Editor’s Note: The AMI QT devotionals from June 20 to 26 are provided by Kate Moon who serves in E. Asia.
Devotional Thoughts for Today
1 King 8:65-66: “So Solomon observed the festival at that time, and all Israel with him – a vast assembly, people from Lebo Hamath to the Wadi of Egypt. They celebrated it before the LORD our God for seven days and seven days more . . . . They blessed the king and then went home, joyful and glad in heart for all the good things the LORD had done for his servant David and his people Israel.”
I used to think that the academic calendar did not matter to most people once they started working full-time because they no longer had the long summer breaks; and the beginning and ending of each year probably went from September through June to something closer to the actual calendar year. But then I realized that when people get married and start having children, they are back on that same timetable all over again.
It’s a pleasant rhythm of life, all the more significant to me because I’ve never really left it, working in a school setting for most of my adult life. And June’s special place in that calendar is being a month of celebration: celebrating the end of a school year, sometimes the end of one’s high school or college years; welcoming in the summer vacation; having a time of rest.
Solomon wrote in Ecclesiastes 3:1, 4, “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven: . . . a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance . . .” And when the hard work has been put in and a project finished or a season of life brought to a close, it is good and right to celebrate, to look back upon all the good things God has done, and to be joyful and glad in heart about those things.
In our passage today we see some elements of a great celebration: 1) being able to share the moment with others who understand its significance because they have gone through the hard times together and come out together on the other side; 2) being able to acknowledge God’s hand in all the goodness, that it’s because the God of the universe was for us that we were able to enjoy all that we’ve received.
Has it been a while since we’ve been joyful and glad in heart about something? Let’s take a moment today to think back on all His goodness and let a spirit of celebration fill our hearts.
Lord, as I go through life, sometimes I tend to remember the failures more than the successes, the defeats more than the victories. But today, I want to remember Your goodness and celebrate the good things You have done. Would You fill my heart with joy this day? Thank you.
Bible Reading for Today: Revelation 10
Lunch Break Study
Read Ecclesiastes 2:17-25: “So I hated life, because the work that is done under the sun was grievous to me. All of it is meaningless, a chasing after the wind. . . . 23 All his days his work is pain and grief; even at night his mind does not rest. This too is meaningless. 24 A man can do nothing better than to eat and drink and find satisfaction in his work. This too, I see, is from the hand of God, 25 for without him, who can eat or find enjoyment?”
Questions to Consider
- How did the writer of Ecclesiastes feel about his work and life (vv. 17, 23)?
- What realization did he come to? What was the solution to his predicament (vv. 24-25)?
- How is my work satisfaction these days? If I am not enjoying work or feeling satisfied with the fruits of my labor, what can I do?
- That it was meaningless; there seemed to be no point to his labor.
- That finding joy and satisfaction in work comes from God. To seek the Giver of this gift; to seek to be connected to God while one is working, for “without him” (v. 25), joy cannot be found.
- See #2 above.
God’s will is for us to rejoice always. Was the joy in my heart sustained throughout the day as I remembered His goodness and stayed connected to Him? If anything happened today to rob me of this joy, at this time, let me bring it before the Lord and ask Him to fill me once again.