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Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Just Enough Time to Do God’s Will

In review of Ecclesiastes 3:13 it says, “All of us should eat and drink and enjoy what we have worked for. It is God's gift.” (GNT).

Today’s verse comes from Ecclesiastes 3:9-14. Solomon asks, what do people really get for all their hard work? Solomon then proceeds to say, I have seen the burden God has placed on us all. Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God's work from beginning to end. So I (Solomon) concluded that there is nothing better than to be happy and enjoy ourselves as long as we can. And people should eat and drink and enjoy the fruits of their labor, for these are gifts from God. And I know that whatever God does is final. Nothing can be added to it or take from it. God's purpose is that people should take him seriously.

As such my ability to find satisfaction in my work, depends upon my attitude. I will become dissatisfied if I lose the sense of purpose God intended for my work. I can enjoy my work if I (1) remember that God has given me work to do, and (2) realize that the fruit of my labor is a gift from him. I need to learn to see work as my way to serve God.

God has "planted eternity in the human heart." This means that I can never be completely satisfied with earthly pleasures and pursuits. Because I am created in God's image, (1) I have a spiritual thirst, (2) I have eternal value, and (3) nothing but the eternal God can truly satisfy me. God has build in me a restless yearning for the kind of perfect work that can only be found in his perfect rule. He has given me a glimpse of the perfection of his creation. But it is only a glimpse; I cannot see into the future or comprehend everything. So I must trust God now and do his work on earth.

To be happy and do good while I live are worthy goals for life, but I can pursue them in the wrong way. God wants me to enjoy life. When I have a proper view of God, I discover that real pleasure is found in enjoying whatever I have as gifts from God, not in what I accumulate.

So what is the purpose of life? It is that I should fear (take seriously) the all-powerful God. To fear God means to revere and stand in awe of him because of who he is. Purpose in life starts with whom I know, not what I know or how good I am. It is impossible to fulfill your God-given purpose unless I take him seriously and give him first place in my life.

In a 21st century world where we’re overworked, overstressed, and over-scheduled, this may be one of the most significant and freeing sentences I’ll ever come across: I have just enough time to do God’s will. That means if I don’t feel I have enough time in my day, one of two things is true. Either: 1) I’m doing things God doesn’t intend for me to do. 2) I’m doing the things God intended the wrong way. God wouldn’t give me a list of things to do and not give me the time to do them. Either I’m trying to do too much or I’m wasting time. There’s really no other option. Either way, I need to learn to enjoy the moment. The Bible says, “All of us should eat and drink and enjoy what we have worked for. It is God's gift.” (Ecclesiastes 3:13 GNT).

Often I fall victim to a terrible trap. It’s “when and then” thinking. I believe “when” I achieve a particular goal, I’ll be happy. But I won’t be happy then. I’ll enjoy reaching that goal for three seconds, and then I’ll start asking myself, “What’s next?” The cycle simply repeats. Am I feeling worn out, burnt out, or stressed out? God wants more for me. If I’m carrying an overwhelming load, it isn’t from Jesus. This reminds me of something a good friend of mine told me about being busy.  Busy is “burdened under satan’s yoke”. This is definitely not somewhere I want to be.

Jesus says in Matthew 11, “Come to me, all of you who are tired and have heavy loads, and I will give you rest …. the load I give you to carry is light” (Matthew 11:28, 30 NCV). Every moment of my life is a gift from God. He doesn’t want me to miss a single one.  

Bottom Line:
Enjoy what you work for. It is a gift from God.

What this means to me:
I should enjoy what I get from my work. This is God’s gift to me.

In summary, there is nothing better than to be happy and enjoy myself as long as I can. Enjoy what I get from the fruits of my labor, as these are gifts from God. My purpose is to take God seriously. My ability to find satisfaction depends on my attitude. I can enjoy my work when I remember that God has given it to me to do and that I realize that the fruit of my labor is a gift from him. My work is a way for me to serve God. I have just enough time to do God's will. If I don't feel I have enough time, then either I'm doing things God doesn't intend for me to do, or I'm doing things the wrong way. If I"m feeling burdened or overwhelmed, come to Jesus. Every moment of my life is a gift from God. He doesn't want me to miss a single one.

Father, thank you for the gift of life. I pray for wisdom in how to handle my time. I have been feeling overwhelmed with the pressure of several tasks that must come together very quickly. Please give me wisdom to see clearly a path for getting the tasks accomplished. Help me to communicate to others around me. Give me wisdom to respond rightly. In Jesus name, amen!

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