“Don’t try to fight your battles on your own unless you want to be in a constant tug of war with your flesh, the world, and the devil.”~TB
It’s important to know your opposition, weaknesses, and stumbling blocks because in the battle for your mind, body, and soul, all bets are off. Your flesh won’t fight fair, neither will the world or the evil one. This isn’t to say that you should fear these things. No, but to understand what you’re dealing with gives you the reality that you need God to intervene so that you can win the war.
When you’re sick of struggling to deal with the thorn in your side, ask God to join your team. With Him on your side, your game of tug of war is no match for the opposing team. Christ is like having the best player as a teammate, as you are able to rely on His Power to make up what you lack. To experience this, you must know that the battle cannot be won on your own accord. Get on Team Jesus so that He can thwart the enemy.
Are you ready to stop playing tug of war on your own?
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Song of Solomon 8
1Oh, I wish you were my brother, who nursed at my mother’s breasts. Then I could kiss you no matter who was watching, and no one would criticize me.
2I would bring you to my childhood home, and there you would teach me. I would give you spiced wine to drink, my sweet pomegranate wine.
3Your left arm would be under my head, and your right arm would embrace me.
4Promise me, O women of Jerusalem, not to awaken love until the time is right.
5Who is this sweeping in from the desert, leaning on her lover? Young Woman I aroused you under the apple tree, where your mother gave you birth, where in great pain she delivered you.
6Place me like a seal over your heart, like a seal on your arm. For love is as strong as death, its jealousy as enduring as the grave. Love flashes like fire, the brightest kind of flame.
7Many waters cannot quench love, nor can rivers drown it. If a man tried to buy love with all his wealth, his offer would be utterly scorned.
8We have a little sister too young to have breasts. What will we do for our sister if someone asks to marry her?
9If she is a virgin, like a wall, we will protect her with a silver tower. But if she is promiscuous, like a swinging door, we will block her door with a cedar bar.
10I was a virgin, like a wall; now my breasts are like towers. When my lover looks at me, he is delighted with what he sees.
11Solomon has a vineyard at Baal-hamon, which he leases out to tenant farmers. Each of them pays a thousand pieces of silver for harvesting its fruit.
12But my vineyard is mine to give, and Solomon need not pay a thousand pieces of silver. But I will give two hundred pieces to those who care for its vines.
13O my darling, lingering in the gardens, your companions are fortunate to hear your voice. Let me hear it, too!
14Come away, my love! Be like a gazelle or a young stag on the mountains of spices.
“Stay close to God so that you do not get unplugged from His wisdom.”~TB
If you’re not careful, life has a way of getting you off track in your relationship with Christ. Whether it’s just life circumstances, poor decisions, or the opposition rocking your boat, taking your eyes off of the Truth is a recipe for disaster. When we stop looking to God for the answers, we begin to make up answers that generally leave us worse off than before. Friends, don’t lean on your human made solutions to the challenges in your life. When we struggle to find God in the midst of our situations, it’s a sign that we’re not going to the source material— the Bible— to know the Truth.
Recognize that there are patterns and cycles in life, and no matter what, our faith and reliance in God is the only key to success! The devil may poke and prod, making you feel uneasy and alone, but when you’re plugged into God, you know the difference. This is why reading the Bible daily is so important. It’s not just a task that you check off to get a pat on the head from God. No, it possesses the tools and weapons to prepare and protect you from the world and the opposition. Don’t fall for the smoke and mirrors of the evil one. Rest on the Truth of the Word to stay plugged in.
Are you plugged into Christ or plugged into chaos and uncertainty?
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Song of Solomon
1Where has your lover gone, O woman of rare beauty? Which way did he turn so we can help you find him?
2My lover has gone down to his garden, to his spice beds, to browse in the gardens and gather the lilies.
3I am my lover’s, and my lover is mine. He browses among the lilies.
