Change

‘If only they were wise and would understand this and discern what their end will be!’ Deuteronomy 32:29 NIV

Unless you’re willing to change, in a few years from now you’ll be exactly the same as you are today, except you’ll be older, with less time and fewer options. The Bible says, ‘If only they were wise and would understand this and discern what their end will be!’

How do you become willing to change? Recognise that change will happen whether you like it or not. If you do that, you’ll be prepared. John Maxwell writes: ‘The only thing certain about tomorrow is that it will be different from today. If you doubt that, consider this: My grandfather had a farm, my parents had a garden, and I’ve got a can opener! It’s a different world than it was twenty years ago, and it will be different in another twenty. But the good news is that the world changes so fast that you couldn’t stay wrong all the time if you tried!’

The difference in who you are today and who you’ll be ten years from now depends largely on three things: the books you read, the relationships you build, and the time you spend with God. Do you want to be wise? The Bible says, ‘The Lord gives wisdom; from His mouth come knowledge and understanding.’ (Proverbs 2:6 NKJV) Do you want to be happy? ‘Blessed are those who find wisdom, those who gain understanding.’ (Proverbs 3:13 NIV)

Do you want to feel fulfilled in life? ‘Be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.’ (1 Corinthians 15:58 NKJV)

SoulFood: Ecc 9–12, Luke 6:17–26, Ps 104:24–35, Pro 3:11–12

word4today an adaptation of The Word For Today is authored by Bob and Debby Gass and published under licence from UCB International Copyright © 2022

Today’s Readings

Ecclesiastes 9–12

9:1 But all this I laid to heart, examining it all, how the righteous and the wise and their deeds are in the hand of God. Whether it is love or hate, man does not know; both are before him. It is the same for all, since the same event happens to the righteous and the wicked, to the good and the evil, to the clean and the unclean, to him who sacrifices and him who does not sacrifice. As the good one is, so is the sinner, and he who swears is as he who shuns an oath. This is an evil in all that is done under the sun, that the same event happens to all. Also, the hearts of the children of man are full of evil, and madness is in their hearts while they live, and after that they go to the dead. But he who is joined with all the living has hope, for a living dog is better than a dead lion. For the living know that they will die, but the dead know nothing, and they have no more reward, for the memory of them is forgotten. Their love and their hate and their envy have already perished, and forever they have no more share in all that is done under the sun.

Go, eat your bread with joy, and drink your wine with a merry heart, for God has already approved what you do.

Let your garments be always white. Let not oil be lacking on your head.

Enjoy life with the wife whom you love, all the days of your vain life that he has given you under the sun, because that is your portion in life and in your toil at which you toil under the sun. 10 Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might, for there is no work or thought or knowledge or wisdom in Sheol, to which you are going.

11 Again I saw that under the sun the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, nor bread to the wise, nor riches to the intelligent, nor favor to those with knowledge, but time and chance happen to them all. 12 For man does not know his time. Like fish that are taken in an evil net, and like birds that are caught in a snare, so the children of man are snared at an evil time, when it suddenly falls upon them.

13 I have also seen this example of wisdom under the sun, and it seemed great to me. 14 There was a little city with few men in it, and a great king came against it and besieged it, building great siegeworks against it. 15 But there was found in it a poor, wise man, and he by his wisdom delivered the city. Yet no one remembered that poor man. 16 But I say that wisdom is better than might, though the poor man’s wisdom is despised and his words are not heard.

17 The words of the wise heard in quiet are better than the shouting of a ruler among fools. 18 Wisdom is better than weapons of war, but one sinner destroys much good.

10:1   Dead flies make the perfumer’s ointment give off a stench;
    so a little folly outweighs wisdom and honor.
  A wise man’s heart inclines him to the right,
    but a fool’s heart to the left.
  Even when the fool walks on the road, he lacks sense,
    and he says to everyone that he is a fool.
  If the anger of the ruler rises against you, do not leave your place,
    for calmness will lay great offenses to rest.

