I was reading Ecclesiastes the other day and The Holy Spirit directed me to stop because He had something He wanted to impart to us. Honestly, can the Lord say it any clearer that we might understand? I don’t think so! These are very challenging verses that most likely will convict every one of us in one way or another. Please remember that conviction is not condemnation! Conviction is the Lord getting our attention to hear His heart on the things going on in our lives. I am VERY grateful that He loves me so much and that He cares so deeply for me that He won’t let me wander off His chosen path without warning!
With all the turmoil and strife in the world today, why would the Holy Spirit choose to focus on this particular passage this week? That really is a good question! And I believe that verse 11 answers that question quite well. “Thus I considered all my activities which my hands had done and the labor which I had exerted, and behold all was vanity and striving after wind and there was no profit under the sun.” The questions I hear the Holy Spirit whispering in my mind are: 1) How much of my life has been spent “striving after wind”? 2) Is my life “SPIRITUALLY profitable”? 3) Is God being glorified? 4) Am I a willing vessel for His use? 5) Will there be crowns to lay at the feet of Jesus when I stand before Him?
The answers to those questions can help us understand more clearly the times we are living in. Only if we are intimate with the Lord and daily allowing ourselves to be transparent and an open vessel can we be standing on solid ground. That means we are in an active growing intimate relationship with the Lord. Not leaning on our own understanding, not leaning on what we learned in the past, but seeking God’s guidance today, now, at this exact moment. Nothing stays the same, life is constantly changing. But it also repeats itself. “That which has been is that which will be, and that which has been done is that which will be done. So there is nothing new under the sun.” (Ecclesiastes 1:9) Read that again, history is repeating itself OVER AND OVER AGAIN and we need to know the Word of God to have understanding of the times we are living in.
Can we really use scripture to guide us through the circumstances of life today? Absolutely! Let me set a bit of foundation here for reference. The only perfect place on earth was the Garden of Eden and it didn’t take Satan long to enter and deceive Eve and have his sin manifested through man and infect all of the earth, including all of creation to suffer the effects of man’s sin. There had been perfect balance in the garden and all lived in harmony, including the animals. But due to sin entering the earth, God had to kill the first animal (first sacrifice) to clothe Adam and Eve for they were sent out of the Garden. Sin quickly multiplied in the life of mankind until God could not tolerate it any longer and had Noah build the ark. In all the earth Noah was the only one that God found righteous. (Genesis 6:8-9) Think about that a moment. Can you imagine the depth of that truth? Keep in mind the word remnant from this point forward. Scripture is consistent that a remnant will be saved. That is established. The big question is, “Are you part of the remnant?” Today, the Lord wants to take us on a journey to see whether we are living our lives in vain or daily living in and for God’s righteous Son, Jesus Christ.
After the Lord led the Israelites out of Egypt and into the desert He gave them “statutes” and “ordinances” and “commandments”. Initially God orally gave the Ten Commandments. Then God spoke all these words, saying,  "I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.  You shall have no other gods before Me.  You shall not make for yourself an idol, or any likeness of what is in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the water under the earth.  You shall not worship them or serve them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, on the third and the fourth generations of those who hate Me,  but showing lovingkindness to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.  You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain, for the LORD will not leave him unpunished who takes His name in vain.  Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.  Six days you shall labor and do all your work,  but the seventh day is a Sabbath of the LORD your God; in it you shall not do any work, you or your son or your daughter, your male or your female servant or your cattle or your sojourner who stays with you.” For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day; therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.  Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be prolonged in the land which the LORD your God gives you.  You shall not murder.  You shall not commit adultery.  You shall not steal.  You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.  You shall not covet your neighbor's house; you shall not covet your neighbor's wife or his male servant or his female servant or his ox or his donkey or anything that belongs to your neighbor." (Exodus 20:1-17)
When we act in opposition to any of these words from the Lord we are acting in vain! It is pure vanity and pride on our part that we think we are above or apart from what the Lord has stated for His people. And we can’t use the excuse that this was only for the Israelites because it was given in the Old Testament! “But if some of the branches were broken off, and you, being a wild olive, were grafted in among them and became partaker with them of the rich root of the olive tree,” (Romans 11:17)
You might be of those who believe that we are not under the Law and the Ten Commandments. If so, may I warn you that there are 1050 commands in the New Testament proclaiming what to do and not do! Many come from the Old Testament, read Ephesians 5:1-21 as an example. If you question this you are welcome to write me and I will send you a file with all of them. The Lord’s curse on sin did not stop when Jesus came. The Holy Spirit ends with this warning to believers in 1 Corinthians16:22, “if anyone does not love the Lord, he is to be accursed.” That is New Testament! Every other law of God falls under the Ten Commandments. Oh how many believers’ lives will be judged at the great white throne as vanity! He will say, “I died to be your Bridegroom but you never really loved Me as My bride. You never said as My bride ‘I love You with all of my heart and I don’t want to ever displease You, my Bridegroom, my love! I will read Your love letters to search out what pleases You. I don’t want to live a life of worldliness and uselessness. I do not want to become addicted to materialism which takes my heart away from You.’ No, you never declared that to My heart and I was so longing to hear from you!”
