Thursday, November 14, 2019

Walking in Paths

O. T. #1566  "Walking in Paths"
Nov. 14, 2019
Isaiah 2
And many people shall go and say, come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; and He will teach us of His ways, and we will walk in His paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the Word of the LORD from Jerusalem. Isaiah 2:3


LET IT GLOW

In the summer, we went looking for mulberries to pick, so we took the cow path, that led us right to the tree. Although it wasn't a straight line, we got to our destination. Did you know that the Lord has paths intended for us to walk on as His children?

This chapter contains the prophecy of Isaiah. God gave Isaiah a gift of seeing the future.  The subject is the future events occurring to Judah and Jerusalem (Zion). Their destruction had already been revealed in the first chapter, if they did not repent of idolatry, it would happen. Now, we look to the future when the Messiah will return to earth to establish His earthly millennial kingdom, spoken of in Revelation 20.

What will happen then?
  • The Temple in Jerusalem will be reestablished, but this time the worship of  Jesus Christ will be the focal point.
  • Jesus will be The Judge who shall discern the affairs of all nations during His millennial kingdom.
  • The weapons of war shall be turned into tools of peace and farming as the Prince of Peace reigns.  
  • The laws of God will be taught and all will obey them.
  • Sin will be removed, as well as the causes of war, conflict, and other problems.
  • We will walk in the light of the LORD.
Are we walking (living) as children of the light and of the day? (Ephesians 5:8, Romans 13:12,
 1 Thess. 5:8) If we are, then we are living with peace and joy, for Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.

LET IT GROW

Verse 22 in the New Living Translation, says: Don't put your trust in mere humans. They are frail as breath. What good are thy?

We humans are only mortals. We are limited in comparison to God. We are unreliable, selfish, and shortsighted. Yet we trust our lives and futures more readily to mortal human beings than to the all-knowing God. We must beware of people who want us to trust them instead of God. Only God is completely reliable. He is perfect, and we can rely on His mercy and enduring love (Ps. 100:5).
(Life Application Study Bible)

In whom are we putting our trust? Is it government, people, our job, bank account, or Jesus Christ?

Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths. (Proverbs 3:5-6)

LET IT GO

Jesus, You are forever faithful. Teach me Your ways, direct my paths, and help me to trust in You with all my heart.

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

White as Snow

O. T. #1565  "White as Snow"
Nov. 13, 2019
Isaiah 1-Part 5
Come now, let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow: though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. Isaiah 1:18

LET IT GLOW

Look at verse 24. What are the three ways God describes Himself in this verse?
  1. the Lord,
  2. the LORD of Hosts,
  3. the Mighty One of Israel.
Here, God is emphasizing His role as the rightful judge of sinful people. The Mighty One of Israel occurs only here in the Bible, though, the Mighty One of Jacob appears five times. (MacArthur)

This powerful God who formerly was for Judah is now against them. Their hearts needed to be cleansed of sin, like the impurities of silver is purely purged away as dross. (verse 25)

He wanted to make Jerusalem a city of righteousness, the faithful city. Also, the judges and counselors will be restored. (verse 26)

As the temple is Jerusalem was destroyed in 586 BC, it was restored seventy years later in 516 BC under the leadership of Zerubbabel.

What do we need restored in our life?  Is it a deeper walk with Jesus? Is it a dedicated prayer life?

LET IT GROW

Our area finally has received snow. Yeah! Now it is not a 3 inch snow, but a dusting of powdery beads here and there. How white it is. Also, our neighbor raises sheep, which naturally have white wool. These are examples of how God wants to change hearts.

Take a look at our key verse now.
What is it God is calling Judah to do? come and let them reason together.
What is their condition? Their sins are as red as scarlet and crimson.

Life Application Study Bible explains:
Scarlet and crimson were the color of a deep-red permanent dye, and its deep stain was virtually impossible to remove from clothing. the stain of sin is equally permanent, but God can remove sin's stain from our lives as He promised to do for the Israelites. We don't have to go through life permanently soiled. God's Word assures us that if we are willing and obedient, Christ will forgive and remove our most indelible stains (Ps. 51:1-7).  Will you ask Him to make you clean?
How did God desire to change those red sins? He wanted to change them to be white as snow and wool.  Snow and wool are naturally white, but forgiveness is not unconditional. It comes through repentance, agreeing with God that we have sinned. Here we see the life-changing grace of God.
The blood of Christ can cleanse our dirty heart.

LET IT GO

Wash me and I shall be whiter than snow. My heart that gets red with sin needs cleansing with the blood of Jesus today.

You alone are the Mighty One of Israel, the only one who can change hearts.

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

What Pleases God?

O. T. #1564  "What Pleases God?"
Nov. 12, 2019
Isaiah 1-Part 4

LET IT GLOW


Last time we found out that Judah had a very small remnant which God protected. They would remain faithful believers and worshiper of the God of Israel. Even through the 70 years of captivity in Babylon, they would continue on.

Why was God saying that He would not listen to Judah? In their temple worship:

  • They paraded through His courts with their ceremony. (verse 12)
  • They brought meaningless gifts. (verse 13)
  • Their oblations (sacrificial offering) and special days for fasting were sinful and false.(verse 13)
  • Their hands were covered with the blood of innocent victims. (verse 15)
Those are the reasons God would not listen to the prayers, was sickened by Judah's offerings, had no pleasure in their sacrifices, was burdened with their feasts and fasting, and wanted no more of their pious meetings.

Folks, this is serious. Judah was failing to please God because of their sins. His special people were just going through the motions when they worshiped. Their heart was not in it.
Are we guilty of the same things?
Are our prayers not being answered?


LET IT GROW

What was the solution? God tells Judah in verses 16-20:

  • Wash your hands and be clean!
  • Get your sins out of God's sight.
  • Give up your evil ways.
  • Learn to do good.
  • Seek justice.
  • Help the oppressed.
  • Defend the cause of orphans.
  • Fight for the rights of widows. New Living Translation  


Wow! Is their anything we are not doing from the list?
How do we get a  clean heart? Confess our sins and ask God to forgive us through the blood of Jesus.

LET IT GO

Lord, it is not my gifts You want from me, but my heart and life.
Teach me what pleases You.
Show me how to meet the needs of others.

Sunday, November 10, 2019

A Very Small Remnant

O. T. #1563 "A Very Small Remnant "
Nov. 11, 2019
Isaiah 1-Part 3
Except the LORD of Hosts had left unto us a very small remnant, we should have been as Sodom, and we should have been like unto Gomorrah. Isaiah 1:9

LET IT GLOW 

As I think of celebrating Veterans Day, my heart focuses on those men who gave their life in order to keep America free from communism and dictatorship. Had they not be willing, we would not be free to worship God here. When the service people take an oath to protect their country, it is for life. Were they a very small remnant compared to the millions in Nazi  armies? Such mercy God showed us! Judah had those, too. Read on, dear one to find them.

If the Lord God Jehovah had not spared a few of  the Hebrews in Judah, they would have been wiped out like Sodom  and completely destroyed like Gomorrah. You will recall what those two cities were like (Genesis18-19), where homosexuality was rampant. Abraham went there to rescue the cities from destruction and his nephew Lot and family. He asked God to not destroy it if there were 50, all the way down to 10 righteous people there. However, they were not to be found. Fire and brimstone rained down destroying the cities, except for Lot and his two daughters, who escaped.

God had a very small remnant of 3 people who were saved because of Abraham and God's grace and mercy, not their righteousness. Now Judah faced a coming destruction. God gave them a warning by using the prophet Isaiah and other prophets. And so a very small remnant of true believers God saved. They were the ones who later returned to Jerusalem to rebuild it.

