Ecclesiastes 10:1-12:14 ~ 2 Corinthians 8:1-15 ~ Psalm 49:1-20 ~ Proverbs 22:20-21
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Old Testament - We finish up the book of Ecclesiastes today, and what a finish it is! Song of Solomon begins tomorrow! I love Ecclesiastes chapter 10 today. It's basically a series of rapid Proverbs. Great great stuff. I had forgotten about this gem of a chapter in the Bible. This chapter is again a great reminder of why Solomon, the author of Ecclesiastes, wrote many of the Proverbs. He had godly wisdom no doubt! I love verse 1 in this chapter today - "Dead flies will cause even a bottle of perfume to stink! Yes, an ounce of foolishness can outweigh a pound of wisdom and honor." This is a powerful truth for us to take to heart. We can so often live our lives with wisdom and honor... and then, we let an ounce of foolishness seep into our lives and it outweighs all of our wisdom and honor! This is so true... I think this is particularly true if we are harboring any unchecked sin in our life. We need to put that sin in check! We need to repent and flee from that sin. Otherwise we are harboring an ounce of foolishness in our lives that can outweigh our pounds of wisdom and honor... and this is just as bad as a dead fly in a bottle of perfume! What a great analogy by Solomon. Think of unchecked sin in your life a dead fly in the perfume of your life... it is a sad but true analogy... Get that dead fly out of your life!
I love verse 18 as well - "Laziness lets the roof leak, and soon the rafters begin to rot." This is so very true, of course. Are there any areas of laziness in your life where you are letting some "roofs leak?" Are there "rafters rotting" in your life? Will you pray to God for freedom from your laziness in those areas of your life and will you simply go and fix the roof?
Ecclesiastes chapter 12 verse 13 is the key verse in this entire book! "Here is my final conclusion: Fear God and obey his commands, for this is the duty of every person." Take a moment to meditate on this verse. Do you agree with this teaching? Do you fear God? What does it mean to fear God? (Bible.org has a good overview of fearing God at this link - scroll down on that page to the commentary on verses 11-22) Are you obedient to God's commands? Do you believe this is your duty?
New Testament - Second Corinthians chapter 8 verse 9 today is one of those verses that can really make you think about how blessed you truly are and why through Jesus: "You know how full of love and kindness our Lord Jesus Christ was. Though he was very rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that by his poverty he could make you rich." I imagine that most of us reading this blog right now are living pretty nice lives overall. In most respects it may be fair to call us "rich." Many of us have rich lives in terms of where we live, our spiritual freedoms, and other freedoms. And why do we have these riches in our lives today? Because Jesus, the Son of God, came to this earth and made himself poor for our sakes. Jesus was born in a manger. He lived his life "homeless" in many ways. He was sinless, but yet died a criminal's death by execution on a cross. Jesus was very rich in heaven. But yet, because of his love and kindness, he made himself poor and died on a cross for us, so that we would be "rich." And now, realizing this, how are we utilizing our riches? Are we demonstrating love and kindness to others like Jesus did to us? Are we investing our lives - lives that were given to us by God and saved by Jesus - for Kingdom purposes? Are you living your life as if you are literally working for God in all that you do?
Bible.org's commentary on today's readings in Second Corinthians today titled "Learning To Be Liberal" (it is a great essay on Paul's call to give generously to the church in Jerusalem) is at this link.
Psalms - Psalm 49 verses 1-3 are a fantastic teaching that the Word of God, the Bible, is for everyone, no matter what our lots in life may be - "Listen to this, all you people! Pay attention, everyone in the world! High and low, rich and poor--listen! For my words are wise, and my thoughts are filled with insight." Are you listening today? Are you paying attention to the wise words and insights of the Bible? Are you truly studying the Bible and then applying the Bible's teachings to your life? Then, verse 15 in this Psalm is beautiful: "But as for me, God will redeem my life. He will snatch me from the power of death." How about for you? Will God redeem your life? Like the parable of the lost sheep that we read about in Luke 15:3-7, has Jesus saved you from being snatched from the power of death?
Proverbs - Proverbs 22 verses 20-21 today teach us: "I have written thirty sayings for you, filled with advice and knowledge. In this way, you may know the truth and bring an accurate report to those who sent you." These two Proverbs verses today actually tie in quite nicely with Psalm 49 verses 1-3 above. Let us know the truth of God's Word and then report it accurately to others! Actually, this is probably a good point for me to ask you if you are participating in a Bible study at your church? If not, can I encourage you to consider starting up a One Year Bible study / small group at your church next year? Seriously. Please think and pray about this leadership opportunity. I do realize not everyone is called to something like this. But - I think many of us are - probably more of us than we think are. If you have been going through the One Year Bible with us this year, you have learned much! I think you are in a great position to lead a One Year Bible study / small group at your church next year. All you need is a One Year Bible, perhaps the One Year Bible Companion book with Q&A teachings for each day's readings, and a willingness to take this opportunity on. Will you think and pray about this? Will you talk to your pastor or the appropriate person at your church about this? You don't need to know the Bible backwards and forwards to lead a group! You just need to take the initiative to lead, and invite others to join you on the journey. You will be amazed by how God moves in a Bible study! It will bless you and those around you immensely! Will you lead someone (or a group of someone's) through the One Year Bible next year?
Worship God: Our 2nd Corinthians readings and Psalm 49 today reminded me of the MercyMe song "So Long Self," which has a fun video:
Have you said So Long to your Self? Click here and say Goodbye!
Please join us in memorizing and meditating on a verse of Scripture today: "Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the duty of every human being." Ecclesiastes 12:13 TNIV
Prayer Point: Pray that you have a godly fear and an everlasting love of God. Pray that you are able to daily move toward keeping his commandments through grace and a saving faith in His son Jesus Christ, your Lord and Savior.
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!