From: September 4, 2018
Scripture for today: Ecclesiastes 7:1-9:18; 2 Corinthians 7:8-16; Psalm 48:1-14; Proverbs 22:17-19
From: September 4, 2017
There is a sorrow that comes from getting caught doing wrong and having to suffer the consequence. There is a sorrow that comes in the shape of grief when losing a loved one or experiencing some loss. There is a sorrow that comes as shame and guilt after sobriety returns. Yet, all of these are worldly sorrows that do not produce repentance. Worldly sorrow only produces regret, which ultimately leads to death. For worldly sorrow is about self and circumstance, not God. But “godly sorrow” is different. It is sorrow according to God’s will that brings our sin into contact with the cross of Christ. Instead of being sorry for the suffering that comes from sin, we are sorry for the sin itself because it is what nailed Jesus there. This “godly sorrow” that “worketh repentance” is a gift from God, just as faith is. Repentance and faith are inseparable. In repentance, we turn from our sin. And in faith, we turn to God by trusting in Jesus, God’s provision for our sin.
From: September 4, 2016
Thinking on God’s “steadfast love” is an appropriate act of worship. What kind of love is this? The Hebrew word is “chesed,” which may be translated “lovingkindness” or “covenantal love.” In the Greek New Testament, the word “agape” would be its equivalent. This kind of unconditional, unmerited, and unchanging love is worthy of our meditation. The psalmist spoke of his meditation of it in worship, yet it’s supreme revelation isn’t found until the cross of Christ. It is in Jesus that we see God’s steadfast love made manifest. As John said, “This is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins” (1 John 4:10). Beloved, think on this steadfast love of God revealed in Jesus Christ!
From: September 4, 2015
Solomon’s study of life “under the sun” was limited to the physical world, and therefore, did not include observations of life “beyond the sun.” So, the idea of an afterlife with eternal reward and judgment are not topics considered by him. Yet, there is a wisdom here for those still on this side of the “grave:” Work with all of your might, while there is still light. As Jesus taught his disciples, “I must work the works of Him who sent Me while it is day; the night is coming when no one can work” (John 9:4). I want to finish this earthly life serving the Lord with all of my might. How about you?
From: September 4, 2014
Many people begin well, but few finish well. Even Solomon, the inspired author of this book, did not finish well. If only he would have followed the wisdom that God had given him. As we grow older, we tend to choose rest over reward and comfort over challenge. We look to the modern invention of retirement, rather than reaching and stretching for the finish line. I want to finish strong like Jesus, not Solomon. Lord, give me the strength and grace to finish well. Are you making plans to finish well?
From: September 4, 2012
The Psalmist saw God Himself as being present in his city, both as inhabitant and defender. I wonder, should we tour our own city and look for Him? Where is God at work here in this city? Where is He present? And how can we join Him in His work, here in our city?
From: September 4, 2011
This is not merely expressing regret at wrong, but feeling God’s sorrow at our offense. This spiritual sorrow leads to a commitment to change, wanting no longer to offend God. This leads to our utter dependence on God to save us from our sinfulness, crying “Jesus, have mercy on me a sinner!”