ALL MEN MUST DIE – Wed, May 29, 2019

Ecclesiastes 9:2-4 KJV

All things come alike to all: there is one event to the righteous, and to the wicked; to the good and to the clean, and to the unclean; to him that sacrificeth, and to him that sacrificeth not: as is the good, so is the sinner; and he that sweareth, as he that feareth an oath.

[3] …there is one event unto all …that they go to the dead.

[4] For to him that is joined to all the living there is hope: for a living dog is better than a dead lion.

I know a man whose philosophy in life was just to make merry and live because life itself is never guaranteed. Even at my tender age I knew he lived a wasteful life. He was always happy though, or so it seemed. He kind of thought he would die soon.

Interesting enough, I met him again about a year ago. All alive but he was just wandering about our old neighbourhood. Apparently death did not grant him his wish years ago. Whatever experience brought him to subscribe to his philosophy had just failed him.

Indeed all things have one end as the great philosopher himself stated in Ecc 9:2-4. The common end to all righteousness and wickedness is death. The same for all clean and unclean… yet… “a living dog is better a dead lion,” Solomon would caution.

When you exit this earth with no proper accounts to give your maker, you would realize that the first death was not an end in itself after all.
Yes, all men must die, but this shouldn’t make us live in folly; greedily amassing all we can or foolishly wasting our lives in wanton pleasure.

Have a blessed day.
#CarllyDevotionals #1ChapterADay #OCP
http://www.carllyjay.com

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SACRIFICE OF FOOLS – Sat, May 25, 2019

Ecclesiastes 5:1 KJV

Keep thy foot when thou goest to the house of God, and be more ready to hear, than to give the sacrifice of fools: for they consider not that they do evil.

One of my very good friends asked me why robbers who pray succeed in their acts. He also gave accounts of “fraud boys” who give much in church and somehow do see much progress. My friend is not the only one who thinks along these lines, many more do.

I have personally encountered two different people in the council of elders of a church in Accra, who did very suspicious work. They lived off unsuspecting victims and did much harm, yet would do much charity in church.

But I believe this is what
King Solomon calls the “sacrifice of fools,” in Eccl 5:1.
God is not fooled by that kind of worship or sacrifice. Indeed we may fool onlookers but not God, and He doesn’t reward such acts of worship. It’s a no-brainer.

We live in a time where God expects us to worship Him in Spirit and in Truth, in a time where there is so much doctrine out there one may easily be led away in folly.
Know what you sacrifice and be convinced about it. Don’t be misguided, what is not rightfully acquired, cannot be sacrificed to Him.

Have a blessed weekend.
#CarllyDevotionals #1ChapterADay #OCP

KILL ‘EM DESIRES – Thu, May 23, 2019

Ecclesiastes 3:11 KJV

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

One of the most popular all time clichès may probably be, “there is a time for everything.” I’m yet to meet any young adult who may be hearing it for the first time.

Among the lot, “a time to kill and a time to heal” is the what tickles my fancy. So I asked myself, could King Solomon have said this to justify the many wars that were fought by his predecessors? I have seen many discussions on some WhatsApp platforms blatantly condemning those wars and essentially painting God black. What motivated the Philosopher to add a phrase as such? a time to kill!!!

For any institution to be standing after thousands of years, some hard decisions surely must have been taken to get here. So is Christianity.
No matter how deep we dig to understand some of these things, I believe our finite minds may never be able to comprehend them fully.

…aside the reasons that are well documented in scripture.
What we can do in our time and what is probably within our power would be to know when to kill unfruitful ideas and engagements that would end us nowhere; urges and promptings that are not guided and rather end us in trouble. I pray for this grace, the grace to know when to kill them all.

Have a blessed day.
#CarllyDevotionals #1ChapterADay #OCP

VAIN TOILS – Wed, May 22, 2019

Ecclesiastes 2:18-19 KJV

Yea, I hated all my labour which I had taken under the sun: because I should leave it unto the man that shall be after me.

[19] And who knoweth whether he shall be a wise man or a fool? yet shall he have rule over all my labour wherein I have laboured, and wherein I have shewed myself wise under the sun. This is also vanity.

