Category: The Gospel and the Christian Life

Fear God, Keep His Commandments

Ecclesiastes 12:9-14 What do you want on your tombstone? It was the catchphrase of a commercial a few years back for Tombstone Pizza.  It is also a phrase that we relate to what is the way someone wants to be remembered. It signifies a message that is to be communicated long after the person is gone, a message of great importance, or in some cases, of great humor. At the end of the fascinating book of Ecclesiastes, there is an epitaph of sorts written that brings the words of the Preacher, the Qoheleth to a close. The text indicates...

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Before the Evil Days Come

Before the Evil Days Come Ecclesiastes 11:1-12:8 Ecclesiastes 11:9-12:1, “9 Rejoice, O young man, in your youth, and let your heart cheer you in the days of your youth. Walk in the ways of your heart and the sight of your eyes. But know that for all these things God will bring you into judgment. Remove vexation from your heart, and put away pain[a] from your body, for youth and the dawn of life are vanity. Remember also your Creator in the days of your youth, before the evil days come and the years draw near of which you will...

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The Need for Character in Leadership

“Woe to you, O land, when your king is a child, and your princes feast in the morning! Happy are you, O land, when your king is the son of the nobility, and your princes feast at the proper time, for strength, and not for drunkenness! Through sloth the roof sinks in, and through indolence the house leaks. Bread is made for laughter, and wine gladdens life, and money answers everything. Even in your thoughts, do not curse the king, nor in your bedroom curse the rich, for a bird of the air will carry your voice, or some...

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The Sovereign Handiwork of the Lord

“But all this I laid to heart, examining it all, how the righteous and the wise and their deeds are in the hand of God. Whether it is love or hate, man does not know; both are before him. It is the same for all, since the same event happens to the righteous and the wicked. . .” (Ecc. 9:1-2, ESV). “This, too, I carefully explored—that godly and wise men are in God’s will; no one knows whether he will favor them or not. All is chance!” (vv. 1, TLB) Everything around us in our lives is not by...

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The Cure for Our Envy

A friend sent a text to share with me about an amazing restaurant she went to. She described the wonderful meal she enjoyed and included a photo. I began to text back, “I’m so jealous!” but paused, then hit delete and changed it to “I’m so envious!” before hitting “Send.” Jealousy vs. Envy Jealousy and envy. They are two words that I’ve often used interchangeably. Whether I admired a friend’s new purchase from the mall, compared my rambunctious children to a friend’s well-behaved children, or wished my ministry was as successful as another’s, I’ve often considered my responses to be a form of jealousy. But they are not. You might think, “What does it even matter?” Let me first say that I’m not part of the police squad for how we use the English language. This isn’t just a matter of semantics. There is a subtle, yet real difference between jealousy and envy and it’s a difference that matters to us spiritually. When we understand the difference, it helps us better identify and repent of the sin in our lives. But more importantly, knowing the difference helps us understand the love of Jesus who has saved us. But first, let’s look at jealousy. In his book Respectable Sins, Jerry Bridges defines jealousy as “intolerance of rivalry” (149). A common reason for jealousy might be if someone were to try...

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