Are we feeling that our nation is headed for destruction because of our sins? What about our family?
Take encouragement folks, God has a very small  remnant of believers here. We included in the remnant? Will we continue to worship our Lord of Hosts no matter the persecution?
May we worship Him only, the One True Living God.
When we get saved, we are agreeing to serve God for the rest of our life.

LET IT GROW 

What was wrong with Judah that God would destroy His holy city of Jerusalem and beloved nation of Judah? We find out in this first chapter. They:

  • didn't recognize God's care(verse3);
  • loaded down with a burden of guilt(verse 4);
  • were evil people and rejected the LORD(verse 4);
  • despised the Holy One of Israel and turned their backs in Him(verse4);
  • they were rebels(verse 5).

May we not be guilty of such sins! If we are, let us ask forgiveness today. May we be a part of the very small remnant who love, worship, and serve the Savior, Messiah, Jesus Christ. 

LET IT GO

Help me to encourage the remnant. 
God, thank You for loving me, a sinner, enough to die in the cross for me. 
Thank You for a very small remnant of believers You preserve. 

Friday, November 8, 2019

My Sweet Kathy

O. T. #1562  "My Sweet Kathy"
Nov. 8, 2019
Isaiah 1-Part 2
Why should you be stricken again? You will revolt more and more. The whole head is sick, And the whole heart faints. (Isaiah 1:5)

LET IT GLOW

Israel fell captive to Assyria, the great world power at that time. Prophet Isaiah has a vision from God, where He is speaking to Judah. What is this problem Judah has? They are worshiping idols in the high places. They are in disobedience and sin, not obeying God's laws.

In verse 5, what is the nation of Judah's condition?
  • Their whole head is sick,
  • their heart faints.
Sick, in the Hebrew, means anxiety, calamity, disease, or grief. 
Faint means sick, troubled. 

Have you ever felt this way? Friends, today I am in that condition-my head is grieved and I am faint hearted. My cousin Kathy passed away yesterday morning of a massive heart attack.  We were more like sisters than cousins. When we were kids we would play together, as teens we would do things together, as senior adults we would call each other often. Our relationship was a special bond. She didn't have a sister and mine was miles away and 10 years older. We shared what was happening in our family and our pains.

My head tells me she is having a wonderful time in heaven, but I am so grieved, missing her like crazy. My heart is faint, troubled, and sick. There are so many regrets of not calling her more often. However, I know we all feel that way when we loose a loved one.

Sweet Kathy was a kind person, happy, funny, didn't meet a stranger, endured the problems of being a diabetic, had vision problems, but kept going with Jesus. Oh that I could be more like her. Eventually I will get to the point of rejoicing with her.


LET IT GROW


Jesus, there is no one like You. You are our hope. You are the strength of my heart. I know You make no mistakes, doing all things right. Show me how to minister to Kathy's husband, four children, and grand babies.


LET IT GO

Thank You Jesus for giving me such a loving friend as I needed.
To You be the glory.

Thursday, November 7, 2019

A Vision

O. T. #1561  "A Vision"
Nov. 7, 2019
Isaiah-Chapter 1


LET IT GLOW

If God gave us a vision of what kind of effect our life has on people, would we be ashamed or glad hearted? I know there were times that I was not the kind person I should have been. My words came across as judgmental and harsh, not helping others. That would not be a good thing to watch.

The book of Isaiah is divided into two part-the first half covers chapters 1-39 and the second half covers 27 chapters of 40-66, which is similar to the Old and New Testaments. In the first part, Isaiah calls for Judah, Israel, and surrounding pagan nations to repent of their sins. During the last part, there is hope as the promise of the Messiah unfolds.

Historically, we find that as king of the Southern kingdom called Judah, Uzziah (also called Azariah) reigned 52 years (790-739 BC). We learned about him in 2 Kings 15. He probably served his first 23 years as a co-regent with his father.

Judah has become prosperous during Uzziah's reign. They developed into a strong commercial and military state with a port for commerce on the Red Sea and the construction of walls, towers, and fortifications. Yet, this period was one of decline of spiritual purity. (MacArthur)

Since God loved His people in Judah, He forewarned them of  a coming judgment if they did not repent of their sins. The first chapter opens with Isaiah having a vision of what was happening. Who was his vision concerning? It is aimed at Judah and Jerusalem. What is a vision?

A vision is a sight (mentally); a dream, revelation or oracle, as it is defined in Hebrew, the language of the Old Testament.

This first vision that God gave to Isaiah covers the first twelve chapters. It tells us of Judah's social sins and their political entanglements. They failed to give God the love and obedience He deserved. Even though King Uzziah had Judah worshiping God, he failed to get rid of the idol worship in the high places. In the Ten Commandments, God told His people to have no other gods before Him. God had intended for Israel to be a witness of His blessings to the pagan nations, but they failed by rebelling, so God was going to judge them and bring them back by allowing Babylon to take the captive.

Don't you think this would have been a difficult message for Isaiah to write down and proclaim?
If God had a vision for us, would it be one of judgment or blessing?

LET IT GROW

In verse 4, God calls Israel, specifically Judah, a sinful nation.
Sinful is a participial form of the verb chata' meaning to miss the mark or to offend by sinful actions.

Judah had missed the mark, goal, that God had for Judah:
  • Their iniquity was so great that it was pictured as a wagon laden with a heavy load.
  • They were the seed of evildoers, whose parents were unspiritual and likely to continue in the same trend.
  • They were children of corrupters by corrupting the way of God and following after their own way.
  • They provoked the Holy One of Israel to anger. This is the name of God used 12 times in the first half of the book and 14 times in the last half. (Liberty Bible Commentary)


Friends, don't we act like Judah at times? We miss the mark in our life by sinning against God's rules. Like an arrow not hitting the bull's eye target, we miss the mark. However, God is forgiving if we only repent, admitting our failings and disobedience.

The Holy One of Israel waits for us. Is there a hidden sin that we need to confess? Are we going our own way instead of God's way? Are our prayers not getting answered?
All ye that labor and are heavy laden, come to Jesus.

LET IT GO

Forgive me Jesus for going my own judgmental way, not Your loving way.
Help me begin again with words of wisdom and kindness.

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Plans and Prophesy

O. T. #1560  "Plans and Prophesy "
Nov. 6, 2019
Introduction to Isaiah-Part 2

LET IT GLOW

You will recall that Israel divided into two nations after King Solomon died.
Isaiah's name means The LORD is salvation. He was a prophet which God called to inform His people in Israel and Judah what would happened to them if the didn't repent of their pride and idolatry. He ministered in and around Judah during the reigns of four kings of Judah-Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah. Previously, we gave an overview of what happened during their reigns.

This prophet condemned the empty ritualism of his day and the idolatry into which so many of the people had fallen. He foresaw the coming Babylonian captivity of Judah because of their departing from the Lord. (MacArthur)

The Northern kingdom of Israel went into captivity by Assyria some 135 years before Judah was conquered by Babylon. Isaiah was faithful to prophesy this would happen. Isn't it great to trust in a God who has control of events and knows what is next in His plans?

Friends, we need to be careful that things, people, governments do not take the place of God in our life. If something has captivated our thoughts and heart, something we spend more time thinking about than our Savior, then it may have become an idol for us. Dare we ask the Lord Jesus if we have any idols in our life?

LET IT GROW

God used other prophets during this time-Jonah, Amos, Micah, and Hosea, who wrote their own books of prophesy.

There is some good news found in this book. God had a remnant of people who continued to love Him, worship Him, and serve Him. Isaiah prophesied some 100-200 years before it happened that King Cyrus would conquer Babylon and send back Jews  to Jerusalem in order to rebuild the city.

