Consider the Work of God

Days of prosperity often cause us to be joyful.  Prosperity is not always dealing with gold, silver, precious jewels, fine homes and fine cars.  Prosperity can just as well mean, a place to live, protected from the elements; food on the table, clothes on your back, and a wonderful family who loves you; and realizing every day that God in heaven loves, and keeps you.  That is the best of prosperity.

Adversity – troubles, sorrows, pains, family troubles, health troubles, financial hardships, all of these come to us all at some point in life.  I want us to see what the wisest of men; and one the most prosperous (in material wealth) had to say about both prosperity and adversity…

“Consider the work of God: for who can make that straight, which He hath made crooked? In the day of prosperity be joyful, but in the day of adversity consider: God also hath set the one over against the other, to the end that man should find nothing after him.” Ecclesiastes 7:13-14 (KJV)

We out always see, to look at; to inspect the work of God.  In order to do so one must see the work of God.  Do you see the work of God?  First consider yourself as a work of God.  Look in the mirror.  That image you see is in the image of God.  Your body is made up of a very intricate system that works keeping these tents, moving, seeing, working, breathing, heart beating, legs moving, arms and  hands busy.  Consider.  No one can make straight what God has made crooked.  We must consider that what has been made crooked can be straightened by God Himself.

In these verses we can see that both prosperity and adversity have a place in God’s plan for humanity.  Both are a work of God.  They are opposite of one another, and so that we might not be able to know what lies ahead in our lives.  We plan, we can save money, but no one knows what is coming tomorrow.  Not even the wealthiest of us.  The wealthiest man or woman in the world could pass into eternity before the sun sets this evening.  Their wealth cannot prevent it.  The same is true with the poorest of men and women.

“Consider the work of God….”

Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on Him whom He hath sent. John 6:29

The One whom God sent is Jesus Christ His Son, God the Son, and He died on the cross, was buried, and rose again for you and me that we might have fellowship with God, the Creator of all things.

The Conclusion

This is a post I shared on our Church site in July 2015. I thought it to be appropriate for today.

Shiloah Baptist Church

Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep His commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.” Ecclesiastes 12:13-14

In reading the book of Ecclesiastes we find that the life of every individual has an introduction, a body, and a conclusion. The body of our lives includes many  plots and sub-plots, and climaxes.  Those climaxes are not the end, or conclusion of life.  They are just another peak reached, then we do something different, more, or less adventure, etc..

From seeing things as vain in life; “vanity of vanities all is vanity” were Solomon’s words as he writes of his life’s adventure.  He reaches the conclusion of the matter.

That conclusion is that only with God does life even matter.

The sole duty…

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The Sun, The Wind, and The Water

I thought some of the readers might appreciate this. It was posted on July 21, 2015. Be blessed.

Shiloah Baptist Church

“The sun also ariseth, and the sun goeth down, and hasteth to his place where he arose. The wind goeth toward the south, and turneth about unto the north; it whirleth about continually, and the wind returneth again according to his circuits. All the rivers run into the sea; yet the sea is not full; unto the place from whence the rivers come, thither they return again.” Ecclesiastes 1:5-7 (KJV)

Since the beginning of time on earth the sun has never failed to rise in the east, neither has it ever failed to set in the west.  At least that is the terms men have used for millennials of time.

I have been on this earth for a short 22,132 days; and everyday the sun has risen and set.  I  have missed a few of those; at least in seeing them.  Some days have been clouded over, but I have…

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Wisdom Speaks -Christmas Day One Hundred Sixty and Five

“A serpent may bite when it is not charmed;
The babbler is no different.
The words of a wise man’s mouth are gracious,
But the lips of a fool shall swallow him up;
The words of his mouth begin with foolishness,
And the end of his talk is raving madness.
A fool also multiplies words.
No man knows what is to be;
Who can tell him what will be after him?
The labor of fools wearies them,
For they do not even know how to go to the city!” Ecclesiastes 10:11-15 (NKJV)

Seeing how one’s speech reflects the heart (Matthew 12:34; Luke 6:45) of that person…

What do I want for Christmas?

I want the words of wisdom from God to proceed from my lips and my mouth; and to use words for the honor and glory of God my Savior.

Wisdom Speaks – Christmas Day One Hundred Sixty and Six

“Do not be rash with your mouth,
And let not your heart utter anything hastily before God.
For God is in heaven, and you on earth;
Therefore let your words be few.
For a dream comes through much activity,
And a fool’s voice is known by his many words.” Ecclesiastes 5:2-3 (NKJV)

What do I want for Christmas?

