It is interesting to think about what satisfies us. Is it our accomplishments? Or maybe it is in our relationships. But if we are honest, any satisfaction we feel is only temporary. In Ecclesiastes 2:11 Solomon says, Yet when I surveyed all that my hands had done and what I had toiled to achieve, everything was meaningless, a chasing after the wind; nothing was gained under the sun. When you survey where you invest your life (time, energy, and money), how long does the sense of accomplishment last? Are we chasing after something we can never truly grasp, like the wind? Our only true sense of satisfaction and self-worth comes from God and His love for us. At the end of our lives let us look back with satisfaction that we made a difference and impacted lives for the kingdom of God.
Psalm 119 is the longest chapter in the Bible. It is a beautiful Psalm whether you break it into small chunks or take the time to read it all the way through. The major theme of the Psalm is to remind us God’s word is wonderful and true. If we remain obedient to God we have the ability to achieve real happiness. Psalm 119:1-2 begins with 1 Blessed are they whose ways are blameless, who walk according to the law of the Lord. 2 Blessed are they who keep his statutes and seek him with all their heart. If we remember the Bible is the only real source of truth, we will find everything we need to live a pure life. Everything else is opinion and ways people find to justify their sinful choices. Don’t be fooled.
God’s grace is abundant for all our needs. Our biggest blessing as a child of God is that He looks at us with pride and love. Psalm 67:1 comes from Moses’ blessing shared from God to the Israelites, May God be gracious to us and bless us and make his face shine upon us. May we remember there is no greater blessing or honor than to have God’s face shine upon us. It is the proud Father we all long to have looking at us with pride.
Last night our community group from church started a new study in Ephesians. This will be an in-depth study of one of the most densely packed letters from the Apostle Paul to the church in Ephesus. As we started the study last night, one of the guys made a really interesting observation about Ephesians 1:5, which starts at the end of verse 4, In love, 5 he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will. The observation was this: by being adopted, we skip to the front of the ancestry line of inheritance. We are not the great, great, great…. grandchild of the King, we are the adopted child of the King. We have direct access. What a blessing it is to have direct access to our Father in heaven through Jesus Christ His Son. And what an interesting way to look at it, don’t you think?
The Bible is filled with God’s concern for the poor, weak, and helpless. God wants us to share His concern. In Psalm 41:1 David begins with, Blessed is he who has regard for the weak; the Lord delivers him in times of trouble. As God has blessed every one of us, we should in turn bless others. Our generosity should reflect God’s generosity for us in all aspects of our lives, but especially when it comes to giving.
If we were to stop long enough to think of all God has done for us, we would never be able to remember them all. In Psalm 39:5 David says, Many, O Lord my God, are the wonders you have done. The things you planned for us no one can recount to you; were I to speak and tell of them, they would be too many to declare. Not only are there too many things to remember, but there are things God has done for each of us that we don’t even realize. Praise God for his never ending protection and unlimited blessings on each of our lives.
There is a right way and a wrong way to succeed. The right way involves hard worth through a strong character and integrity. The wrong way comes through cheating and stealing from others. In Psalm 37:7 David says, Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; do not fret when men succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes. When we do the right things and wait for God’s timing, He blesses us and we can be proud of our accomplishments through Him.
Today we begin the book of Ephesians. It was written as a letter to the church at Ephesus in order to strengthen the body of believers there. At the end of the first chapter, Paul emphasizes this in Ephesians 1:22-23 22 And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, 23 which is his body, the fullness if him who fills everything. The fullness comes from Christ’s ability to fill the church with His gifts and blessings that can only come from Him. When we trust in Christ we have the ability to receive gifts that cannot come from anywhere else.
Philemon 1:16 describes all of us as believers in Christ: no longer as a slave, but better than a slave, as a dear brother. Before we knew Christ and trusted in Him for our eternal salvation, we were slaves. After, we became magnitudes better than slaves; we became brothers. Nothing can bless us more than that.