, you will speak like God – with loving speech:

A man has joy in making an apt answer, and a word spoken at the right moment – how good it is! Pr. 15:23 AMP

…only such [speech] as is good and beneficial to the spiritual progress of others, as is fitting to the need and occasion, that it may be a blessing and give grace (God’s favor) to those who hear it. Eph. 4:29 AMP

Finally, check this out! If you’re willing to connect with God and make any necessary changes in your behavior to walk in His way, you’ll be blessed with ‘right thinking,’ based upon God’s word – leading to ‘right acting.’ The past will stay in the past, fear will be forgotten and peace, love and joy will abide in you.

Guess what? You are now ready for relationship – modeling the one you have with God and with yourself with others. Hallelujah!

And I will walk at liberty, for I shall seek Your precepts. Ps. 119:45 NKJV

Awesome.

Next tool, next time…
Goodnight and God bless.

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October 22 2015 | experiencing god's love | No Comments »