Another thing we will find is the prophesy of the coming Messiah. How wonderfully planned out our God did details of events. Not only did Jesus come to earth to live a sinless life in order to qualify as the perfect sacrifice for each of us sinful people, but He endured a lot of mean people so He could accomplish it.
What an awesome Savior is Jesus our Lord!

LET IT GO

I am trusting in Your plans for my life in this new season.

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

A Faithful Servant

O. T. #1559  "A Faithful Servant"
Nov. 5, 2019
Introduction to Isaiah
                                                                                                                      Author

The name of Isaiah  means  The LORD is salvation.     
What do we know about this man?
Isaiah was the son of Amos. He was a prominent citizen of Jerusalem, having access to both royalty and priestly leadership in Judah. After Solomon reigned as king of Israel, the nation split into 2 nations-the Northern kingdom called Israel made up of 10 tribes and the Southern kingdom called Judah made up of 2 tribes. So Isaiah lived in the Southern kingdom which had Jerusalem as its capital. God called Isaiah to prophesy during the year of King Uzziah's death. Although Isaiah responded with cheerful readiness, he knew that his ministry would be a fruitless warning and exhortation. Tradition has it that this faithful man met his death under King Manasseh by being cut in two with a wooden saw (Hebrews 11:35).


Background 

It is important that we understand the events which took place during Isaiah's life as God's prophet. Please stay with me during this, friend.
During Isaiah's life, he saw a vision from God concerning Judah and Jerusalem during the reign of 4
kings in Judah: Uzziah, Jordan, Ahz, and Hezekiah. (Verse 1)

Who were these kings and what happened during their reigns?

King Uzziah's 52 year reign, Judah developed into a strong commercial and military nation with ports of commerce in the Red Sea and walls,towers, and fortifications. The king obtained leprosy after he assumed the duty of a priest burning incense on the altar. He later died.

Jotham ruled as co-regent with Uzziah, being his son, then later alone as king. During his reign, Assyria began to emerge as a new international power. Judah incurred opposition from Israel and Syria. Spiritual corruption still existed while Jotham was king.

Ahaz was king of Judah when Israel and Syria formed an alliance against Assyria. He would not join them. King Ahaz got Asyria to help Judah, which resulted in them conquering some of Judah's cities.
Ahaz set up pagan altars in Solomon 's temple. Assyrian then captured Samaria, Israel 's capital.

Last, Hezekiah became king of Judah Reformation was a priority for the king. When he became ill, Hezekiah pleaded with God for more years. He lived 15 more, during which time his son Manasseh was born. (Manasseh became the  worst king in Judah.)

During Isaiah's prophetic years, Babylon conquered Judah due to idolatry. God had removed His hand of protection and judgment came in the nation.
Whew, I think that is a history overload for us.

We can continue this next time. Keep in mind as we study all these happenings, God had a faithful remnant.

Are we going to remain faithful even as our nation's morals decline?
Do we desire to hear that we were a good and faithful servant of Jesus? Then we can enter His rest.

[Resources: The MacAuthor Bible Commentary]

Monday, November 4, 2019

Our Beloved

O. T. #1558  "Our Beloved "
Nov. 4, 2019
Summary of Song of Solomon


LET IT GLOW

Whew! We made it through the book together. I think this is the second time I have studied it. It's not the type of material I enjoy reading. Anyway, we made it. All the way through, we studied the Song from the view point that the Shulamite farm-girl-turned-queen didn't love Solomon, but a shepherd back home. After reading the material from that view, I tend to think it was not the correct one for me. Maybe she really did forget her fellow back home and fell in love with the king. He certainly did fall head over heels in love with her.

So, for sure we can gleam from this book that love in a marriage needs to be kept alive and actively showing it. We need to ward off pride, resentment, unforgiveness, selfishness, and neglect. Those "little foxes" have the potential of chewing away at the vines and blooms to destroy them.

Since God is the Author of love and the Creator of the institution of marriage, we can see how this book exalts both. A Christ-honoring marriage can have an effect on their children grandchildren, church, friends, and neighbors, as well as the happiness and well-being of the couple.
[Resource: The Jeremiah Study Bible]

Are there any little foxes threatening your marriage. Listen, we have to always be on guard, alert to anyone or anything that is trying to destroy our marriage. It may come in the form of a job that keeps us separated for lengths of time, a flitting person looking for love, or just our taking each other for granted. So let this be a wakeup call to us. We must guard our love relationship.  Let our sweetness of love continue.

LET IT GROW

Usually for a summary of a book of the Bible, I review any verses that meant something to me. I consider Jesus to be our Beloved. Here we go:

I am the rose of Sharon, and the lily of the valleys. (2:1)
My beloved is mine, and I am His. (2:16)
How fair and pleasant Thou art. (7:6)
Who is this coming up from the wilderness, leaning upon her Belived? (8:5)
Set me as a seal upon thine heart, as a seal upon thine arm: for love is strong as death. (8:6a)

We have learned that our God's love for His children is strong, sweet as the fragrance of roses, and as beautiful as the lily. His filling of us with this love is a gift from the Lord. How can we but share it?
He seals us with the Holy Spirit to reassure us of this love.
Is Jesus our Beloved?

LET IT GO

Help me be a more loving wife today.
Thank You Jesus that I am Yours and You are mine.

Friday, November 1, 2019

A Seal of Love

O. T. #1557  "A Seal of Love"
Nov. 1, 2019
Song of Solomon-chapter 8
Set me as a seal upon your heart,
As a seal upon your arm;
for love is as strong as death.  (verse 6, The Jeremiah Study Bible)

LET IT GLOW

A seal showed ownership and great value. The Shulamite expressed her desire for security. Very little in life provides security like a godly marriage (1 Cor. 13:7) (TJSB)

The maiden admonishes her shepherd, whom she loves, to set her as a seal, an imprint upon his heart and his arm like imprinting of a seal that forever ratifies a contract. She covets a settled assurance of his unwavering love. He love for him is like a raging flame and is as strong as death. It is utterly irreversible. No earthly influence can destroy or drown her love for him. It cannot be bought, for it is a spontaneous gift; and all she asks is the love of his heart and the strength of his arm for abiding protection.
Too long they have been separated. Now united (at the end of this book, she longs for his voice and presence. Unrelentlessly she beseeches him to always hasten to her side with the speed of the swift-footed gazelle. (verse 14)
(Liberty Bible Commentary)

We like good endings for stories, in this case, a song. With the seal of marital love, the couple is finally united with joy. Their love remained faithful throughout their time of separation. A good ending, don't you think?

LET IT GROW

Dear friend, is your heart sealed?
In Ephesians 1:13-14, Paul says, In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory.

When something is sealed, it is marked with the owner's name and secured as being his or her possession. god marks believers as His very own by sending His Holy Spirit to live in them. The Holy Spirit Himself is the seal. (David Jeremiah)

The price Jesus paid for His live for us was death on the cross.
Nothing is able to separate us from His love, according to Romans 8:38-39.

The church, who is the bride of Christ, should be be looking for her bridegroom to return for her.
Even so, come, Lord Jesus.  (Revelation 22:20)

Are we looking for our Beloved today?

LET IT GO

Thanks be to Jesus for His unchanging, never failing love.
I stand in awe of Your amazing grace.
How wonderful is Your Holy Spirit of seal on my heart.

Thursday, October 31, 2019

Un What Do You Delight?

