From Handbook to Scripture, Day 166
READING: ECCLESIASTES 3
The need for satisfaction and significance in life drives most people to pursue these things in the wrong places—in the created order rather than the Creator of order. Ecclesiastes, written by a king (evidently Solomon) whose abilities, assets, and attainments are far beyond our own, is a road map that shows us where the human quest apart from God ends up. It is a warning, by a person who had it all, that the world will never satisfy our deepest longings, since these can only be satisfied in a relationship with the living God. This is because we have been created in His image, and thus He has “set eternity in [our] heart” (3:11).
Prayer: Lord, You have made everything appropriate in its time. You have also set eternity in our heart, yet no one can find out the work which You have done from the beginning even to the end.
Meditation passage: verses 1, 11
From A Simple Book of Prayers
Loving Him with Passion
Lord, You have invited me to pray for the needs of others; and since You desire what is best for them, I take this opportunity to bring these requests to You.
We were all baptized by one Spirit into one body—whether Jews or Greeks, slave or free. (1 Corinthians 12:13)
I want to be above reproach, blameless as a steward of God, not self-willed, not quick-tempered, not given to wine, not violent, not fond of dishonest gain, but hospitable, a lover of what is good, sensible, just, holy, and self-controlled. (Titus 1:6–8)
Take a moment to lift up the needs of your family and friends, and to offer up any other burdens for others that the Lord brings to mind.
Like the Bereans, I want the nobility of mind to receive the word with great eagerness and to examine the Scriptures daily. (Acts 17:11)
Love is as strong as death, and jealousy is as cruel as the grave; its flames are flames of fire, a flame of the Lord. Many waters cannot quench love, nor can rivers overflow it. (Song of Solomon 8:6)
Lord, I thank You for choosing me. I thank You for Your wonderful acts, and I ask that I would be eager to respond to Your Word and to walk in love.
From Handbook to Renewal
Focus: The Works of God—Redemption
The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many. (Mark 10:45)
While Jesus was eating His last Passover meal with His disciples, He took bread, blessed it, and broke it, and gave it to His disciples, saying, “Take it; this is My body.” Then He took the cup, and when He had given thanks He gave it to them, and they all drank from it. And He said to them, “This is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many.” (Mark 14:22–24)
In Gethsemane, Jesus prayed, “Abba, Father, all things are possible for You; take this cup from Me. Yet not what I will, but what You will.” (Mark 14:36)
During His trials, some began to spit at Jesus and blindfold Him and strike Him with their fists and say to Him, “Prophesy!” And the guards received Him with slaps in the face. The soldiers put a purple robe on Him, then twisted together a crown of thorns and set it on Him. And they began to call out to Him, “Hail, king of the Jews!” Again and again they struck Him on the head with a staff and spit on Him, and bending their knees, they paid mock homage to Him. When they crucified Him, those who passed by hurled insults at Him, wagging their heads and saying, “Ha! You who are going to destroy the temple and build it in three days, save Yourself and come down from the cross!” And at the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?” which means, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” (Mark 14:65; 15:17–19, 29–30, 34)
The Lord has performed mighty deeds with His arm; He has scattered those who are proud in the thoughts of their heart. He has brought down rulers from their thrones and has lifted up the humble. (Luke 1:51–52)