Today: Psalms 95; 1 Corinthians 7:36-40; 1 Corinthians 8; Ecclesiastes 7 & 8; Ecclesiastes 9:1-12
“For the LORD is the great God, the great King above all gods. In His hand are the depths of the earth, and the mountain peaks belong to Him. The sea is His, for He made it, and His hands formed the dry land.” Psalm 95:3-6
Loving and worshiping God is the natural state of our souls. He is our Abba Father. He created us and gave us life. We belong to Him. Our SOUL understands this. Our soul longs to love Him in return like a child loves his mother.
The problem is that our souls, for the time being, reside within our cursed flesh bodies. And our cursed flesh brains are influenced by the current (but temporary) lord of this earth, Satan.
Whatever we feed ourselves determines which part of us, our souls or our cursed flesh bodies, will control us.
If we feed our flesh — through addictions, greed, pride, hedonism, pornography — then our flesh will rule over us. These are the most wretched people alive, chasing after rotting things. On some level, deep down inside, they must realize that everything they are striving for is only temporary. That is why such people are so often depressed, angry, and bitter.
We are much better off if we feed our souls — through meditation, prayer, silence, nature, and stillness. People who nurture their souls rather than their flesh tend to be so much happier, more at peace… even those people who don’t follow Jesus Christ, but focus on the health of their souls seem so much better off than the rest of us running around gorging our flesh.
But the BEST of all, are those of us who feed our souls through our relationship with Jesus Christ. We have a wonderful guide in His Holy Word that no one else has. We have the Holy Spirit, God Himself, living within us, communing directly with our souls. We are the most blessed humans ever to walk the earth!
“Come let us sing for joy to the LORD; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come before Him with thanksgiving and extol him with music and song.” Psalm 95:1-2
1 Corinthians 8
Paul’s admonitions in 1 Corinthians cover a variety of topics: marriage, divorce, food… But everything boils down to ONE thing: LOVE. Loving each other with the love of Christ, submitting to one another in love, is ideal.
Paul makes it clear that the goal is not for us to be carbon copies of each other. For some the best option is to marry. For others it is to remain single. Some people are free to eat meat sacrificed to idols. Others, because of their convictions should abstain.
There is no one-size-fits-all Christianity. Examine creation and it is glaringly obvious that God loves variety. He makes each one of us unique. He has customized plans for each one of us. Some people find that disturbing. It’s too ambiguous. They want clear, well defined guidelines (they are the ones clamoring for a king, begging for shutdowns and mandates).
But that’s not how God operates. He didn’t give us a one-size-fits-all system. He gave us Himself and His one Son, Jesus Christ. But beyond that… it is up to each one of us to work out our salvation… to seek a personal relationship with God ourselves, not just follow some preacher or other personality. So we are going to be different from each other. And that can cause problems. It can make some people feel threatened if someone practices freedoms that they do not agree with. Hence Paul’s advice to love and submit to one another. It works great in theory! But we aren’t usually very good at it!
All of Solomon’s searching into the meaning of life in Ecclesiastes can be summarized into two words: EVERYBODY DIES.
Sometimes the wicked seem to prosper and sometimes the righteous suffer. Sometimes it’s the other way around. But the one thing we ALL have in common is that every single one of us is going to die some day. It is the fate of every human being born on this planet until Jesus Christ comes again.
Solomon was perhaps one of the wisest kings who ever lived. He devoted his entire life to learning, studying life, observing the world, and gaining wisdom. But in the end, he left this earth empty, spiritually desolate (as we see in Ecclesiastes), and dejected. All the wisdom in the world means nothing without a personal relationship with God.
I pray for wisdom every day and it is a great treasure. But one thing is greater still, and that is GOD. I would gladly give up all wisdom to be in the presence of Jesus.
Consider the final days of Solomon’s father, David, a man after God’s own heart. Compare the Psalms of David to Ecclesiastes. David’s final song in 2 Samuel 23:1-7 tells a very different story.
“Is my house not indeed so with God?
For He has made an everlasting covenant with me,
Properly ordered in all things, and secured;
For will He not indeed make
All my salvation and all my delight grow?”
2 Samuel 23:8
Notice the difference? Which life do you chase after? Which ending would you prefer? The great riches, power and wisdom of Solomon? Or the heart of David, in love with God to the very last.
I CHOOSE B! Lord, give me the heart of David!