Freedom of Speech & Religion
Weekly Chalkboard Message
Thanks to Biden We Are Losing Our Freedoms One by One!
Lord, we know that we are all busy with the tasks of life and often forget that we need to spend time with you. Please help us to slow down so that we don’t lose sight of You because of all the busyness.
Help us to cast aside our pride and become more willing to let You cleanse our minds, hearts, and souls. Teach us how to more freely give You access to our hearts and minds. Show us that when we do this it will help us to be changed a little more each time.
Fill us more with Your mercy and love so that we might become Your loving and humble servants for all the world to see. Amen.
For many around the world, life is getting lonelier. The number of Americans who have no friends has quadrupled since 1990. Certain European countries have up to 20 percent of their population feeling lonely, while in Japan, some elderly folks have resorted to crime so they can have the companionship of inmates in jail.
Entrepreneurs have come up with a “solution” to this loneliness epidemic-rent-a-friend. Hired by the hour, these people will meet you in a cafe to talk or accompany you to a party. One such “friend” was asked who her clientele was. “Lonely, 30-to-40 year old professionals,” she said, “who work long hours and don’t have time to make many friends.”
Ecclesiastes 4 describes a person who is all alone, without “son nor brother”. There’s “no end” to this worker’s toil, yet his success isn’t fulfilling. “For whom am I toiling…”” he asks, waking up to his plight. Far better to invest in relationships, which will make his workload lighter and provide help in trouble. Because, ultimately, success without friendship is “meaningless”.
Ecclesiastes tells us that a cord of three strands isn’t quickly broken. but neither is it quickly woven. Since true friends can’t be rented, let’s invest the time needed to form them, with God as our third strand, weaving us tightly together.
again I saw something meaningless under the sun: There was a man all alone; he had neither son nor brother. There was no end to his toil, yet his eyes were not content with his wealth. “For whom am I toiling,” he asked, “and why am I depriving myself of enjoyment?” This too is meaningless-a miserable business! Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor; if either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up. Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.”
Most Bible scholars attribute the book of Ecclesiastes to King Solomon. The book begins: “The words of the Teacher, son of David, king in Jerusalem”. Those scholars who support Solomon as author date the book to his final years as king (around 940 BC), during waht the Baker Encyclopedia of the Bible says was the ‘golden era of Israelite wisdom.” The book demonstrates the meaninglessness or vanity of a worldview that doesn’t include God. The author concludes his book: “Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the duty of all mankind for God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil” including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil”. Loving and obeying God is the goal and purpose of life. And as today’s passage demonstrates, when we have Him as our third strand in the cord that binds all our friendships and relationships, we can stand strong.
Paul reminds the believers in Rome as well as all of us who believe today, that because of God’s love for us, He resurrected His Son as proof that if we truly believe in the gift of His Spirit that we can still remain on this earth in our bodies yet still be able to survive the onslaught of damage that sin can do to the “flesh”. Even though we are weak and are of a sinful nature, we can overcome this flaw in our characters, if we truly believe that His Spirit resides within the human heart.
Ancient man who believed in God, also believed in His Holy Spirit. However, back then, prior to the arrival of Jesus onto the scene, the Holy Spirit didn’t reside within the hearts of man. It wasn’t until Jesus was resurrected that man was given this gift. Christ wanted to give us something that would remain with us even after He left this earth because He understood that man was weak and if left to his own devices would fall victim to his sinful nature and because His love for all of us is so strong He wanted everyone to have the opportunity to follow Him on the path to eternity. He therefore proceeded to plant His Spirit in each and every one of our hearts.
His Holy Spirit is known by many different names and each name serves a different purpose to help us get through the muck that’s been created by the dark side of society:
After reading the above, those of us who are true believers should be in awe of such a gracious and glorious gift of the Holy Spirit. However, it can also sadden the heart at the same time, when we come to realize that each and every person is given this gift from God the moment they take their first breath, but somewhere down the line they decided to lock it away in some dark corner of their hearts where Satan hides gleefully laughing as they commit the unforgiveable sin.
Let us not fall into Satan’s trap, instead, let us hold on tight to the gift of the Spirit so that we will have the strength to stand by God’s side and fight for what we know is right.
Lord, we thank You now for Your sacrifice of shedding Your Holy Blood for us and for giving all of us the gift of salvation. Please teach us to be filled with more compassion, more mercy, and more love for all people, like You continually do.
Help us to see more clearly what You see. Help us to stop holding grudges, stop judging, stop turning our backs on those we have ignored. Show us how to grow closer to those we know and don’t know.
Give us the humility we need to be able to stand together so that we all can live as one for You and in You. Let us together all say “Amen!”