4You are beautiful, my darling, like the lovely city of Tirzah. Yes, as beautiful as Jerusalem, as majestic as an army with billowing banners.
5Turn your eyes away, for they overpower me. Your hair falls in waves, like a flock of goats winding down the slopes of Gilead.
6Your teeth are as white as sheep that are freshly washed. Your smile is flawless, each tooth matched with its twin.
7Your cheeks are like rosy pomegranates behind your veil.
8Even among sixty queens and eighty concubines and countless young women,
9I would still choose my dove, my perfect one— the favorite of her mother, dearly loved by the one who bore her. The young women see her and praise her; even queens and royal concubines sing her praises:
10“Who is this, arising like the dawn, as fair as the moon, as bright as the sun, as majestic as an army with billowing banners?”
11I went down to the grove of walnut trees and out to the valley to see the new spring growth, to see whether the grapevines had budded or the pomegranates were in bloom.
12Before I realized it, my strong desires had taken me to the chariot of a noble man.
13Return, return to us, O maid of Shulam. Come back, come back, that we may see you again. Young Man Why do you stare at this young woman of Shulam, as she moves so gracefully between two lines of dancers?
“Master your mind so that you know exactly whom you serve.”~TB
When you serve yourself, your ability to love is limited to the knowledge you possess, which isn’t much. Because humans are flawed, our way of thinking will always be imperfect, especially compared to the mind of Christ. Self serving behavior will always bring your problems because your intentions aren’t rooted in Christ’s standards. Your mind will trick you into believing you are mightier than you are and that the things of this world are worth desiring. If left unchecked, soon you will be serving too many false-gods, leaving you confused, and off task. Put your pride away and switch masters.
When you serve God, things like humility, compassion, love, and forgiveness are easier to give, because you’re focusing on the mind of Christ and not your own. Being flawed does not mean you are self-loathing or putting yourself down. No, it means you understand who has made you and why we must connect to Him to make up the difference. Your mind becomes disciplined and focused on the things of above, rejecting the things of the world. And through His love and only His love can we begin to receive the peace, joy, and understanding that comes from being His.
Where does your mind go when it wanders?
Song of Solomon 5
1I have entered my garden, my treasure, my bride! I gather myrrh with my spices and eat honeycomb with my honey. I drink wine with my milk. Young Women of Jerusalem Oh, lover and beloved, eat and drink! Yes, drink deeply of your love!
2I slept, but my heart was awake, when I heard my lover knocking and calling: “Open to me, my treasure, my darling, my dove, my perfect one. My head is drenched with dew, my hair with the dampness of the night.”
3But I responded, “I have taken off my robe. Should I get dressed again? I have washed my feet. Should I get them soiled?”
4My lover tried to unlatch the door, and my heart thrilled within me.
5I jumped up to open the door for my love, and my hands dripped with perfume. My fingers dripped with lovely myrrh as I pulled back the bolt.
6I opened to my lover, but he was gone! My heart sank. I searched for him but could not find him anywhere. I called to him, but there was no reply.
7The night watchmen found me as they made their rounds. They beat and bruised me and stripped off my veil, those watchmen on the walls.
8Make this promise, O women of Jerusalem— If you find my lover, tell him I am weak with love.
9Why is your lover better than all others, O woman of rare beauty? What makes your lover so special that we must promise this?
10My lover is dark and dazzling, better than ten thousand others!
11His head is finest gold, his wavy hair is black as a raven.
12His eyes sparkle like doves beside springs of water; they are set like jewels washed in milk.
13His cheeks are like gardens of spices giving off fragrance. His lips are like lilies, perfumed with myrrh.
14His arms are like rounded bars of gold, set with beryl. His body is like bright ivory, glowing with lapis lazuli.
15His legs are like marble pillars set in sockets of finest gold. His posture is stately, like the noble cedars of Lebanon.
16His mouth is sweetness itself; he is desirable in every way. Such, O women of Jerusalem, is my lover, my friend.
