Tuesday, May 23, 2017

day no. 14,092: under the sun without Christ

Ecclesiastes 12:13-14
13 The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. 14 For God will bring every deed into judgment, with every secret thing, whether good or evil.

Life under the sun comes down to this one matter: the chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever and that God will judge you for falling short of that prescription.

That is life under the sun... without Christ.

If there is one thing we all know, it is that there are things we ought to be doing and things we shouldn't have done. We are our own accusers. We confess the standard and the failure in the same breath. Without Christ, this is all of life.

Monday, May 22, 2017

day no. 14,091: a better book diet

Ecclesiastes 12:12
My son, beware of anything beyond these. Of making many books there is no end, and much study is a weariness of the flesh.

I've taken this advice in a quite literal sense in recent years seeking to reread books from which I have already received great insight while adding a few new books in the mix. I used to compile reading lists each year based on all that I still wished to encounter. I still have that list, but I try to make my primary diet a return to feasting on good, rich, nutritious books from which I've already received health while sprinkling in some new dishes on occasion with the intent of either adding them to the menu or to the list of tried, but dissatisfied.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

day no. 14,090: the quip in equipment

Ecclesiastes 12:11
The words of the wise are like goads, and like nails firmly fixed are the collected sayings; they are given by one Shepherd.

I never feel more equipped for life than when I spend time with the minds of those whose quips give me insight. They are the firmly fixed nails on which I humbly hang my life.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

day no. 14,089: arranging with great care

Ecclesiastes 12:9-10
9 Besides being wise, the Preacher also taught the people knowledge, weighing and studying and arranging many proverbs with great care. 10 The Preacher sought to find words of delight, and uprightly he wrote words of truth.

I find a kindred spirit here in my desire to seek and find words of delight that may by great care and attention teach others to know, love and obey Jesus.

Friday, May 19, 2017

day no. 14,088: the dying before the death

Ecclesiastes 12:1-8
Remember also your Creator in the days of your youth, before the evil days come and the years draw near of which you will say, “I have no pleasure in them”; 2 before the sun and the light and the moon and the stars are darkened and the clouds return after the rain, 3 in the day when the keepers of the house tremble, and the strong men are bent, and the grinders cease because they are few, and those who look through the windows are dimmed, 4 and the doors on the street are shut—when the sound of the grinding is low, and one rises up at the sound of a bird, and all the daughters of song are brought low— 5 they are afraid also of what is high, and terrors are in the way; the almond tree blossoms, the grasshopper drags itself along, and desire fails, because man is going to his eternal home, and the mourners go about the streets— 6 before the silver cord is snapped, or the golden bowl is broken, or the pitcher is shattered at the fountain, or the wheel broken at the cistern, 7 and the dust returns to the earth as it was, and the spirit returns to God who gave it. 8 Vanity of vanities, says the Preacher; all is vanity.

Getting older under the sun without God is like clouds covering a land that has already quenched its thirst. It's shaking hands and bent backs, rotting teeth and dimming eyes. It's losing sleep over the sound of a bird, it's failing to hear what others are now saying. It's afraid of staircases and sees white hair looking back in its blurred reflection. It is becoming dust… again. And that is ALL that it is if under the sun without God: a dark shadow of what was once a vibrant flame.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

day no. 14,087: short, dark, cold days

Ecclesiastes 11:7
Light is sweet, and it is pleasant for the eyes to see the sun.

If you possess any uncertainty with respect to this precept, plant a church in Northeast Iowa and wait for February. It will certainly remove all doubt.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

day no. 14,086: the God Who is, is a God Who makes

Ecclesiastes 11:5
As you do not know the way the spirit comes to the bones in the womb of a woman with child, so you do not know the work of God who makes everything.

No less than six times God has made from nothing a new person in the womb of my wife. Each one is a complete, complicated, common person. The fact that this is commonplace is phenomenal. The God Who is, is a God Who makes.