Ecclesiastes, the 21st book of the Bible, is a book written by Solomon. Its purpose is to give wisdom by showing the foolishness of pursuing a life without God. Through its 12 chapters, Solomon takes us on a very personal journey away from God and shows us the devastation that such a choice can make.
A key phrase in the book is, “under the sun”. This is Solomon’s way of telling us about life apart from God, or according to this world system. Life under the sun is a life in pursuit of fulfillment away from the Lord. No one had more resources to attempt this endeavor than Solomon. The man had almost a thousand wives and concubines, billions of dollars, power, fame, and position. He tried accomplishments, pleasure, and more to find fulfillment.
To study generations is an interesting thing. Currently there are predominantly 8 generations: The Greatest Generation (1910-1924), The Silent Generation (1925-1945), Baby Boomers (1946-1964), Generation X (1965-1979), Millennials (1980-1994), iGeneration (1995-2012), Generation Alpha (2013-current).
You could spend a vast amount of time researching each of these groups and the nuances of each one. I am actually a part of the generation that gets the most flax and notoriety, the Millennials. Unjustly, I believe our generation gets blamed for a lot that college students, the iGen, does.
When I was in high school, my brother and I would have guys over all the time. Young men who were trying to grow in the Lord, and just needed some godly friends. There was rarely a day during the summer that we didn’t have 3-5 guys over at our house listening to preaching, going soul winning, and just having fun together.
On one occasion, we have a young man stay with us for a few days because his grandmother, who he stayed with, was out of town. At the time, he was probably in 6th grade or so, and he was not what I would call “wise”. Actually, he was the annoying kid that always seemed to pick the wrong fights and do about the most foolish things that could be done.
“Strong minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss events, weak minds discuss people.” – Socrates
“Who gossips to you, will gossip of you.” – Turkish proverb
As a kid, I loved making camp fires. Even to this day I enjoy a good fire that the family can sit around and enjoy. One summer my family went to Colorado with some friends. I was home from college, and was staying in my own tent. Each morning the temperature would be down below freezing, and it was COLD.
“You must gain control over your money or the lack of it will forever control you.” – Dave Ramsey
“Don’t buy things you can’t afford, with money you don’t have, to impress people you don’t like.” – Dave Ramsey
A good number of the proverbs are directed at financial stewardship and handling our money wisely. This is a discipline and skill that sadly is lacking in many people’s lives today. God wants us to use our finances wisely, and to be good managers of the resources He has blessed us with.
“When I count my blessings. I count you twice my darling wife” – Anonymous
I feel I need to preface today’s devotion in two ways: First, I am not trying to make every woman who reads this devotion mad… I honestly am not. Please refrain from killing me the next time you see me… please. Second, I am not trying to earn brownie points with my wife.
Medicine can be a great ally in the fight against sickness. Through each of our four children, my wife has spent considerable time going through sicknesses without medication. There is something in many medicines that make them unsafe to take during pregnancy or nursing. Since pregnancy last 9-10 months, and nursing went on for about 12 months for each of kids… of the 10 years of our marriage, my wife has been unable to take many medicines for about 8 of those years! What a trooper.
Growing up, I never realized how blessed I was to have the family I had. God gave me two wonderful, God fearing parents who loved the Lord unconditionally. I also had 3 siblings who, for the most part, got along with one another. Our home was often filled with laughter and conflict was a rare thing. The older I get, the more I realize that this is more an exception than the expectation.
“Words transform. Speak only with a good purpose. Say only things that serve you and others. Choose your words wisely.” – Robert Allen
Gossip, one of the easiest things to do and get in major trouble with. It becomes so common place that we almost don’t even think about it. A new piece of information is gained, and we just have to share it with someone. The “juicier” the info, the stronger the urge to tell someone.
I love the power and versatility of the Word of God. For the child of God, it has more functions than we could probably name in one sitting. One such function is its ability to fight off sin.
“Weird”, is probably the expression given by others who might have seen me driving that day... I was in high school, and in a mental battle with temptation that day, and I had to pull out my most powerful tool in the fight, Scripture. Driving down the road, I began to quote what Scripture I had etched on my heart for such occasions as this. In just a short time the victory was won, because the power of Scripture was used!