Ecclesiastes 9:9-10 (NLT)
Live happily with the woman you love through all the meaningless days of life that God has given you under the sun. The wife God gives you is your reward for all your earthly toil. Whatever you do, do well. For when you go to the grave there will be no work or planning or knowledge or wisdom.
This Valentine’s Day had to be the very best one that I can ever remember. No my husband did not come home with a frilly card with an arm full of roses and tickets to a Bahamian cruise. He gave me a beautiful canvas of our family at my daughter’s recent nuptials. It was a wonderful day as well. We fought for that day, grabbed hold of it and “faithed” it. Determined to walk my entire family down that altar together was my goal, and the Lord granted this desire. My husband chose well. It was the best day ever…until yesterday. Why was yesterday so special? We made it special.
One of our cousins was among the many young woman who were engaged yesterday. What an exciting time? Now comes the fun part, planning a wedding. Now it’s the hard part, working every detail out to perfect. The difficulty level is determined by the expectations of the bride. When a girl plans her wedding, it is with the utmost detail. There are things she has dreamed of her whole life that will become a necessity. She will scour magazines, websites and of course Pinterest for the perfect dress, venue, flowers, food and music. But when it all comes down to it and the production is set in motion the only thing that really matters is the man waiting for her at the end of the aisle when she lets go of her daddy’s arm. This becomes her world. Her wellbeing, dreams, goals, heartaches and hardships all become his in that moment as two lives become one. Maybe this Valentine’s Day only signified the fact that there is no significant other in your life. Oh yes there is. His Name is Jesus. He wants that place of significance in our life so that we can live intentionally just like a bride from this day until we meet Him face to face where the Lord has prepared a place for His Bride.
Live happily with the woman you love… I think it is funny that King Solomon would write these words and not feel judged by them. The man had 700 wives and 300 concubines. Perhaps he spoke from experience or just divine revelation. Live happily through all the meaningless days that God has given you under the sun. We pay attention to the details of this life way more than we should rather than focusing on the most important things we have – faith, hope and love. Sometimes it takes riveting hardship or a good shaking to loosen our attention from all the insignificant things to focus on what really matters. We must learn to live intentionally. God gives us rewards in this life that are often taken for granted in our pursuit for the world’s idea of the perfect life. In our undoing, you may just find it was better than you through just the way it is. When we set out to do “whatever we do well”, we honor God. Well is determined by God’s Standard of living not this world’s way. You cannot live for the world and expect a heavenly reward in your life. We have to decide what we want and make a commitment to having it. The problem is too often people cannot decide if they want the world or Jesus. There is no condemnation in these comments. We cannot let the things of this world run us but we must take charge of this life.
Colossians 3:23-25 (NLT)
Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people. Remember that the Lord will give you an inheritance as your reward, and that the Master you are serving is Christ. But if you do what is wrong, you will be paid back for the wrong you have done. For God has no favorites.
My husband and I have been married over fifteen years now. The time has flown by. With five kids and a busy life, it seems that time took over rather than us managing our time. Yesterday, we found ourselves along for the day. Our teenage daughter had a cold not wanting to be messed with and our youngest at a friend’s house, it was just the two of us. So after giving our sick one some cold medicine, we set off to run a couple of errands. We went to Target. Then decided to have lunch at an old restaurant where we used to take the kids. After eating pizza, laughing, talking without our phones, it was all the more evident that after all these years we are still best friends. Off to the local hardware store because what romantic couples date doesn’t end with a trip to Lowe’s. Driving home, I looked at this man that I have loved and realized I had it all. My husband. My children even my new son-in-law. God has given me so much right here and right now. If we work willingly at everything we do as unto the Lord, it will yield a harvest far greater than money, power or influence. None of these things will ever create love, contentment or satisfaction in our life. The Lord has given us an inheritance in this life that we must live intentionally for Him to discover. It gives meaning to all the meaningless things that happen in our life. We reap what we sow. But reaping is a time process, you cannot plant today and then dig up the seeds. They must be watered even with our tears. They must be watched by faith. We wait in hope. All these things are the Kingdom principles by which God’s Children discover the wonderful inheritance waiting for those who love and trust Him.
God has not favorites. What does that mean to me exactly? It means that God is an equal opportunity God. It is up to me how much I harvest in His Kingdom. He promised that whatever I do willingly working for Him rather than man will be a blessing in my life as His Inheritance. Romans 8:28 promises that every detail of my life will be turned to something good. You must get a hold of this to take control of your life today. Sometimes I think God’s Children are like earthly children in that when the Lord does not give in to our will, we throw tantrums by jumping back into our life and old ways blaming God for not being faithful when all along it was us not being willing to work, wait and watch for His Best intentionally in our life.
Psalm 23 (Message)
God, my shepherd! I don’t need a thing. You have bedded me down in lush meadows, you find me quiet pools to drink from. True to your word, you let me catch my breath and send me in the right direction. Even when the way goes through Death Valley, I’m not afraid when you walk at my side. Your trusty shepherd’s crook makes me feel secure. You serve me a six-course dinner right in front of my enemies. You revive my drooping head; my cup brims with blessing. Your beauty and love chase after me every day of my life. I’m back home in the house of God for the rest of my life.
Yes I believe that we all have a purpose and plan for God in this world. We have potential to do great things for Jesus Christ as His Followers filled with His Power. But I also believe that in this “meaningless” life those who live intentionally to discover the blessings of God in the little things will have more than they ever bargained for. I decided at the beginning of this year that I would stop living in bondage to worldly things and take control of those things that continued to worry me handing them over to the Lord. I set goals. I am following the plan. I have committed this process to the Lord. I do not want to be bound to this world. There is freedom in looking that thing that constantly perplexes you and breaking ties in the spirit as well as the flesh. It takes discipline. I have to pay attention. But I am experiencing a freedom like never before. Living intentionally to Jesus Christ may not be a call to foreign mission fields, surrendering our life to serve the homeless, or even teaching Sunday school in your church. Then again it may lead to one or all of these amazing adventures. It begins in our heart as we decide to intentionally and decisively to live happily. If we put the Lord and His Plan at the center of our focus, the things of this life will fall into their rightful place. True happiness is from the joy and peace of a heart set free from the burdens of this life to walk with our one true love – Jesus Christ. I had a glimpse of this with my husband. We can live each moment as a bride preparing for her big day by paying attention to the details and committing them to Christ. You really need nothing else to experience a love so great and complete and will change even meaningless minutes into powerful experiences just because you love and trust Him. His Goodness and Unfailing Love pursues us each day, it is up to us if we will have it.
Whatever is good and perfect is a gift coming down to us from God our Father, who created all the lights in the heavens. He never changes or casts a shifting shadow. He chose to give birth to us by giving us his true word. And we, out of all creation, became his prized possession.