There is an evil that I have seen under the sun, as it were an error proceeding from the ruler: folly is set in many high places, and the rich sit in a low place. I have seen slaves on horses, and princes walking on the ground like slaves.

  He who digs a pit will fall into it,
    and a serpent will bite him who breaks through a wall.
  He who quarries stones is hurt by them,
    and he who splits logs is endangered by them.
10   If the iron is blunt, and one does not sharpen the edge,
    he must use more strength,
    but wisdom helps one to succeed.
11   If the serpent bites before it is charmed,
    there is no advantage to the charmer.
12   The words of a wise man’s mouth win him favor,
    but the lips of a fool consume him.
13   The beginning of the words of his mouth is foolishness,
    and the end of his talk is evil madness.
14   A fool multiplies words,
    though no man knows what is to be,
    and who can tell him what will be after him?
15   The toil of a fool wearies him,
    for he does not know the way to the city.
16   Woe to you, O land, when your king is a child,
    and your princes feast in the morning!
17   Happy are you, O land, when your king is the son of the nobility,
    and your princes feast at the proper time,
    for strength, and not for drunkenness!
18   Through sloth the roof sinks in,
    and through indolence the house leaks.
19   Bread is made for laughter,
    and wine gladdens life,
    and money answers everything.
20   Even in your thoughts, do not curse the king,
    nor in your bedroom curse the rich,
  for a bird of the air will carry your voice,
    or some winged creature tell the matter.

11:1   Cast your bread upon the waters,
    for you will find it after many days.
  Give a portion to seven, or even to eight,
    for you know not what disaster may happen on earth.
  If the clouds are full of rain,
    they empty themselves on the earth,
  and if a tree falls to the south or to the north,
    in the place where the tree falls, there it will lie.
  He who observes the wind will not sow,
    and he who regards the clouds will not reap.

As you do not know the way the spirit comes to the bones in the womb of a woman with child, so you do not know the work of God who makes everything.

In the morning sow your seed, and at evening withhold not your hand, for you do not know which will prosper, this or that, or whether both alike will be good.

Light is sweet, and it is pleasant for the eyes to see the sun.

So if a person lives many years, let him rejoice in them all; but let him remember that the days of darkness will be many. All that comes is vanity.

Rejoice, O young man, in your youth, and let your heart cheer you in the days of your youth. Walk in the ways of your heart and the sight of your eyes. But know that for all these things God will bring you into judgment.

10 Remove vexation from your heart, and put away pain from your body, for youth and the dawn of life are vanity.

12:1 Remember also your Creator in the days of your youth, before the evil days come and the years draw near of which you will say, “I have no pleasure in them”; before the sun and the light and the moon and the stars are darkened and the clouds return after the rain, in the day when the keepers of the house tremble, and the strong men are bent, and the grinders cease because they are few, and those who look through the windows are dimmed, and the doors on the street are shut—when the sound of the grinding is low, and one rises up at the sound of a bird, and all the daughters of song are brought low—they are afraid also of what is high, and terrors are in the way; the almond tree blossoms, the grasshopper drags itself along, and desire fails, because man is going to his eternal home, and the mourners go about the streets—before the silver cord is snapped, or the golden bowl is broken, or the pitcher is shattered at the fountain, or the wheel broken at the cistern, and the dust returns to the earth as it was, and the spirit returns to God who gave it. Vanity of vanities, says the Preacher; all is vanity.

Besides being wise, the Preacher also taught the people knowledge, weighing and studying and arranging many proverbs with great care. 10 The Preacher sought to find words of delight, and uprightly he wrote words of truth.

11 The words of the wise are like goads, and like nails firmly fixed are the collected sayings; they are given by one Shepherd. 12 My son, beware of anything beyond these. Of making many books there is no end, and much study is a weariness of the flesh.