“In order to get your attention, God will allow uncomfortable situations to occur to shake you from your zombie-like state.”~TB
The next time you’re in public, like in a store, take a look and observe your surroundings. It’s not hard to see that we operate like zombies, mindlessly plugged into things, not fully present. Society is so numb with gadgets and the constant need for entertainment, it’s no wonder why people are struggling to feel something real. Everything is manufactured and designed for instant gratification! There are so many distractions, devices, and the like that keep us from truly knowing God. Friends, you have to get out of your mindless routines and seek the Lord with all of your attention and heart. If you desire an authentic relationship with God, don’t be surprised if certain things, behaviors or people are uprooted from your life in the process. It is called pruning for a reason.
Seasons of setbacks, discomfort, and loss aren’t always bad things or from the opposition. Comfort numbs us from thinking we need to change. Complacency is more dangerous than external forces, which is why God will shake things up for those who seek Him. In those moments, self-reflection is crucial for you to grow in Christ, because with the wrong set of eyes, you can mistake correction for persecution. It’s easy to become frustrated in your walk and wonder ‘why me’. However, if you can look past how you feel and look at your life with an honest heart, you will find that God is showing you something. Some of you are numb, getting by, forgoing your calling. Others are exploiting others’ work and not tilling their own soil. Wherever you are, if you’ve knocked on God’s door and He’s shaken you from your zombie life, rejoice! Look and listen carefully to learn what He is showing you.
Song of Solomon 4
1You are beautiful, my darling, beautiful beyond words. Your eyes are like doves behind your veil. Your hair falls in waves, like a flock of goats winding down the slopes of Gilead.
2Your teeth are as white as sheep, recently shorn and freshly washed. Your smile is flawless, each tooth matched with its twin.
3Your lips are like scarlet ribbon; your mouth is inviting. Your cheeks are like rosy pomegranates behind your veil.
4Your neck is as beautiful as the tower of David, jeweled with the shields of a thousand heroes.
5Your breasts are like two fawns, twin fawns of a gazelle grazing among the lilies.
6Before the dawn breezes blow and the night shadows flee, I will hurry to the mountain of myrrh and to the hill of frankincense.
7You are altogether beautiful, my darling, beautiful in every way.
8Come with me from Lebanon, my bride, come with me from Lebanon. Come down from Mount Amana, from the peaks of Senir and Hermon, where the lions have their dens and leopards live among the hills.
9You have captured my heart, my treasure, my bride. You hold it hostage with one glance of your eyes, with a single jewel of your necklace.
10Your love delights me, my treasure, my bride. Your love is better than wine, your perfume more fragrant than spices.
11Your lips are as sweet as nectar, my bride. Honey and milk are under your tongue. Your clothes are scented like the cedars of Lebanon.
12You are my private garden, my treasure, my bride, a secluded spring, a hidden fountain.
13Your thighs shelter a paradise of pomegranates with rare spices— henna with nard,
14nard and saffron, fragrant calamus and cinnamon, with all the trees of frankincense, myrrh, and aloes, and every other lovely spice.
15You are a garden fountain, a well of fresh water streaming down from Lebanon’s mountains.
16Awake, north wind! Rise up, south wind! Blow on my garden and spread its fragrance all around. Come into your garden, my love; taste its finest fruits.
“Though we believe without seeing, there is nothing blind about following Jesus.”~TB
When you don’t have a relationship with God it’s easy to think that those who do just blindly follow the teachings of Christ. As if Christians live some cherry pie existence, blissfully and ignorantly enjoying life without troubles. Oh, but if they only knew. Having a an authentic relationship with Christ requires you to ask questions, have doubts, air grievances, complain, moan, mumble, etc. No, to follow Christ isn’t blind, it requires you to keep your eyes and ears open to experience the wisdom that only comes from Him.
