Do you get discouraged with everything going on in the world? How do you not feel like giving up? Tune in to hear what may be a friendly reminder of our purpose in the midst of the madness.
Category Archives: Sin
In the Midst of the Madness Podcast Episode
Filed under Christianity, Encouragement, God, Mistakes, podcast, Relationships, Sin, Wrong
When Job prayed for his friends, the Lord restored his fortunes. In fact, the Lord gave him twice as much as before! – Job 42:10 NLT
Do you know the story of Job? Please read it. In the meantime, a quick synopsis is this, and trust me, I’m not really doing it justice by summarizing it. God allows the devil to ruin Job’s life. Job is faithful to God, but eventually, he cracks and questions what’s happening.
He has a wife that tells him to curse God and die, and friends who pretty much say he must’ve sinned in some way and God is punishing him for it. Suffice it to say, his support system is lacking. But today, I read the verse above and felt something say, slow down when reading it.
So the Lord is angry with Job’s friends because of how they misspoke about Him. He tells them to make a sacrifice to Him and have Job pray for them. Job! The friend that they discouraged as he was facing his trials.
Can you imagine how Job felt? He probably didn’t want to pray for them. They’d accused him of sin and, most importantly, didn’t speak truthfully about God. If he was like me, he probably thought to himself, “All I wanted was for them to pray for me to help me overcome this, and they didn’t. Now I’m supposed to pray for them! I’m supposed to ask God to forgive them?! This will be tough.”
But look what happened after he did. It says the Lord restored his fortunes. He had twice as much as he did before he lost everything! Now, might God have been willing to restore Job’s fortunes either way? I don’t know. Was his restoration contingent upon his prayer for his friends? I really don’t know. I do think it’s interesting that it says that after he prayed for them, his fortunes were restored. I think this is here for many reasons, and I’m sure in due time, God will reveal more of them to me.
Today, I think this verse is here for us to do. I’m not saying God is going to bless you just because you prayed for a friend or enemy today. I certainly believe it won’t be a bad thing if you do. I think this verse is here for us to try and see what happens.
Pray for someone today, not simply to have your breakthrough. Pray for someone to help them see how to restore their relationship with God! You will likely be blessed in the process, but don’t do it for you. Do it to point someone to God and enjoy the results of that!
Filed under Christianity, Encouragement, God, Sin, Wrong
Ecclesiastes 2 – Futility of Work
I came to hate all my hard work here on earth, for I must leave to others everything I have earned. And who can tell whether my successors will be wise or foolish? Yet they will control everything I have gained by my skill and hard work under the sun. How meaningless! So I gave up in despair, questioning the value of all my hard work in this world. – Ecclesiastes 2:18-20 NLT
The Teacher has sought solace in work. Now, let’s be clear about this, work is a good thing. Work is a holy thing because God did it. This book is not telling you that work is bad because it’s not. What is bad is finding your life’s purpose only in work.
The Teacher has worked hard. He’s trying to create meaning and purpose in life from work alone, and now that he’s had his work accomplishments, he’s reflecting on how meaningless they are. After all his hard work, one day, he will die. After he’s dead, someone else will take over what he’s left behind. And the same is true for us.
One day, we will die. Perhaps we’ll leave a company or organization behind. Maybe, like me, you’ll leave a classroom behind. And we don’t know if our successors will be wise enough to manage the work or foolish enough to banish working and responsibility. When work is your only purpose, that is a scary thought. When you work out of your purpose, that is a freeing thought.
If your only purpose is to work, then there is nothing to leave behind and certainly nothing you can take with you. But if you find purpose in your work, you can begin to leave a legacy behind.
Why was work meaningless? Because work by itself can’t give you God’s eternal purpose for you.
Filed under Encouragement, God, Mistakes, Sin, Wrong
Crown or Cancer Podcast
A worthy wife is a crown for her husband,
but a disgraceful woman is like cancer in his bones. – Proverbs 12:4
Am I a crown or a cancer to my husband? Crown or cancer to those around me? Am I a healthy thing or an illness?
Filed under Christianity, Encouragement, God, Mistakes, podcast, Relationships, Sin, Thanksgiving, Wrong
Anything I wanted, I would take. I denied myself no pleasure. I even found great pleasure in hard work, a reward for all my labors. But as I looked at everything I had worked so hard to accomplish, it was all so meaningless—like chasing the wind. There was nothing really worthwhile anywhere.
Ecclesiastes 2:10-11 NLT
Solomon is essentially saying that he enjoyed life. He had everything the world says we should want. He had servants, gardens, food, wine, resources, concubines, and wives. He denied himself no thing that we would deem pleasurable.
He even found pleasure in work, maybe even purpose in it (we’ll talk about work later). In other words, whatever he wanted, he had. Whatever he thought would make him happy, he had. No thing was off limits. Yet, in the end, he still had the same conclusion that he began with. It was all like chasing the wind.
It all brought momentary pleasure but no eternal value. It still left him wanting. So if pleasure didn’t bring a life purpose, he thought work might. Might it?
