This past week in our church, we studied Ecc. 4:1-12. Solomon looked around and he saw vanity. People were either lazy or they were a workaholic. He saw all vanity.
Ecclesiastes 4:1-12 – English Standard Version (ESV)
What does this mean for me?
We often buy the latest self-help, time-management, making priorities, scheduling,… type of books and resources to try to get a better handle on our time and priorities. What I’ve learned though (and keep repeating the lesson) is that I need to start with God’s Word. Real change in my life will not happen apart from the Word of God. When I read verses like Matthew 6:33 (Seek God’s kingdom first), I find both conviction and motivation. God’s Word can help me see things about myself that I cannot see on my own. It also reminds me about God and that I’m here and have been born again and redeemed so that I might bring glory to Him. My life should be about “Him” and not about “Me”.
Keeping my life in balance has always been a struggle for me. I love my career and the work that I do. I love volunteering and helping with my church. I love my family and love spending time with them. I love God and find great reward when I spend time alone in His Word and in Prayer. I have so many demands and things I like to do, it is a must for me to read God’s Word and be convicted about “Seeking first the kingdom of God” (Matthew 6:33) or “throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles” (Hebrews 12:1-2). I find that often the issue is not a scheduling problem but a sin problem. When I put “Me” first rather than “God” first, my life quickly gets out of balance.
I would like to challenge you to join me in giving God’s Word a priority this week and let’s see how it helps us put our priorities where they need to be.
In our weekly Bible Study, we talked about having a more “balanced” life by not grabbing ahold of too much. Here were some scripture verses that were mentioned that might help this process in our lives.
- Romans 12:1-2 – a Living Sacrifice
- John 17 – not of this world
- John 15:12 – Love people
- Matt 6:33 – Seek first HIS kingdom
- Eph 6:7 – Serve as serving the LORD
- Col 3:17 & Col 3:23 – Work as working for the Lord, giving thanks to HIM
- Phil 4:8 – think about these things
- John 3:30 – He must increase, I must become less
- Eccl 10:18 –
- Matt 25:14-30 – Bags of Gold, be wise servants
- James 4:17 – if you know what you should do, we need to do it
- Phil 4:11-13 – be content, whatever our situation
- 1 Cor 10:31 – do it all for the Glory of God
The Better reading plan in YouVersion.com can be found at:
The Better Reading Plan– http://www.youversion.com/reading-plans/229-the-better-reading-plan
Do you feel overwhelmed, dissatisfied, and stuck in a rut? Wishing your day-to-day life could improve? God’s Word is your guide to brighter days. During this 28-day reading plan, you will discover ways you can go from living just a good life to living the type of better life that God desires you to have.
Day 8 – Apr 29 – Proverbs 17:1-28
We must let go of the good to grab hold of the better. To live a better life, it’s better to have less of what doesn’t matter and more of what does. Solomon says in Ecclesiastes 6, “Better one handful with tranquility than two handfuls with toil and chasing after the wind,” meaning that it is better to live a life of simplicity. This week you will learn what God’s Word says regarding the importance of living with one handful instead of two.
Day 9 – Apr 30 – Psalm 131:1-3
How do you make the better choice of living with one handful? You let go of what doesn’t matter. Consider downsizing, throwing out, turning off, and unplugging. Be content with what you do have.
Day 10 – May 1 – Luke 12:13-33
How do you begin to live a one-handful life? Start with Jesus’s parable of the rich fool in Luke 12. Don’t build bigger barns to accommodate all of the unnecessary things in your life. Instead, throw stuff away as if your life depended on it. There is no need to worry and put your trust in things that don’t matter because God promises to meet your needs.
Day 11 – May 2 – Nehemiah 4:14
How do you make the better choice of living with one handful? You fight for what does matter. Paul tells Timothy in 1 Timothy 6 to flee from the love of money and possessions and instead pursue such simple things as righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance, and gentleness.
Day 12 – May 3 – Matthew 6:19-34
Jesus said that our one handful should be focused on heavenly treasures instead of earthly ones. There is no need to store up earthly treasures. The better choice is to not worry because God will always meet our needs as long as we seek Him.
Day 13 – May 4 – Proverbs 13:1-25
The Book of Proverbs offers some great thoughts on the value of living with one handful such as in Proverbs 13:7, which tells us that a plain and simple life is a full life.
Day 14 – May 5 – Psalm 37:1-40
In Proverbs 15 and Psalm 37, we find more thoughts about making the better choice of living with one handful, such as Proverbs 15:16, which says, “Better a little with the fear of the LORD than great wealth with turmoil.” In other words, it’s far better to have little with God than have much without Him.