Ecclesiastes

Sunday SHMILY


Ecclesiastes 8:1-12:14 & Ephesians 1:1-2:10

“God saved you by His grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this, it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done kama so none of us can boast about it. For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things He planned for us long ago. ” Ephesians 2:8-10
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Mmmmmm…… fresh blueberries!
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Then I have to include pictures from last night’s derby!
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Hoppy the toad


“Hoppy” the toad.
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Adding some last minute touches…
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Ready to head out!
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Right before the heat, Anna just had to try those cartwheel things those other girls were doing.
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It was a quick run for us this week. He made two full track hits right off the bat. One of those hits ended shifting the gas tank forward knocking his fuel pump completely OFF! This caused fuel to begin siphoning out of the tank into the car floor! It took him a couple seconds to notice that there was anything wrong but once he did he unbuckled and jumped into the back seat where the fuel tank was. That’s when I realized something was seriously wrong. Not to mention that while he was unbuckled and in the back seat not paying attention to the arena, one of the cars that he had full tracked earlier was headed his way to full track him back!
Because God is so good and REALLY looks out for us (and I’m sure your prayers don’t hurt either) the officials noticed that something was wrong and stopped that other car in his tracks with a red flag just in time. They called the fire truck over to hose the fuel out of His car and then pushed him off the track.
So while he was the first one out and didn’t win any money or awards for the time that he was out on that track EVERY eye in that arena was on him and the 7×70 message!
It was EXCITING that was for sure!
It could have been SO MUCH WORSE than what it was and we thank God for that!
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All in all it was a good night. ๐Ÿ˜€

Categories: 365 Life, Ecclesiastes, Ephesians, Season 3 | Leave a comment

Making Room for the NEW


Ecclesiastes 2:12-7:29

“For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven.” Ecclesiastes 3:1

“So I decided there is nothing better than to enjoy food and drink and to find satisfaction in work. Then I realized that these pleasures are from the hand of God. For who can eat or enjoy anything apart from Him?” Ecclesiastes 2:24

Since starting at Dollar General three months ago life has changed dramatically. In the beginning I held on to the belief that this was going to be a short gig. Something that I would do for a couple weeks, maybe a couple months until everyone wised up and decided that maybe it wasn’t that good of an idea after all. I knew that God was using this job to humble me in ways that cleaning the toilets and scrubbing the gunk out of the bottom of the dishwasher doesn’t. And I was mad. I was mad and oh so resentful that God was making me do a job that had “nothing” to do with my calling. For three months as I’ve gotten more comfortable in my new surroundings some of the resentment and anger has slipped away, but it has left behind something I wasn’t expecting. A longing for my children that I’ve never had. I’ve never had it because I’ve always been with them. I’ve always been there to watch them and make them lunch. While they were preschool age I was in the same building with them 24 hours a day unless they were with another family member. When they started school things changed and I wasn’t with them all day long, but they were at school with their friends and learning and being kids and that was OK. Now I’M the one that’s away from them and it’s hard for me.

At the beginning of the summer I was still clinging to the hope that this working outside the home thing wouldn’t last very long and so missing them wasn’t so hard for me. But lately, since I’ve started manager training, things have gotten really real. This isn’t a short time gig. This isn’t something that I’m going to do for a few weeks and then walk away from it.

I had a text conversation with my prayer partner at the beginning of the week about how much we missed each other and spending time together. It’s been part of the price of working at DG. The 20-25 hours that I used to spend with my friends in prayer and Bible study are now being spent ministering to the customers and employees at DG. Anyway, it was that very conversation that shook something loose in me that night. It was my friend expressing the very feelings that had been plaguing me that enabled me to speak to those feelings and tell them what was going to happen. There were two revelations that stuck out to me that night as I put the dog to bed and then lay down myself.

If I never let go of the past I can’t ever fully grasp the future.

And,

This is my life.

As wonderful as that last season was, and it WAS WONDERFUL. I can’t stay there. For everything there is a season and that was LAST season. Just like last winter’s clothes, I can’t keep wearing them throughout the summer! It would be silly and really uncomfortable. At some point I have to realize that that season of my life is OVER. It happened and was wonderful and was also filled with a lot of really hard moments, like the winter snow and cold, it’s melted away. And with that the sun and warmth and fun of summer has begun. Slowly but surely, it’s happened. It came all the same. And the last thing I want to do is to go swimming at the beach in long johns and a puffy coat! I want to shed all those winter layers and let that glorious sun caress my skin. I want to feel the sand between my toes and the water splash between my feet. I want to smell the spray of a fresh breeze that can carry all my troubles and worries from last season with it.

