Tag

Ecclesiastes

Horace Whittell of England hated alarm clocks with a passion. Every weekday morning for 47 years he had been awaked at 6:00 a.m. to go to work. On the day after he retired, he took his clock outside, placed it on a rock and smashed it into little pieces shouting, “I’m through with you!”
For many there is nothing that can be more disturbing than an alarm clock that awakens them from a comfortable sleep. It may signal another boring day filled with endless interruptions and meaningless tasks. For others it may be the beginning of a day filled with one crisis after another and problems that cannot be solved.
How different for the Christian! Every day can be a special day, a day filled with unique challenges and great opportunities to witness and serve our Lord.
Solomon wrote, “There is a time for everything, a season for every activity under the sun.” This verse reminds us that God has a special plan that He has designed for each of us. And if we want to enjoy a peaceful, productive and purposeful life, we must look to Him for His guidance.
When we discover, accept and fulfill His plan, we will enjoy His blessings every moment of every day. What may have been an annoying alarm will be God’s voice calling us to another “season” of service, informing us of something significant that only we can do for Him.
Prayer: Thank You, Lord, for calling us to lives that are filled with countless opportunities to serve You in endless, exciting ways. May we always be found faithful. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Scripture for Today: Ecclesiastes 3:1 There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens.
It was a difficult semester in school for little Tammy. Her grades were very low and her fear of being punished very high. Thinking about a way out of her dilemma she asked her Dad, “Can you write your name with your eyes closed?”
“Yes, I think so,” he replied.
“Great!” So, she had him sit at the table, got a pen and said, “Sign here!” as she guided his hand.
When he opened his eyes, he realized that he had signed her report card. Needless to say, he was not pleased and made some appropriate adjustments.
Although we may think that we are hiding things from God, Solomon reminds us that “God will judge us for everything we do, including every secret thing, whether good or bad.”
We are reminded by Solomon that we are to enjoy life and everything that God has given us. But this does not excuse us or exempt us from obeying God and what He has commanded us to do. We must train ourselves to recognize what is right or wrong according to God’s Word and then live a life that is in agreement with His demands. He has the final say.
No excuses! No exemptions! No explanations!
Prayer: May we live our lives, Lord, with a clear understanding of the fact that one day we will stand before You in judgment for all we’ve done. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Scripture for Today: Ecclesiastes 12:14 For God will bring every work into judgment, Including every secret thing, Whether good or evil.
An elderly couple walked slowly to the desk in a hotel. They were exhausted from their travels and wanted to retire as quickly as possible. When they asked for a room, the clerk politely said, “I’m sorry, but we have no vacancies.” However, when he saw the look of despair on their faces, he said, “But I can’t send you away in such horrible conditions. You may have my room.”
Hesitatingly, they accepted his offer and settled in for the night. As they were leaving the next morning the gentleman said to the clerk, “You are the kind of manager who should be the boss of the best hotel in the United States.”
Two years later that clerk, George Boldt, received a letter from the gentleman. It contained a ticket to New York. Leading Mr. Boldt into a new hotel named the Waldorf-Astoria, the gentleman said, “I built this hotel for you to manage. My name is William Waldorf Astor.”
Solomon wrote, “Give generously, for your gifts will return to you later.” Giving involves risk and opportunity, trust and adventure. But God demands it and will always reward it.
Prayer: Help us, Father, to reach out to those in need, knowing that You will honor our efforts and reward our deeds. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Scripture for Today: Ecclesiastes 11:1 Cast thy bread upon the waters, for thou shalt find it after many days.
A snowflake is a remarkable object in size and shape. Sometimes they appear as though they are floating through space. Other times they arrive in force and fury. Occasionally they fall on an eyelash and can be seen but not felt. They are a weightless wonder until they are massed together. Then, they can provide a beautiful country scene or bring a city to a complete halt. Snowflakes give us a unique picture of the strength and power of numbers. What a lesson for the church!

From the very beginning God has intended for His followers to come together for strength and power. We find throughout Scripture that a community of believers can accomplish much more than an individual acting on his own behalf. God established the church and empowered it with the Holy Spirit to spread the gospel and provide strength, hope and encouragement to its members.

