Live joyfully with the wife whom you love all the days of your vain life which He has given you under the sun, all your days of vanity; for that is your portion in life, and in the labor which you perform under the sun. (Ecclesiastes 9:9, NKJV)
God provides humanity with the keys of a fulfilled life on earth, even as He explains that life “under the sun” is empty when we make physical pursuits the sum of life’s purpose. Fearing God and keeping His commandments is gives wholeness to life (Eccl. 12:13). When God saw it was not good that Adam was alone, He created woman and presented her to him as his wife – his lifelong companion who corresponded to him like none other. And so, marriage is given by God to provide joy and fulfillment during our days on earth. It is our portion in life, given by the Giver of life for us to enjoy. How sad that many marriages become the source of heartache and conflict. Make it your aim to honor God’s gift of marriage by honoring your husband or wife. God-approved marriage is a blessing, not a burden. Accept His blessing by showing joyful devotion to your spouse, thanksgiving to God and loving responsibility toward each other.
To everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under heaven: (Ecclesiastes 3:1, NKJV)
Divine Providence has arranged life on earth with its own symmetry. Life and death, planting and harvest, weeping and laughter all illustrate the portion and occasion of things “under the sun.” Yet, acknowledging life’s symmetry (and at times, its paradoxes) does not give ultimate satisfaction or meaning to life. “He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also He has put eternity in their hearts, except that no one can find out the work that God does from beginning to end” (Eccl. 3:11). Only by trusting the purposes of God and submitting obediently to Him will one ascend to the ultimate purpose and meaning of life which God has given us (Eccl. 12:13).
The entrance of Your words gives light; It gives understanding to the simple. (Psalm 119:130, NKJV)
What is the first thing you do when you walk into a dark room? You turn on the lights. God’s word is described as giving light from the first moment it is encountered. Sin has caused much darkness in the world and in our lives. The light of God’s word shows the way out of sin’s darkness and into the light of life that is in Jesus (Jno. 1:4). The light He gives “shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it” (Jno. 1:5, ESV). By following the word of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, you will have the light of life (Jno. 8:12).
He who keeps the commandment keeps his soul, but he who is careless of his ways will die. (Proverbs 19:16, NKJV)
Your interest in eternal life is shown by your interest in keeping the commands of the Lord. Jesus said the Father’s command is everlasting life, and so He carefully spoke the Father’s will for us to obey (Jno. 12:48-50). Obeying the commands of God protects our soul unto eternal life. Disobeying the commands of God leads to our eternal death (Rom. 6:23). Do not despise the commands of God. They are for your good. “Blessed are those who do his commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city” (Rev. 22:14). Do not be careless with your soul. Protect it by keeping the commands of God.
Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.” (John 8:12, NKJV)
Jesus illuminates this world with truth. As the light of the world, Jesus exposes the world with His light. The powerful truth of Christ’s word lays bare the darkness of sin in all its futility, foolishness and falsity. “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend (overcome) it” (Jno. 1:5). Sin does not overwhelm the light of Christ. As the light of the world, Jesus judges the world. In the last day, His word will judge all who reject Him (Jno. 12:48). By walking in His light you avoid the future condemnation of sin. As the light of the world, Jesus saves the world. He shows the way out of sin; the way to the Father. “In Him was life, and the life was the light of men” (Jno. 1:4). Rejoice and thank God each day that Jesus is “the true Light which gives light to every man” (Jno. 1:9). His true light of truth is “already shining” (1 Jno. 2:8). Follow Jesus. Walk in the light of His truth and be led to eternal life.
