Today’s Devotion is written by me.
Have a Blessed Day!
Indifference to Christmas.
(1) Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem.
(2) Saying, “where is He that is born king of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the east, and we are come to worship Him.
(3) When Herod the king had heard these things, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him.
(4) And when he gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he demanded of them where Christ should be born.
(5) And they said unto him, in Bethlehem of Judaea: for thus is written by the profit.
(6) And thou Bethlehem, in the land of Judaea, art not the least among the princes of Judaea: for out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel.
Each year, there’s a predictable variety of responses to the celebrations and traditions of the holiday season. We will be examining three reactions to Christmas.
Today is a reaction to the first one:
Although it has been 2,000 years since Jesus was born, His birth still elicits similar attitudes.
One common response is indifference.
Even people that are filled with the holiday spirit and celebrate Christmas with decorations, dinners and gifts, have become totally indifferent to Jesus. He doesn’t even cross their minds because they have lost sight of the reason for Christmas.
In the story of the magi’s search for the newborn King of the Jews, we see a surprising indifference on the part of the religious leaders. The entourage from the east caused quite a stir in Jerusalem. It wasn’t everyday that impressive visitors with such a shocking and exciting announcement would visit. Yet when King Herod asked the scribes and chief priests where the Messiah was to be born, they simply told him the answer but made no attempt to go to Bethlehem themselves. Their lives were already filled with their religious duties, and they had no interest or time or interest in anything that might disrupt their portions of prominence and authority.
Sometimes it’s easy to let the pressures of Christmas push Jesus right out of our thoughts. After all the shopping is finished, the gifts are wrapped and the food is prepared, we might rush off to an Christmas Eve service. But even then, we often feel distracted.
Though it may take deliberate refocusing, this year let’s intentionally make Jesus the priority of Christmas.
“The tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts.
Consider what great forest is set on fire by a small spark.”
Verse of the day:
Please add this verse to your scripture journal. 🙂
Open up your Bible to the book of Ecclesiastes 2:12-17. Slowly read and color code these verses. Remember, color coding in your Bible is optional. Here is the color coding chart to help you.
Women Walking with Jesus is a new Ministry that I started in 2017.
This ministry is for women. (Based on the fact that I am a woman and therefore can write from a woman’s perspective.) However, men could benefit from the Bible Studies in this group too. God’s Word is for everyone.
*Women Walking with Jesus Facebook Group is a Bible Study Group.
By studying the Bible we can learn how to live the way God wants us to. He sent Jesus to save us from the world; and His Word tells us how to live so that we can receive eternal life in heaven.
*My website is https://womenwalkingwithJesus.com.
*When I started Women Walking with Jesus; I just followed my heart and the idea grew. I just put it in God’s hands, for He knows the plan for me. My goal is to study the Bible and then teach what I have learned.
So I created my website which is the focus of Bible Studies set up at a go at your own pace.
When I set up Women Walking with Jesus Messenger Group, I took family and friends with me to the group from Facebook. But not everyone chose to stay in the Messenger Group and I would lose a member once in a while. At first it saddened me that they left the group. I thought, “what should I change or do better?” But then I realized that my focus is on learning and teaching what I learn. As long as I stay focused then, Jesus has the rest. “People will come and people will go; but as long as I stay and do not give up; I will reap the rewards of my labour.” Since then I have deleted Women Walking With Jesus Messenger Group; but continue with the Facebook Group and the Website.
So I took a new turn. Instead of worrying about who is or isn’t in the group; I will follow God and lead through His direction. Focusing on all of the positives and letting anything negative; go…Living; Learning; and Teaching what I’ve Learned. Thank you Jesus. 🙂
In Verse 12 we can see that King Solomon takes a new turn. Now he is considering the comparison between wisdom and folly.
1. Which does he decide is better according to verse 13? __
Solomon decided that wisdom exceeds folly just as light excelleth darkness.
2. What fate awaits both of them?
The fate that awaits the wiseman and the fool is; death…
* Death is certain and universal. No matter how wise or foolish, how wealthy or hardworking, statistics show that one out of one–die.*
3. Look up Psalm 49:10.
1. What does it say about the death of the wise and the fool?
*For he seeth that wise men die, likewise the fool and the brutish person perish and leave their wealth to others.*
4. What also bothers Solomon about their same fate according to verse 16 & 17?
* Be not afraid when one is made rich, when the glory of his house is increased. For when he dieth he shall carry nothing away; his glory shall not descend after him.*
Another mirage is fame and remembrance. The internet has made it easy for us to seek fame and fortune. We can post our talents online and hope to get noticed by someone significant. Selfies are also a way to get people’s attention and many try gaining modeling careers by sending selfies to modeling agencies. Our biggest hurdle is overcoming rejection and worry. It’s like feeding a negative beast! And it’s always hungry!
