OceanSide church of Christ
Read devotionals for January 2019
February 1, 2019
Ecclesiastes 12:6 – Or ever the silver cord be loosed, or the golden bowl be broken, or the pitcher be broken at the fountain, or the wheel broken at the cistern.
Thought: Solomon has been focusing on the deterioration of the body during old age. At the end of that cycle of life is death. Life is the link between us and all others who are alive. If that silver cord is broken, if that golden bowl is broken, if the pitcher is broken, or if the wheel is broken, life no longer continues. Death ensues. All of the functions of the body come to a halt. Animation ceases. The only thing left upon the earth is a clay shell. This appointment is for all men.
February 2, 2019
Ecclesiastes 12:7 – Then shall the dust return unto the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.
Thought: Death is often described as a separation. It is the separation of the body from the spirit. One entity, the body, returns to its original composition, dust of the earth. The other entity returns to the one who created it, God. The body represents the physical aspect of this world. The spirit involves the spiritual things. Which is the most important part of man? The most important part is the spirit, the element that returns to God. Dear reader, give time to your spirit. It is what lives on after death.
February 3, 2019
Ecclesiastes 12:8 – Vanity of vanities, saith the preacher, all is vanity.
Thought: Man is born, grows and matures, grows old, and faces that event called death. If this is all there is for man, then life is vanity. If man is just a material being, living for himself, then life is vanity. All of his labor under the sun does not account for much. Surely, there is more. Surely, we do not just live, grow old, and die. Surely, life has a purpose. Doesn’t life have a purpose? Is all vanity?
I Corinthians 15:19
February 4, 2019
Ecclesiastes 12:9 – And moreover, because the preacher was wise, he still taught the people knowledge; yea, he gave good heed and sought out, and set in order many proverbs.
Thought: The writer is quickly coming to the conclusion of his book. He has noted what others have possibly seen in life as well. “All is vanity.” Is this the truth? Fortunately, the preacher was wise. Therefore, he taught the people knowledge. There was an understanding that mankind needed to have. Having experimented with many things, he could set forth the truth. He often did so in parables. This ultimate truth would give meaning to life.
I Kings 4:30-43
February 5, 2019
Ecclesiastes 12:10 – The preacher sought to find out acceptable words: and that which was written was upright, even words of truth.
Thought: When words are used to communicate, they need to follow certain guidelines. They need to be acceptable words. They need to be as pleasing as possible to the hearer. Tact, good English, and simple language can help in this area. Second, the words need to be upright. They are words that spring from a person who is honest. They are words that come from a heart of sincerity. Third, words that are spoken need to be the truth. Lies, deception, and falsehood have no place in our conversations.
February 6, 2019
Ecclesiastes 12:11 – The words of the wise are as goads, and as nails fastened by the masters of assemblies, which are given from one shepherd.
Thought: Wise words do two things according to the wise man who wrote this verse. First, they are like goads. They encourage, urge, influence, stimulate, and move others to positive actions. Second, they sink deeply into the heart like nails driven into boards. They enable one’s life to be stable, secure, safe, and lasting. The “words of the wise” referred to by Solomon are from “one shepherd,” the All-Wise God of heaven.
February 7, 2019
Ecclesiastes 12:12 – And further, by these, my son, be admonished: of making many books there is no end; and much study is a weariness of the flesh.
Thought: The wise have always produced tons and tons of material. This material has been printed in book after book. Of the making of books there is no end. Every subject imaginable has been addressed. No subject has been exhausted. Those who study these books find that “much study is a weariness of the flesh.” The mind grows weary. The body grows tired. The eyes turn red and ache. Even the hands tire because of the notes that are taken. Yet, the books and the study are necessary. “…by these, my son, be admonished.”
II Timothy 4:13
February 8, 2019
Ecclesiastes 12:13 – Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.
Thought: Solomon has taken his time and resources to experiment with life. As he has examined life, much of it looked like vanity. A secular view of life brings about the vexation of a person’s spirit. In the last two verses of Ecclesiastes, however, he reveals the conclusion of his experiment. He notes the things that give purpose and value to life. There are two things that do this. A man must fear God. A man must keep God’s commandments. This is why man is here. This is the whole of man.
February 9, 2019
Ecclesiastes 12:14 – For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.
Thought: The conclusion to man’s earthly existence by the wisest man who ever lived, other than Jesus, is not to be taken lightly. Why? Because there will be a day of reckoning. God will bring every work into judgment. God will bring every secret thing into judgment. He will bring both the good and the evil into judgment. There is no reprieve from that day. How we live now will be very important then. Fearing God and keeping His commands will make all of the difference when we stand in the judgment.
II Corinthians 5:10
February 10, 2019
James 1:1 - James, a servant of God, and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad, greeting.
Thought: We enter into a study of the epistle of James. This James is the Lord’s brother. Notice that he refers to himself as “a servant of God, and of the Lord Jesus Christ.” The word “servant” literally means “slave,” one who is in subjection to the will of another. This is interesting since there was a time when James did not believe Jesus’ claims (John 7:5). He greets “the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad.” This is spiritual Israel. This is the church that has been scattered because of persecution.
February 11, 2019
James 1:2 – My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations.
