Ecclesiastes 1:1-3:22 ~ 2 Corinthians 6:1-13 ~ Psalm 46:1-11 ~ Proverbs 22:15
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Old Testament - Today we begin the book of Ecclesiastes! We will be reading about the vanity of life apart from God in this book. I think some people may find this to be a depressing book. I find it hopeful! Yes, indeed life is depressing apart from God. But life with God is an unending beautiful adventure. (certainly with some trials along the journey...) I pray the book of Ecclesiastes draws you into thanksgiving for the amazing life we can indeed have in relationship with Jesus, God, and the Holy Spirit! Below is an image of King Solomon writing the words of the book of Ecclesiastes.
~ Ecclesiastes ~
Author: Probably Solomon, the son of David
Date: Probably tenth century B.C.
Content: This difficult book displays the dark philosophy of one who sought to find peace apart from God, but in the end realized that only futility is to be found there. The only possible solution to life’s puzzle concludes this book: “Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.” (Ecclesiastes 12:13) Leading up to that positive statement is a series of pictures, each one portraying the futility of life without God. Wealth, wisdom, popularity, and pleasure are all put down as so much vanity. Only when a man turns from this world to God will he find true happiness.
Theme: There is a negative lesson to be learned from this book. It is a series of things not to do. It shows the emptiness of trying to live for oneself and to please oneself alone without considering the needs of others or considering God our Maker. There is a positive side, however. If one can see how not to live, perhaps then he will see what he ought to do and be spared the heartaches of living a wasted life. (Above commentary is from Tyndale Publishers “The One Year Bible Companion” p. 10)
Bible.org's commentary on today's readings in Ecclesiastes titled: "Life and Death in Biblical perspective: An Examination of Genesis 5, Ecclesiastes 1, and 1 Corinthians 15:50-58" is at this link.
New Testament - I love Paul's opening words in Second Corinthians chapter 6 verses 1 and 2 today, as he quotes from the prophet Isaiah - "As God's partners, we beg you not to reject this marvelous message of God's great kindness. For God says, "At just the right time, I heard you. On the day of salvation, I helped you." Indeed, God is ready to help you right now. Today is the day of salvation." How does this verse speak to you? What does it mean to you? Do you believe that God is ready to help you right now? Do you believe that today is the day of salvation?
Bible.org's commentary on today's readings in Second Corinthians titled "Authentic Apostleship" is at this link.
Psalms - Today we read Psalm 46, which is an incredible Psalm! This Psalm represents a song of hope celebrating the certain triumph of God’s kingdom – even in the midst of times of severe trouble. This Psalm served as the inspiration for Martin Luther’s famous Hymn, “A Mighty Fortress is Our God.” Just after 9/11 I saw emails on the internet floating around with the entirety of Psalm 46. I would encourage you to keep this Psalm in your “back-pocket” as a Psalm to meditate upon whenever you personally might be going through times of severe trouble – or whenever our world might be going through times of severe trouble. Near the end of this Psalm in verse 10 we will read a tiny little verse that I think is the key to this Psalm – “Be still, and know that I am God.” If you are going through a time of trouble in your life right now, will you take some time to meditate upon Psalm 46 and in particular verse 10? What does it mean to you to “Be still, and know that I am God?” Do you believe that being still during times of trouble can draw you closer to God? Will you be still today before God? In this stillness will you seek to know that He is indeed God? Even in the midst of whatever might be troubling you, will you seek to know that I AM is your God?
Proverbs - Today Proverbs 22:15 teaches us: "A youngster's heart is filled with foolishness, but discipline will drive it away." This is a great reminder that loving and godly discipline is of great benefit to a youngster whose heart is filled with foolishness. Do you suppose that discipline is of great benefit to even us oldsters :) who might have hearts filled with foolishness at times? Do you appreciate loving and godly discipline in your life today? Do you practice discipline in your life today? Are you disciplined? Are you a Disciple? Speaking of which, has anyone read Dietrich Bonhoeffer's book "The Cost of Discipleship"? It is a great book! If anyone has read this book, please post up reviews in the Comments section below. Thanks!
Worship God: Per the Psalm 46 notes above, here is Steve Green singing "A Mighty Fortress Is Our God" acapella in 1987! Watch this video all the way to the end. Wow...
Is God your mighty fortress? Click here and be fortified!
Please join us in memorizing and meditating on two verses of Scripture today: "There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot." Ecclesiastes 3:1-2 (NIV)
Prayer Point: Pray that you recognize the seasons of your life that God calls you to. Pray that you recognized your times to plant and times to uproot. Pray you will recognize God's perfect timing in all things in your life.
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!