This is a new season. It’ will contain new worries, new troubles and new hassles. But it will also hold treasures untold! Treasures that I won’t get to hold, if I keep clinging to the old worn out ones that have been so dear to me. I may not be able to see or understand all the plans that He has for me. But I can look around and see all the good He has given me in this life and know that whatever the future holds, He is the one who is holding it. And that means I can trust that it will be good for me. No matter what it is. So, I decided that there is nothing better than to enjoy food and drink and to find satisfaction in my working at Dollar General. It’s His plan for me for right now, and therefore it WILL contain pleasures and those pleasures are from the hand of God. Apart from Him I can do nothing. BUT. A part of Him I can do EVERYTHING! Including working at the one place I’ve dreaded working for the last four years. God MUST have something awesome there waiting for me and I’m not about to miss it all because I was clinging to the past! I want to grab onto this new season with both hands, grab the bull by the horns so to speak! I want to get everything out of this life that I came here to get! I want to do everything I was sent here to do and be everything that God created me to be. And if He created me to be a manager at Dollar General in Sheridan, then by golly, I’m going to be the best manager they’ve ever seen this side of the highway! I don’t want to miss a blessing because I was holding myself back from loving this next season of my life. Every season has good in it if you’re willing to see it.

Lord, please open my eyes to SEE You and my ears to HEAR You. Open my mind to KNOW You and my heart to FULLY RECEIVE Your love for me in this new season of life. Thank You for opening my hands and prying out the old in order to make room for the new! You are so good to me! Thank You Jesus!

Categories: 365 Life, Ecclesiastes, Season 3 | Leave a comment

Thereโ€™s Power in the Blood of Jesus


Deuteronomy 33:1-34:12 & Ecclesiastes 1:1-2:11

“How blessed you are, O Israel! Who else is like you, a people saved by the LORD? He is your protecting shield and your triumphant sword! Your enemies will cringe before you, and you will stomp on their backs!” Deuteronomy 33:29

My friends, I owe you a deep apology for ignoring you for the last two days! Trust me when I say that you have been on my mind the entire time. If I was struggling to keep up before Derby Season came underway, then I’m sinking in the high tide right now! And unfortunately, you were the ones to take the back seat these last two days. But fear not, though you were trailing behind me a bit, you were certainly NOT forgotten!

So, first of all, to catch you back up! Not only is it derby season, but summer tennis started this week too! ๐Ÿ˜€ Starting summer tennis meant catching back up with the coach. Coach is a pastor who leads a 24 hour prayer-line called, Fervent Prayer. He is also a night janitor for several local businesses. One night about a month ago there was a sewage leak in one of the businesses. He was taxed out with work and tennis and decided that he didn’t want to take the time to use gloves, a mask or a clean-up suit and said, “It’s just poop”. Low and behold he caught a super bug that took him three weeks of all different kinds of meds to cure. Throughout the entire process he had been keeping us updated with prayer request texts. And with every text our family would say yet another prayer for poor sick Coach. Until finally I received this text, “To all my tennis friends getting gout on the 4th was a bad idea. I have relapsed. Doc says one more week on meds sorry no tennis.”

At this my spirit rose up inside me and said, “Enough is enough!!!” I usually use the Swype feature on my phone when texting and simply swish my index finger across the screen, but this text needed to be more emphatic so I punched those letters in one by one with both thumbs the old fashioned way, “Well in Jesus’ name I rebuke that sickness! It must flee from your body and report to Jesus immediately.”

A week later I found out what the effects of that very text were. Coach was telling us about the kindness of his fellow believers and how his Methodist friends prayed for him, his Baptist friends brought him food and his Pentecostal friends cast the devil out of him. To which I raised my hand and proudly said, “That was me”! He looked at me and then explained to the others gathered what had happened when he received that text from the floor of his bathroom writhing in pain. He SAW the Spirit of Infirmity come out of him. Coach said, “You don’t normally expect to actually SEE something like that happen, but I did. He was blue and had black circles around his eyes and when he looked at me hatefully it felt like he was sucking my soul right out of me. It was definitely something I will never forget!”

