May 15, 2018

Today you should read: Ecclesiastes 12

“Vanity of vanities, says the Preacher; all is vanity.”

We’ve heard this line in several different ways through out this book and we read it again in verse 8.  However there really is purpose to the pointlessness Solomon keeps on pointing to and we find it in this chapter more then any other place in this book. In fact, many commentators point out how scary this book could be without this important chapter as Solomon concludes some things about this otherwise meaningless life without the Lord.

  1. The wisdom of the Bible leads us to the Lord.

We see this in verses 9-12 as Solomon shows us that true words of the wise will lead up to the Shepherd (Jesus) and how we must be careful of any other type of wisdom in addition to the wisdom of the Lord and what He gives us in Scripture.

2. God’s conviction and commandments keeps us with the Lord.

Verse 13 shows us how fearing the Lord and keeping His commandments protects us. Of course, we can’t do this without Jesus which Solomon hinted to in verse 11 but there’s a reason why God gives us the commandments as we see a picture of His perfection and how we can’t measure up to it without Jesus and how a healthy awe and fear of God will help us keep those commandments.

3. The judgment of our deeds proves how much we need the Lord.

Whatever we do in the dark will be exposed by the light. Even if that doesn’t happen on earth, it will happen in the final judgment and that can be scary for some people. Let’s be honest, that should be scary for every person concerning our thoughts and motives, even the most religious people. This is also why we know that we need Jesus in the end. For some that’s doing exactly what verse 1 says and that’s remembering the Creator in the days of our youth.

As we conclude this book, what did you learn from reading it?

By: Erik Koliser — West Campus Pastor


May 14, 2018

Today you should read: Ecclesiastes 11

The wisdom of Solomon is amazing!  He begins chapter 11 by giving financial advice. Invest consistently and you’ll see returns. (v.1)  Diversify your investments for the best financial protection. (v.2) This is the same advice we would receive from financial experts today!

Solomon then moves to the subject of farming, and advises farmers not to wait for a perfect day to plant – those days never come. (v.4)

Solomon reminds us that as smart as we think we are, we can’t begin to understand the depths of God:

Just as you cannot understand the path of the wind or the mystery of a tiny baby growing in its mother’s womb, so you cannot understand the activity of God, who does all things. (v.5)

He concludes this chapter reminding us of how incredible life is!

How pleasant to see a new day dawning. (v.7b)

He reminds the aged to enjoy every day of life and the young to live life to the fullest.

Yet he reminds us that in all of this: life without God is meaningless.

By: Tim Parsons — Lead Pastor

May 12, 2018

Today you should read: Ecclesiastes 10

Today’s passage is one that every person can relate to. It is one that should practically hit home. Chapter 10 talks about wisdom and foolishness. The reason this refers to all people is because of what it says in verse 2. It speaks of the right and the left. Often the right hand is associated with strength and blessing. However, in this passage we see that he refers to the left as well, which is likely alluding to the fact that we all have a right and a left and we all have times of wisdom and foolishness.

He goes on later to describe times when unexpected people were wise and people who were expected to be wise were very foolish. It is a great reminder that we all have the capacity to make great decisions or poor decisions. Verse 15 speaks to the results of our actions and decisions. Essentially saying that when we make foolish decisions we make things much more difficult for ourselves. The fool that is working in the fields makes things so much harder because he does not know where to go with the harvest.

When we decide to say something hurtful we have to take a lot of time to mend that wrong. When we are unwise with our finances we have to spend years under the weight of debt. We don’t always mean to make a foolish decision, but that doesn’t mean that there isn’t consequence for it, just like the fool digging the hole and then falling into the hole. He wasn’t intending to fall in the hole.

So as we navigate life, we must be cautious and thoughtful about the decisions we make. We all have opportunities to pursue learning and wisdom through discipleships, or council, or Connect Group relationships. The question is, will you seek that council?

By: Dakota Gragg — Student Ministry Associate

May 11, 2018

Today you should read: Ecclesiastes 9

If you click on the link to the Scripture passage above, the first heading you see reads, “Death Comes to All.” Pretty encouraging, right?

Here we see the Teacher reflecting on the fact that “whether righteous or wicked, good or bad” all people die. And not only that all people die, but it seems that good or bad behavior does not affect treatment from others (v. 2).

So what should we do? According to the Teacher, we should enjoy ourselves! Eat food with joy! Wear fine clothes! “Live happy with the woman you love through all the meaningless days of life that God has given you under the sun” (v. 9).

Are all of our days meaningless? Without a relationship with God through Jesus Christ, yes.

A person without a relationship with Jesus may look at all the evil in the world in despair, knowing that there is no hope. However, a person with a relationship with Jesus should look at all the evil in the world, including the suffering they endure, and be hopeful that God is working all things together for their good and his glory, and trust that the “sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us” (Romans 8:18, ESV).

A person without a relationship with Jesus may see everything as meaningless, and try to find satisfaction in food, drink, clothing, or earthly relationships. However, a person with a relationship with Jesus should see everything to have a purpose, and eat and drinks “to the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31, ESV) while loving their spouse in a biblical way (Ephesians 5).

The Teacher is right in saying that we “can never predict when hard times might come” (v. 12). It is how you view evil, suffering, and your purpose that makes all the difference.

Questions for Today:

  1. How do you view your suffering? Are you trusting that God is working all things for your good and his glory?
  2. Do you generally look at things as meaningless or to have a God-given purpose?

By: Lucas Taylor — West Campus Pastoral Ministry Apprentice