Evening, May 23
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Bible League: Living His Word
For everything there is a season,
    a time for every activity under heaven.

Biblical scholars classify Ecclesiastes as one of the books of wisdom literature. Job, Psalms, Proverbs, and the Song of Songs are the other examples of this biblical genre. As the name implies, wisdom literature attempts to impart wisdom to its readers. In our verse for today Solomon, the author of Ecclesiastes, imparts some wisdom about the nature of the world God created. In God's world there is a time for everything.

Because we take it for granted, the profundity of this piece of wisdom is easily glossed over by us. What Solomon is saying is that there is nothing within the world that stands fixed and eternal. Everything changes and, as a result, everything is limited to a particular moment, a particular season. Everything has its time and then time marches on and something different has its own moment and season. Solomon makes a list of examples of this, including, "A time to be born and a time to die. A time to plant and a time to harvest. A time to kill and a time to heal" (Ecclesiastes 3:2-3).

Given the changing, seasonal, temporal nature of God's world, you shouldn't center your life on any one thing or activity; you shouldn't elevate any one thing or activity as the be-all and end-all of life. If you do, you will only be disappointed. For what you take as being all-important will surrender its season to the next in line and you will be left wondering why you invested so much of yourself into it. Solomon tells us that "God has made everything beautiful in its own time" (Ecclesiastes 3:11), but if you try to hold on to anything as if it were permanent you will have missed the true meaning and purpose of life.

What is the true meaning and purpose of life from Solomon's point of view? He says, "God's purpose is that people should fear him" (Ecclesiastes 3:14). Things come, go, and return once again in an ongoing cycle (Ecclesiastes 3:15). The only thing that stands fixed and firm is God and the only purpose worth a permanent investment on our part is the fear of God.

Our true purpose in life is to take each season as it comes and find out what God wants out of it for us.

Bible in a Year
Old Testament Reading
1 Chronicles 8, 9, 10


1 Chronicles 8 -- Genealogy from Benjamin to Saul

  NIV   NLT   ESV   NAS   GWT   KJV   ASV   ERV   DRB


1 Chronicles 9 -- People of Israel; Judah's Genealogies; Saul's Family Line

  NIV   NLT   ESV   NAS   GWT   KJV   ASV   ERV   DRB


1 Chronicles 10 -- Saul's Overthrow and Defeat

  NIV   NLT   ESV   NAS   GWT   KJV   ASV   ERV   DRB


New Testament Reading
John 8:37-59


John 8 -- The Woman Caught in Adultery; Jesus the Light of the World; The truth will set you free

  NIV   NLT   ESV   NAS   GWT   KJV   ASV   ERV   DRB


Reading Plan Courtesy of Christian Classics Etherial Library.
Tyndale Life Application Daily Devotion
Let those who are wise understand these things.
        Let those with discernment listen carefully.
The paths of the LORD are true and right,
        and righteous people live by walking in them.
        But in those paths sinners stumble and fall.
Insight
God's concern for justice that requires faithfulness and love that offers forgiveness can be seen in his dealings with Hosea. We can err by forgetting God's love and feeling that our sins are hopeless, but we can also err by forgetting his wrath against our sins and thinking he will continue to accept us no matter how we act. Forgiveness is a key word: when God forgives us, he judges the sin but shows mercy to the sinner.
Challenge
We should never be afraid to come to God for a clean slate and a renewed life.
Morning and Evening by Spurgeon
Isaiah 43:24  Thou hast bought me no sweet cane with money.

Worshippers at the temple were wont to bring presents of sweet perfumes to be burned upon the altar of God: but Israel, in the time of her backsliding, became ungenerous, and made but few votive offerings to her Lord: this was an evidence of coldness of heart towards God and his house. Reader, does this never occur with you? Might not the complaint of the text be occasionally, if not frequently, brought against you? Those who are poor in pocket, if rich in faith, will be accepted none the less because their gifts are small; but, poor reader, do you give in fair proportion to the Lord, or is the widow's mite kept back from the sacred treasury? The rich believer should be thankful for the talent entrusted to him, but should not forget his large responsibility, for where much is given much will be required; but, rich reader, are you mindful of your obligations, and rendering to the Lord according to the benefit received? Jesus gave his blood for us, what shall we give to him? We are his, and all that we have, for he has purchased us unto himself--can we act as if we were our own? O for more consecration! and to this end, O for more love! Blessed Jesus, how good it is of thee to accept our sweet cane bought with money! nothing is too costly as a tribute to thine unrivalled love, and yet thou dost receive with favor the smallest sincere token of affection! Thou dost receive our poor forget-me-nots and love-tokens as though they were intrinsically precious, though indeed they are but as the bunch of wild flowers which the child brings to its mother. Never may we grow niggardly towards thee, and from this hour never may we hear thee complain of us again for withholding the gifts of our love. We will give thee the first fruits of our increase, and pay thee tithes of all, and then we will confess "of thine own have we given thee."

Daily Light on the Daily Path
Esther 6:1  During that night the king could not sleep so he gave an order to bring the book of records, the chronicles, and they were read before the king.

Psalm 77:4  You have held my eyelids open; I am so troubled that I cannot speak.

Psalm 113:5,6  Who is like the LORD our God, Who is enthroned on high, • Who humbles Himself to behold The things that are in heaven and in the earth?

Daniel 4:35  "All the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing, But He does according to His will in the host of heaven And among the inhabitants of earth; And no one can ward off His hand Or say to Him, 'What have You done?'

Psalm 77:19  Your way was in the sea And Your paths in the mighty waters, And Your footprints may not be known.

Psalm 76:10  For the wrath of man shall praise You; With a remnant of wrath You will gird Yourself.

2 Chronicles 16:9  "For the eyes of the LORD move to and fro throughout the earth that He may strongly support those whose heart is completely His. You have acted foolishly in this. Indeed, from now on you will surely have wars."

Romans 8:28  And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.

Matthew 10:29,30  "Are not two sparrows sold for a cent? And yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. • "But the very hairs of your head are all numbered.

New American Standard Bible Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, La Habra, Calif. All rights reserved. For Permission to Quote Information visit //www.lockman.org.

Morning May 23
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