The Lord wants us to seriously go over this list and see where we are falling short. If you are honest with the Lord and willing to allow the Holy Spirit to search you, you may be surprised of what He might show you that maybe you were totally unaware of. “Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me and know my anxious thoughts;  and see if there be any hurtful way in me, And lead me in the everlasting way.” (Psalms 139:23-24)
God gave His statutes, ordinances and commandments to keep us under His protection because He wants to keep His bride’s heart safe. Like a loving father, our Father does not want us to harm ourselves, or to place ourselves in situations where we could literally be killed! Let me give you a very simple illustration. Would you place your baby in the middle of the road to play? Of course not! You would put the child in a playpen or a fenced yard depending on their age. You would also be there watching them continuously so they didn’t get hurt. You set boundaries for your child to keep them safe! That is exactly what God has done for us. And just as that child has free will to try and climb the fence to get out and explore outside of the yard, we have been given free will to choose to go “outside” of God’s protective boundaries and suffer the consequences of our choices. Chapters 28-30 in Deuteronomy go into great detail regarding the outcome of our choices, we can choose blessings or we can choose curses. Not all of those curses, unfortunately, apply to us only but can also affect generations after us. We find a number of them in the New Testament. We read about the curses of disobedience in 1 Corinthains11:30, “for this reason many among you are weak and sick, and a number sleep (have died)”. In Acts chapter 5 the deaths of Ananias and Sapphira was their curse for lying to the Lord.
What is to be the true spiritual outcome of our life as a Christian? Romans 14:9 tells us, “For to this end Christ died and lived again, that He might be Lord both of the dead and of the living.” He died not to just be our Savior but to be our Lord. Are you living for the Lord? Do you read the Word to find out what pleases your King, your Bridegroom? The answers are found in the “do’s and don’ts of His word in the New Testament laws. If this is not your purpose then everything you are doing in this life is spiritually empty and is vanity.
Now let’s go back to our opening scripture of Ecclesiastes 2:10-11. God is giving us another chance to return to Him, ask forgiveness and repent. Remember that to repent is to TURN AWAY from the sin and go in the other direction. We don’t carry it around like a teddy bear! Read this verse again, Then God spoke all these words, saying,  "I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.” (Exodus 20:2) If you are in bondage to drugs, alcohol, gambling, sex, immoral behaviors, or other addictions such as materialism, sports, work, internet attractions, etc, you are back in Egypt. You are slaves of another master other than Jesus Christ your Bridegroom who lives in your heart every minute of the day! I don’t say that in condemnation, some of you may be experiencing generations of these curses. But God is greater than anything the enemy can throw at us! “You are from God, little children, and have overcome them; because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world.” (1 John 4:4) "And they overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony, and they did not love their life even when faced with death.” (Revelation 12:11) "He who overcomes will inherit these things, and I will be his God and he will be My son.” (Revelation 21:7)
However, God isn’t going to do it for us, we have to turn away, repent, and seek Him to reign as the Lord in our lives. “It is a trustworthy statement: For if we died with Him, we will also live with Him;  If we endure, we will also reign with Him; If we deny Him, He also will deny us;  If we are faithless, He remains faithful, for He cannot deny Himself.” (2 Timothy 2:11-13)
It is VERY important today to be standing on the firm foundation of Jesus Christ so that we will not be swayed by false doctrine. “As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming;” (Ephesians 4:14) “For this reason we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away from it.” (Hebrews 2:1) “...For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy." (Revelation 19:10) What exactly does that mean? It means that without proper teaching and adherence to the Word of God we will not understand what is happening in the world nor we will understand how we are to stand in His truth.
