Ecclesiastes 4:1-6:12 ~ 2 Corinthians 6:14-7:7 ~ Psalm 47:1-9 ~ Proverbs 22:16
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Old Testament - I heard a good chunk of today's readings in the book of Ecclesiastes at a wedding a few years ago. And really, these verses work out quite nicely for a wedding if you think about it. Chapter 4 verses 9 through 12: "Two people can accomplish more than twice as much as one; they get a better return for their labor. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But people who are alone when they fall are in real trouble. And on a cold night, two under the same blanket can gain warmth from each other. But how can one be warm alone? A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken." Pretty good stuff for a wedding, eh? The kicker is that last little bit about the triple-braided cord. The pastor at the wedding I was at said that God is the third strand in the triple-braided cord in marriage. I like that! Two people come together in marriage, and it's good. But, throw God into the mix of the marriage, as I'm sure we would all want to do, and you've got a very strong triple braided cord! Great stuff. If you are married, is there a triple braided cord in your marriage? Is God always part of your marriage? Part of your every day life?
New Testament - Second Corinthians chapter 7 verse 1 today is powerful - "Because we have these promises, dear friends, let us cleanse ourselves from everything that can defile our body or spirit. And let us work toward complete purity because we fear God." How does this verse speak to you? What promises do we have as followers of Jesus Christ? In light of these promises, should we cleanse ourselves from everything that can defile our body? And cleanse ourselves of everything that can defile our spirit? Are you living your life in such a way that you are moving toward complete purity? Do you believe that the Cross of Jesus Christ purifies you? What does the Cross of Jesus ultimately purify you for?
Bible.org's commentary on today's readings in Second Corinthians titled "Choosing Sides" is at this link.
Psalms - Psalm 47 is an awesome Psalm! I can almost hear and feel music and a drum beat as I read this Psalm today! This Psalm was used in later Jewish synagogue liturgies for Rosh Hashanah, the New Year Festival. This Psalm has also been used by the Christian church in the Celebration of Jesus' ascension, in particular with emphases on verse 5 - "God has ascended with a mighty shout. The LORD has ascended with trumpets blaring." Do you hear and feel the music as you read this Psalm? Verse 1 sets the stage so very well for verse 2 in the image below - "Come, everyone, and clap your hands for joy! Shout to God with joyful praise!"
Proverbs - There is an interesting "or" statement in Proverbs chapter 22 verse 16 today - "A person who gets ahead by oppressing the poor or by showering gifts on the rich will end in poverty." I hadn't really ever thought that showering gifts on the rich might put one in the same boat as oppressing the poor. Oppressing the poor seems like the obvious no-no. But showering gifts on the rich... why do you suppose this is a no-no as well? What's wrong with showering the gifts on the rich? I'm wondering if it is because our gifts would be better given elsewhere? e.g. to the poor?
Worship God: Today's readings in Ecclesiastes and Second Corinthians reminded me of Santcus Real's awesome song "Lead Me:"
Is God leading you? Click here to be led!
Please join us in memorizing and meditating on two verses of Scripture today: "Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If they fall down, they can help each other up. But pity those who fall and have no one to help them up! " Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 TNIV
Prayer Point: Pray that you have at least one great friend, and that you in turn are a great friend to someone else. Pray that you will help out your friend if they fall, and that they in turn will help you out if you fall.
Comments from You: What verses or insights stand out to you in today's readings? Please post up by clicking on the "Comments" link below!