Pastor’s Bible Reading Schedule: Ecclesiastes 1-3; Revelation 10
Solomon wrote Ecclesiastes at the very end of his life. This wise old king had experienced tremendous wealth, power, and prestige. The Queen of Sheba traveled to visit Solomon to see if he was as rich as she had heard. Upon leaving his palace, she proclaimed, “the half was not told.” His reputation was that he was the richest man on the planet, the wisest man on the planet, and the most prominent figure in the region. However, his conclusion was that life is empty. So many people today think that if they just had enough money life would be so much better. Solomon disagrees! One might ask, “How can someone so blessed of God be so empty in life?” I think the answer to that is perspective. If we are living life for what we can get out of it here on this earth, the realization that death is around the corner and that we are going to leave all the things we have accumulated behind could be discouraging. Solomon in chapters one and two acknowledge that he is at the end of his life. He realizes that the next step is to stand before his Creator and give an account for what he has done with his life. He also realizes that he is empty. He lived life for himself, he disobeyed God’s clear commands, he ignored God’s repeated warnings and now he is going to give an account. I have sought to teach my family, our church, and even my own heart that the only thing that will matter on judgment day is how faithful I was to God. It won’t matter how rich I was, what house I lived in, the vacations I took, or what kind of car I drove. It will matter how many opportunities I neglected to share the gospel, how many church services I skipped, how many people I refused to serve, and if I was faithful to my role in my family. Solomon was right, the life lived in selfishness is empty and vexation of spirit. There is no fulfillment and there is no contentment in living for self. However, in chapter three, he begins to debate, within his own heart, his premise in chapters one and two. He says in verse one, “To everything there is a season and a time to every purpose under the heaven.” In verse 14 he says, “I know that, whatsoever God doeth it shall be for ever: nothing can be put to it nor anything taken from it: and God doeth it, that men should fear before Him.” If we will live this life with the perspective that we will soon stand before God and we must respect Him, we will find fulfillment and satisfaction in obeying His ultimate plan for our lives. Verse thirteen says that life is a gift from God. How our perspective changes when we see things as a gift rather than an entitlement. How gratitude and thankfulness grow when our perspective is that life and all that we have been given is a gift from God. How discontent and empty we become when we allow an entitlement perspective to take over. God doesn’t owe me, people do not owe me, and life does not owe me. I owe everything to God who has been so gracious to give me life, provide salvation, and grant me the privilege to participate in His program. Hallelujah! What a Savior!
• Lord, please help me to be honest with my own heart. It is so deceptive that without discernment I will live life from my own perspective instead of living it from your perspective.
• Lord, thank you for the gift of life. Thank you for the gift of salvation, my Bible, my beautiful wife, my children, the privilege to pastor, my church, and my friends. May I live to show how thankful I am for each of these.
• Lord, please help me to live in light of eternity. May I remember that I will give an account to you for my faithfulness to the gifts you have given. May my heart be overwhelmed with how big you are, how good you are, and how gracious you are. Thank you for caring for me.
• Lord, many of our friends have lost loved ones in this temporary time we call life. Please help them to trust you and your wisdom and have the proper perspective in these difficult trials.