Last night as I was in prayer and talking with the Lord about what is happening in this world, I asked Him to help me to be aware of the things of prophecy and yet not be afraid of their happening. I know that God does not give us the strength to endure all things prior to the time of the need (He supplies everything we need at the exact time we need it) so that we continue to lean on Him, but I also confessed that my love for Him was so great and that I did not want to be as Peter was before the Lord’s crucifixion and be weak enough to deny Him. I gently heard Him say that He would supply all of my needs in every moment as I continued to lean on Him. Then I heard Him say, “And He will be the stability of your times, A wealth of salvation, wisdom and knowledge; The fear of the LORD is his treasure.” (Isaiah 33:6) I instantly had a peace as I understood that the “stability of your times” was my stability in Him, His strong foundation. There will never be stability in the world, even in the first part of the reign of the antichrist, even though there will appear to be stability. All stability comes through our relationship in Jesus Christ. If it is not a strong intimate relationship, we are placing ourselves in jeopardy of falling. The Lord warns us all through the Scriptures from Genesis 1:1 through Revelation 22:21.
Are you in a church or listening to “feel good” preachers? Do you leave the service feeling good but never convicted and challenged by the Lord because you are falling short of His standard? Do you know what God’s standards are? Jesus summed it up for us, “AND YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND, AND WITH ALL YOUR STRENGTH.'” A young man in the scriptures was really looking for one of those “feel good” preachers to tell him how great he was doing and that all was well. When he heard Jesus was in his town he went to Him and asked the question most people really want to ask. Let’s listen to the conversation together. And someone came to Him and said, "Teacher, what good thing shall I do that I may obtain eternal life?"  And He said to him, "Why are you asking Me about what is good? There is only One who is good; but if you wish to enter into life, keep the commandments."  Then he said* to Him, "Which ones?" And Jesus said, "You shall not commit murder; You shall not commit adultery; You shall not steal; You shall not bear false witness;  HONOR YOUR FATHER AND MOTHER; and YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF."  The young man said* to Him, "All these things I have kept; what am I still lacking?"  Jesus said to him, "If you wish to be complete, go and sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me."  But when the young man heard this statement, he went away grieving; for he was one who owned much property.  And Jesus said to His disciples, "Truly I say to you, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven.  "Again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God."  When the disciples heard this, they were very astonished and said, "Then who can be saved?"  And looking at them Jesus said to them, "With people this is impossible, but with God all things are possible." (Matthew 19:16-26 NASB)
Like most of us the main commandments that we remember are the ones that Jesus gave this young man. Why? Because the young man was one who could follow rules and he considered himself to have kept them perfectly. Most likely he was proud of the fact that he was “righteous” in his own eyes. But after Jesus said these things the young man asked a very important question that most people don’t ask today. They hear the first response and pat themselves on the back and move on, that is a good example of “feel good preaching”. But the young man asked “what am I still lacking?" (verse 20) Notice the first part of Jesus’ response, "If you wish to be complete,” Did you just stop at this statement and think I made a mistake? I must admit that I usually read this account in the gospels of Mark or Luke and both of their accounts say that Jesus stated, “One thing you still lack”. Is one right and the other wrong? Absolutely not! Remember that each of the writers of the four gospels were lead by the Holy Spirit to emphasize a different aspect of the life of the Messiah. The Gospel of Matthew emphasis is on the deity of the Messiah as the Son of God. The NKJV translates this portion as “If you wish to be perfect”. There are no errors in scripture; the problems often come with the translations themselves in not properly translating the Hebrew or Greek texts. That is not the case here.