O. T. #1556  "In What Do You Delight?
Oct. 31, 2019
Song of Solomon-chapter 7
How fair and how pleasant art thou. O love, for delights! KJV, verse 6
Oh, how beautiful you are! How pleasing, my love, how full of delights! NLT, verse 6

LET IT GLOW

Solomon continues his praise of his Shulamite bride's beauty, as in chapter 4. He attempts to dissuade the maiden's faithful affection for her shepherd-love by describing ten of her features that he find particularly beautiful. What woman would not be flattered when she is compared to a tower of ivory or a palm tree? Hmm. Anyway, to sum it up, he finds her fair and pleasant, and delights in her. (verse 6)

Are we pleasant toward our spouse?
Does he delight in us?
Do we speak with words of wisdom and kindness? (Prov.31:26)


LET IT GROW

Does Jesus delight in us?
Is our life pleasing to Him? Without faith it is impossible to please God.
Are or ways beautiful to Him?

In what are we told to delight?
Do we delight:

  • in the law of the Lord? Ps. 1:2
  • in the Lord? Ps.37:4
  • to do His will? Ps.40:8
  • in His statutes? Ps.119:16
  • in His testimonies? Ps.119:24.


Good questions, huh?

LET IT GO

Help me to be a more pleasant person, Jesus.
May my delight be in You, in Your commands, and Word.

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

A Sweet Garden

O. T. #1555  "A Sweet Garden"
Oct. 30, 2019
Song of Solomon-chapter 6

LET IT GLOW

In the last chapter, we read where Solomon left his new wife, since she rejected him or they had a disagreement. (Isn't that common of newly weds?) She went out looking for him, but could not find him.
Apparently, he headed toward the gardens of Tirzah, located some 35 miles northeast from Jerusalem. It's name means pleasure or beauty. King Jeroboam made Tirzah the first capital of the divided northern kingdom (1 Kings 14:17) (Life Application Study Bible)

According to 1 Kings 11:3, Solomon's weakness was women, since he had 700 wives and 300 concubines. Why was he qualified to speak about love and marriage?
  1. We can learn from Solomon's mistakes.
  2. In his best moments, Solomon was a worthy teacher. Although he strayed from the path, he once walked that path with sincere devotion.
  3. God chose Solomon to teach us life lessons. There was no king like him. who was beloved of his God. (Neh. 13:26)  (The Jeremiah Study Bible)

You know, a garden would be a good place to retreat when one needs to think, right? It has flowers of fragrance and beauty, and usually quietness, peace away from the world.

One time my family went up to a camp located in the beautiful mountains of New Mexico. Up a hill, there was a magnificent rose garden, which was seclude away from the world. One morning I arose early and ventured there to the prayer garden. There I had sweet communion with my Lord Jesus. Now whenever I hear the song, The Garden, my mind and soul ventures back to such a wonder time.

Do you have a special place where you commune with your Lord?

LET IT GROW

How does this apply to us? Matthew Henry says that the garden represents The Church, separated from the world.
  • Jesus has ascended into heaven to intercede for the church and us, His loved ones.
  • We can commune with Him through prayer.
  • Those who truly love Christ will desire others find His love, also.
  • He is gracious  takes pleasure in those who fear Him.
  • We must be completely devoted and dedicated to serving our Savior.
  • Fruit of the Spirit will be evident in our lives, then.
  • Churches should be filled with godly people who live by the God Word and show good-will.
If we are not there in our walk, we need to return, return to Jesus, as verse 13 says. Are you attending a church for worship?

LET IT GO

Sweet Jesus, thank You for never leaving me nor forsaking me.
Direct us to the church where You want us to be.

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Keep the Spark in the Marriage

O. T. #1554 "Keep the Spark in the Marriage"
Oct. 29, 2019
Song of Solomon-chapter 5
His mouth is most sweet: yea, He is altogether lovely. This is my beloved, and this is my friend, O daughters of Jerusalem. Verse 16

LET IT GLOW

It is suggested that some time has passed since the wedding, and the girl felt some indifference had entered the couple's marriage. Perhaps she rejected his advances and he left, along with the spark. Conflicts and pressures may creep into a marriage, so does tenderness. External stress can work against the marriage relationship. Therefore, effort must be made to be havens for each other. Respect and love are important in marriage. Remain as good friends, sharing, listening, and showing understanding  for the other's likes and dislikes. (Resource: Life application Study Bible)

What aspect do you and I need to work on so our marriage remains close?

LET IT GROW

Another view is that the wife was disinterested in intimacy and the husband left. She went looking for her husband, but found him not. The watchman did not help, nor did the women. They asked the wife what made her husband so special. Her reply is how we can describe our Beloved Savior  Jesus Christ.

How do we relate the verses 10-16 to Christ? After all Isaiah 53:2 tells us that He had no form of comeliness.
  • He is white, with spotless innocence in His life (no sin). 
  • His head is as fine gold, for the head of Christ is God. He is our treasure. 
  • Black hair indicates He does not grow old. Revelation 1:14 reveals His hair as white, denoting eternal. 
  • His eyes are as doves eyes, fair, clear, and kind. 
  • His cheeks are sweet as flowers, reviving and refreshing. 
  • His words sanctify and are sweet with grace, as lily lips. 
  • His hands are are as gold rings indicate His works are powerful and beautiful with grace. 
  • His white belly denotes tender compassion and affection, strong love for His children. 
  • His legs are strong as marble pillars. They are steadfast and able to bear weight. 
  • His countenance is pleasant and charming as a pleasant forest or park. Cedar trees are tall and strong for excellent use. 
  • His mouth is sweet to a believer-forgiven. 
  • Last, Christ is altogether lovely, our beloved, and friend. 



We are a child of The King, chosen, not forsaken. Whom the Son sets free is free indeed. In my Father's house, there's a place for me. What a song of reassurance.
Are you a child of God?

LET IT GO

Tell others how lovely my Savior is. 
You are a beautiful Savior. Thank You, Jesus for dying on the cross for me. Such love!

Monday, October 28, 2019

Our Body

O. T. #1553 "Our Body"
Oct. 28, 2019
Song of Solomon-chapter 4

LET IT GLOW 

How are we using our body? Is it for the glory of God or for our self? Is it modest or exposed for others to see?

I would like to skip this chapter due to its sensual content, but will not due as it has spiritual referral.
Solomon is the bridegroom describing how he sees his bride. The appearance of the bride overwhelms the loving groom. He admires it. Apparently, he sees all of her. There is no since in our trying to cover up what we do because our Lord Jesus sees all. Neither should it matter to us what others think of us, as long as we are pleasing to Jesus. Right?

How is the beauty of this young woman compared with that of the church and believers?
There are 7 ways, which is the number of perfection:

  1. Her eyes-humble, modest, mournful. Wisdom and knowledge are the eyes of a new person in Christ. Our aims and intentions are to be sincere and honest. Are we looking with spiritual eyes to see where God is working so we can join Him? Do we see the needs of others?
  2. Her hair-pleasant to the owner. Her locks are as beautiful as Mt. Gilead covered with a shaggy goat herd. Hair of these goats is exceedingly delicate, soft, long, and black. (Falwell) God knows how many hairs are on our head. Not a hair on our head will perish. Are our good works  as obvious as our hair?
  3. Her teeth-are white as newly washed sheep, which are used to chew grass. Are we chewing on God's Word in meditation? Is our faith growing beyond the baby stage?
  4. Her lips-as a thread of scarlet. Red lips is a sign of health. Do we praitour Savior with our lips?  Is our speech with grace?
 

LET IT GROW 

     5. Her temple or the upper part of her cheeks-are rosy like the pomegranate cut open.    
            Do we blush when we are told the Lord Jesus loves us tenderly and 
             unconditionally?
       6. Her neck-is like a tower, straight and strong. Do we hold our head up with 
           courage?
       7. Her breasts-provide milk for children. Are we growing spiritually in the sincere 
           of the Word? Are we teaching spiritual babies with grace?

