• Interpreting the Bible Literally Devotional

    Ecclesiastes 8:1b

    If we do not read the Bible according to the literary conventions that are appropriate for the various literary styles that it is using, we will go far astray. The plainest meaning of a passage, which we derive from reading poetry as poetry, narrative as narrative, and so forth, is the meaning that controls our interpretation and application of a text. Read the Bible as you would read other books, and its essential meaning will be plain to you. View Resource

  • Presuming upon God’s Kindness Devotional

    Ecclesiastes 8:10–11

    Matthew Henry comments on today’s passage: “Sinners herein deceive themselves, for, though the sentence be not executed speedily, it will be executed the more severely at last. Vengeance comes slowly, but it comes surely, and wrath is in the mean time treasured up against the day of wrath.” From our perspective, justice may seem to be delayed, but it always comes at the right time. Our just God will set things right, so we have ample reason to trust in Him. View Resource

  • The Final End of the Wicked Devotional

    Ecclesiastes 8:12–13

    The fear of the Lord is not only the beginning of wisdom (Prov. 1:7); it is also the prerequisite for eternal life. It is not that such fear is a meritorious work that God rewards with eternal life; rather, such fear is born of saving faith that unites us to Christ, whose merit alone will save us. Though fearing the Lord may not bring with it much earthly success, it will bring us to eternal life, where we will see justice win and evil vanquished. Let us fear the Lord as we look for that day. View Resource

  • Embracing Our Finitude Devotional

    Ecclesiastes 8:16–17

    Scripture does not say it is impossible for us to know anything. Instead, the emphasis is on pursuing knowledge within the boundaries of God’s revelation. Special revelation—sacred Scripture—must guide even our study of “non- religious” matters such as science, philosophy, history, and so forth. Since God is the author of truth and we are made in His image, we can know truth. We just have to be content to stop our pursuit of understanding where He tells us to stop. View Resource

  • The Gift of Life with Family Devotional

    Ecclesiastes 9:9

    The proper enjoyment of time with our spouses and families actually points us to our Creator. As we take the time to enjoy our loved ones, we are reminded that they are precious gifts from God and that He is a kind and generous Lord who grants us many blessings to ease the pain of life in this fallen world. Let us make the most of our time with our families, knowing that God has given them to point us to Him. View Resource

  • Working While We Can Devotional

    Ecclesiastes 9:10

    Labor was instituted before the fall and was part of the order that God called “very good” (Gen. 1:31). Thus, we have good reason to believe that work will be a part of the age to come in some form. However, it will not be the work of calling lost people to repent and believe the gospel. That is the vital work of the kingdom in this present age, and it is work in which we must all engage as we are able. View Resource

  • Not in Our Hands Devotional

    Ecclesiastes 9:11–12

    The point of Ecclesiastes 9:11–12 is not to dissuade us from planning or to make us cynical about what we can do to live successfully; rather, the Preacher’s aim is to keep us humble and to remind us of our proper place in creation. We are called to be diligent and wise, but events are never entirely under our control. God is sovereign, and we are not, and that truth should encourage us, as we plan, to trust finally and wholly in the Lord and not in our plans. View Resource

  • Short-Term Setbacks, Long-Term Gain Devotional

    Ecclesiastes 9:17–18

    Scripture repeatedly encourages us to take a long-term perspective. Divine wisdom will on many occasions bring success in this world; however, there is no guarantee that following the Lord will make life easy on this side of glory. Sometimes we will suffer greatly for doing what God says. When this happens, we are to remember what the Lord actually promises, namely, that serving Him brings eternal blessing (Matt. 19:29). View Resource

  • Calming the Ruler Devotional

    Ecclesiastes 10:4

    Our responses to others, especially those in authority, must always be governed by divine wisdom. We must pray that the Lord would help us discern the difference between abuse and rightly administered discipline, between the response of a ruler that is wholly unjustified and evil, and a response that is firm and appropriate. Let us trust Christ to help us respond appropriately to all people. View Resource

  • When Reality Is Upside Down Devotional

    Ecclesiastes 10:5–7

    In God’s sovereign providence, our Creator has at times seen fit to allow fools to attain places of power. We know that this is ultimately for our greater good and His glory. Still, we rightly sense that something is wrong when we see fools in power. For this situation has been caused by the fall. One day it will be overturned, and the world will be right side up again. Knowing that truth encourages us to serve the Lord. View Resource

  • Bread, Wine, and Money Devotional

    Ecclesiastes 10:19

    When we see the great needs of other people, it is easy for us to feel a little guilty about enjoying the good gifts of God. However, we are not sinning if, as part of our God-honoring lifestyle, we go on a fun trip, eat a good meal, or do other such things. The Lord calls us to be generous with our wealth and to support the work of His kingdom, but there is a place for us to enjoy what He has given us as part of thanking Him for His goodness. View Resource

  • Avoiding Bitterness of Mind and Speech Devotional

    Ecclesiastes 10:20

    Wise people put up safeguards in their thoughts and actions to help keep them from being ensnared by a root of bitterness. Lest our minds lead us astray, it is wise to think on what is true, good, and beautiful so that our thoughts are not filled with curses and other unclean things (Phil. 4:8). At the same time, we should endeavor not to listen to or repeat uncertainties that we hear about others or otherwise gossip about our neighbors. View Resource

  • Total Commitment and Generosity Devotional

    Ecclesiastes 11:1–2

    God will have all of us or He will have none of us. There is no such thing as halfhearted commitment to the Lord. Until the Lord returns, we will fall short and sometimes try to hold some things back from His control. But true Christians will have the direction of their lives oriented in the main to serving God with all that they are. They serve Him eagerly, and they are continually repenting for whatever they might try to hold back from His lordship. View Resource

  • Fearing God Devotional

    Ecclesiastes 11-12

    Patience is a key virtue in the Christian life because of our need to take a long view of things. It can be difficult to remain faithful in suffering or to spend hours ministering with little visible return. When we take the long view of things, however, we find the strength to press forward even in the context of great difficulty. Let us surround ourselves with people who will encourage us to take, as we are able, an eternal perspective on all things. View Resource

  • We Are Not in Control Devotional

    Ecclesiastes 11:3–4

    The providence of God is the only foundation upon which we find confidence to act in this unpredictable world. Knowing that the Lord is in control—and that we are not—actually frees us to act, for we know that no failure of ours can derail His plan. That He is in control also gives an eternal significance to what we do, for what we do is incorporated into the all-comprehensive plan of the One who gives meaning to everything. View Resource