I had a chat with the board chairman of our company some years ago and he tried to explain to me why it was better to cede part of the company to investors.

He cited many examples of Ghanaian companies he grew up knowing, but are no more. The owners of these companies toiled to set it up, only for their children and dependants to flush them down the drain a few years thereafter. There were succession plans in place but they turned out not to be good.

King Solomon saw a similar trend in his days, which breeded some sort of contempt in himself for his own toils. When we always look at the bigger picture, and see this life as a temporary place, a thorough-fare, our fears are subsided.

It is good to toil for a better life and strive for better conditions here, but we should never lose that focus of the hereafter, because that matters the most:
A place where no man can claim what is yours, where everything is meaningful not meaningless.

Have a blessed day.
#CarllyDevotionals #1ChapterADay #OCP

IS ALL VANITY? – Tue, May 21, 2019

Ecclesiastes 1:16,18 KJV

I communed with mine own heart, saying, Lo, I am come to great estate, and have gotten more wisdom than all they that have been before me in Jerusalem: yea, my heart had great experience of wisdom and knowledge.

[18] For in much wisdom is much grief: and he that increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow.

In King Solomon’s quest for more wisdom, “more than what God had given,” he explored many different philosophies of this world. His desire for more wisdom and knowledge probably brought him more trouble than he anticipated.

The more he found out, the more he watered-down his own resolve of total commitment to God’s statutes. So at point, he would say there is much grief in wisdom and increasing sorrow in knowledge (v18).
[21/05, 6:36 am] Carlos Jay: When all our pursuits in life begin to lack the God-factor, everything begins to take a meaningless form in the long run, because the cycles would be repeated, nothing is new.

We may sample all of life’s pleasures, wealth and powers, yet all may disappoint eventually. There are too many examples of such to learn from. The whole duty of man is indeed to fear God and keep His commandments.
Keep God up there in all your pursuits, only then is victory guaranteed.

Have a blessed day.
#CarllyDevotionals #1ChapterADay #OCP

LOYALTY REDEFINED – Thu, May 16, 2019

Proverbs 27:18 KJV

Whoso keepeth the fig tree shall eat the fruit thereof: so he that waiteth on his master shall be honoured.

Growing up as a lover of Chinese and Japanese movies taught us a few things. I probably learnt what loyalty meant watching a number of these movies, where traitors willingly gave their lives away.

They would do anything to keep the names of their houses intact, maintain the reputations of their masters/teachers and fight for any cause their leaders initiate.

When I see and hear the stories of break-away churches, started by pastors who thought their bosses didn’t regard them highly, I ask, what happened to loyalty?
This has trickled down to many other aspects of our lives as a people. The least challenge we face only motivates us to abandon ship and find a new boat.

Honour comes to those who remain loyal to their fathers, according to King Solomon. Don’t choose the easy route of breaking away at the least provocation. There is a blessing in staying and that’s why Jesus recommends us to remain in Him. I pray for this staying power to visit you.

Have a blessed day.
#CarllyDevotionals #1ChapterADay #OCP

NO ROOM FOR EXCUSES – Wed, May 15, 2019

Proverbs 26:13 KJV

The slothful man saith, There is a lion in the way; a lion is in the streets.

I couldn’t help but smile a little when I read this verse. It reminded me of a statement I kept in my mind for a while when I began work: “Don’t look for an excuse not to do.”

Most of my colleague would easily testify to this, and how I quickly came at them if they gave me any indication that they going to talk of an excuse not to carry out a particular task. I knew this was sometimes harsh, especially when the excuses were genuine, but the import of those actions was to help develop a very resilient initial approach to problems.

Solomon may have painted a very bizarre picture of an excuse; “a lion in the street,” but he meant to point to a lazy man’s habit of seeing danger in every initiative and allowing himself to let good opportunity pass him by.

Conjuring possible imaginations of how a thing could go wrong only stifles your own ability to take risks and make progress. It is good to be objective and guard against over-ambition, but it is also wise to remove obstacles in our minds and take certain risks. 😊

Have a blessed day.
#CarllyDevotionals #1ChapterADay #OCP