‘Centring prayer’

To Follow Jesus

My notes on Every Day with Jesus, written by Selwyn Hughes; revised and updated by Mick Brooks, published by CWR.

May/June 2016 Issue –  The Presence of God‘You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.’ Psalm 16:11

The text set for today’s reading and meditation (the key verse is highlighted):

Ecclesiastes 9:1-10 (NIVUK): ”So I reflected on all this and concluded that the righteous and the wise and what they do are in God’s hands, but no one knows whether love or hate awaits them.

All share a common destiny – the righteous and the wicked, the good and the bad, the clean and the unclean, those who offer sacrifices and those who do not.

As it is with the good, so with the sinful; as it is with those who take oaths, so with those who are afraid to take them.

This is the evil in everything that happens under the sun: The same destiny overtakes all.

The hearts of people, moreover, are full of evil and there is madness in their hearts while they live, and afterwards they join the dead. Anyone who is among the living has hope – even a live dog is better off than a dead lion!

For the living know that they will die, but the dead know nothing; they have no further reward, and even their name is forgotten. Their love, their hate and their jealousy have long since vanished; never again will they have a part in anything that happens under the sun.

Go, eat your food with gladness, and drink your wine with a joyful heart, for God has already approved what you do. Always be clothed in white, and always anoint your head with oil. Enjoy life with your wife, whom you love, all the days of this meaningless life that God has given you under the sun – all your meaningless days.

For this is your lot in life and in your toilsome labour under the sun. Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might, for in the realm of the dead, where you are going, there is neither working nor planning nor knowledge nor wisdom.”

Ecclesiastes in another book, which I must admit does not fill me with a lot of encouragement – when the author talks about, ‘all the days of this meaningless life’ – I’m afraid I don’t immediately identify with the idea of meaninglessness, except in the context that life without God is a life without ‘meaning’ or purpose. What do you think of this book?

Perhaps, it comes to follow, that I didn’t get a lot out of today’s study. However, I did like this part: “I have found that one of the greatest spiritual difficulties people have is sitting still in the presence of God and listening to what He has to say. When I was a young man, my pastor gave me some advice that helped me overcome this difficulty.

He told me, ‘Whenever you find you mind drifting then simply say the name of Jesus and it will bring you back on track.’ This has worked for me.”

Any thoughts on today’s study?