Category Archives: Song of Solomon

 Ecclesiastes 9-12; Song 1-2

Since Ecclesiastes is my favourite book in the Bible, the stories I could tell are vast and very different. It explains why I am as weird as I am 🙂

Still, anyone selected out for life has hope, for, as they say, “A living dog is better than a dead lion.” – Ecclesiastes 9:4 MSG

Basically, whether I am honoured in this life or not, I am a mortal that remains a mortal. This is why money has never had a hold on my life and I am thankful, neither has it had a hold on my wife.

Whatever turns up, grab it and do it. And heartily!
This is your last and only chance at it,
For there’s neither work to do nor thoughts to think
In the company of the dead, where you’re most certainly headed. – Ecclesiastes 9:10 MSG

It does not matter what it is – a job, a car, a pet, even just recently, a house – my wife and I look at the first opportunity and take it. The house sale had five more offers coming in the very next day and we did not wait. The right offer came and and we took it valuing this wisdom in our lives that we had practiced so much.

You who are young, make the most of your youth.
Relish your youthful vigor.
Follow the impulses of your heart.
If something looks good to you, pursue it.
But know also that not just anything goes;
You have to answer to God for every last bit of it. – Ecclesiastes 11:9 MSG

What a verse – tempts you and then calls God’s judgement on you. Only one way to know the right path – dishonour, if you will, or at least detest those things of pleasure calling your name. I cannot genuinely set my sights on God until I renounce the things of this world.

In old age, your body no longer serves you so well.
Muscles slacken, grip weakens, joints stiffen.
The shades are pulled down on the world. – Ecclesiastes 12:3 MSG

There is something to this – gallery of honour.” If I had the money to back me up, my greatest desire would be to meet as many older people I could and write their story. So many followers of Jesus have paved the way and now when old, no one seems to pay attention. What a way to bridge the gap and gladden their hearts. They have earned their place in God’s book.

The last and final word is this:

Fear God.
Do what he tells you. – Ecclesiastes 12:13 MSG

If one does not know God, they are condemned, but the honour is placed on the one who fears God. The fear of God excels everything.

I have to remember God. I do not live for myself, but for the Creator who made me. My role is simple enough – worship and enjoy Him – all while doing everything he tells me to do.

Father, I thank You for this journey I am on with You. You are quite amazing and so different than what the world wants. I thank You that I can be different too.

Erwin (evanlaar1922)

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Filed under 66 Books, 7-day reading pln, Bible in a year reading plan, Cover to cover, Ecclesiastes, Old Testament, reading plan, Song of Solomon

Song of Solomon 7-8; Psalm 127; 2 Thessalonians 2

I love how God invades my quiet time with His Holy Spirit to tell me just how much He loves me, and how much He likes me, and how much He desires to give me favour.

I belong to my love,
and his desire is for me. – Song of Solomon 7:10 HCSB

It reminds me of a Sunday School song from years gone by – I am my beloved and He is mine, His banner over me is love.

A simple message but one that I missed in my early years of family. I had started to show the traits of a workaholic. One of the amazing gifts from God is sleep. Sleep is a gift from my Father.

In vain you get up early and stay up late,
working hard to have enough food—
yes, He gives sleep to the one He loves. – Psalm 127:2 HCSB

When Jesus said that the truth would set me free, I can tell, by looking back over my life, that it has. In fact the love of truth is what started me on the road to becoming a follower of Jesus.

The coming of the lawless one is based on Satan’s working, with all kinds of false miracles, signs, and wonders, and with every unrighteous deception among those who are perishing. They perish because they did not accept the love of the truth in order to be saved.  – 2 Thessalonians 2:9-10 HCSB

I wonder how others can reject and have no love for Jesus and the message of His salvation. The gospel in one hand and lying and deceit in the other and the other hand is chosen.

Faith combines with a sweet and voluntary reverence for God. I cannot believe the word of God unless it is lovely and pleasant to me.

Father, I am thankful every day that I allowed the Holy Spirit to speak into my life the truth of who God is and the gospel of Jesus. I cannot imagine my life without You. Today, You are truly a banner of love over me. It is as if love has empowered me and protected me in my journey with You. I love that I can set my alarm, early in the morning to spend time with You, and that I can shut work off and get to bed in a timely fashion to ensure my body and mind have the rest it needs for a fruitful and productive day. I pray that You will give me wisdom to share Your gospel in such a way as for others to sense Your love and see the power of Your truth. May many be set free. Amen

Erwin (evanlaar1922)

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Filed under 2 Thessalonians, 5 day reading plan, 66 Books, Bible in a year reading plan, New Testament, Old Testament, Psalms, reading plan, Song of Solomon, Uncategorized

Ezekiel 37-39; Psalm 87; John 13

Someone noticed that I talk a lot about God’s care and protection.  It seems like I come across these themes quite a bit, especially in my readings found in the Old Testament.

Their king will always come from the family of my servant King David and will care for them like a shepherd. The people of Israel will faithfully obey my laws. They and their descendants will live in the land I gave my servant Jacob, just as their ancestors did. I solemnly promise to bless the people of Israel with unending peace. I will protect them and let them become a powerful nation. My temple will stand in Israel for all time – Ezekiel 37:24-26  CEV

I think it excites me to read these passages of scripture because they relate so freely to the love that Jesus has for me.  If He can love a group of people who reject Him so often, so fully, lacking so much gratitude for what He has done in their lives, then I know His love for me can equal such actions from me.

