Psalm 49:1-12 The Voice (VOICE)
For the worship leader. A song of the sons of Korah.
Some songs are described as “wisdom psalms.” Similar in theme to the short sayings of Proverbs or the reflective essays of Ecclesiastes, these songs offer practical advice to the worshiper of the one True God. In Psalm 49 we find a meditation on wealth and wisdom, but others describe daily activities (127–128; 133), encouragement when evil succeeds (37; 73), and the results of following God or wickedness (112). The purpose of these songs is to edify those who sing and those who hear, reminding them, and us, how to live life as God intends.
1 Listen up, everyone!
5 Why should I be afraid when dark evils swirl about me,
10 Everyone knows that even the wisest ones die,
Ecclesiastes 1:2 The Voice (VOICE)
2 Teacher: Life is fleeting, like a passing mist.
Ecclesiastes 1:12-14 The Voice (VOICE)
12 I, the teacher, was king over Israel in Jerusalem. 13 I decided to seek out and study the wisdom of the ages, of all that had been done under the heavens. I soon discovered the harsh realities of the work God has given us that keeps us so busy. 14 I have witnessed all that is done under the sun, and indeed, all is fleeting, like trying to embrace the wind.
Ecclesiastes 2:18-23 The Voice (VOICE)
18 So I began to hate all the hard work I had done under the sun because I would eventually have to leave it all to the one who comes after me. 19 And who knows whether my heir will be wise or foolish? Still he will inherit all the things for which I worked so hard here under the sun, the things for which I became wise. This, too, is fleeting like trying to catch hold of a breath. 20 So I turned these thoughts over in my mind and despaired over how hard I worked under the sun. 21 Although someone with wisdom, knowledge, and skill works hard, when he departs this life, he will leave all he has accomplished to another who has done nothing to deserve work’s reward. This, too, is fleeting, and it causes great misery. 22 What exactly do people get out of all their work and all the stresses they put themselves through here under the sun? 23 For every day is filled with pain and every job has its own problems, and there are nights when the mind doesn’t stop and rest. And once again, this is fleeting.
Colossians 3:1-11 The Voice (VOICE)
Paul knows the people in Colossae are facing many religious and philosophical options, none of which are neutral. Notice Paul doesn’t say, “Just add Jesus to what you already believe,” or, “Factor Jesus into your philosophy,” or, “Include Jesus in this or that ritual.” The claim that “Jesus is Lord” does not allow that. If Jesus is Creator, Sustainer, and Redeemer of all creation, then all other teachings must give way. All people must bow before Him and only Him.
3 So it comes down to this: since you have been raised with the Anointed One, the Liberating King, set your mind on heaven above. The Anointed is there, seated at God’s right hand. 2 Stay focused on what’s above, not on earthly things, 3 because your old life is dead and gone. Your new life is now hidden, enmeshed with the Anointed who is in God. 4 On that day when the Anointed One—who is our[a] very life—is revealed, you will be revealed with Him in glory! 5 So kill your earthly impulses: loose sex, impure actions, unbridled sensuality, wicked thoughts, and greed (which is essentially idolatry). 6 It’s because of these that God’s wrath is coming [upon the sons and daughters of disobedience],[b] so avoid them at all costs. 7 These are the same things you once pursued, and together you spawned a life of evil. 8 But now make sure you shed such things: anger, rage, spite, slander, and abusive language. 9 And don’t go on lying to each other since you have sloughed away your old skin along with its evil practices 10 for a fresh new you, which is continually renewed in knowledge according to the image of the One who created you. 11 In this re-creation there is no distinction between Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian and conqueror,[c] or slave and free because the Anointed is the whole and dwells in us all.
Luke 12:13-21 The Voice (VOICE)
In the kingdom of God, money is valued in a very different way. In fact, concern for money can easily turn the spiritual life into a lukewarm, halfhearted affair.
13 A person in the crowd got Jesus’ attention.
Person in the Crowd: Teacher, intervene and tell my brother to share the family inheritance with me.
Jesus: 14 Since when am I your judge or arbitrator?
15 Then He used that opportunity to speak to the crowd.
Jesus: You’d better be on your guard against any type of greed, for a person’s life is not about having a lot of possessions.
16 (then, beginning another parable) A wealthy man owned some land that produced a huge harvest. 17 He often thought to himself, “I have a problem here. I don’t have anywhere to store all my crops. What should I do? 18 I know! I’ll tear down my small barns and build even bigger ones, and then I’ll have plenty of storage space for my grain and all my other goods. 19 Then I’ll be able to say to myself, ‘I have it made! I can relax and take it easy for years! So I’ll just sit back, eat, drink, and have a good time!’”
20 Then God interrupted the man’s conversation with himself. “Excuse Me, Mr. Brilliant, but your time has come. Tonight you will die. Now who will enjoy everything you’ve earned and saved?”
21 This is how it will be for people who accumulate huge assets for themselves but have no assets in relation to God.