Scripture reading for July 8th: Ecclesiastes 10-12, 2nd Timothy 4
Key Scriptures: 2nd Timothy 4:14-18 “Alexander the coppersmith did me great harm; the Lord will repay him according to his deeds. Beware of him yourself, for he strongly opposed our message. At my first defense no one came to stand by me, but all deserted me. May it not be charged against them! But the Lord stood by me and strengthened me, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed and all the Gentiles might hear it. So I was rescued from the Lion’s mouth. The Lord will rescue me from every evil deed and bring me safely into His heavenly kingdom. To Him be the glory forever and ever. Amen.”
Paul warned Timothy by naming a man who had greatly opposed him. This was not for the purpose of revenge–God must be the only one to repay! Paul also mentioned being deserted by all his friends when he stood up in court to the charges against him. He was facing death and asked that this not be held against them by the Lord. God stood by Paul and strengthened Him. Paul was fully convinced (confident) God would rescue him and bring him safely into heaven.
Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, help me to always leave all revenge to You. I believe You will always stand by me and strengthen me. You are my hope of safe entry into heaven.
Ecclesiastes 12:13-14 “The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. For God will bring every deed into judgment, with every secret thing, whether good or bad.”
Scripture reading for July 7th: Ecclesiastes 7-9, Psalm 46, 2nd Timothy 3
Key Scriptures: 2nd Timothy 3:12-17 “Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, while evil people and impostors will go on from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.”
Persecution and suffering are part of the package for those who follow Jesus Christ. Evil and evil people will increase as time goes on to its culmination at the return of Jesus Christ. God’s workers must continue in the faith and sound preaching of Scripture. God has “breathed” His Word to equip us for every good work and for correction and training of the next generation of workers. It is full of God’s Spirit and Life, completely equipping each person for the work God has prepared.
Psalm 46:11 “The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.”
Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You that You are with me and have ‘breathed’ out Your holy Word and equipped me for every good work. May the evil people hear Your Word and be converted in these last days where evil increases.
Ecclesiastes 9:12 “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.”
Scripture reading for July 6th: Ecclesiastes 4-6, Psalm 125, 2nd Timothy 2
Key Scriptures: 2nd Timothy 2:15-19 “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. But avoid irreverent babble, for it will lead people into more and more ungodliness, and their talk will spread like gangrene. Among them are Hymenaeus and Philetus, who have swerved from the truth, saying that the resurrection has already happened. They are upsetting the faith of some. But God’s firm foundation stands, bearing this seal: “The Lord knows those who are His,” and, “Let everyone who names the Name of the Lord depart from iniquity.””
Paul encourages the younger minister, his son in the faith, to do his best to handle the Word of God rightly. This also included living it out in his everyday life as evidenced by the instruction to stay away from irreverent babble. Paul cited two bad examples by name, Hymenaeus and Philetus, as what to avoid. Paul’s warning included a reference to God’s intimate knowledge of His own servants and His clear instructions to live a holy life.
Psalm 125:1 “Those who trust in the Lord are like Mount Zion, which cannot be moved, but abides forever.”
Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, help me by the Holy Spirit to rightly handle Your unchanging Word and to apply it to my life each day. I will be a good example with Your help!
Ecclesiastes 5:10 “He who loves money will not be satisfied with money, nor he who loves wealth with his income; this also is vanity.”
Scripture reading for July 3rd: Ecclesiastes 1-3, Psalm 45, 2nd Timothy 1
Key Scriptures: 2nd Timothy 1:8-12 “Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord, nor of me His prisoner, but share in suffering for the Gospel by the power of God, Who saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of His own purpose and grace, which He gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began, and which now has been manifested through the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, Who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the Gospel, for which I was appointed a preacher and apostle and teacher, which is why I suffer as I do. But I am not ashamed, for I know Whom I have believed, and I am convinced that He is able to guard until that Day what has been entrusted to me.”
Paul encouraged Timothy, who had a problem with timidity, not to be ashamed of his testimony of Jesus Christ or of Paul, in jail because of his testimony. God had called them both to a holy calling: to preach and testify of Jesus Christ and also to suffer because of that. This calling was rooted in eternity. Paul was not ashamed because he knew Jesus Christ and was convinced of Jesus’ power to keep him safe for eternity and to watch over the gospel message and bring fruit.
Psalm 45:6 “Your throne, O God, is forever and ever. The scepter of Your kingdom is a scepter of uprightness; . .”
Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, I love and trust You and Your ability to keep me through the suffering that may come as a result of my testimony and preaching of Your Gospel. Give me boldness and courage to fulfill my holy calling.
Ecclesiastes 3:14 “I perceived that whatever God does endures forever; nothing can be added to it, nor anything taken from it. God has done it, so that people fear before Him.”