That phrase just jumped off the page to me. I had to stop writing yesterday after reading this statement by Jesus because I am so used to hearing the one thing the young man lacked. Yes, he absolutely lacked something that was very important and it was going to keep him from entering into the kingdom of God, but the bottom line is that he was incomplete. Don’t miss this, he was even separated within himself but was unaware of this as well. He followed rules which to him meant that he was being obedient to God. We can “be obedient” but totally miss it because our heart belongs to something or someone else. Read that again. His actions in public were right, we could say he was righteous in his own eyes. But his identity, where his loyalties lay were in his possessions. He was very wealthy so others treated him well and he got his importance from his wealth and the opinions of others. But he “lacked one thing”, he “was not perfect” and he “was incomplete”. Why? He lacked a relationship with the living God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. His relationship was intimately with all he possessed. Keep in mind that the first 5 commandments are how we are to love our God and out of love we honor Him! Scripture is full of descriptions of the attributes of God and one of those was compassion for the poor, the hurting, the lame, the sick, the hungry, the orphan, the widow, the lost, etc.
Let’s look at a couple of other scriptures which support what Jesus was teaching so that we don’t miss it like this rich young ruler. “and in Him you have been made complete, and He is the head over all rule and authority;” (Colossians 2:10) “For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities--all things have been created through Him and for Him.” (Colossians 1:16) “Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
(1 Thessalonians 5:23) “so that He may establish your hearts without blame in holiness before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all His saints.” (1 Thessalonians 3:13) “who will also confirm you to the end, blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Corinthians 1:8) “And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” (James 1:4) (emphasis mine) And here is the way that this becomes reality, “For we also once were foolish ourselves, disobedient, deceived, enslaved to various lusts and pleasures, spending our life in malice and envy, hateful, hating one another.  But when the kindness of God our Savior and His love for mankind appeared,  He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit,  whom He poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior,  so that being justified by His grace we would be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.” (Titus 3:3-7)
Is it any wonder that Matthew gives us this account? He too was wealthy. He was a Jew but was working for the Romans in collecting taxes for them. It was well known that the tax collectors would collect more than what was needed and they became wealthy through their deceit. It was a stigma just to be a Jewish tax collector, so when Jesus called Matthew to follow Him, He walked away from it all and found the love and acceptance that can only be found in a relationship with God and through His Son Jesus Christ.
Matthew found that he was made complete in Christ. Jesus lead by example. When followers would tell Him that they would follow Him anywhere, His typical response was the following, And Jesus told him, “Foxes have lurking holes and the birds of the air have roosts and nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay His head.” (Luke 9:58) He wasn’t against having possessions, money, a house, but those were conveniences that were a blessing, that is not to be where our heart is.
As I look upon the church of today I don’t think I could see a greater difference in the ministry of Jesus and the church leaders of today. Not all, but many today thrive on power and control, big churches, big houses, buying airplanes, being driven around in limousines...I think you are getting the picture. What I hear in most of their teaching is psychology dressed up in Christian “lingo”. It’s all vanity!
There have always been false prophets. Unfortunately there are probably more false prophets than God’s prophets. Today there are so many false prophets that some denominations deny the Word of God and the teaching in Ephesians, “And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers,” (Ephesians 4:11)
But how do you tell them apart? Yes, from the Word of God that develops a relationship with the Lord so that discernment and wisdom are received. Because of the lack of knowledge of God’s Word by both those in the church and those leading the church, we have completely missed the instruction to us as to why Jesus Christ appointed apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers. Read the next couple of verses with me,  “for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ; until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ.  As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming;  but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ,  from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by what every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love.” (Ephesians 4:12-16) (emphasis mine)
There are very few today who can “rightly divide the Word of God”. Our churches and ministries look good, and sound good but if you are spiritually discerning you will find that God is not there. Attendees come away with a feel good message without any teaching on the consequences of sin in their lives. We absolutely need the promises of God but we also need to repent of our sin so that those promises can be ours! God will not bless sin! How many pastors warn us of the judgment seat of Christ where we will stand alone before the Lord and give an account? How many pastors deal with our loving Father’s discipline and sometimes scourging to correct His real children? How many pastors deal what a true born again Christian will exemplify in their walk? How many deal with horrors of eternal punishment as Jesus did in the Gospels and John in Revelation? How many teach what true holiness looks like? The Word of God clearly declares in Hebrews 12:14, “pursue peace with all men, and the sanctification without which no one will see the Lord.” When was the last time you heard this scripture preached from a pastor’s lips? 2 Corinthians 7:1, “therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all defilement of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.”