The Truth is, though we cannot see in the natural world, God guides us spiritually, helping us to see in other ways. Through Him, we are connected to each other. Through those relationships, we can see how God impacts each and everyone of us. Of course, you must see, hear, and ask these things of God so that you too can see the patterns of His love through us. It is so important to have honest communication with your brothers and sisters in Christ, so that the babes develop their sight and that the wise don’t go blind from bitterness in the trenches. It is the Truth of the Lord that removes the scales of the world to see what is really going on.
Are you blinded by the world?
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Song of Solomon 3
1One night as I lay in bed, I yearned for my lover. I yearned for him, but he did not come.
2So I said to myself, “I will get up and roam the city, searching in all its streets and squares. I will search for the one I love.” So I searched everywhere but did not find him.
3The watchmen stopped me as they made their rounds, and I asked, “Have you seen the one I love?”
4Then scarcely had I left them when I found my love! I caught and held him tightly, then I brought him to my mother’s house, into my mother’s bed, where I had been conceived.
5Promise me, O women of Jerusalem, by the gazelles and wild deer, not to awaken love until the time is right.
6Who is this sweeping in from the wilderness like a cloud of smoke? Who is it, fragrant with myrrh and frankincense and every kind of spice?
7Look, it is Solomon’s carriage, surrounded by sixty heroic men, the best of Israel’s soldiers.
8They are all skilled swordsmen, experienced warriors. Each wears a sword on his thigh, ready to defend the king against an attack in the night.
9King Solomon’s carriage is built of wood imported from Lebanon.
10Its posts are silver, its canopy gold; its cushions are purple. It was decorated with love by the young women of Jerusalem.
11Come out to see King Solomon, young women of Jerusalem. He wears the crown his mother gave him on his wedding day, his most joyous day
“Don’t allow past moments to hinder your future.”~TB
Painful experiences can be used in two ways. It can either leave you feeling like you burned your hand on a stove, avoiding future situations. Or, you realize that the burn has healed and that not every similar moment or situation will provide the same experience. When you don’t allow God into your traumatic experiences, phantom pain resides along with visceral playbacks of the experience. Of course, the opposition wants you to remain there, but friends, you can move passed those hurtful moments.
When you let God into your hurtful situations, the level of healing you can receive will make you see how much you can handle. It’s not that your pain wasn’t real or that your experience doesn’t matter, but through God’s love you can’t help but bask in the Truth of salvation. Knowing how much God loves you is the key to healing and moving on. The lies of the world will keep you in bondage, but God can and will clean and bandage your pain, so that they heal. So let go of the visceral moments in your mind so that you can be who you are made to be.
What visceral moments are on replay in your mind?
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1Don’t let the excitement of youth cause you to forget your Creator. Honor him in your youth before you grow old and say, “Life is not pleasant anymore.”
2Remember him before the light of the sun, moon, and stars is dim to your old eyes, and rain clouds continually darken your sky.
3Remember him before your legs—the guards of your house—start to tremble; and before your shoulders—the strong men—stoop. Remember him before your teeth—your few remaining servants—stop grinding; and before your eyes—the women looking through the windows—see dimly.
4Remember him before the door to life’s opportunities is closed and the sound of work fades. Now you rise at the first chirping of the birds, but then all their sounds will grow faint.
5Remember him before you become fearful of falling and worry about danger in the streets; before your hair turns white like an almond tree in bloom, and you drag along without energy like a dying grasshopper, and the caperberry no longer inspires sexual desire. Remember him before you near the grave, your everlasting home, when the mourners will weep at your funeral.
6Yes, remember your Creator now while you are young, before the silver cord of life snaps and the golden bowl is broken. Don’t wait until the water jar is smashed at the spring and the pulley is broken at the well.
7For then the dust will return to the earth, and the spirit will return to God who gave it.
8“Everything is meaningless,” says the Teacher, “completely meaningless.”
