Truth for Life - December 2, 2016
Nothing Can Satisfy
Behold, all is vanity. - Ecclesiastes 1:14
Nothing can satisfy the entire man but the Lord's love and the Lord's own self. Some have tried to anchor in other harbors, but they have been driven out of such fatal refuges. Solomon, the wisest of men, was permitted to make experiments for us all, and to do for us what we should not attempt ourselves. Here is his testimony in his own words: "So I became great and surpassed all who were before me in Jerusalem. Also my wisdom remained with me. And whatever my eyes desired I did not keep from them. I kept my heart from no pleasure, for my heart found pleasure in all my toil, and this was my reward for all my toil.
Then I considered all that my hands had done and the toil I had expended in doing it, and behold, all was vanity and a striving after wind, and there was nothing to be gained under the sun."1 "Vanity of vanities, all is vanity."2 What! The whole of it vanity? Is there nothing in all the wealth of kings? Nothing in that vast territory reaching from the river to the sea? Nothing in those glorious palaces? Nothing in the riches of the forests of Lebanon? In all your music and dancing and wine and luxury is there nothing? "Nothing," he says, "but sorrow, and his work is a vexation." This was his verdict when he had experimented on the paths of apparent pleasure. To embrace the Lord Jesus, to rest in His love and be fully assured of union with Him—this is all in all.
Dear reader, you do not need to try these empty paths to find out whether they are better than the Christian's. If you roam the universe, you will not find another friend like Jesus; if you could have all the comforts of life but lost your Savior, you would be wretched; but if you win Christ, then you could rot in a dungeon and even there find peace. If you live in obscurity or die hungry, you will still be satisfied with favor and will be full of the goodness of the Lord.
Family Bible reading plan
verse 1 Micah 7
verse 2 Luke 16
Child in the Manger: The True Meaning of Christmas
What is Christmas? For many it is a time for holidays, parties, family gatherings, gifts, meals together, music, and special events. For others it can mean unwanted pressure, an increased sense of loneliness, family squabbles, and crowded shops. For those living in the Northern Hemisphere, Christmas takes place at the onset of winter with its cold weather and short days. There are more incidents of depression at Christmas time than at any other time of the year. It is the best of times for some, but the worst of times for others, to borrow a phrase from Charles Dickens.
The birth of Jesus divided history into two major epochs. Until the dawn of our hyper-sensitive age, even the way we dated events underscored this. From time immemorial, every day, week, month, and year has been described as either “B.C.” (“Before Christ”) or “A.D.” (Anno Domini, “in the year of our Lord”). Even the modern, pluralistic style abbreviations, B.C.E. (“Before the Common Era”) and C.E. (“Common Era”) cannot obliterate the indelible impress of Jesus birth. For what makes the “Common Era” so “common”? And what explains the dividing line date? The answer is the same: the birth of Jesus. At the very center of history stands the person of Jesus Christ. And He does so because He is at the center of God’s story.
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From Morning & Evening revised and edited by Alistair Begg copyright © 2003. Used by permission of Crossway Books, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers, Wheaton, IL 60187, www.crossway.org.