September 7

Song of Solomon 5:1-8:14; 2 Corinthians 9:1-15; Psalm 51:1-19; Proverbs 22:24-25

The love between a man and a woman is powerful. We have heard it said that there is a thin line between love and hate! The advice from the young woman is, “Promise me, O women of Jerusalem, not to awaken love until the time is right.” 

She had experienced the real love of a man and she knew it was a priceless commodity that should not be undervalued. Love is not a word we hear much about today. People speak more of Twerking and lust than real love. It’s probably because real love transcends the physical. It is a deep and abiding commitment to a person through the ups and downs of life. 

Real love is so valuable that it cannot be purchased. “If a man tried to buy love with all his wealth, his offer would be utterly scorned.” Love is so powerful that oceans cannot quench it. Don’t settle for lust or the world’s definition of love. God is cultivating the heart of someone right now, to love you the way you deserve. Don’t settle for cheap love that lasts for a night. Wait for real love that lasts a lifetime. 

Tomorrow’s Reading: Isaiah 1:1-2:22; 2 Corinthians 10:1-18; Psalm 52:1-9; Proverbs 22:26-27

September 6

Song of Solomon 1:1-4:16; 2 Corinthians 8:16-24; Psalm 50:1-23; Proverbs 22:22-23

We often concern ourselves only with the big things and we think if we get only the big things right the little things will fall into place. However, the little things matter too. The Bible gives us wisdom about everything in life even relationships.

Relationships are complex and though there are big areas that we need to watch out for, we cannot overlook the little things that can destroy the relationship. If you only pay attention to the big things of fidelity, finances, and the future, you can miss the little things like kindness, thoughtfulness and selflessness.

“Catch all the foxes, those little foxes, before they ruin the vineyard of love, for the grapevines are blossoming!” (Song 2:15) Catching the little foxes requires diligence. If they are left to their own devices, they will destroy the relationship completely. Take some time to examine those relationships around you and see if there are traces of little foxes. Get rid of them before their presence takes its toll on you. 

Tomorrow’s Reading: Song of Solomon 5:1-8:14; 2 Corinthians 9:1-15; Psalm 51:1-19; Proverbs 22:24-25

September 5

Ecclesiastes 10:1-12:14; 2 Corinthians 8:1-15; Psalm 49:1-20; Proverbs 22:20-21

You cannot be a wise person if you do not manage well all the resources that have been given to you. The most precious asset you’ve been given is time. There is so much that remains undone because of our misuse of time. Time is so valuable that we only get a certain amount of it. God is so strategic that He not only gave you a purpose but He also gave you enough time to accomplish everything He called you to do. 

Time can be wasted in two ways: through laziness and too much leisure. Laziness is not producing at a maximum level. While we cannot run at 100% all the time, we should schedule our week so that there are times when we produce at a high level. Then there are times when we need to take some time off, or rest (The Bible calls this Sabbath). The other way that we misuse time is that we spend too much time resting and relaxing that we don’t accomplish anything. Hours, days, weeks and months go by and important tasks remain incomplete. 

See your life as meaningful and important. Endeavor to do everything God has assigned you to do. “Laziness leads to a sagging roof; idleness leads to a leaky house.”

Tomorrow’s Reading: Song of Solomon 1:1-4:16; 2 Corinthians 8:16-24; Psalm 50:1-23; Proverbs 22:22-23

September 4

Ecclesiastes 7:1-9:18; 2 Corinthians 7:8-16; Psalm 48:1-14; Proverbs 22:17-19

Solomon had the honor of being the wisest man on earth. But, when you read his wisdom, you find the words of a man who lacks wisdom. What happened to Solomon that caused him to have a skewed view of the world? 

Solomon lost sight of real wisdom. You see, there are two types of wisdom: wisdom from humans and wisdom from God. Human wisdom is nothing more than our logical way to make sense of a broken world. Wisdom from God only comes from seeking God and allowing the mind of God to show us a more excellent way through life’s situations. God granted Solomon divine wisdom but because of his rebellion, he turned from it and sought human wisdom and it led him to utter despair!

Our natural minds cannot make sense of this fallen world. Only God can. Seeking God will help us see something that human wisdom cannot process. Solomon missed this because he turned away from God. Because we all face life’s challenges, we must be careful not to allow people’s ways of seeing things trump God’s wisdom. Look deeper, pray harder so that God’s wisdom shows up in your situation and then you will know the God-given path out of whatever you are in. This is real wisdom which comes from above!

Tomorrow’s Reading:  Ecclesiastes 10:1-12:14; 2 Corinthians 8:1-15; Psalm 49:1-20; Proverbs 22:20-21

September 3

Ecclesiastes 4:1-6:12; 2 Corinthians 6:14-7:7; Psalm 47:1-9; Proverbs 22:16

What makes life meaningful is that we don’t have to go through it alone! We cannot control the twists and turns that life takes but we most certainly can determine not to be alone while we go through life. God has created us to have 2 key relationships: one with Him and one with other humans. 

Life is better when we do it together. Solomon was wise enough to recognize that there are benefits for being together with others. If you are struggling with loneliness, please know that God desires for you to connect with people. He even has people that are called to be with you in life. Open your heart to receive those people. They may not look the way you think they should but they are the people you need in your life right now! 

If you are relying on politics or other human systems, you will always be disappointed. But, if you trust God to bring you into the right relationships then you will have the right person with you when you go through life (even if that means you go through the valley of the shadow of death). Let God love you through other people and commit to be a person through whom God’s love can flow! Two are better than one. 