9Keep this in mind: The Teacher was considered wise, and he taught the people everything he knew. He listened carefully to many proverbs, studying and classifying them.
10The Teacher sought to find just the right words to express truths clearly.
11The words of the wise are like cattle prods—painful but helpful. Their collected sayings are like a nail-studded stick with which a shepherd drives the sheep.
12But, my child, let me give you some further advice: Be careful, for writing books is endless, and much study wears you out.
13That’s the whole story. Here now is my final conclusion: Fear God and obey his commands, for this is everyone’s duty.
14God will judge us for everything we do, including every secret thing, whether good or bad.
“God is not some magical genie, standing by to grant your every wish.”~TB
I’ll be blunt, humans are dumb. Yes, all of us. We want what we want, when we want it, even foolishly believing with deserve it. Even those who claim to be wise fall into this trap from time to time. Just because you’re living right does not mean God owes you everything you ask for. No, he’s not a genie in a bottle, but rather, our Father in Heaven. Know the difference. It is a waste to only look at God as a gift giver and that mentality makes you miss out on the greatest relationship of all.
A Gift Given
A relationship built on wants and desires is a transactional one. If you believe that you can actually give something of value to God in exchange for your wishlist, you certainly need to reevaluate your mindset. Aside from the ultimate gift— salvation— God has given each of us the opportunity to draw close to Him. This relationship forms all others and through time, pruning, perseverance, He will teach you the true meaning of being one of His.
Are you looking for a Genie in a bottle or for your Father in Heaven?
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1Send your grain across the seas, and in time, profits will flow back to you.
2But divide your investments among many places, for you do not know what risks might lie ahead.
3When clouds are heavy, the rains come down. Whether a tree falls north or south, it stays where it falls.
4Farmers who wait for perfect weather never plant. If they watch every cloud, they never harvest.
5Just 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.
6Plant your seed in the morning and keep busy all afternoon, for you don’t know if profit will come from one activity or another—or maybe both.
7Light is sweet; how pleasant to see a new day dawning.
8When people live to be very old, let them rejoice in every day of life. But let them also remember there will be many dark days. Everything still to come is meaningless.
9Young people, it’s wonderful to be young! Enjoy every minute of it. Do everything you want to do; take it all in. But remember that you must give an account to God for everything you do.
10So refuse to worry, and keep your body healthy. But remember that youth, with a whole life before you, is meaningless.
“Be glad that God doesn’t invoke the same corrupt policies as we do to one another.”~TB
Greed and thievery are cloaked in rules and regulations, trapping the innocent and the uninformed. Our society steals earnings from the vulnerable and act like it’s the cost of doing business. How corrupt! Those in charge are indifferent, hiding behind ‘policy’, knowing full well they are engaging in immoral and evil practices and those enslaved mindlessly endure such abuse. What a world. Friends, we must turn away from stealing from our neighbors and tolerating such abuses, unless slavery is what you truly crave. These policies— legalistic and immoral— are the very same things spoken in the Bible.
Image if you came before God to confess and repent your sins and he tells you that you’ve maxed out your Grace deductible and it’s off to hell you go. Fortunately for us, His Grace is infinite and there is no fine print or shady fines to trip us up. When you come before Him, you don’t have to worry about the red tape or policies of this world. He loves you as you are. There is no way to overdraft God’s love for you. Instead of following the ways of the world, adopt God’s method of love. This way you can love others as God loves you. It is there where we can begin to change the corrupt ways of this world.
If God is so merciful and lenient, why aren’t we?
1This, too, I carefully explored: Even though the actions of godly and wise people are in God’s hands, no one knows whether God will show them favor.
2The same destiny ultimately awaits everyone, whether righteous or wicked, good or bad, ceremonially clean or unclean, religious or irreligious. Good people receive the same treatment as sinners, and people who make promises to God are treated like people who don’t.