Resources: Matthew Henry' Commentary, Liberty Bible Commentary
           
LET IT GO

Use my body for Your glory.
May it be the temple of the Lord Jesus.

Friday, October 25, 2019

A Season of Night

O. T. #1552. "A Season of Night"
Oct. 25, 2019
Song of Solomon

LET IT GLOW 

As the song goes, it was night and the young woman sought the one she loved, but found him not. It was a season of night and darkness for her.
She went into the streets, even asked watchman, then finally she found him, her beloved. She held him and wouldn't let him go.


LET IT GROW 

Are you in a season of night spiritually? Are you not sure which way the Lord wants you to go?
It maybe in the area of a job, which church He wants you to join and serve in, it maybe decisions of other nature. It seems we are there now. We are visiting various churches in our area, seeking where the Lord wants us. It is a hard time, unsettled.

What to do. Look to Jesus. We are to seek the will of Jesus without restrictions, with surrender of heart.

LET IT GO

I will call upon You and You God will show me great and mighty things.

Thursday, October 24, 2019

Little Foxes in Marriage

O. T. #1551  "Little Foxes in Marriage"
Oct. 24, 2019
Song of Solomon 2-Part 2
Take us the foxes, the little foxes, that spoil the vines: for our vines have tender grapes. My beloved is mine, and I am his: he feedeth among the lilies. (verses 15-16)

LET IT GLOW

One time we rented a house in town after the parsonage was quickly sold and before we got the farmhouse remodeled. The backyard had a chain fence around it. Interwoven in it were grape vines. As summer came, I noticed the vines were loaded with lushes grapes, which ripened. I had to quickly pick them due to birds flying in to eat them. The birds were similar to the little foxes in our key verses today. Their goal was to eat, destroy, the fruit. There is noting like eating a juicy vine ripened grape in your mouth.

Little foxes among the vines. To what does that refer? Well, large groups of young foxes can descend on a field or orchard and destroy it, eating the grapes before they were harvested, tender grapes. The owner of the vineyard needed the fruit which was destroyed.

The Shulamite  young sister was told to destroy those little foxes before they destroyed their crop. Those little critters could work havoc in Palestinian vineyards. They play among the vines, dig holes, and spoil fences. Although carnivorous, they are also fond of young shoots and grapes; so they need to be trapped or driven away before the fruit begins to ripen. (Clarke, pg. 52)

How do the little foxes apply to us?
  • There are all kinds of problems that can disturb or destroy a marriage.
  • They must be removed in order to have a successful and continuing marriage.
  • Little irritations must not be ignored, but identified so the couple can deal with them. (Application Study Bible)
Got any of those little things that irritate you or your spouse? (Slurping, shoes scattered through the house, not putting down the seat-nip them in the bud early, friend.) Don't let them fester into big sore spots and cause division.

The church needs to watch for the foxes, false prophets and persecutors. They rob peace and progress of the gospel. They must be tamed or restrained of their mischief. (Matthew Henry)


LET IT GROW

My beloved is mine, and I am his. (verse 16a)

This gal remembers the shepherd she loves back home. Her heart belongs to him.
Believers and the church belong to Christ. We are his and He is our Beloved. We commune with Him through prayer and Christ is our Mediator. He gives us happiness and all we need.

Do you belong to Christ? Are you walking and talking with Jesus all day long?
Have we given ourselves to Christ, all of our selves to Him (2 Corinthians 8:5)?

If we be His, His wholly, His only, His forever, we may take the comfort of His being ours. (Matthew Henry)

LET IT GO
                      ... and let love reign.
                                 ... letting the little things not become big things.

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

A Rose or a Thorn

O. T. #1550. "A Rose or a Thorn"
Oct. 23,2019
Song of Solomon -chapter 2
I am the rose of Sharon, and the lily of the valleys. As the lily among thorns, so is my love among
the daughters. (Verses 1-2)

LET IT GLOW 

What lady does not enjoy receiving roses unexpectedly? Isn't the red rose a symbol of love and the yellow rose a symbol of friendship? Their fragrance and beauty are no other flower. Although, they have thorns, so we must be careful when handling them.

The rose and lily are flowers commonly found in Israel. The girl speaking considers herself to be nothing special, just an ordinary flower. How does Solomon considers her to be? She is extraordinary in his eyes-a lily among the thorns.
Nothing is more vital than encouraging and appreciating the person we love.
Are we telling our spouse "I love you" each day, and show them love by our actions?

LET IT GLOW 

Christ is our Rose of Sharon. He is such a beautiful and sweet Savior. There is none like Him. Salvation and grace are glorious. He is our fragrance offering before a Holy God, as those burnt in the Temple of Solomon. 

The church excels other societies as a bed of roses among the thorns of the world. We are like lilies scratched and torn by hardships and troubles in the world, planted among the thorns. Yet, Christ is us makes us beautiful. 

Is Jesus your Rose of Sharon and Lily of the Valleys?


LET IT GO

Be a sweet and beautiful today, not prickly as a thorn.

You Are Loved!

O. T. #1549  "You Are Loved!"
Oct. 22, 2019
Song of Solomon
And Solomon loved the LORD, walking in the statutes of David his father. 1 Kings 3:3a

LET IT GLOW

It is good for the married couple to get away alone every once in a while. We usually go to Branson a few days for our anniversary celebration. And there are times in between that we get away.

The Experiencing God Study Bible gives us some insight on chapter 1:
  • Love is better than all other pleasures life offers. Are you tasting the great pleasures of love? (verses 2-3)
  • Other women adore the beloved man. (verse 3)
  • The beloved is the king. (verse 4)
  • Love wants to run away alone with the beloved. Are you spending enough time alone with your beloved? (verse 4)
  • Love brings joy to family and friends. Does your love cause others to rejoice? (verse 4)
  • The lady had to work in the sun and could not protect her skin from the tanning, hardening sun rays. (verses 5-6)
  • Love compliments the beloved. (verses 8-9, 14)
  • The beloved wants to give his lady gifts. (verse 11)
  • Love wants to be beautiful for the beloved. Are you making yourself pleasing to your beloved? (verses 12-17)


LET IT GROW

How can we apply this content to Christ, the bridegroom and His church the bride?

Matthew Henry's Commentary tells us:
  • Treating this as a song, in singing we should make melody with our hearts unto the Lord.
  • It has more about Christ in this song than scripture-songs.
  • Celebrate your own love of God and share it with others.
  • Solomon loved the Lord (1 Kings 3:3).
  • Cheek kissing was a custom in the old days. We see the kiss of gospel-grace when Esau kissed his brother Jacob and the father of the prodigal son welcomed his son home. When stray away from our Lord, He welcomes us home. 
  • Christ by the Holy Spirit draws us to Him. When with loving kindness to us He draws us. (Jeremiah 31:3)
  • We, His children, who are black with filthy rags of sin, will be clothed with a robe of Christ's righteousness. 
  • Jesus loves us as a shepherd loves his sheep and feeds them in green pastures and waters them at still waters. His Word is food for our soul and His Spirit refreshes us. 
  • When we are weak, Christ gives us strength as horses, in our battles. 
  • Grace and mercy are our jewels and gold chains as believers. 
  • To us beloved ones of Christ, how precious is our Savior. 
  • One day we will sit at the table of King Jesus and feast upon His goodness. 
  • Believers are joint-heirs with Christ (Romans 7:17).

LET IT GO

May I show your loving kindness to others today.
May I be merciful and gracious, too.
Thank You Jesus for Your love.

Monday, October 21, 2019

Tasting Love

O. T. #1548  "Tasting Love"
Oct. 21, 2019
Introduction to Song of Solomon

We have come to the most dreaded book of the Bible for me to post. I have read different commentaries and prayed for the right approach in discussing it. so my conclusion is the best way for us to learn from Solomon is to take two approaches here. The first approach will be to take it as a story of a man and his bride, and their marriage. The second approach will be we the Church as the Bride of Christ and He as the Groom.

