As we begin the book of Ecclesiastes, Solomon shares his mindset in Ecclesiastes 1:2, “Meaningless! Meaningless!” says the Teacher. “Utterly meaningless! Everything is meaningless.” These words came from a man who literally had everything. Even after he had mastered everything anyone could every want, he realized it meant nothing in the end. I think one of the biggest realizations for Solomon was what really mattered in life is not new. The desires of our heart are the same throughout all generations. The requirements we all have to live our lives and be happy are the same. In Ecclesiastes 1:9 Solomon says, What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun. Truer words have never been spoken. We all want the same thing whether we lived 3,000 years ago or today. We all want to be loved and respected and feel like our lives mean something. In the end, our lives are meaningless unless they mean something in the light of eternity. Without God and living in accordance to His perfect plan, our lives take on lesser importance. Francis Chan mentions in his book “Crazy Love” that most of us may be remembered by our kids and grand kids. We may even be mentioned to others by our great grand kids. But very few of us will be remembered beyond that. Our hope should be that our lives have an indirect impact on others and the only way that can truly happen is through service that bring people to salvation and an eternal relationship with God.
There is a lot going on in Ephesians 5:22-33. Much of it is difficult to discuss without getting into a discussion about today’s cultural norms regarding marriage. However, the most important part of this passage is to understand what Paul’s ultimate point is about marriage and how we are to treat all believers, not just the ones we are closest to. In Ephesians 5:29 Paul sums up his point very clearly, After all, no one ever hates his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church. When it comes to other believers, especially those we love the most, we are to care for them as though they are part of our own bodies because in God’s eyes, they are.
Christ calls us to love one another. Paul even went as far as to say to “submit” to one another in Ephesians 5:21, Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. Submitting does not mean being a doormat. It means to subordinate so we can receive the promises of Christ. If we are willing to follow Christ and work in accordance to His plan, we are more willing to obey His commands and live according to God’s perfect plan for our lives and for the big picture.
We were all created by God to do great things. God’s intention was to use us greatly and impact those around us in a meaningful way in the light of eternity. In Ephesians 2:10 Paul tells the church in Ephesus, For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. We were created with a purpose. Let us remember that in all we do.
In today’s reading we see two things. First, in Psalm 132:2 where it talks about David and says, He swore and oath to the Lord and made a vow to the Mighty One of Jacob. Second, in Psalm 132:11 it says about God, The Lord swore an oath to David, a sure oath that he will not revoke. The Psalm was written when the Ark of the Covenant was returned to Jerusalem and David danced and sang praises. It was returned in keeping to a promise God made to David for his faithful service. The message of this Psalm is simple; Honor God and He will honor you.
Psalm 106 give a summary of God’s faithfulness, which in turn shows us the degree of man’s sinfulness. The good news is God’s faithfulness is greater than the gap created by our sinful nature. Psalm 106:1 says, Praise the Lord. Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever. Without God’s unfailing and eternal love for us, sin would keep us from enjoying a relationship with Him. God never stops wanting a genuine relationship with us. Praise God for His love and His never ending pursue of relationship with us.
God is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. He will never change. In Psalm 102:27 the Psalmist ends the passage with, But you remain the same, and your years will never end. While we may change and make decisions based on our circumstances or feelings, God never changes. He will continue to love us and want what’s best for us no matter what.
God is faithful. We should all be willing to shout it from the mountaintops. In Psalm 89:1 the author says, I will sing of the Lord’s great love forever; with my mouth I will make your faithfulness known through all generations. God’s love for us is limitless and there is no limits to His faithfulness to us. It is our job to make Him known from generation to generation. Our time on earth is limited, so we should use it to make God’s love and faithfulness know.
David, even with a limited understanding of astronomy, knew how infinite the heavens were. In Psalm 36:5 David uses the infiniteness of the heavens to describe God’s love for us, Your love, O Lord, reaches to the heavens, your faithfulness to the sky. It is this unfailing and endless love God has for each of us if we simply choose to believe and accept it. God cares for us more than we can ever imagine.
In today’s reading we listen as Jesus condemns the religious leaders for their hypocrisy. Of all the things Jesus mentions, the passage that stood out to me most was Matthew 23:23, “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices – mint, dill, cummin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law – justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former.” While we may feel good about giving our stuff (money, possessions, etc.) to the church and those in need, what we really need to concentrate on is reflecting Christ’s example from when He was here on earth. When we fail to do what is right by taking care of people and loving them, we fail at being who God calls each of us to be.