3It seems so wrong that everyone under the sun suffers the same fate. Already twisted by evil, people choose their own mad course, for they have no hope. There is nothing ahead but death anyway.
4There is hope only for the living. As they say, “It’s better to be a live dog than a dead lion!”
5The living at least know they will die, but the dead know nothing. They have no further reward, nor are they remembered.
6Whatever they did in their lifetime—loving, hating, envying—is all long gone. They no longer play a part in anything here on earth.
7So go ahead. Eat your food with joy, and drink your wine with a happy heart, for God approves of this!
8Wear fine clothes, with a splash of cologne!
9Live 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.
10Whatever you do, do well. For when you go to the grave, there will be no work or planning or knowledge or wisdom.
11I have observed something else under the sun. The fastest runner doesn’t always win the race, and the strongest warrior doesn’t always win the battle. The wise sometimes go hungry, and the skillful are not necessarily wealthy. And those who are educated don’t always lead successful lives. It is all decided by chance, by being in the right place at the right time.
12People can never predict when hard times might come. Like fish in a net or birds in a trap, people are caught by sudden tragedy.
13Here is another bit of wisdom that has impressed me as I have watched the way our world works.
14There was a small town with only a few people, and a great king came with his army and besieged it.
15A poor, wise man knew how to save the town, and so it was rescued. But afterward no one thought to thank him.
16So even though wisdom is better than strength, those who are wise will be despised if they are poor. What they say will not be appreciated for long.
17Better to hear the quiet words of a wise person than the shouts of a foolish king.
18Better to have wisdom than weapons of war, but one sinner can destroy much that is good
“Don’t get so caught up in waiting to act at the perfect moment, because life is happening right now.”~TB
Be careful with whom you listen to or what you tell yourself because half-truths will have you waiting until it’s too late to experience God’s joy and peace. Society, the opposition, and an undisciplined mind will lull you into a false sense of complacency if you don’t know the Truth. Nothing is perfect and everything won’t always come easy, which is why you must till your own soil in all seasons.
If you obsess over tomorrow and dwell on yesterday, you will miss your opportunity to sow your harvest. Avoiding the present will leave you unprepared for famine, keeping you beholden to corrupt leaders. Friends do not be misled. Work today to secure you tomorrow as empty excuses do no cloth backs, feed bellies, or warm houses. God’s Promise is live right now. Walk with Him to remove the scales from your eyes so that you can experience His Will for your life.
Are you with God right now or are you waiting on tomorrow and complaining about yesterday?
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1I said to myself, “Come on, let’s try pleasure. Let’s look for the ‘good things’ in life.” But I found that this, too, was meaningless.
2So I said, “Laughter is silly. What good does it do to seek pleasure?”
3After much thought, I decided to cheer myself with wine. And while still seeking wisdom, I clutched at foolishness. In this way, I tried to experience the only happiness most people find during their brief life in this world.
4I also tried to find meaning by building huge homes for myself and by planting beautiful vineyards.
5I made gardens and parks, filling them with all kinds of fruit trees.
6I built reservoirs to collect the water to irrigate my many flourishing groves.
7I bought slaves, both men and women, and others were born into my household. I also owned large herds and flocks, more than any of the kings who had lived in Jerusalem before me.
8I collected great sums of silver and gold, the treasure of many kings and provinces. I hired wonderful singers, both men and women, and had many beautiful concubines. I had everything a man could desire!
9So I became greater than all who had lived in Jerusalem before me, and my wisdom never failed me.
10Anything I wanted, I would take. I denied myself no pleasure. I even found great pleasure in hard work, a reward for all my labors.
11But as I looked at everything I had worked so hard to accomplish, it was all so meaningless—like chasing the wind. There was nothing really worthwhile anywhere.
12So I decided to compare wisdom with foolishness and madness (for who can do this better than I, the king? ).
13I thought, “Wisdom is better than foolishness, just as light is better than darkness.
