Living Fully Now and Forever
Illuminating Lord, open me to the opportunities and possibilities of this day as I go through it with You.
Read 2 Chronicles 9:13-31
Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
“Although at times I am lonely, God’s presence and Christ’s promises help me not to feel alone when I face my family’s death…and my own” (Keith Miller).
God had truly blessed this reign as Solomon used his God- given gift of wisdom to make Israel strong. Unfortunately, over time, Solomon became caught up in worldly affairs, married pagan women, and grew distant from God (1 Kings 11:1-13).
This is a reminder that success is a double-edged sword. In the life of the Christian, success can have a positive or negative influence. This involves more than just the economic success seen in the life of Solomon. Career accomplishments, sporting achievements, public recognition all present unique temptations. These things need to be seen as gifts from God, and used by us for his glory (Col. 3:17).
It is interesting to note in today’s reading that the outline of Solomon’s material prosperity is followed by the announcement of his death (29-31). It is timely reminder of the transient nature of material success and the inevitable nature of death. Referred to in Scripture as, “the last enemy” (1 Cor. 15:26), it is a reality check to us that no one, however strong-willed and defiant, no matter how stoical or wise, can wrest the final victory from its hands. Our only hope is in God, who did not remove this last vestige of sin, but through the Person and Work of his Son Jesus Christ, overcame it for us (1 Cor. 15:57).
I am constantly drawn to Paul’s memorable and magnificent words, “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain” (Phil. 1:21). This outlines the philosophy of life of a person who is attempting to live fully in the now but who also has the hope of eternal life following death. This is the gift Jesus gives us: to be fully alive now so that we can be the very best we can for him in life and enjoy the promise of being with him forever (John 14:1-4).
Is worldly success your highest aim? Do something today to curb your appetite for worldly success so you can be content with what you have.
Father, I know I should be marching to Your drumbeat, not that of the world. Today, I want to live in the world but not to be of it.
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