Money or possessions are not the way to happiness. Yes, we can enjoy these things, but if that is all we are interested in, we will never be content.
A major theme of the book of Ecclesiastes is satisfaction. In his wisdom, Solomon assiduously sought out the answer to the question, "What brings a person true satisfaction?" John Ritenbaugh proposes that God desires far more for us than mere satisfaction:. . .
Martin Collins, suggesting that we live in a negative, enervating time, indicates that we can have contentment just like the apostle Paul expressed in his letter to the Philippians, a letter in which he thanked the Philippians for their generosity and reve. . .
John Reid observes that many people live in a state of discontent. Ironically, what they set their hearts upon (wealth, power, influence) often displaces the love for family and a relationship with God. True riches consist of godly character coupled with c. . .
God has made it possible through His Spirit for us to be optimistic and happy even in a world that seems to be crumbling around us.
John Ritenbaugh, reflecting on the curse of a corrupt judicial system described in Ecclesiastes 5:8-9, warns us that corruption in the courts is a fact of life, but it will intensify before Christ returns. We should not be surprised by this curse, realizin. . .
John Ritenbaugh, cuing onto Ecclesiastes 5:18-20, observes that we must do what we must to keep a relationship with God. Solomon teaches us that money may provide some security, but it cannot be relied upon for satisfaction; only a relationship with God wi. . .
Solomon reveals that God is solidly in control of time. Knowing that God is sovereign over time should fill us with faith in God's workmanship.
"But you, Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book until the time of the end; many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall increase" (Daniel 12:4). ...
As we age, the pressures of life, work, and experience all contribute to wearing us down. Only a few seem to have learned to remain happy despite hardship.
Righteous men have complained about the ease of the evil for ages, but what is the answer? King David contemplated this, and gives us the answer.
John Ritenbaugh again warns about the debilitating faith destroying consequences of anxious care and foreboding. If we "put on" (assume the disposition and the way of life of) Christ, we will through continuous practice learn the processes which . . .
Have you ever observed someone acting churlishly, throwing a wet blanket on an otherwise enjoyable time? Ronny Graham discovers that the Bible confronts such party-poopers, condemning their killjoy attitudes and commanding us to rejoice appropriately.
A biblical survey of coveting: what it is, what it produces and what a Christian should be doing.
Martin Collins marvels that despite the continuous dramatic increase of material wealth in Modern Israel, this affluence or prosperity has not remotely led to joy. Clinical depression, requiring professional help (usually consisting of a host of powerful a. . .
Joy is more than just happiness. There is a joy that God gives, through the action of His Spirit in us, that far exceeds mere human cheerfulness.
Prayer is a constant and necessary part of being a Christian. But just how well do we pray? Are our prayers effective? Mark Schindler teaches us how we can learn to pray more effectively!
John Ritenbaugh focuses on Proverbs 30:7-9, in which Agur asks God to cushion him from the extremes of poverty or excessive wealth, allowing himself to live a balanced life of contentment. Wealth has a powerful influence on one's life, causing us to overes. . .
Solomon provides these comparisons to indicate the choices we should make to live better lives in alignment with God, even in an 'nder the sun' world.
Richard Ritenbaugh, reflecting on the difficulties in translation from Greek and Hebrew to English, as well as comprehending spiritual truths with a fleshly mind, maintains that it is only through God's Holy Spirit we can comprehend those truths at all. Ev. . .
John Ritenbaugh, cuing in on Ecclesiastes 2:24-26, affirms that enjoyment from one's labor comes from the LORD and that the proper use of our allotted time becomes increasingly more relevant as we anticipate the conclusion of our physical lives. Solomon in. . .
Martin Collins reminds us that in the Declaration of Independence people were guaranteed the opportunity to pursue life, liberty, and happiness, a quest that has proved futile and elusive. This quest should prompt us to carefully number our days and seek a. . .
Anxiety and fretting (symptoms of coveting and idolatry), in addition to cutting life short, erode faith, destroying serenity by borrowing tomorrow's troubles.
God emphasizes Ecclesiastes during the Feast of Tabernacles to show the result of doing whatever our human heart leads us to do. The physical cannot satisfy.
Psalm 23 depicts the gratitude we should display from a sheep's point of view, as the animal boasts of blessings and marvels about the care of his Shepherd.
Richard Ritenbaugh, cuing in Psalm 118, the sixth and final halal or pilgrimage psalm, proclaiming, "This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad," emphasizes that this prophetic psalm, demonstrating God's sovereignty over all ev. . .
John Ritenbaugh, reflecting upon the admonition of Christ that we must take the straight gate or the narrow way (symbols of grave difficulty), indicates that our experience in overcoming and developing character will be fraught with difficulties. Neverthel. . .
John Ritenbaugh focuses upon the insidious affliction of welfare mentality, the attitude in people who believe that because they are, they are owed something. Human nature has not changed from the days of the Israelites, who thought they were entitled to m. . .
Too many Americans confine their giving of thanks to the one day on which their national holiday occurs—and many of them spend their Thanksgiving merely eating too much and watching football. Four vital questions about thanksgiving help us to evaluat. . .
Both Tabernacles and Unleavened Bread keep us off balance so that we remain humble, seek stability, and trust in God's providence for our ultimate destiny.
When Solomon visits the Temple, he comes away with a sense that too many treat religion far too casually, forgetting that they are coming before God.
Coveting begins as a desire. Human nature cannot be satisfied, nothing physical can satisfy covetousness, and joy does not derive from materialism.
Often physical prosperity works against godly character and spiritual well-being. To be rich toward God means to seek His Kingdom first, live His way, and trust Him.
John Ritenbaugh, soberly reflecting on the $19 trillion dollar national debt and with 25% of American private citizens two days away from bankruptcy, he warns that the prudent shouldn't continue to live in a fool's paradise, but should make common sense pr. . .
Martin Collins, reviewing the episode of Habakkuk's frustration that God would use an evil people to punish Israel, points us to the prophet's resolve to cease being a fretful worrier and to become a responsible watcher, determined to understand the purpos. . .
Some scriptures seem to say that all one needs to do is ask God in prayer for whatever the heart desires, and He will grant it like a genie rubbed from his lamp.
John Ritenbaugh, reiterating that, although Ecclesiastes contains no direct prophecies, it does not present Christ as Savior, it contains no "thus saith the Lord" commands, and it makes no mention of Satan, nevertheless it does deals with quality. . .
If Christianity is lived the way Christ intended, rather than as represented by media caricatures, it is one of the most exhilarating and abundant lifestyles.
Richard Ritenbaugh, debunking the widely-held belief that Christians lead boring lives, blames the popular media for this negative image. Some churches want to counter this image by glomming onto glitzy, high-energy motivational speakers, short sermons, an. . .
Of all animals, sheep need the most care and are extremely vulnerable to predators, pests, and fear, leading to extremely dependent and trusting behavior.
We learn from Abraham's experience to trust God even when we have incomplete information. When we attempt to take the expedient way out, we will run into trouble.
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