8-15-12. Ecclesiastes 11:1-10. GOD IS THE MAKER OF ALL THINGS-devotional

8-15-12. Ecclesiastes 11:1-10. GOD IS THE MAKER OF ALL THINGS-devotional

Wednesday, August 15, 2012    Kevin Jesmer NIU UBF

Ecclesiastes 11:1-10
Key Verse: 11:5

“As you do not know the path of the wind, or how the body is formed in a mother’s womb, so you cannot understand the work of God, the Maker of all things”

Dear Lord Jesus, thank you for your salvation and helping us to have the gospel formed in our hearts. The gospel gives us true peace and hope and security. The gospel, the good news of salvation, is about Jesus the Messiah, come to this earth to save sinners. Help the gospel to be formed in my heart fully and work through me and my family to reveal this gospel to the whole world, starting in DeKalb and NIU campus. Revive my love for NIU students. I pray for my kids to love Jesus and to love the people of God, the church. Lord, please help me to hold onto one word deeply in my heart. I thank you for this time and I pray in Jesus’ name. Amen!

Part 1: You Do Not Know Which Will Succeed (1-6).

The Teacher, as a successful businessman, gives business advice. Verses 1-6, “Ship your grain across the sea; after many days you may receive a return. 2 Invest in seven ventures, yes, in eight; you do not know what disaster may come upon the land. 3 If clouds are full of water, they pour rain on the earth. Whether a tree falls to the south or to the north, in the place where it falls, there it will lie. 4 Whoever watches the wind will not plant; whoever looks at the clouds will not reap.” We should not hoard wealth just as a cloud cannot store rain for long. We should bring make a profit through our wealth. But if we stop and calculate, we will do nothing. I learn here that we must not just sit and ponder and calculate. We need to do something by faith. We need to put our hand to the plow and not look back. Enough speculation! Enough pondering! I need to come out of my negativity and just do something for the glory of God. I can resurrect my 1:1 ministry, now that I have something to invite people to.

We do not know the works of God’s hands. Look at verses 5-6. “As you do not know the path of the wind, or how the body is formed in a mother’s womb, so you cannot understand the work of God, the Maker of all things. 6 Sow your seed in the morning, and at evening let your hands not be idle, for you do not know which will succeed, whether this or that, or whether both will do equally well.” Because we do not know the work of God’s hands, we must not limit our ways, but invest our lives in as many directions as God provides for us.

I need to apply myself, in all diligence, in fruit bearing ventures. I must be diligent. I need to write daily bread and post spiritual articles on the web site. I need to write and share with the world the things of the Lord, especially at this time things about my trip to Uganda, Africa. I need to work as a nurse and make money to support my family. I need to seek ways in order to glorify the Lord and preach and teach the word of God. God is opening many doors for me and my family to be fruitful in all ways. Lord, help me to see many wide and open doors that you are opening for the glory of God. Help me to be diligent at engaging my mind and my heart to the things that you would have me do.

Part 2: Be Happy and Responsible While You Are Young (7-10).

Verses 7-10, “Light is sweet, and it pleases the eyes to see the sun. 8 However many years anyone may live, let them enjoy them all. But let them remember the days of darkness, for there will be many. Everything to come is meaningless. 9 You who are young, be happy while you are young, and let your heart give you joy in the days of your youth. Follow the ways of your heart and whatever your eyes see, but know that for all these things God will bring you into judgment. 10 So then, banish anxiety from your heart and cast off the troubles of your body, for youth and vigor are meaningless.”

If the future is uncertain, then the present is all we have. Some young people want to wait a while before making a commitment to God. They want to “follow the ways of their hearts” (9) and enjoy life. But the Teacher gives us some things to consider as we set out to enjoy our youth. We must remember the days of darkness. This means that we must remember the difference that God has made in our lives. We must remember the grace of God in our lives. Jesus has called us out of the darkness and into his wonderful light. If we are bent on sinning against the Lord, and going against our conscience, then we are in fact betraying the grace of God. We are in fact crucifying the son of God all over again. (Hebrews 6) Also when we remember the days of darkness we can be thankful for what God had done for us. It is like experiencing spring after a long and cold winter. When you don’t have something and then suddenly you do, you become more appreciative. God wants us to be thankful for this life and his saving grace as we live our lives.

There is something else. When we set out to enjoy our youth, we must realize that there is the judgment of God. Nothing is without consequence. We may say that we are just following our hearts, but even though we may be following some bohemian adventure, we still will face the judgment of God and we will not pass the judgment unless we accepted Jesus as our Savior. Paul says that everything is permissible but not everything is beneficial. He decided that he was not going to do anything that put a stumbling block in the path of any Christian. 1 Corinthians 6:12-13, “12 “Everything is permissible for me”—but not everything is beneficial. “Everything is permissible for me”—but I will not be mastered by anything. 13 “Food for the stomach and the stomach for food”—but God will destroy them both. The body is not meant for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body.” (NIV 1984) St Augustine said, “Love God and then do as you please.” So go ahead and follow your hearts, but also know that there is a God in heaven to whom we must give account and the only leg to stand on is the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Just spending our strength on youthful vigor is meaningless. There is some purpose in it. People need to learn to navigate this world and their relationships. They need to learn life skills and this comes through play and adventures. Many life long memories can be stored up that will be a great comfort in the years to come. Life long friendships will be made. But we must not loose our hearts and our souls in worldly pursuits. We can do it all with a godly attitude. We can do it all in a Christ pleasing way. One thing to hold onto is, that it is far better for a person to remember their Creator in the days of their youth and spend their best strength in serving God.

Prayer: Lord, you formed me in my mother’s womb; help me to embrace the many opportunities to bear godly fruit in my life. .

One Word: Remember God’s grace and the judgment of God.

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