Tomorrow’s Reading: Ecclesiastes 7:1-9:18; 2 Corinthians 7:8-16; Psalm 48:1-14; Proverbs 22:17-19

September 2

Ecclesiastes 1:1-3:22; 2 Corinthians 6:1-13; Psalm 46:1-11; Proverbs 22:15

What is life all about? The writer of Ecclesiastes paints a very dim view of life. What is interesting is that Solomon was the richest man on earth and from an economic standpoint, he lived the life that many people desire. Solomon had extreme wealth and notoriety.

The problem was that Solomon had wisdom and he had possessions and wealth but he missed the real meaning of life. So, having wisdom and wealth meant absolutely nothing because he lacked the greatest understanding of all. Solomon understood that God placed eternity in the human heart but he did not know how to embrace it. He knew that God desired that all people should fear Him but he did not know why?

This is a lesson that we all need to know. There is a difference between having things and things having us! When you know that you were made for more than today, you won’t worship things but you will desire to do those things that advance eternity. We can only find purpose when it is tied to our eternal purpose. This is what gives life real meaning.

Tomorrow’s Reading: Ecclesiastes 4:1-6:12; 2 Corinthians 6:14-7:7; Psalm 47:1-9; Proverbs 22:16

September 1

Job 40:1-42:17; 2 Corinthians 5:11-21; Psalm 45:1-17; Proverbs 22:14

Job’s story ends abruptly and he receives double for all that he lost. What a quick end to a prolonged adventure. But, before we get excited about the fact that it ends well, there is a truth that I believe God wants us to understand.

The Lord declared that Job had been right and his friends were wrong. Moreover, God said that He would honor Job’s prayers on behalf of his friends. God was really asking a lot of Job. At Job’s weakest point, his friends came to push him further down. It was completely unfair and unjust; and, they were wrong. Now, God is asking Job to pray for the very people who added to his pain. 

Because Job was a righteous man, he submitted to God’s will and set a standard for what we would later learn in the New Testament. Job prayed for them and his forgiving heart unlocked a truth for us. Forgiveness is always in order. If our hearts are polluted with unforgiveness, we can never walk in the fullness of God’s plan for our lives. If you are holding onto an offense, even if you were wronged, let it go so God can fulfill His plan for your life. 

Tomorrow’s Reading: Ecclesiastes 1:1-3:22; 2 Corinthians 6:1-13; Psalm 46:1-11; Proverbs 22:15

August 31

Job 37:1-39:30; 2 Corinthians 4:13-5:10; Psalm 44:9-26; Proverbs 22:13

There is so much about God that we just do not know. If you don’t believe it, just go through the list in today’s reading. And, it is not only that we don’t know how certain things operate, we don’t have any power to start them or stop them. After reading all these questions, you could really be left with a sense of despair because we really have no power at all.

But, what I have learned from Scripture is not to look at what I do not know, it is to look at what I do know. What I know is sufficient to get me through life and all the way to heaven. So, what are some things that we absolutely know beyond a shadow of doubt? First, we know that God is love! God is not just loving; He is love! He cannot stop loving because He would stop being God.

Another truth we should know about God is that He only has good plans for us. Jeremiah 29:11, “’For I know the plans I have for you,’ says the Lord. ‘They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.’” Job did not know all of the theological arguments but he rested in the two truths he did know. Job was not arrogant in asserting that he was innocent and undeserving of such calamity. Job was confident in God’s love and God’s good plans for his life. You should be too!

Tomorrow’s Reading: Job 40:1-42:17; 2 Corinthians 5:11-21; Psalm 45:1-17; Proverbs 22:14

August 30

Job 34:1-36:33; 2 Corinthians 4:1-12; Psalm 44:1-8; Proverbs 22:10-12

Since God is just and He is incapable of injustice, how can you explain the evil that Job endured? Job’s friends had a very limited view of how God operated and the cause of evil in someone’s life.

Job’s friends had no concept that there might be another actor on the stage of life. There is a real devil and he desires to hurt us and destroy our relationship with God and with other people. It is possible to be innocent and have evil happen because satan gets glory out of disrupting our lives.

While you shouldn’t be afraid of the works of the devil, you must know that there is a force of evil who desires to destroy everything good about your life. The key is not to cooperate with him! The devil can only defeat you if you cooperate with him. This is why Job maintained his innocence.

Tomorrow’s Reading: Job 37:1-39:30; 2 Corinthians 4:13-5:10; Psalm 44:9-26; Proverbs 22:13

August 29

Job 31:1-33:33; 2 Corinthians 3:1-18; Psalm 43:1-5; Proverbs 22:8-9

As Christians, we do not rest upon our own righteousness, we rest in the righteousness of God. We are in the age of grace and mercy. However, the age in which Job lived was one where one had to rely upon his own righteousness.

Although he was living in a strong legalistic society, Job still maintained his innocence. This is so powerful and most people miss this aspect of his life. Job knew that he had lived up to the standards of the law without blemish. There are not many people who could claim that.

Even though we are the recipients of God’s grace, we should strive to live up to the righteous standard that God sets. In this way, we won’t frustrate the grace of God. We can’t earn righteousness but we can live up to it. Let’s be as bold as Job to understand that we are living completely for God without compromise.

Tomorrow’s Reading: Job 34:1-36:33; 2 Corinthians 4:1-12; Psalm 44:1-8; Proverbs 22:10-12