I don't know your situation, whether you are married or not, but can always learn for our self and for others. There must be a reason that God permitted this book to be included in the Bible. What can we learn from it?

BACKGROUND

We read of a Shulamite maiden, who is a member of the Shunem family. Her father appears to be deceased, so her brother are responsible for the family. Her brothers shepherd the flocks and she tends the vineyards. This maiden meets and falls in love with a young shepherd. Her brothers do not approve of him.

King Solomon, a younger man, and his men are returning form a trip to his northern territory. Solomon is struck by this maiden's beauty and takes her to his harem. The rustic country girl can't escape and is eventually taken to the splendid palace of the king.

The king attempts to win this gal's affection, but she refuses him, remaining faithful to the love of her life. Finally, Solomon recognizes that his beloved's heart belongs to another and not him. He releases her to return home, then she is reunited with her love.


SPIRITUAL APPLICATION

The marriage relationship is used to describe the relationship between Christ and the church. Not only the local church, but the collective church of all believers is in reference here. We are one in Christ since He is in us and we are in Him, spiritually. He showed His love for us by dying on the cross in our place and paying for our sins. He loves us now as He cares for us, feeds us with His Word, and seeks to make us beautiful spiritually. He will love us in eternity when we attend the marriage of the Lamb. Christ will return for us believers His bride and take us to heaven.

PREPARE 

Love is better than all other pleasures life offers. Are we tasting the great pleasures of love?
We are loved by God. How are we showing Hum that we love Him?

Friday, October 18, 2019

True Happiness

O. T. #1547 "True Happiness"
Oct. 18, 2019
Summary of Ecclesiastes 

Aren't we all looking for true happiness in this life?
How do we find it?
Where are we looking for it?
Is it possible to be happy in this life?
Read on for the answers, dear one. 

Almost 3,000 years ago Solomon wrote his sermon. He was the wisest man on earth because he asked God for wisdom. 
Wisdom is the ability to see life from God's perspective and then to know how the best course of action to take. (Life Application Study Bible)

Solomon hoped to spare future generations the bitterness of learning through their own experience that life is meaningless apart from God. True wisdom is found in God, and true happiness comes from pleasing Him. 



Here are some key verses we found in only 12 chapters of this book. 

...there is no new thing under the sun. (1:9)
For God giveth to a man that is good in his sight wisdom, and knowledge, and joy: but to the sinner
He giveth travail, to gather and to heap up, that He may give to him that is good before God. (2:26)
To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven. (3:1)
He hath made everything beautiful in his time... (3:11a)
For he shall not much remember the days of his lif; because God answereth him in th joy of His heart.
(5:20)
For there is not a just man upon earth, that forth good, and sinneth not. (7:20)
For to him that is joined to all the living there is hope...(9:4a)
Cast thy bread upon the waters: for thou shalt find it after many days. (11:1)
Remember thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them. (12:1)

Let hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God and keep His commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. (12:13)

Are we asking God for wisdom?
Is our happiness found in Jesus?

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Is Life Worth Living?

O. T. #1546. "Is Life Worth Living?
Oct. 17, 2019
Summary of Ecclesiastes

LET IT GLOW 

Is life really worth living? 
That is the question the Preacher (Solomon) debates in this book of the Bible. 
What better person than the wisest man whose wisdom and wealth from his God enabled him to live a full life. 
Solomon's first conclusion was: life is not living because it is full of vanity (emptiness). (chapters 1-2)

  • Nature continues, while man is here do a brief space of time. We are only a cog in a big wheel. 
  • We can't understand it all. Philosophers try to explain life through their ignorance. 
  • Pleasures don't satisfy nor do they last. Solomon had plenty of money, pleasure, culture, and fame as king of Israel. 
  • Death ends all. It happens to fools and wise, rich and poor. When one dies, they leave wealth to enjoy by another. 
What is Solomon's next conclusion? (chapters 3-10)
  • God has a purpose in our lives. Find it, accept it, and complete it-that purpose. 
  • God gives riches according to that will. Don't live for riches but for the Lord. 
  • God's wisdom can guide us through life. Trust and obey, for there is no other way to be happy in Jesus. 

Although we cannot understand all things, God can give us wisdom and we can obey what He tells us.

LET IT GROW 

What is the final conclusion of Solomon after studying this matter? (chapters 11-12)
  • Live by faith. Trust God for the results as we follow Hum. 
  • Remember that life will end. Rejoice in God's blessings, remove sinful ways from your life, and remember to serve God. 
  • Fear God and obey Him. Our labor is not in vain when it is done for God's glory. 
He who does the will of God abides forever.   1John 2:17

Jesus has provided abundant life for us here and now as well as in eternity. 
Friend, have you asked Him to be your Savior so you can have the best life?
(Reference: Wiserbe's Expository Outlines on the Old Testament)


LET IT GO

May I enjoy the life You have given me.
Use me to share You live and truth today.

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Our Duties

O. T. #1545  "Our Duties"
Oct. 16, 2019
Ecclesiastes 12-Part 3
Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep His commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.  (verse 13)

LET IT GLOW

The Preacher, Solomon, is the author of these proverbs written and compiled in this book. Since he said all the way though that life is empty, in his searching for the meaning of life, Solomon comes to two conclusions.
First, life is totally pointless without God-centeredness. Profit is only for those who fear God. Fear of God is reverential awe that emerges when we, with our lack of holiness, are met with righteous demands of His holiness (Isaiah 6). Its total effect is to produce in man an unquestioning obedience to all of God's revealed will. (Liberty Bible Commentary)

David Jeremiah says, "The NT counterpart of Fear God is often stated as 'Love God,' "

How do we do that? Do we thank Him for what He has done for us-physical and spiritual provisions?
Do we talk with Jesus as we walk in His light?
Are we singing His praises?

LET IT GROW

Secondly, keep God's commandments, obey His Word. We are to love God's Word and strive to keep it, practicing it. Rebels will not consider it important nor comply to it. Christians should love the Words of life. Wise people apply it and are blessed.

A true Christian makes obedience a faithful obsession, not an option. (David Jeremiah)

However, we do have a choice-to obey or not to obey.Living for God gives us purpose and meaning in life.

These two things are the whole duty of mankind.

LET IT GO

Love and obey God. 

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Goads and Nails

O. T. #1544  "Goads and Nails"
Oct. 15, 2019
Ecclesiastes 12-Part 2
The words of the wise are as goads, and as nails fastened by the masters of assemblies, which are given from one shepherd.  (verse 11)

LET IT GLOW

Ah, how I do enjoy sitting on the front porch swing surrounded by crisp, cool, fall air. It is time for my hot tea with a couple of sassafras candies dropped into it. It is so quiet that I can hear the birds singing in the distant woods. They are praising their Creator and so do I, bursting out in praise songs. I wish you could be here with me friend. We could talk of so many things going on in our lives, sharing with each other burdens, dreams, and hopes.


Well, it's time to go inside and begin our study of the last chapter of this book. Take a look at our key verse. Do you know what a goad is?

A goad (also called oxgoad) was a wooden rod with a sharp metal tip, which was used to keep cattle moving. Like an oxgoad, wise words or important truths might be unpleasant when first heard and applied, but they could be essential for moving us in God's direction. (Life Application Study Bible)

It is kind of like when we use a sturdy stick or the broom handle to punch the cows, making them move into the shoot of the corral. Sometimes those critters can be stubborn, but they have to go in so they can be vaccinated.

