Hmmm… life. There is so much to know, so much to learn, and so much to enjoy!
I am continuously pulled back to & encouraged by the words of King Solomon in Ecclesiastes – the book in which he shares what he has learned throughout his life. His words can seem discouraging at times & yet powerful & TRUE. If you ever take time to sit & read this book… I hope you sit & soak it in. By, all means, his words speak to us in a “gritty” & “blunt” way! And ‘ya know – they are inspired by GOD himself. The truths & principles found in this book are
So… I came across these words in Ecclesiastes 8… that speak so loudly as much of the world sees us as being “uptight… rule laden believers” who follow a “heavy handed GOD.” And I’m “just thinkin”… wow, they have a tainted view of who I am – who we are! Here are some words we should see & take to heart - that can make a difference in how they see us living-out this life in Christ:
“So I commend the enjoyment of life, because there is nothing better for a person under the sun than to eat & drink & be glad. Then joy will accompany them in their toil all the days of the life God has given them under the sun.”
My friends… it is true that we Christians have caused the worlds “view of us” over the years as:
- We’ve condemned the world… instead of loving them with the love of Christ
- We’ve judged the world as they live according the world, as they are in the world
- We’ve stood off on the “sidelines of life” instead of being “in this world” & yet “not of this world”
- We’ve ideologically placed ourselves at times, on a level of purity above & beyond them at times – whether we did so consciously or sub-consciously
Whew… it is encouraging to know that we serve a GOD whom through HIS grace & mercy – forgives us our sins eternally when we call upon HIM thru HIS SON JESUS! And… it is encouraging that HE made us to live on this earth, alongside those in this world, to be HIS light… HIS representatives to draw them unto HIM. And wow-o-wow! HE even wants us to understand that it’s okay to enjoy our life here, as we grow in HIM & look forward to eternity in heaven! In some ways… we’ve become a group who has lost a “pure passion” for “life” here on earth – a life that GOD has given us. And in doing so, its taken us into a realm of “rule following, confusion on what we should or shouldn’t do, & sometimes… even an heir of
‘how dare you’ towards those who’ve NOT yet found JESUS as they live out their lives in front of us.”
So, according to Scripture I attempt to offer some suggestions to living here on earth… as the “living amongst the dead” (spiritually speaking).
- Let us stop “judging” the world… & look more at our personal “life testimony” about JESUS… before this world
In the case of “lawsuits among believers”, Paul writes to the Corinthian church/believers regarding a man that chooses to remain in sin.
“I wrote to you I my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people -- not at all meaning the people of this world who are immoral, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters. In that case you would have to leave this world. But now I am writing you that you must not associate with anyone who claims to be a brother or sister but is sexually immoral or greedy, and idolater or slanderer a drunkard or swindler. Do not even eat with such people.
What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside (inside the church)? God will judge those outside. ‘Expel the wicked person from among you.’”
(1 Corinthians 5: 9-13)
- Let us do more encouraging of each other… in the ways of the LORD. May we be found loving each other as we encourage, rebuke & teach each other with the teachings & truth of HIS word
“Let us hold unswervingly to the hoe we profess, for he who promised is faithful. And et us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another – and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”
- Let us be always mindful of the FACT that without GOD’s love, grace, mercy & forgiveness… we are as wretched as any other person in this world. We’ve nothing to be boastful about in ourselves, our good works or our own “goodness”. We can only boast about GOD & our SAVIOR JESUS… & in the work HE has done for us
“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of GOD – not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to dol”
Church… may we learn to align ourselves correctly in Scripture. Let’s learn to be more diligent in living for HIM & according to HIS word… instead of concerning ourselves so much with how the world is living! Let’s focus on “spurring each other on” in this life we’ve received & are called to!
Let’s rejoice in this life… have fun in this life… & enjoy all that GOD has given us!
It’s okay to enjoy life here on earth, as we do so according to HIS leading.
We are in this world… so enjoy it!
But we are not of this world… so enjoy it per the leading of our KING & COMMANDER!
True & pure fun in this life – comes from the pure JOY we find in:
- Knowing we are HIS
- Knowing the life HE’s given us & the way HE directs us to live… brings more satisfaction in life
- Knowing that the more we live in & for HIM… we realize the truths of HIS peace in this life as well
Living spiritually alive for HIM… among the spiritually dead as we bring the aroma of real-life thru JESUS CHRIST to all we see, live alongside & minister to!