It’s All Mine 

Obadiah 1:17
“But on Mount Zion there shall be deliverance, and there shall be holiness; the house of Jacob shall possess their possessions.”

When Abraham was first called by God, he was given great and precious promises. He was told he would become a great nation, possess a great land, and provide a blessing for all nations. While these promises were fulfilled to a limited degree, Israel never experienced their fullness. We might say, they failed to ever really possess their possessions. When Joshua led the people into the land to take occupancy, he heard the Lord say,

“Now Joshua was old, advanced in years. And the LORD said to him: “You are old, advanced in years, and there remains very much land yet to be possessed.” Joshua 13:1

After years of living in the Promised Land, Israel had yet to experience all God had for them.

Many Christians do the same thing. While we might experience conversion, we neglect to move very far beyond that and find we haven’t really experienced the fulness of our salvation. We, like Israel, fail to possess our possessions; but what are these possessions?

First, we possess the forgiveness of sin. Without coming to Christ for forgiveness, we are not a Christian. However, the moment we will lay down our pride and confess our sins and need for Christ to save us, we are washed in the blood of the lamb and become a child of God. That being said, it is important to realize there is much more to the Christian life than forgiveness. We are also promised victory over sin. In other words, we do not have to live constantly falling back into the same sins over and over again. Paul wrote,

“Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.” Romans 8:37

And

“Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts.” Romans 6:12

Beyond that, the Bible also promises the believer will be given power to effectively serve the King of Kings. The Bible is filled with examples of men and women who were equipped by God to impact the world for the kingdom of heaven. Each of these individuals did so because they were willing to move on from forgiveness to service. I think a valid question to ask yourself is, “What have I done for the Kingdom of God?” If you have no answer or the answer causes you to look back in time, then you are failing to possess your possessions. It is high time we start investing in the Kingdom, after all, we will be spending eternity there.

Pastor Jim

 

Where Are You Headed? 

Ecclesiastes 2:24
“Nothing is better for a man than that he should eat and drink, and that his soul should enjoy good in his labor. This also, I saw, was from the hand of God.”

A few years ago, I stumbled across a pretty cool website designed to help create photo albums. In a few minutes, I was able to design a picture book capturing a recent family trip. Ecclesiastes is a bit like a photo album, capturing the travels of Solomon, in pursuit of the meaning of life. Solomon had the unique combination of great wealth and intellect. As a result, nothing was beyond his reach as he searched for the meaning of life, in the midst of living. His journeys took him down many different roads. Sadly, he found no matter what road he traveled, he seemed to end at the same destination. A place he called “Vanity of Vanities.”

Ecclesiastes 1:13 “I set my heart to seek and search out by wisdom concerning all that is done under heaven…”

His first pursuit was to acquire knowledge. He thought if he studied more, he would understand more, and that would make him happy. Solomon became a student of life. His pursuits gained him great knowledge and prestige. People traveled great distances to hear him speak on a variety of subjects, including botany, biology, zoology, philosophy and astronomy. While knowledge is a good thing, and education has great value, Solomon discovered the meaning of life was not found in being the smartest guy in the room. He learned knowledge could not satisfy the craving of the heart; and the more he knew, the more it hurt.

Ecclesiastes 2:1 “I said in my heart, ‘Come now, I will test you with mirth; therefore enjoy pleasure’; but surely, this also was vanity.”

When knowledge didn’t satisfy him, Solomon chose to pursue pleasure. Because of his great wealth, he denied himself nothing he thought might make him happy. He had any woman he wanted, threw lavish parties with the most exotic themes, drank, partied, and sought to have as much pleasure as money could buy. Sadly, at the end of that road, he found life was empty, and in his wake, he left a trail of devastated lives.

Ecclesiastes 2:4 “I made my works great…

If wisdom and pleasure could not make him happy, certainly stuff would. He decided to live by the motto of “He who dies with the most toys wins.” Solomon built palaces and stables throughout the land to house all the stuff he had acquired. The more he got, the more he wanted, and the less he was satisfied. He took a long hard road that ended in the realization, “life is not found in the abundance of things that one possesses.” (Luke 12:15)

Ecclesiastes 2:17 “Therefore I hated life because the work that was done under the sun was distressing to me, for all is vanity and grasping for the wind.”

Poor Solomon. All his wealth, intellect, parties, and possessions could not satisfy; and he was left hating life. Solomon is not alone. History is filled with men and women who spent all they had in pursuit of life, only to come up short. Even today, with all the modern advances, people are coming to realize, there must be more to life.

1 John 5:12 “He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.”

Since we were created to know God, the true meaning of life will only be found when we are in a relationship with God, through Christ. Instead of spending your life in pursuit of something you will never find, come to Christ and experience abundant life.

Pastor Jim

 

It’s All Mine

Obadiah

The book of Obadiah is written as a warning to Edom; a people who inhabited the area that is present day Jordan. They are warned that because of their pride, they would soon be overthrown. That prophecy was fulfilled when Nebuchadnezzar passed through the area and conquered Edom.

The book also contains a message for Israel.

“But on Mount Zion there shall be deliverance, and there shall be holiness;
The house of Jacob shall possess their possessions.”
Obadiah 1:17

When Abraham was first called by God, he was given great and precious promises. He was told he would become a great nation, possess a great land, and provide a blessing for all nations. While these promises were fulfilled to a limited degree, Israel never experienced their fullness. We might say, they failed to ever really possess their possessions. When Joshua led the people into the land to take occupancy, he heard the Lord say,

Now Joshua was old, advanced in years. And the LORD said to him: “You are old, advanced in years, and there remains very much land yet to be possessed.” Joshua 13:1

After years of walking in the Promised Land, Israel had yet to experience all God had for them.

Many Christians do the same thing. While we might experience conversion, we neglect to move very far beyond that and find  we haven’t really experienced the fulness of our salvation. We, like Israel, fail to possess our possessions; but what are these possessions?

First, we possess the forgiveness of sin. Without coming to Christ for forgiveness, we are not a Christian. However, the moment we will lay down our pride and confess our sins and need for Christ to save us, we are washed in the blood of the lamb and become a child of God. That being said, it is important to realize there is much more to the Christian life than forgiveness. We are also promised victory over sin. In other words, we do not have to live constantly falling back into the same sins over and over again. Paul wrote,

“Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.”  Romans 8:37

And

“Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts.” Romans 6:12

Beyond that, the Bible also promises the believer will be given power to effectively serve the King of Kings. The Bible is filled with examples of men and women who were equipped by God to impact the world for the kingdom of heaven. Each of these individuals did so because they were willing to move on from forgiveness to service. I think a valid question to ask yourself is, “What have I done for the Kingdom of God?” If you have no answer or the answer causes you to look back in time, then you are failing to possess your possessions. It is high time we start investing in the Kingdom, after all, we will be spending eternity there.

Pastor Jim

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