Scripture reading for September 21st: Ecclesiastes 12, Song of Songs 1-3, 2nd Thessalonians 3
Key Scriptures: 2nd Thessalonians 3:10-13 “For even when we were with you, we would give you this command: If anyone is not willing to work, let him not eat. For we hear that some among you walk in idleness, not busy at work, but busybodies. Now such persons we command and encourage in the Lord Jesus Christ to do their work quietly and to earn their own living. As for you, brothers, do not grow weary in doing good.”
Some in the church were idle and living off the work of others. Paul warned them not to be idle, but to be steady in good works and earn their own way. Idleness leads to gossip and meddling and strife. This is not proper in God’s family.
Ecclesiastes 12:13-14 “The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is the whole duty of men. For God will bring every deed into judgment with every secret thing, whether good or bad.”
Prayer: Lord, thank You for calling Your people to good works and earning a living. Keep me mindful that I will have to answer to You for my conduct on earth. Amen.
Scripture reading for September 20th: Ecclesiastes 9-11; 2nd Thessalonians 2
Key Scriptures: 2nd Thessalonians 2:9-12 “The coming of the lawless one is by the activity of Satan with all power and false signs and wonders, and with all wicked deception for those who are perishing; because they refuse to love the truth and so be saved. Therefore God sends them a strong delusion, so that they may believe what is false, in order that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.”
In the last days, unbelievers will be deceived by Satan through a man called “the lawless one.” This individual will have power and use false signs and wonders to dazzle and deceive. God will send this delusion upon those who refuse salvation and trust in His Word, the Truth. Believers will be protected by truth!
Ecclesiastes 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.”
Prayer: Lord, thank You that You know all things are in control. Give me Your Truth each day as my daily food and drink! Amen.
aScripture reading for September 19th: Ecclesiastes 5-8; 2nd Thessalonians 1
Key Scriptures: 2nd Thessalonians 1:11-12 “To this end we always pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of His calling and may fulfill every resolve for good and every work of faith by His power, so that the Name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in Him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.”
Paul’s pastoral prayer for the believers was that God would fulfill His purposes and good works through them. The result of all their effort and faithfulness would be for God’s glory and their glorification in Christ at His return. This would be a result of grace and faith working by love.
Ecclesiastes 5:19 “Everyone also to whom God has given wealth and possessions and power to enjoy them, and to accept his lot and rejoice in his toil–this is the gift of God.”
Prayer: Lord, thank you for gifts and power through faith. May I use them for Your glory and pray effectively for Your church. Amen.
Scripture reading for September 18th: Ecclesiastes 2-4, 1st Thessalonians 5
Key Scriptures: 1st Thessalonians 5:1-4 “Now concerning the times and the seasons, brothers, you have no need to have anything written to you. For you yourselves are fully aware that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. While people are saying, “There is peace and security,” then sudden destruction will come upon them as labor pains upon a pregnant woman, and they will not escape. But you are not in darkness, brothers, for that day to surprise you like a thief.”
Paul encouraged the believers concerning the times and seasons. They were in a period of grace that could end at any time with the coming of the Lord Jesus. This coming would be like a “thief in the night” to the world but not to the church family of Jesus! We are children of light and are eagerly awaiting Christ’s return.
Ecclesiastes 3:1-2 “For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; . .”
Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for making me aware of the times and seasons that are here and coming soon. Help me to make the most of my time here for You and Your coming kingdom. Amen.
Scripture reading for July 25th: Ecclesiastes 9-12
Key Scriptures: Ecclesiastes 12:13-14 “Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil.”
Solomon concluded his dissertation with a simple statement of truth. Even though life under the sun appeared to be meaningless to the worldly man, there was a God in heaven that deserved reverence and obedience. This God had decreed that He would judge each person based on their deeds and obedience to His commands. There was nothing that would be hidden from His sight.
Thankful for God the Righteous Judge: “Moreover, the Father judges no one, but has entrusted all judgment to the Son, . .” (John 5:22) “But I tell you that men will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken. For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.” (Matthew 12:36-37)
Scripture reading for July 24th: Ecclesiastes 4-8
Key Scriptures: Ecclesiastes 8:7-8 “For there is a proper time and procedure for every matter, though a man’s misery weighs heavily upon him. Since no man knows the future, who can tell him what is to come? No man has power over the wind to contain it; so no one has power over the day of his death. As no one is discharged in time of war; so wickedness will not release those who practice it.”
Solomon had everything money could buy and wisdom that dazzled others, but there were things he did not know or understand. God has set boundaries and only by His revelation can man find answers to some of life’s perplexing questions. “What will happen in the future?” “When is the day of our death?” “How can I control the wind?” “Will my misery ever end?” Solomon knew that life under the sun could not adequately answer these questions.
Rejoicing in truth: “I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me. Yet what shall I choose? I do not know! I am torn between the tow: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far. . .” (Philippians 1:20-23)