Morning, 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
Psalm 138:8  The Lord will perfect that which concerneth me.

Most manifestly the confidence which the Psalmist here expressed was a divine confidence. He did not say, "I have grace enough to perfect that which concerneth me--my faith is so steady that it will not stagger--my love is so warm that it will never grow cold--my resolution is so firm that nothing can move it;" no, his dependence was on the Lord alone. If we indulge in any confidence which is not grounded on the Rock of Ages, our confidence is worse than a dream, it will fall upon us, and cover us with its ruins, to our sorrow and confusion. All that Nature spins time will unravel, to the eternal confusion of all who are clothed therein. The Psalmist was wise, he rested upon nothing short of the Lord's work. It is the Lord who has begun the good work within us; it is he who has carried it on; and if he does not finish it, it never will be complete. If there be one stitch in the celestial garment of our righteousness which we are to insert ourselves, then we are lost; but this is our confidence, the Lord who began will perfect. He has done it all, must do it all, and will do it all. Our confidence must not be in what we have done, nor in what we have resolved to do, but entirely in what the Lord will do. Unbelief insinuates--"You will never be able to stand. Look at the evil of your heart, you can never conquer sin; remember the sinful pleasures and temptations of the world that beset you, you will be certainly allured by them and led astray." Ah! yes, we should indeed perish if left to our own strength. If we had alone to navigate our frail vessels over so rough a sea, we might well give up the voyage in despair; but, thanks be to God, he will perfect that which concerneth us, and bring us to the desired haven. We can never be too confident when we confide in him alone, and never too much concerned to have such a trust.

Daily Light on the Daily Path
Exodus 28:12  "You shall put the two stones on the shoulder pieces of the ephod, as stones of memorial for the sons of Israel, and Aaron shall bear their names before the LORD on his two shoulders for a memorial.

Hebrews 7:24,25  but Jesus, on the other hand, because He continues forever, holds His priesthood permanently. • Therefore He is able also to save forever those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.

Jude 1:24  Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy,

Hebrews 4:14-16  Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. • For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin. • Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

Deuteronomy 33:12  Of Benjamin he said, "May the beloved of the LORD dwell in security by Him, Who shields him all the day, And he dwells between His shoulders."

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 http://www.lockman.org.

Evening May 22
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