Inspired by Jesus. From a Christian. For the Christian and anyone else who bothers to listen.

Ecclesiastes 7 May 10, 2013

Filed under: Let's Get Biblical! — christical @ 9:41 am
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Happy Friday, everyone! As the week culminates in the events of today, we can see how God has worked in us this week to show love to others.

I’m surprised I haven’t touched this series in a while. Today’s chapter 7 in Ecclesiastes.

A good name is better than a good ointment,
And the day of one’s death is better than the day of one’s birth. Your reputation serves you better because it lasts, unlike a cut on your skin.
It is better to go to a house of mourning
Than to go to a house of feasting,
Because that is the end of every man,
And the living takes it to heart. If you feast, you become drunk and don’t learn anything from the experience that will help your faith. Sometimes it’s helpful to remember why you need Jesus.
Sorrow is better than laughter,
For when a face is sad a heart may be happy.
The mind of the wise is in the house of mourning,
While the mind of fools is in the house of pleasure. If you don’t live for the party, then you’ll live more fully.
It is better to listen to the rebuke of a wise man
Than for one to listen to the song of fools. Again, by hearing the serious side of things, you’ll become more spiritually mature.
For as the crackling of thorn bushes under a pot,
So is the laughter of the fool;
And this too is futility.
For oppression makes a wise man mad,
And a bribe corrupts the heart.
The end of a matter is better than its beginning;
Patience of spirit is better than haughtiness of spirit.
Do not be eager in your heart to be angry,
For anger resides in the bosom of fools.
Do not say, “Why is it that the former days were better than these?”
For it is not from wisdom that you ask about this. Today is a gift. Have no anxiety about anything that will come today, but release your worries to God.
Wisdom along with an inheritance is good
And an advantage to those who see the sun.
For wisdom is protection just as money is protection,
But the advantage of knowledge is that wisdom preserves the lives of its possessors. Money can be a danger; wisdom is a safeguard because it helps you stay safe in life.
Consider the work of God,
For who is able to straighten what He has bent?
In the day of prosperity be happy,
But in the day of adversity consider—
God has made the one as well as the other
So that man will not discover anything that will be after him. God causes all things to work together for good. Our sin blinds us so that we do not know everything about God, but one thing we do know is that He is good.

I have seen everything during my lifetime of futility; there is a righteous man who perishes in his righteousness and there is a wicked man who prolongs his life in his wickedness. Do not be excessively righteous and do not be overly wise. Why should you ruin yourself? Do not be excessively wicked and do not be a fool. Why should you die before your time? It is good that you grasp one thing and also not let go of the other; for the one who fears God comes forth with both of them. Wisdom brings sorrow. Unfortunately, it can drive people to search frantically for meaning, which is what brought Solomon’s downfall. At the same time, some wisdom is good. If you live in wickedness (or without God), then you will die, and there will be no heavenly reward.

Wisdom strengthens a wise man more than ten rulers who are in a city. Indeed, there is not a righteous man on earth who continually does good and who never sins. Also, do not take seriously all words which are spoken, so that you will not hear your servant cursing you. For you also have realized that you likewise have many times cursed others. There is no righteous man who never sins. Jesus tells us that we cannot see clearly because of the plank in our eye. I believe that this passage serves to keep the righteous humble. Nobody’s perfect–both the writer and God realize this. I’m glad we have salvation then!

I tested all this with wisdom, and I said, “I will be wise,” but it was far from me. What has been is remote and exceedingly mysterious. Who can discover it? I directed my mind to know, to investigate and to seek wisdom and an explanation, and to know the evil of folly and the foolishness of madness. And I discovered more bitter than death the woman whose heart is snares and nets, whose hands are chains. One who is pleasing to God will escape from her, but the sinner will be captured by her. The writer wanted to know the depths of the world. He learned that it is better to leave the body behind on earth than to leave the soul behind in sin. By living for God, we can avoid being permanently trapped in our sin.

“Behold, I have discovered this,” says the Preacher, “adding one thing to another to find an explanation, which I am still seeking but have not found. I have found one man among a thousand, but I have not found a woman among all these. Behold, I have found only this, that God made men upright, but they have sought out many devices.” This may point to the Messiah. He knows of one perfect man. The part about not finding a righteous woman may be in reference to his numerous wives and concubines (that none of them are role models of godly women).



Topic Inspiration July 9, 2012

Filed under: Applied Faith,Christian Culture — christical @ 12:49 pm
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Mood: Mind-boggled. o_O

Yesterday, I was having a conversation with a few friends. At one point the four of us in conversation were discussing superpowers and someone said something along the lines of: “If I had the power to give off heat, I could be Solar Energy Man and provide a great soure of renewable energy. We could solve the energy issues!”

If you don’t know me personally, then I should tell you that I tend to fall into a state of deep thought easily, and that I also tend to talk about Point A and then Point M without explaining points B-L. For those of you who do know me, then you’ll know that’s is believable that I said: “But every human system is so fallible. Sure, we find a replacement for the institution, but then that system stops and everything just comes crashing down. Humanity, just imperfect.”

Two responses came from this. The first was, “Dude, are you taking philosophy classes or something?” The second one was “True. But I’m not too sure what that has to do with it (in my opinion, it has a lot to do with everything, but the ability to understand my thoughts is pretty much an esoteric skill, seeing that I don’t even know how to describe my personality ;-p).”
This made two thoughts run through my head:

      1. Did I just make the conversation all serious and holy? Wow. Jesus Juke.
      2. I wonder why people can be so strong, but so helpless at the same time. Why do these breakdowns in the system keep happening in the world?

    The above conversation all happened at church, so I had a few different options: start a conversation with the pastor about it, turn the current conversation the state of humanity, or try to figure out how to write a blog post about it.

    We all know what that means. To the Bible!

    There are really two books that will help us the most here: Proverbs and Ecclesiastes.

    Proverbs goes off a lot of times about wisdom and what it can accomplish. Imagine the lectures you were given about responsibility when you were younger. Ecclesiastes, on the other hand, takes on a darker feeling, with streaks of confusion and anger.

    For example: eyes and ears. People want to keep these as optimal as possible. But sometimes, pursuit of stimulation is so wearisome!

    1. Proverbial: Ears that hear and eyes that see—the Lord has made them both. (Proverbs 20:12 NIV84)
    2. Ecclesiastical: All things are wearisome, more than one can say. The eye never has enough of seeing, nor the ear its fill of hearing. (Ecclesiastes 1:8 NIV84)

    Do you see what I’m getting at here? I’ll post some more of these tomorrow. For now, I need to study up on my books of wisdom, so I can provide the best possible teaching experience. 😉

    —The Jesus Freak Girl


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