Ecclesiastes – Revealing Our Duty

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

The Book of Ecclesiastes is really written to men and women who think with their hearts, who have had the deepest desire to understand and walk with God. David’s tenth son, Solomon, the second child born to Bath-sheba wrote Ecclesiastes.  He was the richest man in the Bible.  Solomon was also someone whom God greatly loved.

In I Chronicles chapter 1, God asked Solomon what he wanted, and God would give it to him. Solomon only asked for wisdom and knowledge, and because he didn’t ask for riches God gave to him both riches in extraordinary amounts of abundance, and wisdom with the knowledge to apply the wisdom of God.

There were many times that Solomon disobeyed God’s Word and did what he felt like doing, yet towards the end of his days he again began searching and finding his God because he found his Savior Christ in the Scriptures.

In Ecclesiastes, as Solomon looks back upon his life and reflects on all that he knew, all that he did, and all that he had, he finally came to the conclusion that without Christ and God in his life ─ life itself was just not exciting.

In Ecclesiastes he writes of the heart of the matter, finding reason and purpose to life itself, and today we will see the conclusion of all that Solomon’s wisdom had discovered:

Ecclesiastes 12:13 – Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.

“Fear God” is a term that some people use to imply that without being genuinely fearful of God, His wrath and vengeance, then they say that God cannot and will not bless the believer’s life. Yet this is totally untrue, God always loves us.  The word “fear” means to have respect, to give reverence with honor to God. Never does God want His children to be afraid of Him for any reason whatsoever!

When we look to Jesus Christ as the way to the Father, he can teach us how to genuinely love God without fear. He said in John 14:31, “But that the world may know that I love the Father.” Jesus wanted us to know by his example that he also loved, and he knows how to not only love, but also he knows how to teach us how to love and respect our heavenly Father.

Then verse 13 says, “and keep his commandments.” Again as we look to Jesus we see that in Matthew 22:37-38, Jesus combines all the Laws and commandments into two and the two are to love God and our neighbor as ourselves, and without knowing Christ we would become totally burnt out trying to keep all of God’s commandments. However, when we walk in love toward God and our fellow man, then we can only be pleasing to God.

Thirdly the verse says “for this is the whole duty of man,” this is not some of the duty, not the best part of our duty, but our only duty is to love and respect God, and walk in love.

There was a time in Solomon’s life that he refused God’s instruction, and misinterpreted the Word of God, and as a result of that he lost his duty to God.  Solomon spent years contemplating the essence of life without God, yet when he again began looking to Christ, he found his way and finally recognized his duty and began enjoying life again.

Ecclesiastes 3:11 – He {God} hath made every thing beautiful in his time: also he hath set the world {the ages} in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning {of the ages} to the end {of the ages}.

God gave man the heart to quest and realize that there is a spiritual force and power behind life (Romans 1:20), yet that force (Who is God) is just out of man’s reach until he comes to know his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. John 1:17 teaches us that “the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he {the Son} hath declared him.

Jesus Christ’s mission has always been to make known God (to know Him Who was in the beginning of the ages) and he assures us that (in the end of the ages), our final resting place will be eternally with our heavenly Father.

Romans 11:33-36 teaches us that man of his own abilities cannot discover God’s judgments, nor His true ways, nor can he fully know God’s thoughts or be His counsellor. But when Jesus Christ comes into our hearts and lives, we can put on in our minds the thoughts of Christ who in turn reveals the Father. I Corinthians 2:16 reads, “For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? {The answer is no one can.} But we have the mind of Christ.”

When we put on the mind of Christ by putting on God’s Word, then we will receive the “mind of Christ,” and his mind gives understanding to us so that we may discover our true duty before God.

To honor, respect, and love Him and to love our fellow man. This is the only heartfelt conclusion to life that we have in Jesus Christ and this is what will satisfy the believer’s inner quest for true spirituality.