I want to be a Christian man of few words, but when I do speak to speak greatly of my God and Savior Jesus Christ of heaven and His riches; and the glories of heaven for all who will come to Him.

The Conclusion of the Matter

“Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep His commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.” Ecclesiastes 12:13-14

In reading the book of Ecclesiastes we find that the life of every individual has an introduction, a body, and a conclusion. The body of our lives includes many plots and sub-plots, and climaxes. Those climaxes are not the end, or conclusion of life. They are just another peak reached, then we do something different, more, or less adventure, etc..

From seeing things as vain in life; “vanity of vanities all is vanity” were Solomon’s words as he writes of his life’s adventure. He reaches the conclusion of the matter.

That conclusion is that only with God does life even matter.

The sole duty of man is not to live for oneself, but for God, and to glorify Him; to enjoy Him forever. He alone has made that possible.

We must remember that there is nothing hidden from God. In our era of time there are so many frightened that the government(s) of men have so much observation of our personal lives by means of video, video cameras, and satellite and by our computers. I think of that this way; I already have Someone who sees all that I do. He knows every thought I think. He sees everything I do. There is nothing that I do, no secret thing, that gets past Him; He is God. What do I have to fear from a government that is run amuck from God.

Jesus said,

“For there is nothing hid, which shall not be manifested; neither was any thing kept secret, but that it should come abroad.” Mark 4:22

We can be certain that nothing we do gets around God. We can also be certain that there is nothing that happens which surprises Him. The conclusion of the matter of life is found in knowing God and being known by Him.

When we have both, then we are assured of an eternal home with Him. That is made possible through the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ God’s only begotten Son.

Christians and the Authorities

“If the spirit of the ruler rise up against thee, leave not thy place; for yielding pacifieth great offences.” Ecclesiastes 10:4 (KJV)

It has become quite apparent to me that many in the world; and especially in the U. S. of A. have problems dealing with people who have authority over us. I will not mention any particular cases; but if you see any news broadcast you know what I am writing about.

Children having problems with their parents, because they refuse to submit to their authority. Maybe it is the parent who should submit to the child. NOT!

We live in a world where there are laws; and there are authorities of those laws. If we are a Christian our first submission is to God, His Son, His Spirit and His Word. If we are submissive to Him we will have no problem “Yielding” to the authorities He has placed over us (Romans 13:1-7).

Whether it is to a king, president, prime minister, or a despot; if that is who is our ruler, then we are to yield to his rule; as far as he has submitted and yielded to God’s rule, and law. A police officer is a ruler in your town or city. If you get pulled over, and he/she tells you to spit; then spit. If he/she ask you to get out of the car, then carefully get out of the car. You yielding to her/him will pacify any anger that may have been generated earlier (Proverbs 25:15).

Our ultimate Authority is the Creator of the Universe. Yield to Him. Yield to the death, the burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ His only begotten Son. When we yield to Him we will yield to the authorities He has placed over us.

My Foot, My Mouth, and My Sacrifice

“Keep thy foot when thou goest to the house of God, and be more ready to hear, than to give the sacrifice of fools: for they consider not that they do evil. Be not rash with thy mouth, and let not thine heart be hasty to utter any thing before God: for God is in heaven, and thou upon earth: therefore let thy words be few.” Ecclesiastes 5:1-2 (KJV)

Our feet are the means of our transportation. With them we walk about our homes. We walk to our automobiles. Some people who live near their place of employment walk to work, and we need feet to do such a thing, and such things. It is a good thing to have feet.

However, we must watch where we place them in order to walk safely, soundly, and securely. The thing is true in God things as well. As a matter of fact; for the Christian everything we do ought to be done with the thought of “Will this glorify the Lord?” and if it does not; it is not worth doing. Watch your feet when you go to the house of God. Be careful where you step, so that you do not harm your testimony; and so that you do not profane the name of our God.

Saul, the first king of Israel did not keep his foot. He boasted of his faith when he offered a sacrifice in disobedience to Samuel (1 Samuel 15 note verse 22). Sacrifice without obedience is blasphemy, and is sin. God has no pleasure in those who do all the right things for the wrong reasons.

The mouth is a thing often affected by the way the feet move, and where they go. To go to the house of God we should be silent when we are being taught, except in participating in discussion of the lesson, and on track.

God is not well pleased by sacrifices done in the wrong motive, nor words spoken that are contrary to one’s life (Isaiah 1:10-15). Any words we speak in the place of worship should be toward God; admiring, adoring, and worshipping Him. Otherwise they should be few.

