"...do not set hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God,
Do good! Be rich in good works! Be generous! Ready to share!
"Being affectionately desirous of you - being crazy about you! loving you just so stinking much! - we were ready to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own selves - our things, and our home, and our time, and our stuff, and our food, and our thoughts, and lives -, because you had become very dear to us - you mattered to us, a lot." 1 Thess 2:8
"Devote yourself to every activity, reflection, or enterprise that expands your vision of God, His grace, His gifts, and His gladness. Abandon every discipline, devotion, or duty that offers the Lord a reason to think well of you or gives you a reason to think better of yourself." (Enjoying Grace Ministries)
Enjoy life with the wife whom you love, all the days of your vain life... because that is your portion in life!" "The Lord is my portion and my cup." eat your bread with joy, and drink your wine with a merry heart, for God has already approved what you do! Let your garments be always white! Let not oil be lacking on your head!
"My childhood was indisputably marked with predictable (even if abnormal) 'devotional' activities. Warm prayers that sent us off to school, lingering meals with missionaries or friends or neighbors, non-formulaic prayers of gratitude that opened most meals, hymn-sings that spontaneously erupted on the majority of car-rides of a half hour or more, and such things were a 'predictable' part of life - so predictable that they weren't programmed. They were life.There was no 'time of day' when we would reference Scripture, engage prayer, sing songs, or dialogue through our Christian world-view - because...well...there were no times of day when these were odd or out of place.This is not a critique of thoughtful devotional methods that faithful believers engage to build truth and faith into their lives. My heart aches to share what can be the heart of family faith, not to declare what shouldn't be or must be the habits of family worship or personal devotions.At it's root this is not a discussion about family or personal devotions or worship. It's a discussion about devotion and worship. Above all we are asking what honors our Lord and magnifies our joy in Him (which is what honors Him).Linger with Him because He's amazing. Do nothing to pay the Lord what you owe or make Him happy with you. Pure absurdity. Live everyday because the Lord immeasurably loves you and loudly sings over you with joy."
(Enjoying Grace Ministries)
"And if the way is too long for you, so that you are not able to carry the tithe, when the LORD your God blesses you, because the place is too far from you, which the LORD your God chooses, to set his name there, then you shall turn it into money and bind up the money in your hand and go to the place that the LORD your God chooses and spend the money for whatever you desire—oxen or sheep or wine or strong drink, whatever your appetite craves. And you shall eat there before the LORD your God and rejoice, you and your household!" Dt. 14:24-26
How beautiful. Take My money, and go pick out whatever you want. And gather your loved ones around and feast and rejoice. We would typically consider money we tithe money we give to do God's work. It allows our churches to practically do the things God gives them to do. Doesn't that tell so much about the heart of God? That His work is to do us good, for our joy. To give us gifts and treasures and feasts.
"Besides being wise, the Preacher also taught the people knowledge, weighing and studying and arranging many proverbs with great care. The Preacher sought to find words of delight, and uprightly he wrote words of truth. The words of the wise are like goads [pokes that propel you to action], and like nails firmly fixed are the collected sayings; they are given by one Shepherd. But, my son, beware of anything beyond these. Of making many books there is no end, and much study is a weariness to the flesh." Ecc 12:12If the carefully chosen words of delight become more of a study guide for the test you're cramming for, they will lose it's savor. The wise words should poke, urge and stimulate to action in our life. We shouldn't just read "there is nothing better for you than to enjoy your meal and be merry with your wine," we should go enjoy our meal and be merry with our wine! We should realize that the finals have been canceled and summer-break has begun! It's time to celebrate!