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DAILY DEVOTIONAL – Tuesday, June 16, 2015
Solomon conducted his search for life’s meaning as an experiment. He first tried pursuing pleasure. He undertook great projects, bought slaves and herds and flocks, amassed wealth, acquired singers, added many concubines to his harem, and became the greatest person in Jerusalem. But none of these gave him satisfaction. Some of the pleasures Solomon sought were wrong, and some were worthy; but even the worthy pursuits were futile when he pursued them as an end in themselves. We must look beyond our activities to the reasons we do them and the purpose they fulfill. Is your goal in life to search for meaning or to pursue God, who gives meaning?
This book is part of Solomon’s testimony as to what happens to a kingdom or family that forgets God. As you examine your projects or goals, what is your starting point, your motivation? Without God as your foundation, all you are living for is meaningless.
Solomon summarized his many attempts at finding life’s meaning as “chasing the wind.” We feel the wind as it passes, but we can’t catch hold of it or keep it. In all our accomplishments, even the big ones, our good feelings are only temporary. Security and self-worth are found, not in these accomplishments, but far beyond them in the love of God. Think about what you consider worthwhile in your life—where you place your time, energy, and money. Will you one day look back and decide that these, too, were a “chasing the wind”? (NLT)
Ecclesiastes 2:1-11 – I said to myself, “Come now, let’s give pleasure a try. Let’s look for the ‘good things’ in life.” But I found that this, too, was meaningless. “It is silly to be laughing all the time,” I said. “What good does it do to seek only pleasure?” After much thought, I decided to cheer myself with wine. While still seeking wisdom, I clutched at foolishness. In this way, I hoped to experience the only happiness most people find during their brief life in this world.
I also tried to find meaning by building huge homes for myself and by planting beautiful vineyards. I made gardens and parks, filling them with all kinds of fruit trees. I built reservoirs to collect the water to irrigate my many flourishing groves. I bought slaves, both men and women, and others were born into my household. I also owned great herds and flocks, more than any of the kings who lived in Jerusalem before me. I collected great sums of silver and gold, the treasure of many kings and provinces. I hired wonderful singers, both men and women, and had many beautiful concubines. I had everything a man could desire!
So I became greater than any of the kings who ruled in Jerusalem before me. And with it all, I remained clear-eyed so that I could evaluate all these things. Anything I wanted, I took. I did not restrain myself from any joy. I even found great pleasure in hard work, an additional reward for all my labors. But as I looked at everything I had worked so hard to accomplish, it was all so meaningless. It was like chasing the wind. There was nothing really worthwhile anywhere.
Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven. . . . For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. – Matthew 6:19-21 (NIV)
Daniel Sebbah (Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur, France) titled his story “THE TRUE TREASURE;” here is a portion of Daniel’s story:
“My mother has dementia, and she is no longer able to live alone. Last year she went to live in a nursing home, and now I’m emptying her house to sell it. . . .
“Now it is time for me to refocus my priorities and my efforts, not on the material things of this world but on the kingdom of God – on justice, and on my relationship with Jesus and with others. That is the real treasure Matthew 6 speaks about. This treasure will never lose its value and will never be thrown away. This treasure will be with us in eternity.”
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY – The best things in life come from God.
Prayer: Dear Lord Jesus, help us to discern the important things in life – our relationship with you and with others. Amen.
Prayer Focus: FAMILIES OF PEOPLE WITH DEMENTIA
To read the rest of the story in The Upper Room, click on the following link: http://devotional.upperroom.org/
For more Helpful Inspirational Material:
MEANING, MEANINGLESS: https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/meaning-meaningless/
APPLY, APPLICATION, APPLIED: https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/apply-application-applied/
BURDENS, BURDEN: https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/burdens-burden/
SUFFERING, SUFFER: https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/suffering-suffer/
DISTRESS, DISTRESSED: https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/distress-distressed/
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