Thursday, June 28, 2007

Good grief!

Grand Sweep Daily Reading: Ecclesiastes 7, 8, 9

Ecclesiastes 7:3-6 (NIV)

3 Sorrow is better than laughter, because a sad face is good for the heart. 4 The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning, but the heart of fools is in the house of pleasure. 5 It is better to heed a wise man’s rebuke than to listen to the song of fools. 6 Like the crackling of thorns under the pot, so is the laughter of fools. This too is meaningless.

Matthew 3:1-2 (NIV)

1 In those days John the Baptist came, preaching in the Desert of Judea 2 and saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near.”

Luke 15:8-10 (NIV)

8 [Jesus said] “Or suppose a woman has ten silver coins and loses one. Does she not light a lamp, sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it? 9 And when she finds it, she calls her friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost coin.’ 10 In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”

Good morning!

Hanging out in the House of pleasure is Hazardous to your Health! Oh, good grief! This is how the Lord speaks to me at 4am. Do you know what I’m talking about? Can you relate? Would somebody please shout Amen!

Some thought Solomon was having a pity party. Take a closer look at the words of a wonderful wise man. The King had discovered a truth that seems to elude most of us. He sees value in taking time to mourn the sins in our life. Now why would anyone want to do that?

We seem to enjoy talking about the God of love and forgiveness and grace and mercy. And He is all of those things. But God is also a holy, perfect God; He is righteous and He expects us to obey Him. If we are really serious about being in relationship with God, we have to get serious about the sins that separate us from Him. What things do you do that separate you from the Lord? For myself, I’ve learned through many, many mistakes, that whenever I put my own desires in front of the Lord, I’m committing sin. It can be like choosing to lie, steal, covet, hate, gossip, lust, and even ignore His still, small voice. I separate myself from Him when I choose not to make time for Him to read and pray first thing in the morning or late at night before I fall asleep. When I fail to help my neighbor, I’m ignoring the Lord’s call on my life. If I spend $30 on one nice meal for myself instead of offering it up to a food bank that could feed a family of five, am I listening to my belly rumbling, or the spirit of the Lord? If we take a closer look at how we spend each day, on a scale of one to ten, are we separating ourselves more than we are bonding with the Lord of our heart song?

Solomon says that it is better to heed a wise man’s rebuke than to sing the song of fools. I confess I’ve been known to sing a few bars of that deadly melody, and learned from experience that this King was right. It is far easier to glory in a God of love than be willing to see the coming judgment for what it truly is. We would rather live in harmony than ruffle another person’s feathers. Just live and let live. Let’s all get along and sweep the things that separate us from the Lord underneath the carpet. But what if that person was headed straight to hell in a hand basket and the Lord was depending upon you to say something that could change the direction of their life forever? Would you be brave enough to speak up? What if that person is in your family? What if they are your co-workers, or friends from school? What if Jesus was counting on you today to make an eternal difference in the life of someone else? How far are you willing to reach the world with the saving Gospel message of Christ?

I can tell you, had it not been for some really wonderful people who chose to put their faith on the line for me, I would not be saved today. Sometimes, we need to talk about the things that get in the way of our relationship with God. We need to own our sin – see it for what it truly is. We need to confess, admit our mistakes, and give it all up to the One who can cover it with His blood, once and for all. I think Solomon knew there was a better day coming, but at this particular moment in his life, all he could do was cry out, “This too is meaningless.”

Living a life separated from God is meaningless. Knowing Jesus Christ as your personal Savior restores meaning to a lifeless form. If you find yourself basking in the house of pleasure, yet find yourself dissatisfied and unhappy, step out of your box and be courageous enough to take a closer look at who you are and how you are choosing to live. It is when we no longer like what we see that amazing miracles occur. Won’t you confess, repent, and believe upon the Lord Jesus Christ today? Good grief can come from the tears you cry today. Give it all up to Jesus. Hand Him your heart.

Grace and peace,

Deb Spaulding

Pray for: the ability to see your life for what it is truly is. Without Jesus, we are all lost in a meaningless existence. Cry out to Him today! He can save you. Confess your sin, tell Him you are sorry, and ask Him to come into your heart and change your life. He will do it, and that’s a promise you can count on!


© Copyright 2007, Deb Spaulding

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