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Hello everyone! What are some of your favorite things to do on Sabbath? I like to watch nature shows, listen to music, and read! :)

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Miranda Writes: Black (and Blue) Friday, Part 2




by Omar Miranda



Last week we talked about the age-old and life-altering issue of each of us having a hole in our soul, a deep longing to have something—or, more important, Someone—to fill us in order for us to feel truly whole and complete. So many times we each want to be able to find that completion in ourselves—a TV to our remote control, a peanut butter to our jelly . . . a Milli to our Vanilli. (I’m dating myself now. Oh, come on! You know you’re Googling “Milli Vanilli” right now.) OK, now that you know the kind of music I used to listen to when I was your age, we can move on.

Remember I introduced you to the wisest man in the world, Solomon, who spent a long time searching to find out what was truly worth it all. Today we’re going to find out what he discovered, and how it can answer life’s deepest questions.

Solomon starts his diary (aka Ecclesiastes) on a positive note by stating, “‘Meaningless! Meaningless!’ says the Teacher. ‘Utterly meaningless! Everything is meaningless’” (1:2).¹ OK, so maybe that’s not so positive. He goes on to write in verses 8-10:

“All things are wearisome, more than one can say. The eye never has enough of seeing, nor the ear its fill of hearing. What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun. Is there anything of which one can say, ‘Look! This is something new’? It was here already, long ago; it was here before our time.”

Solomon rants and raves for 12 chapters about all his getting and all his stuff. At one point we find out that he got literally anything and everything he wanted—can you imagine that? That is incomprehensible to me! This is what he wrote:

“I undertook great projects: I built houses for myself and planted vineyards. I made gardens and parks and planted all kinds of fruit trees in them. I made reservoirs to water groves of flourishing trees. I bought male and female slaves and had other slaves who were born in my house. I also owned more herds and flocks than anyone in Jerusalem before me. I amassed silver and gold for myself, and the treasure of kings and provinces. I acquired male and female singers, and a harem as well—the delights of a man’s heart. I became greater by far than anyone in Jerusalem before me. In all this my wisdom stayed with me. I denied myself nothing my eyes desired; I refused my heart no pleasure. My heart took delight in all my labor, and this was the reward for all my toil. Yet when I surveyed all that my hands had done and what I had toiled to achieve, everything was meaningless, a chasing after the wind; nothing was gained under the sun” (2:4-11).

In the end, Solomon admits that the only way to be happy and satisfied is to “fear God [revere and worship Him, knowing that He is] and keep His commandments, for this is the whole of man [the full, original purpose of his creation, the object of God’s providence, the root of character, the foundation of all happiness, the adjustment to all inharmonious circumstances and conditions under the sun] and the whole [duty] for every man” (12:13, Amplified).²

So there you have it. The tale of one man’s—correction: of all humanity’s—search for satisfaction, fulfillment, peace, and joy. Solomon said it straight: If you want to be happy, if you want to have peace, joy, fulfillment, and satisfaction in life, then acknowledge and respect God and obey what He says! The only true and lasting freedom, joy, and peace are found in Him. The apostle Paul said it this way in the book of Acts: “In him we live and move and have our being” (17:28).

Back to my original statement last week: “It’s just stuff.” Stuff is OK as long as you recognize that that is all it is: stuff! Nothing, not stuff, not knowledge, not even earthly relationships, as important as they are, can replace God!
Hey, as stuff goes, the stuff I’ve received is pretty cool, but the coolest thing in the world is something you can’t buy in a store. It’s a daily, intimate relationship with Jesus Christ as not only our Savior but our Lord as well.

Take a look at what the Bible says about stuff and what will ultimately happen to it:

“But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything done in it will be laid bare. Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming” (2 Peter 3:10-12).

Did you catch that? It’s all going to burn up. All our collective stuff will one day be gone . . . and the only thing we’ll have left is the only thing we ever needed in the first place—salvation, which brings perfect peace and fellowship with God. I hope you have salvation, but if you don’t, it’s really easy to get. Salvation is the only free gift that really is free; not just for a season, but for forever! It cost Jesus a whole lot to give it to you: it cost Him His life!

If you accepted God’s free gift of salvation today, write me and let me know. I’d love to rejoice with you and send you some free literature about how you can deepen your relationship with God. When Thanksgiving and Christmas come around, have a happy holiday season! Enjoy your Christmas gifts (in moderation), and be careful when you’re shopping. I’ve heard it can be a real contact sport!

Until next time, remember that God’s way is always the best way. Life is full of decisions, so make yours good ones. Make God first above all in your life, and you can’t go wrong.

Feel free to contact me: you can e-mail me at omarmiranda@earthlink.net; or you can keep up with me on Facebook; or you can read more of my stuff on Miranda Writes at www.insightmagazine.org; or you can check me out or send me a message at my Web site, thriveatlife.org; or you can reach me via snail mail (slow!) at the address printed below.

In Christ,
Omar Miranda, certified Christian counselor
Abundant Life Ministries
155 Earl Street
Plainville, GA 30733
Phone: 1-770-354-2912

¹Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations in this article are from the Holy Bible, New International Version. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
²Bible texts credited to Amplified are from The Amplified Bible, Old Testament copyright © 1965, 1987 by Zondervan Corporation. The Amplified New Testament copyright © 1958, 1987 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

Omar Miranda is a Christian counselor with 20 years’ experience working with youth in public and private middle and high schools. He’s married and has two kids. He enjoys teaching the youth at his church, reading, writing, gardening, and camping. He’s a recovering knucklehead who spent a lot of time in the past doing stupid stuff away from God. He’s been back with God for years now and is eager to share what he’s learned from his experiences by answering any questions you may have about life, the Christian life, Jesus, spiritual matters, and relationships in his column, Miranda Writes.





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