What is the Meaning of Life?

A quick trip through Ecclesiastes

“Everything is meaningless”

“What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again, there is nothing new under the sun.”

“For who knows what is good for a person in life, during the few and meaningless days they pass through like a shadow.”

“Everything is meaningless.  All go to the same place; all come from dust and to dust all return.”

“I have seen all the things that are done under the sun; all of them are meaningless, a chasing after the wind.”

“Whoever loves money never has enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with their income.  This too is meaningless.”

“There is something else meaningless that occurs on the earth; the righteous who get what the wicked deserve and the wicked who get what the righteous deserve.”

What is the meaning of life?

“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens.”

“Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the duty of all mankind.  For God will bring every deed into judgement, including every hidden thing, whatever it is, good or evil.”

Please help us love you and love others, Abba Father.  For this is the purpose and meaning of life.

 

 

 

Be Alert

I received a high school graduation card many years ago that said “Be Alert” on the outside and inside it said, “This country needs more lerts.”

Maybe not ‘lerts’ but this country definitely needs more people who are alert.

I need to be more alert to:

  • how I am influenced by all of the cultural pressures around me to make bad choices.
  • how quickly my mind can wander away from what is right and true.
  • the presence and power of Evil in my world and in my life.
  • my tendency to become self-absorbed and miss opportunities to love and help others.

If I’m not alert, I’m going to ‘go with the flow’ and that is not God’s path.  Staying on the right road takes vigilance and commitment.  It is not the easy road.

So, if I think I’m cruising along, I can be sure I’m going to a place I don’t want to be.  I’m cruising for a fall.

That’s what happened to King Solomon.  The wisest man who ever lived didn’t stay centered on the right path as he grew old.  He lost his way.  He married women who used their influence to turn his heart away from being fully devoted to the One True God.  He did ‘evil in the eyes of the LORD’ and took a big fall right out of God’s favor.

It was such a sad, pitiful end to a life that had been so dedicated to God and blessed by him.

As I move into the fall season of my life, this message is particularly important to me.  I have loved God my whole life and have dedicated these last  30+  years to building my relationship with him, committed to this journey towards him.  I want my life to end well.  I want to avoid the tragedy that happened to King Solomon.

So I need to stay alert.

Please keep me solidly on the path towards to you, Abba Father.

Taking the Crooked Path

What does a life lived with integrity look like?

Having integrity means doing what we say we’ll do and doing the right thing even when it costs us something and no one would ever know if we didn’t do it.  It means being honest and not just talking a good line but living that out every day.

God tells us in Proverbs 10:9 “Whoever walks in integrity walks securely, but whoever takes crooked paths will be found out.”

I’ve got to admit – there are times I really hate telling anyone that I realize I made a mistake.  It would be so much simpler to lie about it and cover it up.

It seems easier to take a crooked path.

There are other situations where I don’t feel like taking care of a responsibility or doing ‘the right thing’.

It seems easier to take the crooked path.

Every once in a while a ‘shady’ short-cut looks very enticing instead of struggling with all the work that is going to be involved to do something the right way.

It seems easier to take a crooked path.

The crooked path is dark with holes and cracks that make us stumble and fall.  We’re kidding ourselves if we think people around us don’t realize when we’ve taken crooked paths.

It’s obvious.

God tells us the blessing of walking with integrity is that we will walk securely.  The path of integrity is straight and solidly built on the truth.  God’s light shines on this path and it is filled with his love, grace and security.

Each day, each choice, we are deciding which path to take.

Please help us stay in the path of integrity, Abba Father.

Teach Us

Do I know the right way to live?

Do you?

It’s hard to figure out, isn’t it?  So many choices.  Our world is over-filled with things that influence our thinking.  Sometimes – in an effort to be ‘informed’ – we fill our minds with all kinds of opinions and perspectives, never knowing what the real facts are.

Is that good?

Is that bad?

How do we know?

As a Christ-follower, I am so glad I have a compass.  I have a Spirit living inside of me who guides me to the truth.  Then I need to listen and obey.

