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'Every Day Light' with Selwyn Hughes

Devotional for August 12

"... let your heart give you joy in the days of your youth." (v. 9)

For reading & meditation:
Ecclesiastes 11:9-10

Solomon';s final comments in this chapter are aimed at the young. Enjoy your days one by one, he is saying, because before you know it, you will be an adult. The words that come next have sent some Christians into apoplexy: "Follow the ways of your heart and whatever your eyes see ..." (v. 9). I remember a youth leader in a church I pastored who set out to teach the Book of Ecclesiastes to the young people. But he deliberately left out these words. When I asked him why, he said: "That's bad advice for young people. They are inclined that way already so I thought it best not to draw attention to it." I drew his attention to the words that follow: "but know that for all these things God will bring you to judgment." This is what Solomon is really saying: "Relax and have a super time when you are young. There will be many impulses and many things that appeal to your eyes. Follow them, but keep in mind there will be a day of accountability. So don't let your impulses go wild." Some believe that warning takes the joy out of living, but it shouldn't. If we ignore the God to whom we must all answer, then we leave ourselves open to experiencing not life but unrestricted liberty. And that kind of freedom is bad for us. So banish all worries, Solomon tells the young, and avoid those things that bring pain to your body. Young person, you are only young once. Stay close to God and you'll get the most out of it.

Thank you, my Father, for reminding me that there is no freedom without limitations. Help me see the wisdom that lies behind Your restrictions, and enables me to trust You and follow You all the days of my life. In Christ's Name I ask it. Amen.

Copyright Statement
'Every Day Light' Copyright 2005 © Selwyn Hughes.

Taken from 'Every Day Light' devotional, by Selwyn Hughes. © 1999 and is used by permission. All rights reserved.

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Lectionary Calendar
Sunday, August 20th, 2017
the Week of Proper 15 / Ordinary 20
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