Filed under Christianity, Encouragement, Mistakes, Relationships, Sin, Thanksgiving, Wrong
These are the words of the Teacher, King David’s son, who ruled in Jerusalem. “Everything is meaningless,” says the Teacher, “completely meaningless!”
Ecclesiastes 1:1-2 NLT
So, as you can see, we’re off to a great start. 🙂 It’s likely that this is written by Solomon, the wisest man to ever live. He’s coming out of the gate with this statement.
Everything is meaningless. It is completely meaningless. In other words, there’s no purpose to anything, and there’s no purpose in anything. Ouch!
I love that this is in the Bible. Not because i love or feed off of negativity. It’s quite the opposite of that idea. I love it because it’s so real and raw. Sometimes, this is genuinely how we feel. Sometimes, I feel like asking, what’s the point? This week, I’ve felt that way. Now, I can’t wallow in this feeling, but I need to address that it is a very real feeling.
Ecclesiastes doesn’t paint a picture of a perfect life. It doesn’t pretend that everything is always all good. People aren’t positive all the time or even most of the time. Materials don’t make peace and joy. That’s the hard truth we read in this book, and the beauty is that as we journey through it, we’ll discover what really makes peace and joy.
Filed under Christianity, Encouragement, God, Mistakes, Relationships, Sin, Thanksgiving
Introduction to Ecclesiastes
I really enjoy the Book of Ecclesiastes. I forget how much I enjoy it until I start reading it. It’s one of the more relatable books to me. Why? Because if we’re honest, sometimes we’re just not feeling it.
I would say, it’s certainly not ironic, but this week I’ve not been feeling it. Not feeling like working and not feeling like making the extra effort. Yet, I’ve got to do it. I’ve got to work. I’ve got to try. But I don’t feel like it…What’s the point?
Do you ever feel that way? Like there’s no point to your routine. Work, maybe play, and back at it all over again. This never-ending cycle of the mundane routine feels draining, doesn’t it?
If you relate to any of that, then you can understand why Ecclesiastes resonates. The Teacher, in the Book of Ecclesiastes is battling the question of life that has carried throughout centuries. What’s the point?
Let’s journey through Ecclesiastes for the answer.
Filed under Christianity, Encouragement, God, Relationships, Sin, Thanksgiving, Wrong
Colossians 3:7 You used to do these things when your life was still part of this world.
Before you get on your high horse remember, you once walked in these things too. You’ve got to love Paul, because his writing keeps you humble or should keep you humble.
He’s saying in prior verses before this one that we should put to death whatever in us is worldly, because God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient—those who are practicing these ungodly things. However, before you point your finger at how bad off someone else is, remember you once walked in these things too. Not only that, but you walked in these things when you were living in them. In other words, you didn’t just dabble here and there, you were in it.
Colossians 3:8 But now is the time to get rid of anger, rage, malicious behavior, slander, and dirty language.
Now you must put away those worldly desires and ways of life. It won’t be easy because we’re so used to being surrounded by these things. Yet, we can be encouraged. If Paul is telling us to put them away, that’s because they can be put away. But how? The Power of the Holy Spirit will enable you to put away worldly desires and replace them with godly desires. It will take some work. It will take saying no to familiar things. It will require discomfort. But it can be done and it will be worth it.
Filed under Christianity, Encouragement, God, Mistakes, Relationships, Sin, Thanksgiving, Wrong
Right or Righteous Podcast Episode
Do you want to be right or righteous?
Filed under Christianity, Encouragement, God, Mistakes, podcast, Sin, Thanksgiving, Wrong
So put to death the sinful, earthly things lurking within you. Have nothing to do with sexual immorality, impurity, lust, and evil desires. Don’t be greedy, for a greedy person is an idolater, worshiping the things of this world. – Colossians 3:5 NLT
Because of these sins, the anger of God is coming. – Colossians 3:6 NLT
Why these sins in particular? I can’t say I know the answer to this. So I’ll simply share thoughts.
1) It could be that these were very specific struggles for the church in Colossae. Remember, Christianity isn’t something people have grown up with at this time, so there has been a lot of dabbling with other religions and beliefs.
2) Scripture says no sin so clearly affects the body like sexual sin. “Run from sexual sin! No other sin so clearly affects the body as this one does. For sexual immorality is a sin against your own body (1 Corinthians 6:18 NLT).” So, the importance of God’s anger due to these sins can’t be stressed enough.
3) If greed can lead to idolatry, then it’s leading people away from God. Greed won’t lead people to serve but to be served. It won’t lead to generosity but to stinginess. And if it’s that easy to idolize materials, how much easier will it become to idolize one’s self?
All in all, I’d say any of the above is a start for why these sins can infer God’s anger. Let’s be clear, God hates all sin. Sin places a barrier between us and Him. God does not want a barrier between us, that’s why He sent Jesus. God knows the full effect of sin, and in His love, He wants to save us from its destructive patterns. The question is, do we want to be saved?
Filed under Christianity, Encouragement, God, Mistakes, Relationships, Sin, Wrong