The Purpose for Receiving the Grace of God

I thank my God always on your behalf, for the grace of God which is given you by Jesus Christ– I Corinthians 1:4. Each time Paul thought of his fellow believers throughout the day – he thanked God for the free and open access to God that they had (and we have) made available to all of us by the grace of God through Jesus Christ (John 1:17). Grace means, God’s divine favor given to us with the abundance of His spiritual blessings, and these blessings are truly unmerited, undeserved, and unlimited. This grace is from God Himself and is given to men and women by (or on account of) Jesus Christ, by his own sacrifice on our behalf. I Corinthians 1:5 continues, That in every thing ye are enriched by him, in all utterance, and in all knowledge. The purpose for receiving the grace of God is to enrich our lives, therefore, I thank my God!” ~LMJ~

The Grace of Our Lord

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

Galatians 6:18:
Brethren, the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Amen.

Heaven’s greatest gifts and holiest spiritual blessings accompanied with divine grace belong only to those who have obtained salvation. Galatians 6:18 is the closing salutation to the Book of Galatians. The first word is “Brethren . . .” and is used because God’s Word is talking to all those who belong to Him, and when they are God’s children, they are His sons and daughters, and members of His family. Every child of God is important to Him (Luke 15:10), and to each other (Ephesians 4:14-16).

Jesus, during the Gospel period was known to his disciples as their “master” (John 13:13) while to Jesus Christ, his disciples were known to him as his “friends” (John 15:13-15). This is still true today, along with another dynamic dimension, and that is that Christ is also our beloved Savior. For as he is a child of God (Mark 1:11) we are also the children of God, heirs of God, and joint heirs with Jesus Christ (Romans 8:15-17a).

The next phrase in Galatians 6:18 is “. . . the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.” “Your spirit” here means the inner you, not only what is in your heart but in your emotions and in your feelings and in all that makes you — you. After our salvation and introduction into God’s household, the very next thing that He gives to His children is “grace,” the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus is our Lord and Savior, for he was raised from the dead, and because he was resurrected, he has been the foundation of all true Christianity. In Romans 10:9-10, we learned that we must believe and confess that God raised the Lord Jesus from the dead; this is how we obtained our salvation. Then, we have free access to all the grace that came with Jesus Christ (John 1:17). Grace means unmerited and undeserved favor from the God of all love, and today the wonderful grace of God in Christ is ours to discover in the New Testament Scriptures, and to enjoy in our lives.

The last word in Galatians 6:18 is, “. . . Amen.” This means, “So be it.” In other words, the last word fills up the thought and content of the subject. Thus the grace of our Lord Jesus is permanently and presently with you and in you because you are the brethren of Jesus Christ and the children of God. Amen and so be it.

The Grace of God

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

I Corinthians 1:4:
I thank my God always on your behalf, for the grace of God which is given you by Jesus Christ;

The Apostle Paul, who wrote Corinthians was extremely thankful on behalf of the believers because he was able to reach out in thankfulness to acknowledge that the grace of God was given to them (and to us) by Jesus Christ (John 1:17). Grace means, God’s divine favor given to us with the abundance of His spiritual blessings, and these blessings are truly unmerited, undeserved, and unlimited. This grace is from God Himself and is given to men and women by (or on account of) Jesus Christ, by his own sacrifice on our behalf.

I Corinthians 1:5:
That in every thing ye are enriched by him, in all utterance, and in all knowledge;

The purpose for receiving the grace of God is to enrich our lives! We are dynamically enriched with spiritual blessings, which come to us by the favorable graces of God. Now that we have the grace of God, the quality of our spiritual lives can truly be enriched. Everything that we receive from God is spiritual; however, spiritual blessings will always come into our physical lives so that we may further enjoy them.  For instance – God gave us light, love, joy, and peace – these are spiritual qualities of life that become manifested in our lives as we walk in the knowledge that we truly have received these gifts from God.

The word “utterance” is the Greek word logos, and literally means the Word of God, and because we are enriched in and by the Word of God, we have access to everything His Word imparts unto us. When we begin to understand His Word, our “knowledge” increases and the grace of God becomes more and more enriching to our lives.