13 Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. 14 Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it. (Matthew 7:13–14, NKJV)
00:05As Jesus preached the gospel of the kingdom of heaven, He discussed entry into it. Far from teaching there are “many ways that lead to heaven and everyone must find their own way to God”, Jesus Christ said there is a narrow gate through which one must enter, and a difficult or confined way one must walk. Few find it. Few are willing to jettison sin for the disciple’s life of submission, sacrifice and service. In stunning contrast, the entrance is wide and the path is broad that leads to eternal destruction. The wages of sin is death, and many choose to travel the easy freeway of sin. The implication is clear: You are not on your way to heaven when you are walking the path of sin. Jesus is the only way to the Father (Jno. 14:6). He demands all your faith, all your obedience, all your love (Jno. 14:6; Lk. 9:23-24; Matt. 22:37). His gospel reveals the narrow gate and difficult way to eternal life. Which way are you traveling today?
3 Then Satan entered Judas, surnamed Iscariot, who was numbered among the twelve. 4 So he went his way and conferred with the chief priests and captains, how he might betray Him to them. 5 And they were glad, and agreed to give him money. 6 So he promised and sought opportunity to betray Him to them in the absence of the multitude. (Luke 22:3-6)
Judas made a choice to betray Jesus. The fact that Satan entered Judas does not at all suggest he lost his freewill in the matter. Satan set the enticement before him, and he gave into the temptation. It is the same with all temptation to sin: An enticement coupled with a person’s own desires (“But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed”, James 1:14). The tempter can be resisted: “Resist the devil and he will flee from you” (Jas. 4:7). No one forces you to sin; the choice is yours. And, so is the accountability before God. The wages of sin is death. God gift is “eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom. 6:23). Choosing sin brings death. Choose faith in Jesus (Matt. 11:28-30; 7:21-23; Lk. 6:46).
8 All things are full of labor; Man cannot express it. The eye is not satisfied with seeing, Nor the ear filled with hearing. 9 That which has been is what will be, That which is done is what will be done, And there is nothing new under the sun. 10 Is there anything of which it may be said, “See, this is new”? It has already been in ancient times before us. (Ecclesiastes 1:8-10)
The old adage rings true, “The more things change, the more they stay the same.” Life “under the sun” brings nothing that is truly new. Human beings have benefited from labor since the beginning of the creation, yet it is obvious that labor does not satisfy every longing of the heart. This is not said to discount labor, but to emphasize that expecting to meet all of one’s desires through labor is unrealistic. There remains a yearning for something more – to know more, to be more – that labor does not fill. The purpose of your life and the satisfaction for which you yearn will be found when you fear God and keep His commandments (Ecclesiastes 12:13).
Here is what I have seen: It is good and fitting for one to eat and drink, and to enjoy the good of all his labor in which he toils under the sun all the days of his life which God gives him; for it is his heritage. (Ecclesiastes 5:18)
God is the Giver of life. He has appointed our lives on earth with seasons of pleasure and pain, laughter and sorrow, work and play. By giving us the ability to work, He also gives us the ability to enjoy the fruit of our labor (Eccl. 2:24). God approves of us taking pleasure in our family, our friends and our earthly endeavors. The wise person is thankful to God for life, its opportunities and its challenges. Wisdom teaches us our life on earth is not the sum of our existence. God has also put eternity in our hearts. We long for something more than terra firma (Eccl. 3:11). The Bible explains where you came from , why you are here and where you are going. Enjoy your life, but do so by fearing God and keeping His commandments. Then the days of your life will be complete (Eccl. 12:13).
24 But the boat was now in the middle of the sea, tossed by the waves, for the wind was contrary. 25 Now in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went to them, walking on the sea. 26 And when the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, “It is a ghost!” And they cried out for fear. 27 But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid.” (Matthew 14:24–27)
As the apostles’ boat was tossed about in the Sea of Galilee storm, so our lives are often tossed about by the trials and uncertainties of life. Jesus is never far away. He is ever-present to comfort and to save. Like the apostles, we may be frightened at times, Jesus speaks words of comforting assurance to all who put their faith in Him. Take courage (“be of good cheer”), says Jesus. “It is I (lit., “I am”), do not be afraid”. He is the ever-existing One, the great I AM, who never falters and who never fails those who put their trust Him. Whatever life brings your way, courageous trust the Lord and follow His words. When you do, the peaceful calm of salvation will surely be yours (Matt. 14:28-33).