Thought: The Bible often calls believers to do some very unique things. Here, James exhorts us to be joyful when we experience various temptations. Trials can be difficult. Trials can be painful. Trials can put us through the heat of extreme fire. Yet, James wants us to rejoice therein. If this verse were the only one we had, we might be confused. He will explain why we should rejoice in the next verse.
February 12, 2019
James 1:3 – Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.
Thought: James exhorted us to rejoice in our trials in the previous verse. This would be difficult to do without further knowledge. Thus, James begins this verse with the words: “Knowing this…” When we understand trials can make us better, we can rejoice in them. They are never pleasant, but from them we develop the positive trait of patience, that is, the ability to endure. Endurance is often the key to success and happiness. It has been said that he who can endure the longest, wins.
February 13, 2019
James 1:4 – But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.
Thought: Endurance through trials develops the elements of character that are lacking. As we continue through our struggles, we move toward perfection, that is, maturity. We also become entire. We have everything within us that we need as a seasoned child of God. We reach a point where we are “wanting nothing.” Our character is full of every element needed that makes us exactly what God wants us to be. Yes, our trials help to mold us into the image of Christ.
I Peter 5:10
February 14, 2019
James 1:5 – If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.
Thought: When dealing with trials and temptations, we often lack the wisdom we need. James, therefore, counsels his readers to ask God for wisdom. God has all wisdom. Thus, He is a primary resource. All we must do is ask for it. James assures us that God will grant our petition. Notice that he teaches us that God will give wisdom liberally to us. There is no need to go without. Just ask God.
February 15, 2019
James 1:6 – But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering: for he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.
Thought: When we go to God in prayer with our request for wisdom, we must go in faith. We must trust and believe that God will hear us and grant our petition. James also includes the words, “nothing wavering.” There can be no doubts. There can be no vacillation. We draw near with boldness and confidence, knowing that God will give us exactly that for which we are pleading. Otherwise, we are like a wave of the sea that is tossed in all directions by the wind. My friend, pray believing.
February 16, 2019
James 1:7 – For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.
Thought: James exhorted his readers to pray in faith in James 1:6. He told them not to waver at all. If we doubt when we pray, we must resign ourselves to the fact that God will never grant our desires. James says: “For let not that men think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.” Dear reader, in such cases, God is not to blame. Man is to blame. He says he trusts God. He says that He understands who God is. Yet, when he prays, he fails to believe that God will give him the desires of his heart. There will be no blessings poured out on such a person.
I Samuel 1:10-11
February 17, 2019
James 1:8 – A doubleminded man is unstable in all his ways.
Thought: A doubleminded person flip-flops. A doubleminded person cannot make up his mind and come to a conclusion about issues. Everything has to be open. He believes one thing at one time and another thing at another time. What do I wear? What do I eat? Where do I work? God will bless me, but, on the other hand, He may not. A doubleminded man is unstable in all his ways. Dear reader, when it comes to faith, we must make up our mind and be singleminded. If not, God will not bless.
February 18, 2019
James 1:9 – Let the brother of low degree rejoice in that he is exalted.
Thought: When trials and tribulations come, the circumstances in one’s life can change drastically. Those who are “of low degree” can often be exalted. This exaltation can be a difficult trial for him. He now has what he did not have before. He now has independence and power. He must live carefully and cautiously. James exhorts him to rejoice in this trial. It will teach him very important lessons.
I Samuel 2:7-8
February 19, 2019
James 1:10 – But the rich, in that he is made low: because as the flower of grass he shall pass away.
Thought: When the trials of the rich bring him into poverty, he, too, should rejoice. Again, his trials will teach and discipline him. They will develop his character. He will be strengthened if he handles his trials properly. We must emphasize that no trial is easy. They are fraught with hardship. The joy we have in them comes from the molding process. One important point that all should keep in mind in affliction is that one day we will pass away. That day will be impacted by our attitudes during trials.
February 20, 2019
James 1:11 – For the sun is no sooner risen with a burning heat but it withereth the grass, and the flower thereof falleth, and the grace of the fashion of it perisheth: so also shall the rich man fade away in his ways.
Thought: The grass and flowers are very sensitive to heat. The summer sun rises and quickly causes them to wither and die. In like manner, events in life can quickly change our position and standing in this world. Riches can rapidly be taken from us. In fact, life itself can slip from us. All of us need to be aware of the transitory nature of life. Here today; gone tomorrow. Don’t get too comfortable. Always be prepared for change.
February 21, 2019
James 1:12 – Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.
Thought: All will be tried. Only one type of person, however, will be blessed when he is tried. This is the man who endures. He does not give up. He does not blame God. He does not cease being faithful to God. He endures. He will be glad he did. This individual will receive the crown life. His steadfast-ness has proven his love for God. God will reward him with a victory crown that he will wear forever.
I Corinthians 9:24-25
February 22, 2019
James 1:13 – Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God, for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man.
Thought: When man gets into sin, he often says: “Why did you let this happen to me God?” or, “Why has God done this to me?” In the realm of temptation to sin, God is not to blame. God is holy. God is set apart from sin. His holiness will not allow Him to tempt any man. The one responsible for temptation is Satan. He is the one to blame when we are enticed to sin. God loves us. He would never do anything to us that would lead to our destruction. Satan, on the other hand, gladly will.
I Peter 5:8