13 The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. 14 For God will bring every deed into judgment, with every secret thing, whether good or evil.

Luke 6:17–26

17 And he came down with them and stood on a level place, with a great crowd of his disciples and a great multitude of people from all Judea and Jerusalem and the seacoast of Tyre and Sidon, 18 who came to hear him and to be healed of their diseases. And those who were troubled with unclean spirits were cured. 19 And all the crowd sought to touch him, for power came out from him and healed them all.

20 And he lifted up his eyes on his disciples, and said:

“Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God.

21 “Blessed are you who are hungry now, for you shall be satisfied.

“Blessed are you who weep now, for you shall laugh.

22 “Blessed are you when people hate you and when they exclude you and revile you and spurn your name as evil, on account of the Son of Man! 23 Rejoice in that day, and leap for joy, for behold, your reward is great in heaven; for so their fathers did to the prophets.

24 “But woe to you who are rich, for you have received your consolation.

25 “Woe to you who are full now, for you shall be hungry.

“Woe to you who laugh now, for you shall mourn and weep.

26 “Woe to you, when all people speak well of you, for so their fathers did to the false prophets.

Psalm 104:24–35

24   O LORD, how manifold are your works!
    In wisdom have you made them all;
    the earth is full of your creatures.
25   Here is the sea, great and wide,
    which teems with creatures innumerable,
    living things both small and great.
26   There go the ships,
    and Leviathan, which you formed to play in it.
27   These all look to you,
    to give them their food in due season.
28   When you give it to them, they gather it up;
    when you open your hand, they are filled with good things.
29   When you hide your face, they are dismayed;
    when you take away their breath, they die
    and return to their dust.
30   When you send forth your Spirit, they are created,
    and you renew the face of the ground.
31   May the glory of the LORD endure forever;
    may the LORD rejoice in his works,
32   who looks on the earth and it trembles,
    who touches the mountains and they smoke!
33   I will sing to the LORD as long as I live;
    I will sing praise to my God while I have being.
34   May my meditation be pleasing to him,
    for I rejoice in the LORD.
35   Let sinners be consumed from the earth,
    and let the wicked be no more!
  Bless the LORD, O my soul!
  Praise the LORD!

Proverbs 3:11–12

11   My son, do not despise the LORD’s discipline
    or be weary of his reproof,
12   for the LORD reproves him whom he loves,
    as a father the son in whom he delights.

Thu 27 January, 2022


CALENDAR
Select a specific day

Post Date

January 2022
M T W T F S S
 12
3456789
10111213141516
17181920212223
24252627282930
31  

Recent Articles

Kevin Quinn: Wildfire

Former Disney star Kevin Quinn is determined to use his mainstream appeal to share the message of the Gospel. Kevin recently released his new single, ‘Wildfire’, which he hopes will inspire his followers to put their faith in Jesus. Like most of us, Kevin has had to adapt to the disruptions caused by Covid. He’s…

Alexander Pappas: Idaho

Growing up on a 10-acre property in Idaho, Alexander Pappas never dreamed he would one day end up touring the world as frontman for ‘Hillsong Young and Free.’ But that’s precisely what happened. His parents moved the family there from Southern California when he was just ten years old, and it was ultimately the place…

Jots and Tittles: Ahav / Ahava (Love)

The very first place in the Bible the word love is used, is in the account of God commanding Abraham to take his son Isaac, “whom you love” and offer him as a sacrifice. Any parent would understand the love Abraham had for his son and what a horrifying prospect it would have been for…

Coby James: Brand New

Coby James has always loved music. From a young age, he enjoyed composing songs in his bedroom, and it’s still the place he feels the most comfortable today. As a teenager, Coby’s dad bought him some studio software and it fueled his dream to create music that the world would sing to one day. “I…

Donate to vision

Over 80% of our income is from the freewill gifts of wonderful people just like you.
So thank you for helping. Your generous support is 'Connecting Faith to Life'.