We have to know and understand God’s character, His ways and His standards and expectations. Yes, God is a forgiving God, but that doesn’t give us an excuse to sin and expect He will forgive us because He loves us! “But if you are without discipline, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate children and not sons.” (Hebrews 12:8)
I am reminded of Elijah who had just killed 450 prophets of Baal. God had made a miraculous mockery of the false prophets and revealed Himself to the people of Israel. They then acknowledged that the Lord was God (1 Kings 18:39). But when King Ahab told his wife Jezebel what had happened she threatened Elijah’s life and he fled in fear. His fear was so great that he was convinced he was the only prophet of the Lord God alive. Obadiah had told him that he had hidden 150 prophets of the Lord God in caves and they were alive, Jezebel had not been able to kill them. But there are times when we reach a point and our discernment is gone. Elijah had reached that point. God loved him and cared for him by sending a ministering angel to him to heal him and give him strength for the journey ahead of him. Before lifting Elijah up to the heavens God revealed to Elijah that the new kings he was to anoint would kill those who were in sin but would keep 7000 who had not bowed their knees to Baal.
My dear brothers and sisters listen closely! The LORD said to him, "Go, return on your way to the wilderness of Damascus, and when you have arrived, you shall anoint Hazael king over Aram;  and Jehu the son of Nimshi you shall anoint king over Israel; and Elisha the son of Shaphat of Abel-meholah you shall anoint as prophet in your place.  "It shall come about, the one who escapes from the sword of Hazael, Jehu shall put to death, and the one who escapes from the sword of Jehu, Elisha shall put to death.  "Yet I will leave 7,000 in Israel, all the knees that have not bowed to Baal and every mouth that has not kissed him." (1 Kings 19:15-18) There was a small remnant left that worshiped the one true living God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and they alone would be spared!
We often read in the scriptures about “the remnant”. The remnant are a few true followers TOTALLY IN LOVE WITH the Lord God Almighty. I have heard my whole life that there will be a great and mighty revival where millions will come to the Lord before the rapture. I honestly cannot find any supporting scripture for that in the end times. Yes, there are pockets of true repentant people who receive Christ as Lord of their lives, it may appear to be massive numbers, but they are few in number considering the number of people on earth. And yes, there are multitudes already in heaven and will be at the Marriage Supper of the Lamb. However, if you consider the number of people that have been born from the beginning of time until the Battle of Armageddon, that number will be small in comparison to the number of births. Let’s explore that a little further.
Something that struck me many years ago was the dimensions of the new heaven and new earth. Do you remember what they are? “The city is laid out as a square, and its length is as great as the width; and he measured the city with the rod, fifteen hundred miles; its length and width and height are equal.” (Revelation 21:16) That is about half of the width of the United States! So picture a square of those dimensions...that is not very big. I do have to tell you that I do wonder why the angel of the Lord revealed to the Apostle John that the 1500 miles also was the height of the region. Will the new heaven and new earth be multilevel? It appears so but I have no idea. All we really know is that it will come down on the site of the current Jerusalem and the dimensions. The point is that there is a “remnant” and there is room for everyone who is willing to bow their knee to the authority of Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior! When I ponder on these words I am so very thankful for the simplicity of the gospel. It is not complicated but it does take time to sit down and take in everything the Lord wants to impart to us. And just because it is not complicated does not mean that we will understand all of it, we will be learning new truths every day for all of eternity!