Can you see why I just HAD to tell you about his story!!!???!!!

As I was preparing to write all this down for you I got a text from the Northview blog coordinator, my first blog submission was set to publish that day! And guess which one it was. Signs and Wonders! (That’s the link to the Northview version, here is the link to the original full length version too.) It was the post about how Jesus used signs and wonders to PROVE that He was, and still is, the Messiah. By following His example we too should be using signs and wonders to prove that we are His followers. He has given us His authority over the powers of this world and we’re destined to reign with Him over them.

I don’t know about you my friend, but I would LOVE to see some amazing signs and wonders from the Church in my day! Not just from the charismatic side of the Church, but from the whole CHURCH! There is POWER in the blood of Jesus. And if you’ve claimed that blood of Jesus over your life and your home then there should be some power in your life and your home! Amen? Let’s do this friends!

If you would like to pour some of that power out on yourself right now then take some time watching this video as many times as needed. This one a POWERFUL song!!!! I’ve SEEN God work wonders through it!

Categories: 365 Life, Deuteronomy, Ecclesiastes, Season 3 | Leave a comment

The Power is Out

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Isaiah 63:15-66:24
“My chosen shall long enjoy the work of their hands. They shall not labor in vain” Isaiah 65:22-23
There is so much I would love to tell you today. So much that I have prepared to tell you today, except my power just went out. And I’ve been texting with several other people from all over Sheridan and found out that it looks like the entire town of Sheridan is out of power. So who knows when I’ll be getting my power back, which means I need to keep this brief.
I’ve got to be honest, I have really been struggling today. I’m not exactly sure with what or why but I know that I’ve been struggling and it has been hard. This afternoon I have found solace in the Word of God like only the Word of God can give us solace. This verse gave me hope. I feel like I’m on the edge of something new and many changes, and changes are hard. So perhaps that is what I’ve been struggling with today. I find hope in this verse of knowing that the last 4 years of work have *not* been in vain.
Eccesiastes 3:12-13 says,ย  ” I perceived that there is nothing better for them than to be joyful and to do good as long as they live also that everyone should eat and drink and take pleasure in all his toil this is God’s gift to man.”
For the past 2 hours I have been searching the Scriptures, I have been translating from the original Greek to English and I have enjoyed every minute of it. And even if none of it ends up on the page, I know that it was all still worth it because I enjoyed it. It was time with the Lord. It was time with you, even though you didn’t know it.
I love you all so desperately, even though I’ve never seen you. Speaking the truth into your lives means everything to me. You are the work of my hands and I pray that God blesses you abundantly. You are so precious to him, you have no idea how much. He spends hours every day talking to me about how much He loves you. I pray that you can feel His love through these words, His words.
Life can get so chaotic, it can be so crazy, things just happen that you weren’t expecting, like your power goes out before you’ve ever had a chance to type 1 word for today’s post. So then you’re stuck using your phone instead because it’s the only thing that still has battery left. But where there is a will there is a way. Things may seem hopeless, but they’re not. There is always hope, because there’s always Jesus.
I love you my friends. I pray you have a blessed day in the Lord, what’s left of it anyway.

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Categories: 365 Life, Ecclesiastes, Isaiah, Writing Through the Bible in a Year | Leave a comment

Pleasurable Toil


Ecclesiastes 2:12-7:29

“What gain has the worker from his toil? I have seen the business that God has given to the children of man to be busy with. He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, he has put eternity into man’s heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end. I perceived that there is nothing better for them than to be joyful and to do good as long as they live, also that everyone should eat and drink and take pleasure in all his toil – this is God’s gift to man.” Ecclesiastes 3:9-13

This whole 13 books series is all about being the YOU that God created you to be, doing what God created you to do, saying what God created you to say. So while a song was made from Ecclesiastes 3:1-8, (not to mention my second book Dandelion Season) those aren’t the verses I’m going to focus on today.

In the post, Only You, I shared a heavy reality with you. You were made for a purpose and if you’re not living out that purpose then there’s a good chance you will be vastly disappointed on Judgment Day. Today’s reading confirms that to a greater extent for me. The phrase, “take pleasure in all his toil” is repeated three times just in today’s reading. And if I remember correctly, it’s repeated all throughout Ecclesiastes – which was written by the wisest man to ever live. So surely it’s good advice.

