Are you happy? What would make you happy? There’s a lot of talk about happiness. The appearance is that a great many people are unhappy with their lives. While many tell us that we need to be happy, that we need to go out and find happiness, they seem rather shallow in their analysis of what happiness really is and how to be happy.
James wrote, “Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin” ( Jas. 4:17 ). James could not have been much clearer- not doing what we know we should do can constitute sin! Such sins are called sins of omission . Now, why did James have to include that verse in his letter? Because James was writing God’s word ( 2 Tim. 3:16-17 ), and God guided him to write exactly what He wanted James to write ( 2 Pet. 1:20-21 ).
The prophet wrote, “Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; who put darkness for light, and light for darkness; who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter” ( Isa. 5:20 ). God is speaking specifically about the nation of Israel in this text. Earlier in the chapter He refers to them as a vineyard that He planted and cultivated, only to have it produce “wild grapes” instead of “good grapes” ( vs. 1-7 ). The allusion is clear.
Time- precious, fleeting, uncertain… All of us go through twenty four hours of it every day, sixty minutes in every hour, sixty seconds in every minute. That’s 1440 minutes and 86,400 seconds in every day. That sounds like a lot, but it goes by so quickly that it’s gone almost before you know it.
After the death of king Solomon, Israel split into two nations. The bulk of the ten northern tribes continued to be referred to as Israel in scripture. The two tribes to the south became known as Judah , taking the name of the largest of those tribes ( 1 Kgs. 12 ).
We celebrate Father’s Day every third Sunday in June. The intent is to honor fathers for the important role they play in raising their children. It’s touching, heart warming to see families gather at restaurants to treat Dad to a meal and to say “We love you, Dad, and thanks for a job well done.” The kids have little idea just how much that small gesture means to their father.
Many people feel that they’ve lived such a sinful life that they cannot be saved. They’re just too bad to be forgiven. They’re beyond redemption, without hope. But, is that what the scriptures actually teach?
Some time back I read an article encouraging people to “seize the moment.” The idea behind the statement is to do good things as opportunities present themselves; don’t put them off until some supposed better time. It could be simple, little pleasures or more important, more profound opportunities. The point is, we commonly put things off until a more ideal time, and we often end up losing the moment, the opportunity and the experience. How many joys are missed and pleasures not enjoyed simply because we thought we couldn’t do something right then?
People who live in Nebraska have an inside joke that goes something like, “If you don’t like the weather, wait ten minutes…” It’s not just the weather that can change drastically, within a very short period of time. The course of one’s life can change on a dime, and it can happen in a wide variety of ways.
We live in a culture of “perceived victimization.” When something negative occurs in one’s life, the common reaction these days is to claim to be a victim. “Look at what somebody did to me!” “This all happened due to circumstances beyond my control.” “It’s not my fault, life made me this way.”
Gary L. Hutchens