It was before Passover, and Jesus knew that the time had come for him to leave this world and to return to the Father. He had always loved his followers in this world, and he loved them to the very end. – John 13:1  CEV

Unconditional love, a word that is known but a word rarely experienced.  I look for it in all my relationships that matter.  It is inside me to want and I believe it is in me to give, but I choose judgement over love sometimes.  Somehow I feel it gives me more power.  But love changes the world, as it has me.  If I want someone to know just how much they mean to me, how much I cherish them, how much they matter to God, then I need to let them know of Jesus love for them.  Jesus can care and protect more than anyone or anything this world has to offer. What other gift can I give to you other than Jesus and His love – what other gift would you want from me?

Father, remind me that your unconditional love is the greatest gift I can give to someone today.  No matter if they are looking for something else, like the forty year old lame beggar at the Beautiful Gate who was looking for a gift of money.  Peter and John said, we do not have money, but we have Jesus, can we give Him to you? Taking the man by the hand they said stand up and walk.  That Lord, that image of love, has not left my mind for some time.  That is the kind of love I want to give away today.  Fill me with Your Spirit and enable me to do that with those I meet.  Thank you for allowing me to be a bit of You in someone’s life. Amen.

Erwin (evanlaar1922)

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Filed under 2 Corinthians, BG2, Ezekiel, James, John, New Testament, Old Testament, Psalms, Song of Solomon, Zechariah

Song of Solomon 4-6; 2 Thessalonians 1

I have read some 55 marriage books in my lifetime – almost one per year of my life.  Currently I am reading one that has been out there for a while but I just picked it up on sale (Dutch men can be like that).  It is authored by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs and it is called, Cracking the Communication Code.

Pretty sure that I have shared before that my wife and I have been married now for 37 years.  I read books on marriage because I want to grow and keeping growing.  Do not think for a moment that an adventure will pass me by – no way.  I want everything possible from my marriage and more and I am not afraid to engage others in sharing what they have learned.

One key ingredient in a healthy marriage is the ability to say, as often as possible and as creatively as possible, I love you to each other.

My darling, you are lovely,
    so very lovely—my darling, you are lovely
    in every way. Your love is sweeter than wine. – Song of Solomon 4:1,7   CEV

Young women of Jerusalem,
    he is my lover and friend.  – Song of Solomon 5:16

So it is not that odd when I think of our Church family and in particular, my small group, in the same way.  If I am surrounded with faith, hope and love and the greatest of these is love, then I too, as part of the Church family, should be growing in my love for them too.

My dear friends, we always have good reason to thank God for you, because your faith in God and your love for each other keep growing all the time. – 2 Thessalonians 1:3  CEV

That is a lot of loving.  It challenges me every morning to meet with God and tell Him how much I love Him too.  The one difference from my spouse and my Church family is that God always tells me He loves me too.  In fact, He sustains me with His love, carries my through the day, gives me the Holy Spirit to do what He asks me to do and mostly that means loving other people. What a joy to grow in my love of Him every day – He nourishes my life.

Father, thank you for meeting with me each time I call out Your name.  No matter where I am or what I am doing You come and enter my world and fill me with Your love.  I never have to operate out of my own energy or expect anything from anyone else – You alone are all I need.  Thank you for continue to change me, cause me to grow, for allowing me to see You differently each day.  You have blessed me with Your love and I am so very thankful.

Erwin (evanlaar1922)

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Filed under 2 Thessalonians, 66 Books, Bible in a year reading plan, New Testament, Old Testament, Song of Solomon, Uncategorized

Song of Solomon 1-3; 1 Thessalonians 5; Psalms 72

“Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 NLT

This has always been one of my favorite verses. One that I would recite when I didn’t feel like being joyful, thankful, grateful. But, after reading it in context, I see it in a new way. It is keeping me alert and on guard until Jesus returns. It reminds me that there is a hope when I might have lost it. If I give thanks out of obedience my attitude changes. I see things differently. A devotional that I read on this verse mentions, an attitude of prayer. What does that mean in my day to day life? Humility, hope, resting in God’s sovereignty, trust…not defaulting to worry.

“But you aren’t in the dark about these things, dear brothers and sisters, and you won’t be surprised when the day of the Lord comes like a thief. For you are all children of the light and of the day; we don’t belong to darkness and night. So be on your guard, not asleep like the others. Stay alert and clearheaded. Night is the time when people sleep and drinkers get drunk. But let us who live in the light be clearheaded, protected by the armor of faith and love, and wearing as our helmet the confidence of our salvation.” 1 Thessalonians 5:4-8 NLT

Joy is a weapon.

“For God chose to save us through our Lord Jesus Christ, not to pour out his anger on us. Christ died for us so that, whether we were dead or alive when he returns, we can live with him forever. So encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing.” 1 Thessalonians 5:8-11 NLT

Dear Father, Help me to cultivate a grateful heart. Help me to remember that you can use trials for your glory. That you work all things together for good. Amen.

“He will rescue the poor when they cry to him; he will help the oppressed, who have no one to defend them.” Psalms 72:12 NLT

Amy(amyctanner)

 

 

 

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Filed under 1 Thessalonians, 66 Books, Psalms, Song of Solomon