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Ecclesiastes 2:4-11 —
2:4 I increased my possessions: 26
I built houses for myself; 27
I planted vineyards for myself.
and I planted all kinds of fruit trees in them.
2:6 I constructed pools of water for myself,
to irrigate my grove 31 of flourishing trees.
2:7 I purchased male and female slaves,
and I owned slaves who were born in my house; 32
I also possessed more livestock – both herds and flocks –
than any of my predecessors in Jerusalem. 33
2:8 I also amassed silver and gold for myself,
I acquired male singers and female singers for myself,
yet I maintained my objectivity: 40
2:10 I did not restrain myself from getting whatever I wanted; 41
I did not deny myself anything that would bring me pleasure. 42
So all my accomplishments gave me joy; 43
this was my reward for all my effort. 44
2:11 Yet when I reflected on everything I had accomplished 45
and on all the effort that I had expended to accomplish it, 46
like chasing the wind!Matthew 6:19-21 —
19 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
Cheesy, yet funny, Jonah joke.
In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe. The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven.
About the Son he says,
“Your throne, O God, will last for ever and ever, and righteousness will be the scepter of your kingdom. You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness; therefore God, your God, has set you above your companions by anointing you with the oil of joy.”
He also says,
“In the beginning, O Lord, you laid the foundations of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands. They will perish, but you remain; they will all wear out like a garment. You will roll them up like a robe; like a garment they will be changed. But you remain the same, and your years will never end.”
Hebrews 1:1-3, 8-12
If you are looking for an online Bible, use this site! It’s magnificent.
While reading this, it’s been very difficult to not underline almost every single verse in my Bible - so I basically did just that.
Praise God for a tangible source of knowledge that we can use to pursue righteousness.
Closing Appeal for Steadfastness and Unity
1 Therefore, my brothers and sisters, you whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, stand firm in the Lord in this way, dear friends!
2 I plead with Euodia and I plead with Syntyche to be of the same mind in the Lord. 3 Yes, and I ask you, my true companion, help these women since they have contended at my side in the cause of the gospel, along with Clement and the rest of my co-workers, whose names are in the book of life.
4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.*
*(Here’s the beauty of the New Testament/New Covenant - this blessing is available to not just the Jews, but to Gentiles [everyone], too! Rid yourselves of anxiety, and through prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, you will obtain a peace from God that surpasses ALL understanding/human comprehension! And by telling us at the end of v. 5 that ‘The Lord is near’, Paul is letting us know we should be urgent in rejoicing, letting our gentleness be evident to all, and cutting out our anxiety and receiving His peace.)
8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. 9 Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.*
*(I love verses 8-9. Here Paul tells us a few other ways to obtain God’s supernatural peace. Some nonbelievers may argue that they believe pornography, for example, is right, lovely, and admirable to them. I’m sure they think it is if their eyes are not fixed on Jesus. But the word I love here is ‘pure’. Abstaining from pornography is a perfect example of a step towards purity in the eyes of God and this wording is just another example that the perfect words were chosen for our present-day Bible. The text here was not reflected from Paul’s personal theology but was written by Paul through the influence and breath (2 Timothy 3:16) of God’s Holy Spirit.)
Thanks for Their Gifts
10 I rejoiced greatly in the Lord that at last you renewed your concern for me. Indeed, you were concerned, but you had no opportunity to show it. 11 I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 12 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength.*
*(In my Bible, I wrote this prayer down pertaining to verses 11-13: “Lord, provide me with that v. 11-13 mentality! I want and need to be content no matter what the circumstances.” We all need to be pursuing and praying for such a mentality! With the peace we have learned how to obtain in verses 4-9, being content, no matter what the circumstances, can and will come much easier. The ever so popular v. 13 may seem cliché, but it is so true! God, and God alone, gives us the strength to drop our anxiety, pray and petition in thanksgiving to Him, receive His peace that is above all understanding, and finally to be content whatever the circumstances.)
14 Yet it was good of you to share in my troubles. 15 Moreover, as you Philippians know, in the early days of your acquaintance with the gospel, when I set out from Macedonia, not one church shared with me in the matter of giving and receiving, except you only; 16 for even when I was in Thessalonica, you sent me aid more than once when I was in need. 17 Not that I desire your gifts; what I desire is that more be credited to your account. 18 I have received full payment and have more than enough. I am amply supplied, now that I have received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent. They are a fragrant offering, an acceptable sacrifice, pleasing to God. 19 And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.*
*(Verse 18 is yet another example of Paul’s remarkable contentedness. Let’s remember that at the time this letter was written to Philippi, Paul was imprisoned in Rome. Still, while in shackles, he was rejoicing in the Lord and was blessed with a content heart. Next, verse 19 is a humbling verse. Too often I find myself doubting God when my ‘wants’ aren’t provided. I chuckle after feeling this way, because I know according to the riches of the glory of Jesus Christ, my ‘needs’ (which are far more important than my ‘wants’) will be provided and that’s really all I ‘need’.)
20 To our God and Father be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
21 Greet all God’s people in Christ Jesus. The brothers and sisters who are with me send greetings. 22 All God’s people here send you greetings, especially those who belong to Caesar’s household.
23 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Amen.
Trials and Temptations
2 ”Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters,[a] whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. 5 If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. 6 But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. 7 That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. 8 Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do.
9 Believers in humble circumstances ought to take pride in their high position. 10 But the rich should take pride in their humiliation—since they will pass away like a wild flower. 11 For the sun rises with scorching heat and withers the plant; its blossom falls and its beauty is destroyed. In the same way, the rich will fade away even while they go about their business.
12 Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.
13 When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; 14 but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. 15 Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.”
I have linked below Job 1 and Job 2:1-10. He is the perfect example of truly rejoicing in your sufferings. I’m in awe of Job’s devotion.