We can be stubborn like cattle. Sometimes the Lord has to prod us to get moving on His path. The words of the wise are like cattle prods-painful but helpful.

Wise teaching helps find the best path in life, but such teaching must be done in reverence for God.
(The Experiencing God Study Bible)

Have we heard any wise words that we need to apply in our life, words which are hard to apply, as we have studied this book?


LET IT GROW

What is the second word that jumps out at us? It is nails, which set up boundaries of a sheep pen or securing a tent.

The words of scholars are like well-driven, given by one Shepherd. How does this apply to us?

Liberty Bible Commentary explains:
The purpose of the stake or fixed nail, is to provide a secure place to which a man may anchor himself during the stormy days of his life under the sun. These stakes furnish man with mental and spiritual anchorage. All of these collected sayings, be they goad or stake, are given by the one Shepherd of Israel (Ps. 80:1).
Is Jesus is our Good Shepherd, our Refuge, and our Strength?


LET IT GO

... of stubbornness so I follow Jesus to where He is leading.
... and let Jesus be my anchor in the storms of my life. 
                                          

Monday, October 14, 2019

Youth and Old Age

O. T. #1543  "Youth and Old Age"
Oct. 14, 2019
Ecclesiastes 12
Remember thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them. (Verse 1)

LET IT GLOW 


I don't know which category you fall into-young or old. If you are not a youth now, you may have children or grandchildren who are. Therefore, this lesson would be good advice for them to follow.
If you are a young person, I hope you will heed this advice.

Solomon is contrasting youth and old age in this chapter. What is the wisdom he wants to give to youth?

  • God made you, so He is your Creator and you have no rights to yourself. 
  • He wants you to be blessed and happy.
  • Remember God now while you are young; your memory is strong so thank your Creator for the benefits He has given to you. Worship and serve Him as a young person before evil or pride gets a grip on you. 
  • Make sure God is a part of your life while it is easier to believe, hope, pray, obey, love, and bear your cross.
  • There is no certainty of life, thus your tomorrow may not be.
  • Take care of your health and habits, working while your body and mind are strong.

(Resource: Clarke's Commentary)

May I add, surrender your will to God's will while you are young, then it will be easier when you are older. What you do now does matter.
 Enjoy life now, but don't do anything that will hinder you from. enjoying it when you are old-spiritually, physically, or morally. As a young person, make God your focus, not pleasures.
Be sure prayer and Bible study are a daily part of your life.

LET IT GROW 

What about us older folks, Solomon? Any advice for us?

  • Life is fragile like the gold bowl, water jar, and wheel. Life can end swiftly and unexpectedly. 
  • Use time wisely and for God's service. Share how God has worked in your life. 
  • Share His love and encouragement to others. 
  • Don't fear, but trust God to provide and protect you. 
  • Let your silver hair be an honor to you, for you are still breathing. 
  • Be sure your eternal destiny is sealed in Jesus Christ. 
  • Make your words be truth. 

Enjoy the slower years in this season of life. Help others while you can. Use your resources to spread the gospel. Keep exercising your mind and body so you can do your best.

LET IT GO

Bless the Lord o my soul and all that is within me bless His holy name. 

Friday, October 11, 2019

Casting and Knowing

O. T. #1542  "Casting and Knowing"
Oct. 11, 2019
Ecclesiastes 11
Cast thy bread upon the waters: for thou shalt find it after many days. (verse 1)

LET IT GLOW


What does cast mean? To send away, for or out; let depart; sow is what cast means in this verse.

What are we told to cast, send out, upon the waters? It is bread, which refers to food.

What is the Preacher talking about here?
Liberty Bible Commentary shares:
Our Preacher employs an illustration from the commerce of the sea. Let your bread of charity go out upon the waters, as ships do in their travels carrying precious cargo hither and yon. Solomon's vessels returned from Tarshish once in three years, bringing rich treasures to his kingdom (1 Kins 10:22). Their return was only possible because they had been sent. If the venture had not been undertaken in faith, the day of reward could not have come. Give to many, so that in your day of need, you will may encounter at least one who in gratitude will assist you.

Are we a giving person? It may be a southern thing-when someone in our church, neighborhood, or community, we take food to the family in sorrow. Meeting their physical needs is a small thing we can do. We can sit with them and listen to them talk in support. God is a God of comfort and He can use people's arms to do it.

Jesus is the Bread of Life. Are we sharing Him with others?

LET IT GROW

Why is this happening? What is the purpose of suffering? When are my prayers going to be answered?

So many questions we have for God throughout our lifetime. Some may never be answered, while some may be.

Look at verse 5: As thou knowest not what is the way of the spirit, not how the bones do grow in the womb of her that is with child: thou knowest not the works of God who maketh all.

We may never understand God completely. (Blackaby)

Just as you cannot understand the path of the wind or the mystery of a tiny baby growing in its mother's womb, so you cannot understand the activity of God, who does all things. (NLT)

So, we live by faith that God is all wise and knows what He is doing. May we not doubt Him, but trust His judgment.

Truth is, You know what tomorrow brings. When You don't give the answers, I will trust, I will trust in You.

LET IT GO

Use me to give to others.
Though I don't understand, I am trusting You.

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Flies and Tongues

O. T. #1541  "Flies and Tongues"
Oct. 10, 2019
Ecclesiastes 10


LET IT GLOW

Every so often, the cows are moved to the front field just outside my kitchen window. That signals me to be ready to use the fly swatter in the house because inevitably nasty flies will make their way inside our house, probably when the door is opened. Since I know the source of the flies, I definitely do not want any in my house. Today's first verse speaks of flies and how their presence is not good. Continue in friends, for there is a lesson here.

Dead flies cause the ointment of the apothecary to send forth a stinking savor: so doth a little folly him that is in reputation for wisdom and honor. (verse 1)

What does such an unusual verse mean to us?
First, we should look at what various versions say:

As dead flies cause even a bottle of perfume to stink, so a little foolishness spoils great wisdom and honor. (New Living Translation)

Dead flies putrefy the perfumer's ointment, And cause it to give off a foul odor; So does a little folly to one  respected for wisdom and honor. (The Jeremiah Study Bible)

Dead flies make the perfumer's ointment give off a stench, so a little folly outweighs wisdom and honor. (English Standard Version)

Dead flies make a perfumer's oil stink, so a little foolishness is weightier than wisdom and honor. (New American Standard Bible)

Now what lesson could possibly be for us concerning flies?
David Jeremiah tells us, "Foolishness in small matters can have big consequences. Seemingly little decisions and actions can ruin a person's dignity and reputation."

As a little thing as a fly can contaminate anything it touches, so can a small wrong action in our life.
We are warned to be careful as Christians for people are watching us. Evil wants us to fail in having a good influence and fall into sin.




LET IT GROW

Jump down to verses 11-14. 
This passage is not just for the tongue of the babbler but for the unkind tongue, the unwise tongue, the undisciplined tongue, the unreasonable tongue, and the unfaithful tongue. (Prov. 15:2) David Jeremiah 

The wise controls their tongue, words. 
Are this type of wise person?
Do we need a bridle to control our tongue?


LET IT GO

Watch out for small matters.
Control my tongue today.

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Happily Married

O. T. #1540  "Happily Married"
Oct. 9, 2019
Ecclesiastes 9-Part 2
Live happily with the woman you love through all the meaningless days of life that God has given you under the sun. The wife God gives you is your reward for all your earthly toil. 
 (verse 9)


LET IT GLOW

The wise preacher is speaking to the guys reminding them how blessed they are to have the
 right-woman as their wife and supporter. I think it can be reversed for us wives. How blessed we are to have a faithful providing husband that loves us all of our life. For the right-man and right-woman to be joined with the bond of love is one of life's greatest rewards.

