This week's focus: Priorities
“Everything in moderation” is a phrase we’ve all heard, and it’s something King Solomon eludes to in Ecclesiastes when he says, “Do not be excessively righteous and do not be overly wise. Why should you ruin yourself? Do not be excessively wicked and do not be a fool. Why should you die before your time?” - Ecclesiastes 7:16-17
Solomon could confidently give this advice because he discovered the woes of unconstraint. He knew firsthand that too much of a good thing could become harmful when moderation is ignored. For example, Solomon wasn’t content with one wife, so he married 700 hundred wives and had 300 concubines—that’s excessive. If he had to make this many women happy, no wonder he sometimes sounds like a depressed drama king in the book of Ecclesiastes.
Solomon’s unrivaled riches allowed him to deny himself nothing his eyes desired. Unfortunately, like Adam and Eve in the garden, he was easily led astray by what is “pleasing for the eyes” and built his life chasing what he could see, touch, and feel. By seeking what the world offers—the desires of the flesh, the desires of the eyes, and the pride of life—he found himself in despair and lamenting that life was “Meaningless! Meaningless! Utterly meaningless!”
The Bible teaches us that if we seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, all these things will be added to us. The downfall of Solomon began the moment his focus shifted from God and instead looked to “all these things” to provide enduring joy and fulfillment. Had he wisely put God first, he would have realized that “the blessing of the LORD makes one rich, And He adds no sorrow with it” (Proverbs 10:22).
Solomon found only discouragement and disillusion when he sought worldly happiness through indulgence, possessions, achievements, wealth, and fame. By placing his happiness in temporary things, his happiness was just that—temporary.
The only One worthy of our excessive attention and adoration is God Himself. When He is first in our lives, we can never have “too much of a good thing.” On the contrary, I believe Jesus discouraged moderation in this area when He said we are to love the Lord our God with all our heart and with all our soul and with all our mind and with all our strength.
We can learn a lot from the mistakes of others. That being said, if the wisest and wealthiest king in the Bible warns us that following worldly desires is a dead-end road, we would be wise to believe him.
Instead of depression, discouragement, and disillusionment, let us pursue Christ first and love Him excessively.
by: Jennifer McAlister, Communications, My Faith Votes
“But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”
Pray: Dear Lord, Forgive us when we fill our longing for You with other things like people, hobbies, work, sports, etc. May our wants and our desires be filled by You and You alone. We want to love you with all of our heart, soul, mind, and strength.
Think: "No love of the natural heart is safe unless the human heart has been satisfied by God FIRST." - Oswald Chambers
Act: On Friday, April 14, a new movie released nationwide called Nefarious. We pray it will help launch spiritual discussions. Nefarious is based on the book A Nefarious Plot by Christian talk show host Steve Deace, which brings to light the devil’s dark work in destroying lives, written in a style like C.S. Lewis’ tale, The Screwtape Letters. The Nefarious movie, however, wasn’t written for Christian audiences. It is a contemporary thriller, not like your usual faith-based movie, aimed to reach new audiences. My Faith Votes previewed the film, and it is disturbing…but in a way that is a wakeup call to the reality of evil and the spiritual battle we are up against. The movie can be a tool to discuss the merciless reality of evil, our need for a savior, and Jesus’ victory on the cross.
We want to see God honored in America, and we pray for an unprecedented spiritual awakening.
This devotion was produced in partnership with Every Home for Christ.
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