Friday, May 23, 2014

"If only I had..."

Read Ecclesiastes 5.

"If I only had .....(complete the thought)...then I would be happy."

Dreaming and doing are mostly healthy activities for the mind and emotions.  Dreams can keep us going.  Doing can provide a sense of accomplishment.  Solomon not only envisioned great things but achieved them along with enormous wealth.  So, here is his wise counsel to the rest of us.

1. Listening to God. (vv.1-2)
Worshiping God is a given in this verse.  Why do we come?  Yes, there are things to give and do in ministry, but the priority should be to hear what God has to say to us.

2. Giving to God. (vv.3-7)
When promises and/or commitments are made to the LORD, He holds us accountable to fulfill them.  How many know they should be serving God in some way?  How many have agreed that God expects them to tithe as a minimum and be generous beyond that in their giving?  How many have stood before God and witnesses to promise themselves exclusively to their spouse, regardless of circumstantial changes, until their death?

3. Living for God. (vv.8-20)
Without the LORD, people will become disillusioned with the emptiness of life.  They will dream and involve themselves with activity so they do not have to think about their hurts and the discouraging world around them.  Solomon mentioned those who are oppressed and seeking justice.  Next, he was very specific that money does not satisfy.  Then, he mentioned how a lack of generosity and the potential loss of money through bad investments makes trust in riches even less desirable as a life goal.  So, what are we to do?
-Recognize it is God who "has given wealth and possessions and power."  This is the first lesson of stewardship.
-Rejoice in what He has already provided.  This is the secret to contentment.
-Remember so there can be joy in your heart.  This is understanding that life-our time and resources here-is a gift from God.


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