People long to be remembered after death. We place headstones on our loved ones graves so their name does not fade. But, reality is; that most of us are forgotten within the first generation or two. The Pharaohs of egypt had huge pyramids used as tombs. Even with huge pyramids; they have still been forgotten. Most of us can’t even name those Pharaohs and I am one of those people who can’t name them.
5. What does Solomon conclude in verse 17-20?
*Solomon concludes that when we die, we will take nothing from this earth with us. Men will praise us on earth for what we have that is visible to the eye. But nothing will go with us in the end, nothing material that is. Man that is in honour; and understand not, is like the beasts that perish.*
*Solomon is at a dead-end; again. He “hates” life! Don’t forget that Solomon is accessing life under the sun without God in it.* We don’t have to fall into that same pit of depression as Solomon did since we are believers in God.*
6. We should view death and labor according to these passages:
1 Corinthians 15:55-58
O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strenght of sin is the law.
But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.
Wherefore, my beloved as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but how much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.
For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.
Do all things without murmurings and disputing:
That you may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world;
Holding forth the Word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain.
Let him that is taught in the word communicate unto him that teacheth in all good things.
Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth that shall he also reap.
For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.
And let us not be weary in well-doing; for in due season we will reap, if we faint not.
As we have therefore opportunity let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.
7. How Does Galatians 6:9 encourage you in the midst of the season of life you are in today?
Courtney Joseph expressed that this verse has kept her going through several of her own life events.
I agree with Courtney. I have also used this scripture through many of my own life’s trials and tribulations and continue to use it often.
Do not grow weary! We sure do need to hear these Words; often. Especially in the world today.
Rest assured that our labor for our Lord is not in vain. Upon due season we will reap our rewards.
Do not give up! Keep going!
Dear God, We come together in prayer today. Please help us not grow weary in doing well in this world. There is so many terrible things happening in the world around us; help us to stay focused on you Lord through it all. We thank you for the blessings we will receive for not giving up. Help us to walk in the truth that we learned today about wisdom and folly. We thank you Lord. In Jesus name we pray, Amen!
We are Women Walking With Jesus. Thank you for joining me. 🙂
Verse: Psalm 90:14
Satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love, so that we may rejoice and be glad all of our days.
What does this verse mean to you?
Wake us in the morning Lord; and satisfy us with your never-ending love so that we can rejoice; and be happy; and glad for all of our days. Forever!
*Remember, to write this Scripture in your Journal.*
Read and/or color code the scriptures in Ecclesiastes 1:12-18.
*Remember, color coding is optional, but helpful in slowing us down while reading.*
What does this scripture say?
Vanity of Human Wisdom:
The preacher; was also the King of Jerusalem who was named Solomon. God blessed him in the beginning with more wisdom than anyone before him or anyone after him. He searched with his heart to find out everything that happens under the heaven. This sore travail; or this hard path that God has given man to follow will not be easy and will be traveled regardless of how hard it becomes.
How do we know that verse 14 is Solomon looking for humans to have some of their own wisdom, apart from God’s wisdom?
Solomon tells us that he has seen all of the works that are done under the sun, and he has discovered that it is all vanity and vexation of spirit. He is looking at a man’s life under the sun. Solomon is looking at this with an earthly perspective instead of an above the sun view.
As believers in Jesus Christ, we have one goal: Trust in the Lord with all of your heart! Fill your life with God and you will be shown above the sun answers to your earthly questions.
Why does Solomon call our work under heaven an “unhappy business”?
He tells us that all things are filled with labour. And there are no new things under the sun. What comes around goes back around, and the earth stays the same. The more wisdom a person has the more grief they have as well; and the person that increases knowledge also increases sorrow. Nothing on earth can fill you up. Only the Spirit can. Nothing on earth can make you happy. Only the Spirit can.
Life is hard living under the sun. The curse beginning, at the Garden of Eden, has been hanging over us forever. And the fallen world we live in makes living here even more difficult.
Verse 15 Concludes:
That which is crooked cannot be made straight; and that which is wanting cannot be numbered.
Verse 15 is considered a Proverb.
A proverb is a short pithy saying stating a general truth.
This world is crooked and people are crooked too. Whether it is metal or people, crooked cannot be made straight. Therefore, don’t waste your time trying. And the number of people wanting is never-ending! Everyone wants something! But they do not receive anything unless they believe upon the Lord God; and Jesus Christ our Savior.
Read verses 16 & 17.
Solomon not only searched out wisdom and knowledge but what else did he seek to know in verse 17?
