Monday, July 14, 2008

My Year Through the Bible...Meaningless

As I continue my year through the Bible, I have been reading in Ecclesiastes. Today I was reading through the first few chapters. I specifically liked Chapter 2 and so I wanted to share a bit about that today.

Ecclesiastes 2: 1-11
1 I thought in my heart, “Come now, I will test you with pleasure to find out what is good.” But that also proved to be meaningless. 2 “Laughter,” I said, “is foolish. And what does pleasure accomplish?”

3 I tried cheering myself with wine, and embracing folly—my mind still guiding me with wisdom. I wanted to see what was worthwhile for men to do under heaven during the few days of their lives. 4 I undertook great projects: I built houses for myself and planted vineyards. 5 I made gardens and parks and planted all kinds of fruit trees in them. 6 I made reservoirs to water groves of flourishing trees. 7 I bought male and female slaves and had other slaves who were born in my house. I also owned more herds and flocks than anyone in Jerusalem before me. 8 I amassed silver and gold for myself, and the treasure of kings and provinces. I acquired men and women singers, and a harem as well—the delights of the heart of man.

9 I became greater by far than anyone in Jerusalem before me. In all this my wisdom stayed with me.

10 I denied myself nothing my eyes desired;I refused my heart no pleasure.
My heart took delight in all my work,
and this was the reward for all my labor.

11 Yet when I surveyed all that my hands had doneand what I had toiled to achieve,
everything was meaningless, a chasing after the wind;
nothing was gained under the sun.

Then to add to this, the writer continues in verse 26 with the following:

26 To the man who pleases him, God gives wisdom, knowledge and happiness, but to the sinner he gives the task of gathering and storing up wealth to hand it over to the one who pleases God. This too is meaningless, a chasing after the wind.

As I read these verses today I really sat back and reread them as I thought about the service yesterday. Some really courageous people stood up before everyone and shared the joy they have found in God, because of the Love that was shown to them.

These were people who had tried the "things of this world", and realized that they are meaningless. That it wasn't until they say back and looked at all their hands had done, did they realize what really mattered in their lives. I respect those people so much for their willingness to share from their hearts and show how our church is filled real people with real problems, and through Christ's Love anything is possible.

It is so easy for all of us to get caught up in this world. It could be money, careers, physical appearance, status in the church...and on and on. It is all meaningless.

What is really convicting is what I read in vs. 26. That for the sinners, they will gather the wealth to give to those who please the Lord. Wow! Can I be one of those who please the Lord?

There is so much stress and worry in our Country today. I had coffee with a friend tonight and we talked about the number of people we know that have had heart attacks or strokes that are related to work or financial stress. It is scary...we as a country are losing sight of what is important and we are focusing on the things that are meaningless.

One of the greatest things I have been learning through My Year Through The Bible is simply this:

Being a Christian is far more than knowing the Bible and serving at Church. Being a Christian means surrendering everything of this World, everything in our lives and giving it ALL to God so that we can serve Him completely doing the things that are pleasing to Him!

Will you join me in this step of faith and surrender to Him so that we, too, can find Joy in serving Him for His glory?

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