It is grace that helps us get back up on our feet when we fall so that we can again walk with God. When we study God’s Word, we will begin to realize some of the abundant grace that He has already presented to us. As we continue growing in the knowledge of God’s Word, we will become humbly thankful to God, as Paul was “… for the grace of God which was given {to} you by Jesus Christ.”

Peter – Revealing Our Stewardship of Grace

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

The Apostle Peter, who had walked on water with his Lord and Savior, wrote I and II Peter. Peter was a great man of God, contrary to what some believe and write about. It is true that he emphatically denied that he knew who Jesus was (without being in Peter’s shoes ourselves and facing what he had to face, it would be impossible to imply that anyone could have done any better).

It is true that he continually made mistakes. Peter rebuked Jesus once (at least Peter was man enough to speak his mind), and another time he swore that he would stand with Jesus no matter what the situation or consequence, and then he told Jesus that he was quitting the ministry and going back to his fishing profession.  Peter was an eyewitness of the actual sufferings of Jesus Christ. As we know from the Gospels and the Book of Acts, Peter continued getting back up, leaving us today with his example of a steward of the grace of God.

Peter was one of the greatest believers in the first century. The Word of God is so wonderful to show us the heart and life of Peter who typifies what could be any believer today who continues endeavoring to walk with God. Because we are not perfect, thankfully God only asks us to try and walk in His love, while His grace and love covers for our mistakes.

We will all blow it from time to time, but knowing that we have God’s divine grace in our lives, we may continue rising above those circumstances that caused us to screw up in the first place.

The Epistles of Peter express many wonderful truths; one that we will highlight today is our stewardship of grace given to each believer with the love of God, so that we may continue to rise up and walk with God while helping others along our way.

Peter experienced the grace of God upon his life, and so it is fitting that Peter wrote about God’s grace and our stewardship that came with Jesus Christ because Peter thoroughly understood and was thankful for the grace he enjoyed.

I Peter 4:8-10:
-8: And above all things have fervent charity {intensely given love} among yourselves; for charity shall cover the multitude of sins.
-9: Use hospitality one to another without grudging.
-10: As every man {every believer} hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.

One of the wonderful things that set the Christian apart is having spiritual love which God has given to us. Spiritual love covers when we sin, for our shortcomings, and when we are weak in our believing, and these combined are the multitude of sins that God’s love covers.

No one is perfect, yet God’s love is; thus the Word of God encourages us to extend love with spiritual intensity to each other, and as Jesus taught, this love proves first to ourselves that we are his disciples, then shows others that we are his disciples (John 13:34-35).

This is why Peter stated “Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned {without discrimination} love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently” (I Peter 1:22). Love not only covers a multitude of sins, but also purifies the soul of the lover, causing him to be pure before his Maker!

We have received the gift of God’s love, which was manifested in the life of Christ, and has been given to us in and by grace. God’s love encourages us to minister the same love to each other. This is our stewardship of grace.

“Manifold” means that the grace of God is multifaceted, like the life of Jesus himself, or like the morning sky changing into hundreds of pastel colors ever so slightly with every moment and with every blink of our eyes. God’s divine grace is always forgiving, and is always given to us with love, and this we can minister one to another, proving God’s grace and love to be genuinely true and gentle as God continues holding us in His loving arms.

I Peter 4:11 – If any man speak {about the manifold grace of God}, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth {we can speak authoritatively because God has given to us His grace}: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion {strength} for ever and ever. Amen.

Jesus Christ is who made grace available, “grace and truth came by Jesus Christ” (John 1:17). Jesus, being the true subject of Scripture, continues revealing to us how to enjoy and walk within our divine gift from the Father.

When we speak the “oracles of God” i.e., the declaration of God’s grace, then we reciprocate back to our God – glory, and we discover the praise and strength of him who brought to us God’s grace – Jesus Christ.

God has given every believer a great ministry, Our Stewardship of Grace to enjoy and share with one another. What a marvelous standing we have in God’s family, and with him who gave his all for us, Christ the Lord.