In addition to the awaited reward for fulfilling your purpose, there is also great wisdom in taking pleasure in your work day in and day out. God has placed something on your heart that it longs to do, what is that thing? When we delight in the LORD He gives us the desires of our hearts (Psalm 37:4). Now I’ve heard that verse taught many different ways, but for me this verse reflects another verse in Matthew. It comes at the end of a section on worry, and while I’d love to just throw you the one specific verse and move on for sake of time. Sometimes we just need to build up to something by reading it in context. This is a message we all need to hear in every season of life!

“Do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air, they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?

And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow, they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.

But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness and all these things will be added to you. Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” – Matthew 6:25-34

While Solomon is harping on, eating and drinking and taking pleasure in our work, Paul is reminding us that even those basic needs of food and drink are not provided by all our toil. They’re provided by the Lord who is our shepherd so that we shall not want. The Good Shepherd who lays down his life for his friends the sheep and leads them beside still waters. When we delight ourselves in our shepherd, He takes care of us. Not when we’re working hard, but when we’re hardly working!

“He MAKES us lie down in green pastures.” (Psalm 23:2) When we take pleasure in our work, it’s not work any longer is it?

God has made you for a purpose. When He knit you together in your mother’s womb, that purpose was sewn into your very being. At the very core of who you are there is a desire that surpasses all others.

Jesus promises us, through Psalm 23, Matthew 6 & Psalm 37, that when we pursue Him and His purposes for us He will provide for our needs AND our wants. Oh what a mighty God we serve!

If there is something in your heart to do and the fear of not having enough money is keeping you from letting go and doing it. Pray about that. Perhaps God is calling you to a leap of faith into His faithful arms.

I have a friend who hasn’t gotten a paycheck for YEARS because she has been doing what God put on her heart to do. And yet she has never been without food or drink or clothes BECAUSE GOD HAS PROVIDED FOR HER. And if He’s willing to do It for her, then He is CERTAINLY willing to do it for YOU!

Categories: 365 Life, Ecclesiastes, Writing Through the Bible in a Year | 3 Comments

A Sleep Over Paaartay!

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Deuteronomy 33:1-34:12 & Ecclesiastes 1:1-2:11
“The sun rises, and the sun goes down, and *hastens* to the place where it rises. Ecclesiastes 1:5

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This verse me smile! Although it’s summer, we’ve kept a pretty regular schedule with a regular bedtime for all of us. But tonight was special. We had three siblings spend the night which has been TOTALLY fun and crazy. We had three tween-aged boys scarfing down every scrap of food I dared push toward them and two little princesses going gaga over every toy they found its been brilliant!
So here I am, doing my reading and posting at midnight-thirty because the girls are STILL awake! I think the friend is too scared to sleep.
Anyway, I told you all that to tell you this is my post for today. I’m not even going to try and get up in the morning!
Sweet dreams my friends, or, by the time you’re reading this, GOOD MORNING! ๐Ÿ˜€

Categories: 365 Life, Deuteronomy, Ecclesiastes, Writing Through the Bible in a Year | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Testing Testing 1, 2, 3

Today’s reading: Ecclesiastes 10:1-Ephesians 2:22

Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there by any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting! Psalm 139:23-24

Testing, testing, one, two, three…

Everything is tested. An inventor tests His gadgets over and over again before they are declared worthy of being “done”. A student takes hundreds of tests to prove their ability, or lack there of, to move on to the next level of education. This week my son had to take a swimming test. Now, I have to elaborate here a bit, mostly because it’s a story about my son but also because it shows my point quite well.

God has blessed me with an AMAZING group of friends, one of these amazing friends just happens to own a pool and be generous enough to let us all swim in it! Well, this week was the grand opening of Miss Peggy’s pool. So we started by sitting down and listening to Miss Peggy’s pool rules. One of which was that all kids had to take a swimming test to swim in the deep end of the pool without a life jacket on. The test entailed swimming from one short side of the pool and back, that was it. Now, the kids that were at this grand opening party are no newbies when it comes to swimming. They’ve all logged many many hours into their swim books before opening day, BUT, that didn’t change the rule. So I dove into the deep end (read Pursue to see how big of a deal this is), lined up my son and his friend who also wanted to swim minus life jackets and had them swim to the other side and back for their “test”. Now, I knew they would have no problem passing with flying colors, they both knew they could do it, so why did they have to go through the test? To PROVE to themselves that they could do it. (And to honor our gracious hostesses wishes.)