In Kings 8, King Solomon is standing in front of the people of Israel at the dedication of the Lord’s Temple and he prays to God, “Teach them the right way to live.”

Solomon was very wise and he knew that our Master Teacher is God.  The only One we can always trust is God.

After asking God to teach his people how to live, Solomon then says, “And send rain on the land you gave your people for an inheritance.”

Bless my people.

Teach us your truth, dear Father, and bless us through it.

He is Good

As the sun rises each morning, I am reminded,

 God is good.

Every time I look at the smiling faces of my grandchildren – even the littlest one is smiling already – I am reminded,

 God is good.

My husband, Dave, and I are celebrating 37 years of marriage next week and I am reminded,

God is good.

My calendar is filled with good times and special moments with people I love and I am reminded,

    God is good.

I am completely confident in this truth –

   My God is good.

During the dedication of the Lord’s Temple in 1 Kings, we read that the musicians played the trumpets, cymbals, harps and lyres as they ‘joined in unison to give praise and thanks to the Lord.”  The rest of the people also raised their voices and sang,

    “He is good; his love endures forever.”

I love thinking about how my voice saying “God is good”  is part of this enormous crowd of people who have loved God.  When I say these words, I am joining with all believers through all of history.  I hear the angels praising God with us, filling the heavens with gratitude through all eternity.

These words were true back when King Solomon built the temple and they remain true today.  When I became absolutely convinced that God is good, peace filled my soul  The truth is, no matter how bad or crazy or painful things in my life or in your life look or feel,  God is good.  Our circumstances do not change this fact.

   God is good; his love endures forever.

Thank you, Abba Father.

 

 

 

Only a Flicker

There are times when my problems loom very large over my head.

There are other days when there seems to be way too much to do – it will never all get done.

And then there are days like today when my absorption in the details of my life slams up against God’s truth.

My life is just a momentary flicker in time.

God tells me in his word that my life is like the new grass which withers almost as soon as it appears.

My life is barely going to make a noticeable bump in the history of time.

When King David was dying, he said, “I am about to go the way of the earth.”

Ashes to ashes, dust to dust.  King David was extremely famous with his name and life splashed all over the most significant book of all time – the Bible.  And even he went ‘the way of all the earth.”  That’s where my body is going, too – back to the earth.

So I have to ask – what’s it all for?  What can I do to make my flicker matter?

As always, God’s truth provides the answer.  It’s all about loving God and loving others.

When our lives are dedicated to loving God and loving others, the ripples of grace, truth and wisdom reach out through our family and friends, making a lasting mark on lives our love has touched.

We are only here for a very short time until we  go the way of all the earth.

Let’s make it count.

I dedicate my flicker to loving you and loving others, Abba Father.

No Short-Cuts

I like the answers to my questions to be given to me – quickly.

I don’t want to spend a bunch of time researching and trying to figure them out.

Who has the time for that?

Can you relate?

If one of the questions you have is “why don’t I hear God speak to me more often?” or “why can’t I ever hear God speak to me?”

The answer is – it takes having a personal relationship with God to regularly hear him.  The closer I get to him, the louder and more clearly his voice becomes.

Yes, sometimes he will just speak out of the blue to someone who doesn’t even believe in him.  But, generally, getting our communication channels open with God takes time and effort.

We like to take short cuts by listening to the pastor for 20 minutes on Sunday morning so he can teach us something from God’s Word.  We like reading Christian books and devotionals where other Christians share what they heard from God.  Don’t get me wrong – this is good – I’m a blogger, aren’t I?  The Holy Spirit can and does use all of these methods to reveal truth to us.

But I will never have a close personal relationship with God through someone else.  It’s got to be just him and me for many hours, many weeks, many months, many years.  If I really want to know and hear God, this is the answer.

“God looks down from heaven on all mankind to see if there are any who understand, any who seek God”  Psalm 53

Please help us seek you with all of our hearts, minds and souls, Abba Father.