He also seeked to know madness and folly; understanding this is also vexation of spirit.
Why do you think he wanted to know about this?
Solomon wanted to know how their pleasure felt; even though it was all vanity. He drank wine and laughed. He laboured in his works and it turned out to be all vanity and vexation of spirit! There was no profit under the sun.
Verse 17 could be a reference to Solomon’s turning away from God and turning to idolatry and disobedience. (1 Kings 11:1-9).
Did Solomon find joy in madness and folly?
No, Solomon did not find joy and happiness in folly and madness.
If we try too hard to understand life and the meaning for it, we are left empty. It can get frustrating and depressing. Solomon concludes that human wisdom is pretty much useless and only brings pain and sorrow.
Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. Colossians 3:2.
Solomon did not set his mind on things above the earth. All that he was interested in, turned out to be temporary things of the earth. Nothing satisfied Solomon.
Satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love, so that we may rejoice and be glad all of our days. Psalm 90:14
1. What Lessons have you learned so far about the meaning of work, knowledge and wisdom?
I have learned that God wants us to work for our needs. Nothing in this world is free. We must pay for our own way in this world and legitimately work for everything that we obtain on earth. The more you work does not improve the outcome on how much you will receive. Knowledge increases are good, however, the more you know the harder life is. Knowledge brings negative results on earth. Wisdom is the same as knowledge. On earth people are not thankful, but instead think of a person with wisdom as a big-headed person that thinks they are better than other people.
How are you living? Are you living only for this world, “under the sun” and “chasing after the wind,” or are you living for Jesus, who is the Creator of the sun and is above the sun?
I am living for Jesus who is the Creator of the sun and is above the sun. I am not living only for this world and I realize that is not the correct thing to do. We must live in this world; work for a living; and stay focused on Jesus, who is not of this world.
Thank you for your constant and perfect love that never fails.
Help us to seek wisdom in your Word on a daily basis.
Help us to serve and to work for your glory and not our own.
Give us joy on our journey of life.
In Jesus name we pray, Amen.
Thank you for joining me.
We are Women Walking with Jesus. 🙂
At the end of Lesson 6 I mentioned that we would begin today with the Discussion Question for St. John 3:16.
Verse: St. John 3:16.
For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
What does this verse say to you?
I believe St. John 3:16 is telling us the following?
That God loved the world, but needed to correct the sin people continued doing in the world.
So God gave His only son to His people. Whoever believes in God’s son will not die, but will have everlasting eternal life.
This concludes Lesson 6.
Ecclesiastes Lesson 7 Examining the Earth.
Verse of the day:
Please put this scripture in your journal. Thank you.
Lesson 7 Examining the Earth:
Slowly read and color code Ecclesiastes 1:1-11
The coloring chart is a tool to help slow us down so that we can SOAK in the Word of God.
NOTE: There is not a right or wrong way to do your coloring; the chart is just a guide.
Every person “under the sun” searches for something new and exciting. The monotony of daily living; and the same Ole, same ole sets in. We are looking for things to fill us up so we stay busy. Take another college class, get a second job, plan a birthday party, etc… Yet with all of our time “under the sun,” staying busy is not filling us up. Staying busy is taking a toll on our spirit. The things of this world will still lead us to emptiness. Ecclesiastes: 1: 2.
What does a person gain by all the toils under the sun? Ecclesiastes 1:3.
Then Solomon searches for the answers to his own questions about “life under the sun.”
Solomon is writing the answers to his own questions from an “under the sun” perspective. He contrasts the earth with the generations of mankind that come and go.
The old people pass away; while new babies are being born in the world. The cycle continues but the earth stays the same. The sun rises and sets everyday in the world. It does not change; but the people do. New generations are born as the old pass away.
What parts of nature display the weariness of life? Ecclesiastes 1:4-7
- The earth, sun, wind and water display the weariness of life.
For centuries the earth, sun, wind, and water have been moving constantly without getting anywhere.
Do you ever feel like your life is in constant repetition?
The seasons come and the seasons go; when the warm sun shines of summer we go swimming and enjoy the outdoors. Fall comes and we get out our warmer clothes and decorate for fall with pumpkins and colored leaves. Winter brings us to wearing coats and hats and mittens; and when the sun is out we are still cold in the winter. Spring brings new life to plants and animals. And then back to summer.
Do you struggle with the monotony of life? Do you feel the urge to always seek out something new?
When Solomon looked “under the sun”, he concluded that work was just wearisome and like chasing after the wind.
Let’s take a look “above the sun” at God’s view of work.
Look up these references and write out God’s view of work.