Life and marriage is not easy. We know that is true if we have been married any length of time. But I say it is worth all the struggles when we stick with each other through those times. Since none of us is perfect, we should not expect our spouse to be perfect either, right? enduring through problems with each other is worth it in the later days. So stay in there if possible.

In Proverbs 18:22, Solomon wrote,  A man who finds a wife finds a good things and obtains favor from the LORD. 

Wouldn't it sad to be married and not appreciate or enjoy the companion God has given?
What can we do today to let our spouse know how much we love them?


LET IT GROW

Wisdom is better than what two things? Verses 16 and 18 tell us strength and weapons of war are the answers.
I don't think those two things are important to us ladies.

Are we receptive to wisdom no matter the source?
Our society honors wealth, atttactiveness, and success above wisdom. However, wise people can be poor, homely looking, and ordinary hardworking folks. We may fit in one of those categories, as I do, but keep in mind, God loves us as we are and gives us wisdom.


LET IT GO
May I be a faithful, supporting, and loving wife that honors God. 
May wisdom be more important to me than wealth, beauty, and success. 
To God be the glory. 

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Hope in Our Heart

O. T. #1539  "Hope in Our Heart"
Oct. 9, 2019
Ecclesiastes 9
Whatever you do, do well. for when you go to the grave, there will be no work or planning or knowledge or wisdom. (verse 10 NLT)

LET IT GLOW

Whatever the task we have ahead of us, we should consider it as a gift from God. Therefore, we should consider that we will be accountable for what we we do with His provisions. Once we leave earth, undone tasks will be left undone.

Jesus said "I must work the works of Him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work. (John 9:4)

Are we taking advantage of the opportunities before us?


LET IT GROW

There is hope only for the living.  (verse 4)

Even if there is evil in a heart, there is hope that the grace of God will change it. Keep praying for those who need a changed heart. God is able to do it.

I smile as I see this happen in a lives in my world. Our God is so very good. Nothing is impossible for Him.

May our heart be filled with joy and goodness and hope.
Are we serving God with gladness?
What is our life telling others about the grace and mercy of God?
Is Jesus our hope?

LET IT GO

May I live joyfully today.
May I share the hope in my heart-Jesus.

Monday, October 7, 2019

How to be Wise

O. T. #1538  "How to be Wise"
Oct. 7, 2019
Ecclesiastes 8
Who is as the wise man? And who knoweth the interpretation of a thing? A man's wisdom maketh his face to shine, and the boldness of his face shall be changed. (verse 1)

LET IT GLOW

So I wonder what a wise person is like. What does it mean to be a wise person? Solomon mentions the words wise and wisdom some 51 times in this book. It sounds like he is trying to lead us down the path of true wisdom. This teacher of wisdom desires for us to avoid dead-end streets and walk the path that leads to true profit. How do we do that?

It is strange what I found these definitions to be: wise refers to become a Judean; live as the Jews; while wisdom means resembling a Judean: Jewish.

Now that is as clear as mud, until we consider,  Jews were the chosen people of God. They were to love and serve Him as their purpose in life. They had commandments to obey. I'm talking about the Old Testament Jews.

Since we are not a Jew, but a Christian, how can we be wise, acquire wisdom?

Life Application Study Bible gives the best answer I have found:
Wisdom is the ability to see life from God's perspective and then to know the best course of action to take. Proverbs 9:10 teaches that the fear of the Lord (respect and honor) is the beginning of wisdom. Wisdom comes from trusting and knowing God; it is not merely the way to find God. Knowing God will lead to understanding and then to share this knowledge with others.
Well then, we are wise when we see life from God's perspective and ask Him which is the best path for us to take. After all, God is all wise. Does that mean when we get in a situation we do not understand, we are to look for God's perspective on the situation?

What is He teaching us here and now? Why has He allowed this to happen? Where is He leading us?
Right now, my husband and I are in a time of rest, as God has revealed to us. September 29 was his last Sunday to serve as pastor. That has been our life for 39 years. It is an adjustment to be made, definitely a change for us. We are enjoying the step back from leadership, waiting on God to lead us down the next path. In the meantime, we healing from battle scars, growing in faith and love of Jesus.

How about you, dear friend? Are you seeking God's perspective on your situation? God has His reasons for things to happen. Are we sensitive to Him? He has the answers to our questions.


LET IT GROW

In verse 15, Solomon is recommending we embrace joy and contentment to lighten our journey through this life. Simply accepting each day with its daily measure of work, food, and pleasure. Are we enjoying what God has given to refresh and strengthen us? We should not spend our energy looking for more than He intends for us.

Are we living a faith-filled life? Life is a special gift from the Almighty.

No one can predict adversity or prosperity, but every person can receive each day's joys as God's gifts. (David Jeremiah)

God has concealed certain things from us; He knows life's secrets. He is infinite and we humans are finite. We owe Him our worship. (Philippians 2:5-11)

LET IT GO

You are the LORD my God.
Open my spiritual eyes to see Your perspective on my situation.
As I rest in Your love, prepare me for the next path ahead.
May I be thankful for all I have.

Friday, October 4, 2019

A Downward Path Can Become Upward

O. T. #1537  "A Downward Path Can Become Upward"
Oct. 4, 2019
Ecclesiastes 7
For there is not a just man upon earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not. (verse 20)

LET IT GLOW


In verses 23-29, Solomon explains the limits of human wisdom, according to the New Living Translation:
  • He tried his best to let wisdom guide his thoughts and actions, determined to be wise, but it didn't work.
  • Wisdom is always distant and difficult to find.
  • He searched for the understanding of the reason for things.
  • He found that God created people to be virtuous, but they have each turned to follow their own downward path. (verse 29) The KJV uses the word upright, instead of virtuous, which means right towards God.
Adam was created upright, but then he sinned, turning to his own way. His disobedience separated Adam from his God. However, God provided the blood sacrifice of the animal whose skin was used to cover Adam and Eve's sins.


LET IT GROW

Look at our key verse. Solomon's conclusion here is accurate. We have all sinned and come short of the glory of God. If we say we have not sinned, then we deceive ourselves. Jesus has provided the blood sacrifice required for us to be upright, right towards God. We can't do it on our own, since we have a sin nature.
Now that is something we can rejoice about! Thank You, Jesus!
Without Him, we spiral down a downward path, into the pit of sin. With Jesus, we follow on an upward path. So let us get up again after we fall down in sin. We only have one life.

LET IT GO

Jesus, You alone are Righteous.
Forgive us of our sins today.

Thursday, October 3, 2019

Which is Better?

O. T. #1536 "Which is Better?"
October 3, 2019
Ecclesiastes 7

LET IT GLOW


Solomon lays down some great truths in this chapter. In contrast, he tells us which is better:
  • a good reputation than costly perfume;
  • day of death than birthday;
  • attending funerals than parties;
  • sorrow than laughter;
  • to be criticized by a wise person than praised by a fool;
  • finishing than starting;
  • patience than pride.

Those things cause us to examine our life and our accomplishments which are worthwhile. As long as we have breath, there is time to confess our sins and ask God to forgive us. There is time for us to change, to make things right with others. The older I get more is the reality that life is short.

Are we living for Jesus?

LET IT GROW

Accept the way God does things, for who can straighten what He has made crooked? (verse 13)
Remember that nothing is certain in this life. (verse 14b)

God allows good and bad to come to us all. We may as well accept what comes instead of balking at them. Some things we can't change. God is in control and will bring good results out of our struggles.

Is the joy of the Lord our strength? Tomorrow isn't promised to us, so let us live it as if it were our last. Truly, there is nothing certain in this life, but His grace is enough.

LET IT GO

Thank You for grace.