As a Christian we need to realize that our bodies are the temple of the Lord (1 Corinthians 6:19-20); therefore we are to walk with Him wherever we go; whatever we do; to glorify Him; and

“Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.” Hebrews 10:25

We all need the fellowship of others; to encourage others in the faith; and for ourselves to hear from others and be encouraged, and strengthened in the faith.

Sunrises and Sunsets

“The sun also ariseth, and the sun goeth down, and hasteth to his place where he arose. The wind goeth toward the south, and turneth about unto the north; it whirleth about continually, and the wind returneth again according to his circuits. All the rivers run into the sea; yet the sea is not full; unto the place from whence the rivers come, thither they return again.” Ecclesiastes 1:5-7 (KJV)

Since the beginning of time on earth the sun has never failed to rise in the east, neither has it ever failed to set in the west. At least that is the terms men have used for millennials of time.

I have been on this earth for a short 22,217 days; and everyday the sun has risen and set. I have missed a few of those; at least in seeing them. Some days have been clouded over, but I have known that the sun did rise, and it did set. I love sunrises. For the past 15 years or so I have been up in the morning early enough to witness all of them. Maybe missing a few days sleeping in. Everyday the sun rises and sets it is a reminder that God’s Word is true.

Notice Solomon’s words of the wind; going south, then north, and whirling about. Wind can be ferocious and fearful. On May 22, 2011 much of the city of Joplin, Missouri was destroyed by a tornado. Our son and his wife lost their home in that storm. Thankfully they, nor their dogs had a scratch on them, even though they were in the house when the tornado hit.

Winds can be refreshing. Winds can be wild, twisting masses of terror. Winds can be a short gust which makes you wonder, “Where did that come from?”, and then nothing. Jesus said of the wind,

“The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.” John 3:8

One evening (July 20, 2015) I was mowing our front yard.  When I started the temperature was 100 degrees. I was about to take one last break from the heat; had pulled the mower into the shade on the east side of the house, when I looked and saw clouds moving in, then thunder and lightening. That is when I decided I better just go ahead and finish the mowing. I finished the mowing, got the mower into the shed, shut it off, and the rain began. Wow! Could not have planned it better myself.

The sun was shining, the wind was blowing, and the rain was pouring from the skies filled with lightening and thunder. God is so wonderful. His Son is so glorious. He is so worthy of our worship and praise.

All these things of God’s created order are reminders of God’s care. God’s care of His creation; His people, His world. Just as the order God gives this earth, and the Universe is sure; His love for you and me is sure. He loves us so much He sent His Son Jesus to die in our place for our sins.

He is sure. He is stedfast. He is faithful to do all that He has said He would do. Believe Him.  Trust Him.

Prolonged Days???

“Though a sinner do evil an hundred times, and his days be prolonged, yet surely I know that it shall be well with them that fear God, which fear before Him: but it shall not be well with the wicked, neither shall he prolong his days,which are as a shadow; because he feareth not before God.” Ecclesiastes 8:12-13 (KJV)

Some may consider it a sad thing for a preacher of God’s Word to say what I am about to say, but I am telling you how I have felt about the book of Ecclesiastes for many years.  I have found it troubling, troublesome, awkward, hard to understand, even confusing at times.  I have always understood that the final verses of it gives us its best understanding.

In the past few days Ecclesiastes has been a part of my daily reading.  I must say that the LORD has spoken to me more clearly through the words of Solomon in this past week, in Ecclesiastes than all the other times I have read it.

Solomon was considered to be the wisest of men in his time, in the days following; is still the wisest of men; except of course, the Lord Jesus Christ.  Looking at the verses above he sure had that right.

Those words are an encouragement to all who are righteous that just because evil men or women seem to prosper, and live long lives doing it does not mean they are blessed.  There are righteous people who are not prosperous, and who do not have prolonged days on the earth; however; they will live forever in the presence of holy GOD, and will dwell in His presence forever.

What makes a man or woman righteous?  Scripture tells us

“There is none righteous, no, not one: there is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.”  Romans 3:10-11

Righteousness is a gift of God come by God’s grace.  The righteous are those who “fear God”.  We are also told by Scripture…

“For He hath made Him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.”  1 Corinthians 5:21

We are all sinners without hope, and God sent His only begotten Son [Jesus] to pay our sin debt.  Jesus Christ the Son of God and God the Son became our sin, took the wrath of God upon HImself – upon the cross of Calvary – suffering our shame, our guilt, our judgment, and put away our sin forever.  He was buried taking our sin away.  He bodily arose showing, declaring that death’s victory was no more.