You see, I believe that is what all testing is. God is omnipotent, He know EVERYTHING, He GOD. He doesn’t need to test us to know if we’re ready for the next stage or to be put out onto the battle field yet or not. He’s GOD, He already knows all those things… but we don’t.

Today has been a testing day for me, this whole week has been really. It’s been filled with moments here and there of doubts, questions about where I stand in my faith… or if I would stand at all. Moments where I was faced with a decision, will I choose to believe what God has taught me and shown me… or will I go the way I’ve always gone before? Will I revert to my old way of thinking or will I trust my maker, my inventor, to do the things He’s told me He would do – be the One He’s told me that He is? And every time, it’s been a choice. It’s been a minute where I’ve had the liar and deceiver in my ear harping at me with discouraging and negative thoughts about myself, my friends, my ministry, my husband, my kids, my parents, you name it he’s tried getting me down with it. From things like:

“Kelly is at home all alone right now without a husband, and your husband hasn’t gotten any in a long time, they’ll probably get together tonight while he’s over there fixing her car…” (Sometimes he’s not very good at firing his darts at my heart…)

to

“Kelly don’t forget about me when you move…” (sometimes he’s right on target.)

At every point I had the choice, do I believe this thought that I just captured running through my mind? Or do I cast it out like yesterday’s trash? I’ll admit, there were a few that I let them burn me a little as those firey darts started to sink deeper into my skin but as far as I can tell I was able to eventually hold up my trusty shield of faith and extinguish them all one by one. But it wasn’t easy. I’m not altogether sure when the testing began, but I know that by Wednesday night I was starting to droop from battle fatigue, Thursday wasn’t too terrible, but Friday and Saturday were just plain… well… a pain! Wednesday I described it as “static” it was becoming difficult for me to function and hear the Holy Spirit clearly. That static seemed to intensify with each passing day until I came to the middle of the day today. I’ve been working hard to prepare for my daughter’s birthday party tomorrow and simply didn’t have time for a spiritual battle in the midst of it all. I’m sure you know how it goes. Yet that’s precisely what was happening. But God is good and helps us in our time of need. He had scheduled for one of our neighbor’s daughter’s birthday party to be Saturday afternoon so that I could have two whole hours all to myself to sort things out. Isn’t He the greatest!?!

There I sat in the middle of my bed, my Bible clutched to my chest praying that the Holy Spirit would come and fill me with His fire, to open my eye because I want to see Him! Begging God to help me through this ring of fire I seemed to be passing through and it dawned on me. This was the same test that I had been through five years ago when my daughter was born! You see, I had Ecclampsia with my son, which is really high blood pressure that resulted in me having two seizures, my kidneys had started to shut down and we had to do an emergency c-section where I felt like I was going to have a third seizure right there on the operating table. In other words, it was really bad and the likelyhood of it happening with subsequent pregnancies was very likely. So when I found out that I was pregnant again, after trying for what felt like an eternity, I was thrilled and terrified all at the same time. I sat down in the middle of my bed and prayed. I told God, You gave me this baby so I know that this is Your plan. I am choosing to trust You with my life Lord. If I die, I know where I’m going and I’m trusting you to take care of my husband and my son in my absence. If I have another seizure and tramatic pregnancy, I’m trusting You that it is Your plan. Whatever happens with this baby and me, we are in Your hands because I’m trusting You. And I will never forget the feeling of peace that washed over me after I prayed. No Holy Spirit words were spoken that I remember, but I just had this all over knowing that it wasn’t going to happen again. That I wouldn’t have a seizure again and that I wouldn’t die. I could proceed in this pregnancy knowing that it would end well.

