While a right focus leads to progress, endurance, and growth, the consequences of a wrong focus is a downward spiral that can end tragically.
"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). ...
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. . .
'Fairness' is a major buzzword in these times. Yet our discontent over perceived mistreatment pales in comparison to what others have endured.
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. . .
We live in the most prosperous society that humanity has ever known. ...
Discontentment began with Satan the Devil and that he broadcasts his continual unhappiness to humanity. We have to control our minds and not allow his attitude to affect us. ...
Some of us cannot seem to realize a blessing if it slaps us across the face! Ingratitude can hold us back in our relationship with God.
Jeremiah and his scribe, Baruch, lived during a time of great upheaval. Baruch complained that God's plans against Judah were crimping his own ambitions.
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.
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. . .
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.
Korah, Dathan, and Abiram were not content with where God had placed them, but, in a spirit of pride, wanted to arrogate to themselves the office of Moses.
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 . . .
The situation that faced God's prophet, Jeremiah, and his scribe and companion, Baruch, in the last days of Judah's monarchy was one of depravity and despair. Charles Whitaker explores the historical, cultural, and religious context of the months just befo. . .
Because virtually every sin begins as a desire in the mind, the command against coveting (lustful cravings) could be the key to keeping the other commandments.
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:. . .
There is a danger that arises when the righteous suffer and the wicked prosper: trying to put God under obligation to bless us through becoming 'super-righteous'.
Most of ancient Israel, because of their hardened hearts, did not please God. We must reflect on the the ways they stumbled so we can walk differently.
John Ritenbaugh gives an antidote to the ubiquitous trait of human nature—the proclivity to complain and express impatience with God. The story of the wealthy philanthropist watching the construction of his home shows the importance of point of view.. . .
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, reflecting that the history of the church parallels the history of physical Israel, concludes that just as sin weakened physical Israel, sin also threatens the well-being of the Israel of God. We see this principle demonstrated in the sin o. . .
The two principal robbers of peace are pride and the drive to have complete control of our lives. Discontent and imagined victimization led Adam and Eve into sin.
Martin Collins points out that our Savior has a tender spot for those who are weak in the faith but are doggedly struggling to hold fast to what they believe. People sometimes unfairly brand others who display a one-time weakness, as in the case of "D. . .
Richard Ritenbaugh, reflecting on the riot which occurred in Ephesus when the silversmith Demetrius became alarmed that the apostle Paul was endangering the local economy, indicates that Rome had zero-tolerance for any activity disturbing the tranquility o. . .
John Ritenbaugh studies the "Get way" or the "Keep up with the Joneses" (lust or coveting) principle with which advertisers and politicians shamelessly (and successfully) manipulate us. A commentator once remarked, "All public crim. . .
John Ritenbaugh, reflecting that our national holiday Thanksgiving may be a parody of what God intended should be our understanding of thankfulness. Rather than something we do annually, we should be returning thanks several times daily. Thankfulness equip. . .
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