LIFe with God: December 3, 2018

Posted on December 3, 2018

Scripture

Ecclesiastes 8

Click here to read today’s passage on Bible Gateway

Observation

Bridgeway Bible Commentary: Wisdom helps people see the underlying meaning of things and teaches them that to act with pleasantness is better than to act with harshness (8:1). If, for example, people work in the king’s palace, they will do what the king says, partly because they have sworn before God to be obedient and partly because they will be punished if they disobey. But if they find the king’s command unreasonable, wisdom will show them a way out. They will wait for a suitable opportunity to act, then act in such a way that, though they do not disobey the king, neither do they sin against their conscience (2-5).

Despite the compromise he recommends, the writer knows that people remain uneasy about the outcome and about the future in general. They know they have no control over life or death. Just as there is no escape from a battle, so there is no guaranteed success to wrongdoers (6-8).

Often there appears to be no principle of justice at work in the world. The wicked go unpunished and, even when they are dead and buried, people still praise them for their achievements in life (9-10). It seems that this lack of punishment encourages people to sin (11-12a). The writer knows what the traditional teachers say: that those who fear God will be rewarded and those who are wicked will be punished (12b-13). But he also knows that often the opposite is true (14). People should not despair over these problems, but rather enjoy whatever God has given them in life (15). They should not spend weary days and sleepless nights puzzling over problems to which only God knows the answer (16-17).

Application

Do I become discouraged when I see the wicked praised and good people oppressed? Do I fear the potential negative consequences from the world of doing what God commands?

Prayer

Pray today’s Scripture back to God:
Dear God my Father, Help me always to trust and obey You, even when it seems unwise or unproductive by human standards. Keep me from becoming discouraged by the condition of the world and the seeming success of the wicked, and remind me that this is only for a time, and that You will make all things right in Your perfect timing. I ask this in Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Pray to BLESS!
One good way to pray for people is to use the acronym BLESS to pray for God’s blessing on every area of their lives:

  • B – BODY (physical health)
  • L – Labor (their job or school)
  • E – Emotions (emotional health as well as guarding against letting emotions rule)
  • S – Social (relationships with family, friends, co-workers, neighbors, church, etc)
  • S – Spiritual (remaining true to God and growing in Him)

Spend some time praying for the following people and ministries:

  • Mike Daniels
  • Theresa Daniels
  • Travis & Hali Davidson (Andrew, Maddy)
  • Patti Doty
  • Ken & Twilla Eden (Mattea, Joseph, Joshua, Sophia, Jonathan)
  • Gil & Lois Estes

Missionaries:

  • Tim & Miranda Penn (Samid, Sarah), missionaries to Albania

CLF:

  • That Christian Life Fellowship would be a church that is devoted to the Word of God, and that we would be doers of it and not just hearers; that we would study the Word and so always be prepared to give everyone an answer–in season and out of season–and be approved workers who do not need to be ashamed, able to accurately understand and explain it.

Community: Pray for area pastors and their families:

  • Encouragement
  • Faithfulness in the Lord’s work
  • Finances
  • Marriage/family relationships
  • Work/life balance
  • Deep friendships and support from other Christian leaders

Operation Christmas Child:

  • Pray that the boxes will open doors for children to hear the Good News in parts of the world that are typically closed to proclaiming the Gospel.

Catechism

Question #48: What is the church?

Children’s Answer: The church is the family of God and the body of Christ, of which He is the head.

Adult’s Answer: The church is the family of God and the body of Christ, of which He is the head. The universal church is all those who have received salvation and eternal life through faith in Jesus Christ. The local church is a community of members of the universal church, who worship together, encourage and learn from one another, build each other up in the knowledge and grace of God, and spur each other on to good works. God sends out this community to proclaim the gospel and prefigure Christ’s kingdom by the quality of their life together and their love for one another.

Memory Verse

1 Corinthians 12:13-14,27 (HCSB)

For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body–whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free–and we were all made to drink of one Spirit.So the body is not one part but many.Now you are the body of Christ, and individual members of it.

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