Well, I spent six weeks on bedrest due to early high blood pressure and protein levels. The last week of that was in the hospital under the close watch of my doctor monitoring everything. By ALL outward appearances it certainly looked like we were headed right down that same path that ended in seizures and possible death, but the entire ride down that dark road I clung to the peace, that moment of Light when God had washed over me with the confidence that it “wouldn’t happen again”. Yet here we were and it was certainly looking like it was happening all over again. My Mom and husband were both a wreck. They were trying to hide it from me, but neither one of them was doing a very good job. I kept trying to tell them that it would be OK, and that God had told me that I wouldn’t have another seizure, but since I was the only one that had had that Light washing experience it was really hard… well… probably impossible for them to really understand what I meant. I had the peace that passes all understanding, they didn’t. At least not as much of it as I did. Then the day came when all the tested levels came back at just the right amounts to cause our doctor to breeze into the room and say “It’s time! Let’s have a baby!” Then whisk me off to the operating room to have another c-section. Within an hour from the announcement our little Princess was born, healthy and strong, and so was her mother! No worse for the wear, just tired and very glad that the whole ordeal was OVER!

I had spent nine months fighting the voice of the Liar trying to tempt me into giving up the belief that God would protect me and that He would hold true on His promise to keep me alive. I had a week where every single outward appearance pointed to the same end as the first time… but I didn’t give up and I didn’t end up in that same place either! God held up His end of the bargain, He ALWAYS does! God is faithful one-hundred percent of the time. In that moment on the middle of my bed He didn’t tell me nothing would happen, He gave me a peace that I would not have another seizure or die and I didn’t!

My friend, tests aren’t for God to discover what we’re made of and what we believe, He already knows those things. Tests are for US to discover what we’re made of and what we believe. An untested belief is just that, untested. Just like an untested invention is an unknown, a question as to whether or not it will hold up under the pressure it was built to withstand, so are we! Until we’ve walked through the ring of fire we really don’t know what we’re capable of accomplishing or what we REALLY believe. And, if we know what we believe, we may not know if it will stand up under the pressure of a dramatic circumstance.

Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. Hebrews 11:1


She considered God faithful to fulfill His promise to her… and He was.

Tests are an opportunity where we choose to believe in God or believe in our circumstances. Choosing to believe in God is NEVER the wrong choice! Even when it seems like He’s telling you to sacrifice your only hope at achieving the promise He made, there’s always a ram in the bush just waiting to be discovered. (Genesis 22)

Categories: Ecclesiastes, Ephesians | Leave a comment

Toil

Today’s Reading: Ecclesiastes 1:1-4:16

I was excited to get up at 4:30 this morning and open my Bible to a new letter! We’re up to Ecclesiastes!

While meditating on the verse, “a time to seek and a time to lose”, from our reading today God said “Toil is meaningless” over and over. Then I had a vision of my husband and I working out together in the front yard of his parent’s former house (the house faces east we were facing west). My Father-in-law was standing near the front door of the house, facing east, watching us work. My Mother-in-law was in the side yard (which faces the south and was straight in front of us) planting a bunch of deep purple flowers next to a very tall straight tree. After this God said to me, “The gardener has prepared a place for you”, “The gardener has prepared a work for you.”, “The gardener has prepared a glory for you.” The place is your heart where you meet with Him, the work is your calling, where you serve with Him, and the glory is the end result of your time in the garden of relationship with Him.

Here are some examples from the Bible. Daniel just prayed because He loved God, yet through his relationship with God Daniel was brought to a very high position and much glory. David sang because he loved God, yet through his relationship with God David was crowned King and wrote most of the Psalms. Jesus was born a king, yet He served faithfully all His years. He toiled to keep all the Law without flaw and He did it. On the day of the cross He was crowned with thorns and the curse so that there would be no more curse of toil for us to bear. All that is left is the peace that passes all understanding. Yes, there is still hard work, but there is a big difference between hard work and toiling. Hard work brings joy when done in the peace that comes from knowing that you are doing it for the Lord. Toil is just hard work; there is no joy, peace or reward in it. When we lean not on our own understanding but acknowledge Jesus’ sacrifice through everything that we do He makes our paths straight.

Yesterday I worked for six and a half hours to make chicken and noodles from scratch for a friend who needed some cheering up. But my hard work wasn’t toil, in fact it brought me much joy because I knew that I was not only working for my family and my friend but for Jesus too. Toil is meaningless, hard work is not. Work as though you are working for the Lord and it barely feels like hard work anymore either, because you’re enjoying yourself while you do it.



Categories: Ecclesiastes | 2 Comments

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