When a Christian feels lonely or deserted, afraid or abandoned, overwhelmed or overpowered, the church is to be a refuge for healing hearts and holding hands. God wants the church to provide protection and peace to all who seek His love, grace and mercy. Within the church believers can link their lives together to offer protection from sin and work together as God’s witness to the world.

Prayer: Lord, may our church be faithful to accomplish Your purpose as we worship, work and witness together. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Scripture for Today: Ecclesiastes 4:9, 10 Two are better than one, Because they have a good reward for their labor. For if they fall, one will lift up his companion.

There is no shortage of advice in today’s world. We find it in the exploding number of self-help books and magazines, radio and TV shows. No matter where we look or what we listen to, someone has some formula to solve our problems, enrich our lives, make us more attractive, even add years to our lives and make us wealthy.

Solomon, apart from his Proverbs, offered insight on how to live life well in some of his other writings. At the end of his life he wrote, “Of making many books there is no end...all has been heard and here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep His commandments.” In these few words, he went back to the beginning of his reign when his father, David, gave him some “fatherly advice” – “So be strong, act like a man, and observe what the Lord your God requires.”

There are, as mentioned earlier, many sources and recourses on how to live life. But the advice we find here is different. After reflecting on his life and reflecting on his successes and failures he summed up the essence of life: “Life, apart from God, is meaningless.”

David, “a man after God's own heart,” offered his son, Solomon, a man who would one day be recognized as “the wisest man who ever lived” a formula for success.

Wisdom, however, only has value if followed. As long as Solomon followed the advice of his father, David, God honored and blessed him. And, nothing has changed.

If we follow the advice of our Heavenly Father as we are presented in His Word, He will honor and bless us, too.

Prayer: To understand Your requirements, Father, is easier said than done. But with Your power, it is possible. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Scripture for Today: Ecclesiastes 1:11-14 I have seen all the things that are done under the sun; all of them are meaningless, a chasing after the wind.

It was well past midnight. There were few travelers, the weather was nearly unbearable with driving rains and freezing temperatures. A woman stood beside her broken down car trying to flag down someone going into the city.

Finally, a motorist stopped and invited the woman, who was soaking wet and trembling with chills, into his car. He took her to a taxi stand, and as she hurriedly exited from his car, she took time to ask him to write down his name and address.

A week later he received a giant TV and stereo with a note that read: “Thank you for assisting me. Because of your kindness I was able to make it to my dying husband’s bedside just before he passed away. God bless you. Mrs. Nat King Cole.”

Nearly a thousand years before Jesus was born, Solomon wrote, “Give generously, for your gifts will return to you later.” In his wisdom, he summarized an important fact of life for all of us: Life involves risk and opportunity and has no guarantees.

However, he encouraged us to seize the moment to do good for others. He certainly did not support a stingy, self-centered life style. Even though we do not know what may happen tomorrow, he would urge us to share with others whatever we have right now and learn to trust in God for tomorrow.

We show our love and trust when we give to others.

Prayer: Help us, Lord, to realize we have so much we do not deserve. May our hearts be as open to meeting the needs of others as much as Your heart is open to us. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Scripture for Today: Ecclesiastes 11:1 Cast your bread upon the waters, For you will find it after many days.
A well-dressed gentleman stepped from a taxi cab in New York whistling half-heartedly as he collected his briefcase and umbrella. A newsboy, just a few feet away, listened for a brief moment and said, “You’re not much of a whistler are you? Listen to how good I am!”

When the newsboy finished, he asked the gentleman, “Can you do better?”

“Indeed I can,” came the reply. The man was an expert whistler who was in New York for a performance. And then he whistled his very best to the astonishment of the young newsboy.

Puzzled, the young boy looked at him and  asked, “Then why were you doing so poorly when you got out of the cab?”

