The CJCN Daily Worship.
By Senior Pastor Don Roy Hemingway. Th.D.
Gooooooooooooooooooooood Morning brethren, peace unto you and the grace of our lord Jesus be with you. May the Almighty God of hosts stay with you throughout this day 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. New International Version (NIV)
1 A good name is better than fine perfume, and the day of death better than the day of birth. 2 It is better to go to a house of mourning than to go to a house of feasting,
for death is the destiny of everyone; the living should take this to heart.
3 Frustration is better than laughter, because a sad face is good for the heart.
4 The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning, but the heart of fools is in the house of pleasure. 5 It is better to heed the rebuke of a wise person than to listen to the song of fools. 6 Like the crackling of thorns under the pot, so is the laughter of fools.
This too is meaningless. 7 Extortion turns a wise person into a fool, and a bribe corrupts the heart. 8 The end of a matter is better than its beginning, and patience is better than pride. 9 Do not be quickly provoked in your spirit, for anger resides in the lap of fools.
10 Do not say, “Why were the old days better than these?” For it is not wise to ask such questions. 11 Wisdom, like an inheritance, is a good thing and benefits those who see the sun. 12 Wisdom is a shelter as money is a shelter, but the advantage of knowledge is this:
Wisdom preserves those who have it.
13 Consider what God has done: Who can straighten what he has made crooked? 14 When times are good, be happy; but when times are bad, consider this. God has made the one as well as the other. Therefore, no one can discover anything about their future.
15 In this meaningless life of mine I have seen both of these: the righteous perishing in their righteousness, and the wicked living long in their wickedness. 16 Do not be overrighteous, neither be overwise why destroy yourself? 17 Do not be overwicked, and do not be a fool why die before your time? 18 It is good to grasp the one and not let go of the other. Whoever fears God will avoid all extremes. 19 Wisdom makes one wise person more powerful than ten rulers in a city. 20 Indeed, there is no one on earth who is righteous, no one who does what is right and never sins. 21 Do not pay attention to every word people say, or you may hear your servant cursing you 22 for you know in your heart that many times you yourself have cursed others. 23 All this I tested by wisdom and I said, “I am determined to be wise” but this was beyond me. 24 Whatever exists is far off and most profound who can discover it? 25 So I turned my mind to understand, to investigate and to search out wisdom and the scheme of things and to understand the stupidity of wickedness and the madness of folly. 26 I find more bitter than death the woman who is a snare, whose heart is a trap and whose hands are chains. The man who pleases God will escape her, but the sinner she will ensnare. 27 “Look,” says the Teacher,b]”>[b] “this is what I have discovered: “Adding one thing to another to discover the scheme of things 28 while I was still searching but not finding I found one upright man among a thousand, but not one upright woman among them all. 29 This only have I found: God created mankind upright, but they have gone in search of many schemes.”
The CJCN Bible Seminary.
Verse of the Day.
Teach me to do your will, for you are my God; may your good Spirit lead me on level ground. Psalm 143:10, NIV.
Lord our God, O great and almighty One, whose Spirit fills heaven and earth! We thank you that you are our Father and that in you we have a refuge wherever we must go as we serve you on earth. We thank you that your life can be revealed in us and can flow through us so that the world may be blessed by you, our loving and caring heavenly Father God. Protect us and strengthen us in times of trouble and sorrow. When we travel on new paths, give us your Spirit to show us the way, that everything may lead to the good and to your honour. Father, through your Spirit unite us in the unshakable hope that your will shall at last be done on earth as in heaven. Grant that we may rejoice in the certainty that whatever happens, our paths are made level and firm by your love and your faithfulness. In Jesus we pray. Amen.
The CJCN Daily Lesson.
(8) The end of a thing is better than its beginning;
The patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit.
(9) Do not hasten in your spirit to be angry,
For anger rests in the bosom of fools.
(10) Do not say,
“Why were the former days better than these?”
For you do not inquire wisely concerning this.
Each comparison shows wisdom’s significance to a successful life. The best way to perceive the counsel in Ecclesiastes is to recognize that it is written to God’s converted children, not to the world. Solomon’s thoughts, then, tie directly into instructions and commands in other parts of God’s Word. Much of this is counsel to endure the trials of life patiently and meekly because God is directly involved in them right alongside us. Hence, over the long haul, our trials will have a positive result. Consequently, we are urged not to fall into the trap of unreasoning haste to “just get rid of the problem,” as it were. Knowing that Ecclesiastes is aimed at God’s converted children, we grasp that the willfulness involved in haste is really nothing more than an expression of carnal pride.
Verse 8 bears explaining more thoroughly because it relates to a pertinent fact about these comparisons. They are not to be understood as absolutes but are useful helps according to the circumstances of life’s trials. Each trial may present different nuances that we must think through. Though verse 8 seems to say otherwise, we know that the end of everything is most definitely, absolutely not always better than its beginning.
A clear example is sin. Sin almost invariably begins pleasantly, even pleasurably. As with Eve, the fruit undoubtedly tasted good to her, but God kicked her and Adam out of the Garden, and they died. Judas, too, was undoubtedly pleased with his work on the night of Jesus’ arrest, but then he hanged himself. These examples are so clear: Sin never, never, never ends well.
Circumstances and projects can end well only when they begin with a good purpose right from the start. Even so, they may not end well. In Luke 11:24-26, Jesus provides an example of a good project ending badly:
When an unclean spirit goes out of a man, he goes through dry places, seeking rest; and finding none, he says, “I will return to my house from which I came,” and when he comes, he finds it swept and put in order. Then he goes and takes with him seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter and dwell there; and the last state of that man is worse than the first.
II Peter 2:20-22 vividly illustrates how sin entering a project destroys its end being better than the beginning:
For if, after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overcome, the latter end is worse for them than the beginning. For it would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered to them. But it has happened to them according to the true proverb: “A dog returns to his own vomit,” and, “a sow, having washed, to her wallowing in the mire.”
Thus, we can see that even good projects must continue in the right way for the end to be better than its beginning, showing that these comparisons are not intended to be absolutes.
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. Amen.
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