November 18

Ecclesiastes 1:2, 9-10 (NIV) 2"Meaningless! Meaningless!" says the Teacher. "Utterly meaningless! Everything is meaningless."

9What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun. 10Is there anything of which one can say, "Look! This is something new"? It was here already, long ago; it was here before our time.

Solomon set his heart to find the meaning of life. He tried pleasure of all kinds. He tried to find satisfaction in wealth, in building projects, and in increasing his great wisdom. In the end, he concluded it was meaningless. A million men had come and gone before him, and nothing had changed. He grieved over the fact that those men are not remembered nor would he be. We don't know what Solomon looked like. We can't know him personally. All we have are a few pages of history and some of his sayings of wisdom. Is that all there is to life?

He had the wisdom to see that everything that is promoted as new is just a different face on an old product. Man still tries to find pleasure in the same things he looked to millenniums ago. He'll still be seeking the same things tomorrow.

What Solomon in all His wisdom did not see was the coming of Jesus. Though the promise was made to his father, and though as the son of David he was a foreshadowing type of Christ, he did not see his descendent would be the Messiah. Could he have said that all is meaningless if he knew God was going to show us how to live and die through the sacrifice that makes us fit for heaven? To seek the things of the world and personal satisfaction is always meaningless. To come into a relationship with your Creator and find His purpose for your existence is filled with eternal significance. Solomon knew we were to fear God and keep His commands, for there would come a day of judgment. What he missed was a deepening daily relationship with that God, which lays up treasures in heaven that do not perish.

Meditation: Meaningful, meaningful, is a life in personal relationship with the living God.

November 18

Hebrews 11:6 (NIV) 6And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.

What does it take to please God? Faith! Remember that faith is described as being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we can't see. Why is faith needed to please God? The passage answers, "because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him."

First we must believe He exists. Though we have mountains of evidence, it still takes faith to believe the unseen. God wants you to know He is real. That is the beginning of your spiritual journey. Somewhere along the road of life you first began to consider that He was real and involved in your life. Our sinful nature will fight acknowledgment of this reality because it implies submission. If I accept the work of the Spirit in me and acknowledge that God is real, I owe a debt of gratitude to my Maker. Then I begin to realize I may not be living according to my gracious Maker's design. Just to begin believing that He exists starts a cycle of reconciliation and change in authority over my life.

Then the passage tells us that we need to believe that God rewards those who earnestly seek Him. If we believe He exists but don't believe He rewards the ones who earnestly seek Him, we have misconstrued the loving relational nature of God. We have made Him out to be a dictator rather than a loving Father. Have you taken both steps, belief in His existence and His loving relational nature? Then you are pleasing God. If you are stuck on that journey, ask Him to show you where your attitude or understanding has gone off track. He wants to show you and to draw you into a relationship with Him.

Meditation: Can I say that I am earnestly seeking God?