Monday, May 14, 2018

The Conclusion of the Matter

Today's Reading:
Ecclesiastes 10:1-12:14
Hebrews 12:14-29
Psalm 134:1-3
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Focus Verses: Ecclesiastes 12:12b-14
12b Of making many books there is no end, and much study wearies the body. 13 Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. 14 For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil.

The "Teacher" of Ecclesiastes (Solomon, perhaps?) does his best to assess and illuminate the human experience. He honestly and humbly acknowledges that from his human point of view he is only able to study    within the observable limitations of what is "under the sun" and what happens between birth and death.

No matter how hard he tries to make sense of life, and reduce it to simple and predictable equations, he cannot. Ultimately, the only wise conclusion he can reach is: the meaning of life is beyond human understanding. He concludes that living within God's commands, with reverence and humility before God, is the only wise course for life. Purpose, hope, and meaning are not to be found in human activity or analysis, but rather through faith in God.

Response and Action:
The meaning and purpose of life are beyond my understanding. Attempts to find an explanation of life small enough to fit within the limits of human knowledge and experience are sure to fail. I will put my faith in God. My faith and humility for God will guide me and sustain me as I ask questions, seek wisdom, work hard, and do my best to enjoy life. My limited understanding of life does not diminish my faith in God; it reinforces my need for God.

O God, help me to trust in you with all my heart and not lean on my own understanding. In all my ways—in every aspect of my life—teach me to acknowledge you. Direct my path and make my way straight. Cause my faith to grow stronger each day that I might enjoy the life you have given me, and live with contentment, purpose, and hope. Through Christ, who has become my wisdom, I pray. Amen.

Spiritual Formation Verses:  1 Corinthians 1:20-21
20 Where is the wise man? Where is the scholar? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 21 For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe.

Can Man Live without God?
by Ravi Zacharias

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