The CJCN Daily Worship.
By Senior Pastor Don Roy Hemingway.
Pastor Don Roy. Gooooooooooooooooooooood Morning brethren, peace unto you and the grace of our lord Jesus be with you. May the Almighty God of hosts stay ever with you this evening and thank you, for joining us here at ‘The Church of Jerusalem and the Christian Nation’ for worship and praise. Let us begin as is our tradition every day here at the Nation, by reading from the word of God. Amen……
Ecclesiastes 7. 21st Century King James Version (KJ21)
1 A good name is better than precious ointment, and the day of death than the day of one’s birth.
2 It is better to go to the house of mourning, than to go to the house of feasting; for that is the end of all men, and the living will lay it to his heart.
3 Sorrow is better than laughter, for by the sadness of the countenance the heart is made better.
4 The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning, but the heart of fools is in the house of mirth.
5 It is better to hear the rebuke of the wise, than for a man to hear the song of fools.
6 For as is the crackling of thorns under a pot, so is the laughter of the fool. This also is vanity.
7 Surely oppression maketh a wise man mad, and a bribe destroyeth the heart.
8 Better is the end of a thing than the beginning thereof, and the patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit.
9 Be not hasty in thy spirit to be angry, for anger resteth in the bosom of fools.
10 Say not thou, “Why were the former days better than these?” For thou dost not inquire wisely concerning this.
11 Wisdom is good with an inheritance, and by it there is profit to them that see the sun.
12 For wisdom is a safeguard, as money is a safeguard, but the excellency of knowledge is that wisdom giveth life to them that have it.
13 Consider the work of God; for who can make straight that which He hath made crooked?
14 In the day of prosperity be joyful, but in the day of adversity consider this: God also hath set the one over against the other, to the end that man should find nothing after him.
15 All things have I seen in the days of my vanity: There is a just man who perisheth in his righteousness, and there is a wicked man who prolongeth his life in his wickedness.
16 Be not righteous overmuch, neither make thyself overwise: why shouldest thou destroy thyself?
17 Be not overmuch wicked, neither be thou foolish. Why shouldest thou die before thy time?
18 It is good that thou shouldest take hold of this; yea, also from the other withdraw not thine hand. For he that feareth God shall come forth from them all.
19 Wisdom strengtheneth the wise more than ten mighty men who are in the city.
20 For there is not a just man upon earth who doeth good and sinneth not.
21 Also take no heed unto all words that are spoken, lest thou hear thy servant curse thee.
22 For oftentimes also thine own heart knoweth that thou thyself likewise hast cursed others.
23 All this have I tested by wisdom: I said, “I will be wise,” but it was far from me.
24 That which is far off and exceedingly deep” who can find it out?
25 I applied mine heart to know and to search and to seek out wisdom and the reason for things, and to know the wickedness of folly, even of foolishness and madness.
26 And I find more bitter than death the woman whose heart is snares and nets, and whose hands are as bonds. Whoso pleaseth God shall escape from her, but the sinner shall be taken by her.
27 “Behold, this have I found,” saith the Preacher, “counting one by one to find out the account,
28 which yet my soul seeketh, but I find not: One man among a thousand have I found, but a woman among all those have I not found.
29 Lo, this only have I found: that God hath made man upright, but they have sought out many inventions.”
Bible Short Stories.
Verse of the Day.
Do not be afraid of what you are about to suffer. I tell you, the devil will put some of you in prison to test you, and you will suffer persecution for ten days. Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you life as your victor’s crown. Revelation 2:10, NIV.
Lord our God, we come into your presence. Hear our prayers, we entreat you. Let your will be done among us; let your will be done for each one of us individually, and for our time. Let everything go according to your will, even if the way leads through tribulation, fear, and need. For in the end your goal will be reached. In the end you will fulfil your purpose, and your kingdom will come. Your kingdom will come to the honour of your name and for the redemption of all people still suffering on earth. Let your Word bring us blessing. May we go forward joyfully in the patience of Jesus Christ until times change, until a new day dawns and we are allowed to see your glory and your peace. Amen.
The CJCN Daily Lesson.
(1) A good name is better than precious ointment,
And the day of death than the day of one’s birth;
(2) Better to go to the house of mourning
Than to go to the house of feasting,
For that is the end of all men;
And the living will take it to heart.
(3) Sorrow is better than laughter,
For by a sad countenance the heart is made better.
(4) The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning,
But the heart of fools is in the house of mirth.
In terms of wisdom, Solomon unmistakably comes down on the side of sorrow and mourning as the more important. They are to be preferred because mourning motivates a person toward sober contemplation of his own mortality, which tends to affect the wellspring of our thoughts, words, and conduct effectively and positively. The wellspring of conduct is the heart, which is why “heart” is mentioned four times in these verses.
The heart is truly the center of a human being. Recall that Jesus reminds us that our words and conduct spring from our hearts (Matthew 15:18-19). Therefore, we need to search out and reinforce some important truths regarding death and its direct connection to our hearts and thus our conduct in life.
A number of years ago, The Denial of Death won the Pulitzer Prize for the best of nonfiction in a certain category. In it, the author, Dr. Ernest Becker, made this telling comment, confirming what the Bible clearly states: “The idea of death, the fear of it, haunts the human animal like nothing else; it is the mainspring of human activity—activity designed largely to avoid the fatality of death, to overcome it by denying in some way that it is the final destiny for man” (p. ix). Here in Ecclesiastes, Solomon is subtly urging us to take steps to confront the truth of death’s influence on our overall conduct in life.
Death was set in motion during the Creation Week. The way things now are in this world, it is an almost daily factor in life. It has become the curse of curses, the last enemy to be destroyed. As we will see shortly, it dogs our existence.
The specter of death is so dominant in some people’s minds that it virtually destroys their lives. Their actions are focused on avoiding death and overcoming it by somehow denying that it is the final destiny for man. These people are really downers in their affect upon others.
Conversely, many people, while living, do not prepare for the obvious reality of death. It and its accompanying sorrows are major events of life that everyone must deal with. Solomon exhorts us to face in a balanced way what this issue means in terms of God’s truth so we are prepared for its inevitability.
He does this partly because he understands, perhaps as well as anyone ever did, that pursuing laughter, as he shows in chapter 2, and relishing enjoyable situations are easy compared to experiencing sorrow. However, mirth is almost useless in terms of leading a profitable life. A person must almost be forced to seek out involvement in sorrowful circumstances. Paradoxically, death and its sorrowful circumstances have far more to teach us about what is valuable to a meaningful life compared to mirth and laughter, passing pleasures that are here today and gone tomorrow.
Author Susan Sontag wrote, “Death is the obscene mystery, the ultimate affront, the thing that cannot be controlled. It can only be denied.” Our language of death clearly shows society’s attempts to soften, hide, or even deny it by using euphemisms, such as calling the dead person “the departed” or by saying that he “passed away” or “is not with us anymore.” This is done to avoid saying the words “death” or “dead.”
God deals with it in His Word by showing that it is best for us to deal with it directly. This allows us to understand more fully that death is indeed the way of all flesh and to lay it to heart, shifting the balance of our thoughts about its reality toward more serious thinking on it.
Have a great day Brothers and Sisters of the CJCN, The Lord bless you and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you and be gracious unto you;
The Lord lift up His countenance upon you, and give you peace.
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