The Parable of the Rich Fool illustrates that, when one has all the material possessions he could want, he may still not be rich toward God.
Solomon already lived the wild side, considered it deeply over, and reported on it. If we will listen to what he says, we can avoid all kinds of heartache.
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, 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 will fill that yawning vacuum. Money is neutral commodity, serving either …
God desires far more for us than mere satisfaction: He wants to give us real contentment, a state that comes only through a relationship with Him.
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.
John Ritenbaugh, acknowledging that joy is enumerated second in the order of the Fruits of the Holy Spirit in Galatians 5:22, speculates upon the possibility that God intended a pre-determined order for these spiritual gifts, perhaps from the most important to lesser degrees of importance. If this is the case, Joy occupies a …
The leavened loaves are acceptable to God because He knows that all of the perfecting that He has been doing will culminate in incorruptible immortality.
John Ritenbaugh, reflecting on Solomon's ruminations about life being seemingly futile and purposeless, reiterates that a relationship with God is the only factor which prevents life from becoming useless. As many celebrities and public figures withdraw to spend more time with families, so must we withdraw from the rat race of …
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.
Those who view religion as a life of gloom and deprivation are too short-sighted to realize that the world's entertainments do not satisfy the deepest need.
John Ritenbaugh, reminding us that Ecclesiastes chapters 1-6 contains a sub-theme of materialism—specifically an indictment of the supposed satisfaction one receives from it suggests that materialism contains no lasting fulfillment. According to some studies, the higher a person is on the economic scale, the less …
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 anti-depressant drugs) is almost pandemic in North America, with one in …
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.
Is a Christian denied a pleasurable life? Are we relegated to lives of drab monotony and duty? On the contrary, we are created to experience pleasure.
John Ritenbaugh reiterates that satisfaction in life does not derive from material things or wealth, by instead from an eternal relationship with God who has given us abundant spiritual gifts which we must reciprocate by developing skill in living from using godly wisdom. Wisdom enables us to make the very best practical use of …
Though we can serve in many ways, one area where we often miss a golden opportunity to help others is in prayer. It requires no special skills or equipment.
John Ritenbaugh, continuing his exposition on Ecclesiastes 6, appraises the book of Ecclesiastes as the most bluntly profound book in the entire Bible, pointing to our urgent need to develop a relationship with God. We did not create ourselves or give ourselves life. The Psalmist David realized we were made by somebody other …
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. Even with God's Holy Spirit, we have difficulty. Our minds are too finite, …
The world has little or no idea what true peace is or how it is achieved. Yet we can produce godly peace even in the midst of turmoil—and we must.
John Ritenbaugh observes that some misguided individuals have denigrated the practice of putting out leaven as childish and something to be outgrown. The fruits of their lives indicate that they never learned the subtle lessons these customs or practices were supposed to teach. The annual rehearsal of these practices is …
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.
The story of Esau and his selling his birthright for a bowl of soup is a cautionary tale for today. What we treasure will ultimately determine our destiny.
The peace (or thank) offering was the most commonly given in ancient Israel. It pictures God, the priest, and the offerer in satisfying fellowship.
What we believe automatically determines what we do; it is impossible to separate faith and works. If Jesus is not our source of belief, our works will suffer.
Ecclesiastes is full of frustration, bluntness, and even a little hopeless. However, its themes are realistic and necessary for us to grasp.
Coveting begins as a desire. Human nature cannot be satisfied, nothing physical can satisfy covetousness, and joy does not derive from materialism.
Envy is a work of the flesh, involving coveting. A significant example of envy is found in the relationship of the two wives of Elkanah, Hannah and Peninnah.
John 6 has always been a difficult chapter to explain. However, Jesus' teaching is clear. Here is what it means to us.
Lust begets a guilty conscience, agitation, anxiety, depression, grief, torment. Wrong desire leads to lying, adultery, and murder—eventually leading to death.