Solomon wrote the book of Ecclesiastes to challenge God’s followers to live lives with meaning and purpose. “Whatever you do,” he wrote, “do well!” He very clearly and convincingly encourages us to enjoy life as a gift from God and to focus on doing our very best - always. If you are a whistler, whistle the best you can all of the time - not only during a “performance” in front of an audience. After all, we are all “performing” everything we do before God our Creator. We are always on “stage” demonstrating our gratitude for the gifts He’s given us.

We must always be aware of the fact that no matter where we are or what we are doing we are living to bring honor and glory to God. We must always “do well.”

Prayer: Lord of our lives, it is never what we have, but what we do with what You have given us. May we do our best with each of the gifts You have given us. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Scripture for Today: Ecclesiastes 9:10 Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might, for in the realm of the dead, where you are going, there is neither working nor planning nor knowledge nor wisdom.
It was a difficult semester in school for little Tammy. Her grades were very low and her fear of being punished very high. Thinking about a way out of her dilemma she asked her Dad, "Can you write your name with your eyes closed?"

"Yes, I think so," he replied.

"Great!" So, she had him sit at the table, got a pen and said, "Sign here!" as she guided his hand.

When he opened his eyes, he realized that he had signed her report card. Needless to say, he was not pleased and made some appropriate adjustments.

Although we may think that we are hiding things from God, Solomon reminds us that "God will judge us for everything we do, including every secret thing, whether good or bad."

We are reminded by Solomon that we are to enjoy life and everything that God has given us. But this does not excuse us or exempt us from obeying God and what He has commanded us to do. We must train ourselves to recognize what is right or wrong according to God's Word and then live a life that is in agreement with His demands. He has the final say.

No excuses! No exemptions! No explanations!

Prayer: May we live our lives, Lord, with a clear understanding of the fact that one day we will stand before You in judgment for all we've done. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Scripture for Today: Ecclesiastes 12:14 For God will bring every work into judgment, Including every secret thing, Whether good or evil.
An elderly couple walked slowly to the desk in a hotel, they were exhausted from their travels and wanted to retire as quickly as possible. When they asked for a room, the clerk politely said, “I’m sorry, but we have no vacancies.” However, when he saw the look of despair on their faces, he said, “But I can’t send you away in such horrible conditions. You may have my room.”

Hesitatingly, they accepted his offer and settled in for the night. As they were leaving the next morning, the gentleman said to the clerk, “You are the kind of manager who should be the boss of the best hotel in the United States.”

Two years later that clerk, George Boldt, received a letter from the gentleman. It contained a round trip ticket to New York. Leading Mr. Boldt into a new hotel named the Waldorf-Astoria, the gentleman said, “I built this hotel for you to manage. My name is William Waldorf Astor.”

Solomon wrote, “Give generously, for your gifts will return to you later.” Giving involves both risk and opportunity, trust and adventure. But God demands it.

Prayer: Help us, Father, to reach out to those in need, knowing that You will honor our efforts and reward our deeds. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

Scripture for Today: Ecclesiastes 11:1 Cast your bread upon the waters, For you will find it after many days.

A snowflake is a remarkable object in size and shape. Sometimes they appear as though they are floating through space. Other times they arrive in force and fury. Occasionally they fall on an eyelash and can be seen but not felt. They are a weightless wonder until they are massed together. Then, they can provide a beautiful country scene or bring a city to a complete halt. Snowflakes give us a unique picture of the strength and power of numbers. What a lesson for the church!

From the very beginning God has intended for His followers to come together for strength and power. We find throughout Scripture that a community of believers can accomplish much more than an individual acting on his own behalf. God established the church and empowered it with the Holy Spirit to spread the gospel and provide strength, hope and encouragement to its members.

When a Christian feels lonely or deserted, afraid or abandoned, overwhelmed or overpowered, the church is to be a refuge for healing hearts and holding hands. God wants the church to provide comfort and care, give purpose and power, provide protection and peace to all who seek His love, grace and mercy. Within the church believers can link their lives together to offer protection from sin and work together as God’s witness to the world.

Prayer: Lord, may our church be faithful to accomplish Your purpose as we worship, work and witness together. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Scripture: Ecclesiastes 4:9-10
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