Solomon was a very wise man.  Righteous people need not fear what lies ahead, or question why the evil men prosper.  Not all evil men or women prosper.  All prosper best when we come to Jesus Christ through His cross.

 

Important Things In Life

“I made me great works; I builded me houses; I planted me vineyards: I made me gardens and orchards, and I planted trees in them of all kind of fruits: I made me pools of water, to water therewith the wood that bringeth forth trees: I got me servants and maidens, and had servants born in my house; also I had great possessions of great and small cattle above all that were in Jerusalem before me: I gathered me also silver and gold, and the peculiar treasure of kings and of the provinces: I gat me men singers and women singers, and the delights of the sons of men, as musical instruments, and that of all sorts. So I was great, and increased more than all that were before me in Jerusalem: also my wisdom remained with me. And whatsoever mine eyes desired I kept not from them, I withheld not my heart from any joy; for my heart rejoiced in all my labour: and this was my portion of all my labour. Then I looked on all the works that my hands had wrought, and on the labour that I had laboured to do: and, behold, all was vanity and vexation of spirit, and there was no profit under the sun.” Ecclesiastes 2:4-11 (KJV)

Just a quick commentary here.

Solomon, considered to be the wisest of men of the earth.  Called the wisest of men by God’s own word found out what was really important.  He had great wealth.  His worth was most likely beyond that of Gates or the Waltons.  However, he looked for the meaning to life in things, and found only vanity and vexation of spirit (emptiness).

When we go through life looking for its meaning and purpose through getting knowledge, wisdom or things; when our lives draw near their end we will still be searching and empty.  There is only fulfillment in life when we realize that it is found in the life, death, burial and bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ.  When we see Him as the Son of God, and God the Son sent to be the payment for our own sins, and the sins of the world, then, will there be fulfillment, peace, and joy.  With that comes eternal life.

Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will find your life, and the IMPORTANT THINGS IN LIFE.

Through the Bible in a Year – 090113

A Token of God’s Righteous Judgment
2 Thessalonians 1:3-10

1.  THANKFULNESS FOR THE WORK OF OTHERS (v. 3).

2.  A GROWING FAITH (v. 3).

3.  PATIENT FAITH IN PERSECUTION AND TRIALS (vv. 4-5).

4.  THE VINDICATION OF THE RIGHTEOUS (vv. 6-10).

-Tim A. Blankenship

Day 48 – Trouble with Life

Who does not have troubles in life and with life.  It begins with questions.  Questions like; “Where did I come from?”;  “Why am I here?”;  “What is my purpose in living?”  There is only one place we can find the answer for those questions and that is from our Creator.

I cannot tell you the answer to those questions you will need to find them for yourself.  You might even have some of the same thoughts as Solomon in Ecclesiastes.  My reading this morning was the final three chapters of the Proverbs 29- 31, and all the chapters of Ecclesiastes.  I do not know about you, but reading Ecclesiastes can be very discouraging.  At least, up until you get to the final verses.

If you have read Ecclesiastes, and think you have the problem of life solved, then let me say this as kindly as possible –  That is the thought of a fool.

Solomon, the wisest of men who ever walked on earth never solved the problem of life, and its troubles.  I know that I cannot; and I am not going to spend a lot of time with this book trying to explain what Solomon means when he tells us “Vanity of vanities; all is vanity”.  I know vanity means “vapor”, or “breath”, and comes down to meaning, “Meaningless”.  You would not think that you would hear that coming from the mouth of a wise man, but it does.

Let me give you a word of warning.  Do not build a doctrine or belief from this book.  It raises far more questions than it substantiates; with the exception of its conclusion.

Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep His commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.   For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.”  Ecclesiastes 12:13-14 (KJV)

The answers to life’s troubles, and questions are for you to find on your own, but let me give you a heads up.  For me and all who have eternal life, life begins with God.  You came from the mind and heart of God.  We are here to glorify God, to be His lightbearer in a dark world.  Our purpose is to love God and enjoy Him forever.

You will find the answers to these questions when you believe God, believe and trust His word and work through Christ Jesus death, burial and bodily resurrection; and submit to Him, and walk with/in Him.  Walking with and in God makes the problems of life more sensible, and bearable.

-Tim A. Blankenship

Just A Thought 03/23/09

In these times of economic hard times, or in any period of despair, it does us good to consider this…

“In the day of prosperity be joyful, but in the day of adversity consider: God also hath set the one over against the other, to the end that man should find nothing after him.” Ecclesiastes 7:14 (KJV)

And, we do not know what tomorrow may bring, but “We do know Who holds tomorrow”.

-Tim A. Blankenship