14For the wise can see where they are going, but fools walk in the dark.” Yet I saw that the wise and the foolish share the same fate.
15Both will die. So I said to myself, “Since I will end up the same as the fool, what’s the value of all my wisdom? This is all so meaningless!”
16For the wise and the foolish both die. The wise will not be remembered any longer than the fool. In the days to come, both will be forgotten.
17So I came to hate life because everything done here under the sun is so troubling. Everything is meaningless—like chasing the wind.
18I came to hate all my hard work here on earth, for I must leave to others everything I have earned.
19And who can tell whether my successors will be wise or foolish? Yet they will control everything I have gained by my skill and hard work under the sun. How meaningless!
20So I gave up in despair, questioning the value of all my hard work in this world.
21Some people work wisely with knowledge and skill, then must leave the fruit of their efforts to someone who hasn’t worked for it. This, too, is meaningless, a great tragedy.
22So what do people get in this life for all their hard work and anxiety?
23Their days of labor are filled with pain and grief; even at night their minds cannot rest. It is all meaningless.
24So I decided there is nothing better than to enjoy food and drink and to find satisfaction in work. Then I realized that these pleasures are from the hand of God.
25For who can eat or enjoy anything apart from him?
26God gives wisdom, knowledge, and joy to those who please him. But if a sinner becomes wealthy, God takes the wealth away and gives it to those who please him. This, too, is meaningless—like chasing the wind.
“Be careful when proclaiming to be wise, because eventually you will have to walk your talk.”~TB
It’s easy to learn and comprehend theory. There is no skin in the game. ‘Wise’ people sit around and pontificate meaningless thoughts and ideas, as if it means anything. Wisdumb is the art of over complicating simple truths to appear more intelligent while fooling the naive. Friends, those who are truly wise understand that wisdom comes from failure, practice, obedience, endurance, and a pure love and pursuit of God. Even then, the wise discover what it is to actually be wise, which is no prize at all.
Wisdom can be found in the trenches where God is. It is not an easy endeavor, nor will it bring the contentment most believe it yields. God is the only truth that matters, because all human understanding leads to disappointment and despair. Wisdom is knowing how dumb we are in comparison to our Father in Heaven! So be wise and rejoice that He loves us and takes us back no matter stupid or fallen we’ve become. In practice, the wise learn how foolish they really are!
Have you ‘wised’ up yet?
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1These are the words of the Teacher, King David’s son, who ruled in Jerusalem.
2“Everything is meaningless,” says the Teacher, “completely meaningless!”
3What do people get for all their hard work under the sun?
4Generations come and generations go, but the earth never changes.
5The sun rises and the sun sets, then hurries around to rise again.
6The wind blows south, and then turns north. Around and around it goes, blowing in circles.
7Rivers run into the sea, but the sea is never full. Then the water returns again to the rivers and flows out again to the sea.
8Everything is wearisome beyond description. No matter how much we see, we are never satisfied. No matter how much we hear, we are not content.
9History merely repeats itself. It has all been done before. Nothing under the sun is truly new.
10Sometimes people say, “Here is something new!” But actually it is old; nothing is ever truly new.
11We don’t remember what happened in the past, and in future generations, no one will remember what we are doing now.
12I, the Teacher, was king of Israel, and I lived in Jerusalem.
13I devoted myself to search for understanding and to explore by wisdom everything being done under heaven. I soon discovered that God has dealt a tragic existence to the human race.
14I observed everything going on under the sun, and really, it is all meaningless—like chasing the wind.
15What is wrong cannot be made right. What is missing cannot be recovered.
16I said to myself, “Look, I am wiser than any of the kings who ruled in Jerusalem before me. I have greater wisdom and knowledge than any of them.”
17So I set out to learn everything from wisdom to madness and folly. But I learned firsthand that pursuing all this is like chasing the wind.
18The greater my wisdom, the greater my grief. To increase knowledge only increases sorrow.