May I also be bold enough to bring to light another deception that we face every day? There seems to be a belief that even if we don’t desire to live a pure life here on this earth that we will be able to do so in our eternal home in the Kingdom of God. Think about it. I’m not talking about being perfect, that is vanity. But the desire to live a life pleasing to the Lord, a holy vessel that the Lord is able to flow through to touch others. To live a life of worshipping the living God! I once heard someone say that if you won’t praise and worship God while on this earth you will not be able to stand being in God’s eternal kingdom. I’m not talking about jumping up and down in worship, nor am I talking about being slain in the spirit, but truly being one who worships God because He is holy, He is righteous, He is sovereign, He is the Lord of lord and King of kings! He is the great I AM! We worship just because He is and the more we worship Him the more we fall in love with Him and the more we fall in love with Him the more we begin to take on His characteristics. Does this describe you?
So one of the challenges the Lord is asking each one today is, are you sure that the leaders in your life are teaching the pure word of God? Are you in a church that embraces prophets and apostles? Are they speaking truth? Are what they are teaching lining up with the written word of God? In other words, are they teaching you the prophecies that are in scripture that are now being revealed and fulfilled? Today’s prophets are not to “make up” new prophecy, they are to reveal what has been given through scripture to the believer so they can understand the times and the fulfillment of scripture!
Much of what these prophets say sounds good, they tickle the ears of their listeners. “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires,” (2 Timothy 4:3) And they are very busy creating the atmosphere to try and make it look like their prophecies are true. The problem is that they are manmade and God is not in them! Can you discern the truth from the imitation that is so prolific in our society today? I’m afraid that many people who believe themselves saved are not. They have been deceived and are following after the prophets of Baal. “They profess to know God, but by their deeds they deny Him, being detestable and disobedient and worthless for any good deed.” (Titus 1:16) The prophet Isaiah gives us the same message directly from God in Isaiah29:13, “Then the Lord said, "Because this people draw near with their words And honor Me with their lip service, but they remove their hearts far from Me, and their reverence for Me consists of tradition learned by rote,” Again, it is all vanity, all for appearance and not from the heart!
The deceptions can easily be ignored by our carnal nature. How so? Read the first sentence in our opening scripture again. “All that my eyes desired I did not refuse them.” I can easily say that I don’t get everything I want, can’t you? But if I am honest I have to admit that I “treat” myself more than I should. Do you? The second sentence is the one that gives evidence and brings conviction. The writer here very clearly justifies his action, just as we do. Are we even willing to ask the Lord to see through His eyes what our life reflects? “For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men,  instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age,  looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus,  who gave Himself for us to redeem us from every lawless deed, and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds.” (Titus 2:11-14)
And a final thought, let us hear the words of Jesus in John 14:23, Jesus answered and said to him, "IF ANYONE LOVES ME, HE WILL KEEP MY WORD; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him, and make Our abode with him.” Do you? Do I?
Abba Father, You are great and greatly to be praised! Oh Lord, how much of our lives can so easily become vanity without our even realizing it! We depend on the “stability” of our governments, our leaders and the world events to lead us around like puppets! The governments and the media are so corrupt that we aren’t given any truth. We are fed by their bias and even Your children aren’t even spiritually nourished enough to discern the truth of the times! We acknowledge that our ONLY stability is through Jesus Christ. Forgive us Father that we have allowed “teachers and preachers” to tell us what Your Word says without coming personally to You and allowing You to speak directly into our lives! Many can’t even discern the apostasy being taught today because they lack a personal relationship with You through Your Word, through Your Holy Spirit and through Your Son Jesus Christ! Lord, I lift up those who are spiritually bankrupt and pray for an opening in their Spirit to begin seeking You, seeking Your truth. I pray Lord that those reading this devotion will seek Your strength to stand apart from the masses and enter into an intimate relationship with You. Prepare us Lord for the plan that You have for each of us for this day and each day before us. Thank You, Abba, that You know those who are Yours and You have written their names in the Book of Remembrance. I bow down before You and thank You as Your search me and show me every area that needs to be cleansed, healed or delivered from sin. My one and only desire is to please You and to be in right alignment. If there are any vain areas of my life, Abba, reveal them and walk me through Your cleansing of them! I love You Abba. All this I pray in the beautiful precious name of the Lord Jesus Christ, Amen!