1 Corinthians 15:58
God’s view of work: God says, whatever you do, do it with all of your heart, as the Lord would do and as you would do unto the Lord. Do not do it unto men; but unto the Lord God. Work as though you are employed by God and not exactly men. Colossians 3:23. Therefore, says God, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, unmovable always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as you know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.
God ordained work in the Garden of Eden; but after Adam sinned; Genesis 3:17b says; “cursed is the ground because of you; in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life.”
Work was always a part of God’s plan but because of sin, work brings sweat and sorrow. Should we conclude that all work is vain?
No; work has value for this life and the next. It is work that is done to the glory of God that brings ultimate satisfaction and fulfillment. We must take the “above the sun” approach to our work. If we don’t, the end result will be emptiness.
Now examine Ecclesiastes 1:8-11.
What two things are never satisfied according to verse 8?
1. The eye is not satisfied with seeing;
2. And the ear is not filled with hearing.
We live like this everyday. We scroll through social media; and could continue scrolling all day and never be completely satisfied because there is always more to read or see. We do the same thing with television. We scroll through the remote control, channel after channel; again without satisfaction. We always desire new experiences and keep searching for one daily.
What does Solomon conclude in Ecclesiastes 1:9-11? Solomon concludes that, the things that have been, is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun. Is there anything said to be new? It has already been of old-time, which was before us. There is no remembrance of former things, neither shall there be any remembrance of things that are to come with those that shall come after.
Advertisers try to sell us new and improved products. They know buyers grow bored easily and they play on the needs people have for something new.
Is it really true that “nothing new happens under the sun”? What about technology?
Light bulbs resemble the sun, motorcycles resemble horses, airplanes resemble birds and computers resemble our brains!
All of the modern discoveries and inventions hinge on the creativity of our God.
We hear people say, “the world is more violent than it used to be”. But remember that Cain killed Abel back in Genesis 4. Murder has been with us since the beginning of time.
In Ecclesiastes 1:11, what do we see Solomon grappling with? He is understanding that there is no memory of former things, and no memory of things that are to come for the people who shall come after him.
Do you remember your great grandparents? Or your great, great grandparents? Generations come and generations go and we forget who came before us. God will use each of us for His glory; and we should never seek to make a difference for our own glory. At the end of the day, there is no glory for man, and the idea of fame is a mirage. We must not be deceived into chasing after it.
Thankfully, our faith in God changes everything. There is something “new” under the sun, because God is ruling over the sun! Jesus Christ, the son of God, ushered in the New Covenant in His blood at the cross (Luke 22:20). Those of us that belive in Christ become “new” creations in Christ Jesus (2 Corinthians 5:17).
Thank you Jesus for our salvation. Thank you for giving me a “new” heart and a “new” spirit! (Ezekiel 36:26).
As we strive to become women walking with Jesus; let us always remember that Jesus is our living well. He is our living water and we must go to Him daily to be refreshed.
Dear God, you are so good Father. Thank you for the sacrifice of your Son and the forgiveness of our sins. Forgive us for putting our hope and trust in the wrong things. Help us not to chase after empty futile things and open our eyes and hearts to understand your Word clearly. Change us and make us more like you. May we find joy and peace in your presence and a life full of meaning for your glory. In Jesus name, we pray, Amen.
Thank you for joining me.
We are Women Walking with Jesus. 🙂
Beverly Wise would look up original definitions of the Bible in Hebrew and Greek, and would make notes in the margins of her Bible. If something did not make sence to Beverly she would research Bible Dictionaries; other versions of the Bible; and ask her commentaries so that she could completely understand what God was telling her. Beverly Wise worked very hard at understanding scriptures in the Holy Bible.
We should all put in at least this much effort to understand the scriptures in the Holy Bible. God’s Word. The book of life that God wrote through inspiring his disciples to tell the people what is the truth. The directions to living this life that God has given us.
Verse of the Day:
Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.
2 Timothy 2:15 (ESV)
Please add this scripture to your Scripture Journal. 🙂
We will be adding some color coding to our journals.
You can also choose to color code in your Bible or get a new Bible just for color coding; I am going to start color coding in my Bible and my Scripture Journal. Feel free to color code in one or more of the options mentioned above, or if you have new ideas that you would like to try; that’s fine too.
In the workbook for Ecclesiastes Wisdom for Living Well; there is a Color Coding chart that I will post below for you to use.
Beverly Wise uses the SOAK method for color coding. She created this unique way to color code scripture; and by doing this; she also gained more knowledge and wisdom from the scriptures themselves. Taking your time to read God’s Word is important. And gives us a much better understanding.
Color Coding is just an option; however; I hope you will give it a try. It will be a fun way to learn. I know I am going to try the Color Coding that Beverly Wise used in the study guide.