The Purpose of Living
All streams run to the sea, but the sea is not full; to the place where the streams flow, there they flow again. - Ecclesiastes 1:7
Everything on earth is on the move; time knows nothing of rest. The solid earth is a rolling ball, and the great sun itself is a star obediently fulfilling its course around some greater luminary. Tides move the sea; winds stir the breezy ocean; friction wears the rock: Change and death rule everywhere. The sea is not a miser's storehouse for a wealth of waters, for as by one force the waters flow into it, by another they are lifted from it.
Men are born to die: Everything is hurry, worry, and vexation of spirit. Friend of the unchanging Jesus, what a joy it is to reflect upon your changeless heritage, your sea of bliss that will be forever full since God Himself shall pour eternal rivers of pleasure into it. We seek an abiding city beyond the skies, and we shall not be disappointed. The passage before us should teach us to be grateful.
The ocean is a great receiver, but it is also a generous distributor. What the rivers bring, it returns to the earth in the form of clouds and rain. The man who takes everything but makes no return is out of joint with the universe. To give to others is still sowing seed for ourselves. He who is so good a steward as to be willing to use his substance for his Lord shall be entrusted with more. Friend of Jesus, are you rendering to Him in proportion to the benefit you receive? Have you been given a great deal? Where is your fruit? Have you done all you might? Can you not do more?
To be selfish is to be wicked. Suppose the ocean gave up none of its watery treasure; it would bring ruin upon our race. God forbid that any of us should follow the ungenerous and destructive policy of living for ourselves. Jesus did not please Himself. All fullness dwells in Him, but from His fullness we have all received. Oh, to be like Jesus and no longer live for ourselves!
Family Bible reading plan
verse 1 Daniel 11
verse 2 Psalms 119:25-48
Things Not Seen: A Fresh Look at Old Stories of Trusting God’s Promises by John Bloom
True faith is hard. More than mere sentimentalism, faith often calls for a deep and resilient trust in God—especially when the going gets tough and the road is dark. In Things Not Seen, author Jon Bloom encourages readers with 35 imaginative retellings of stories from the Bible that illustrate the importance of living by faith. A follow-up to the author’s previous book, Not by Sight: A Fresh Look at Old Stories of Walking by Faith, this inspiring volume explores the lives of Abraham, Moses, Saul, John the Baptist, and more—helping readers remember God’s promises, rely on his grace, and follow his leading, regardless of the circumstances.
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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.