The Bible admonishes us to…
“Seek the LORD while He may be found; call on Him while He is near.” (Isa 55:6)
To seek God early in life; and to live responsibly in your youth for Old Age and Death are coming for all.
Young people ought to enjoy the youthful season of life but never forget that everything they think and do will be judged by God.
Read Ecclesiastes 12
Solomon here underlined the thought of responsible living in one’s youth by vividly depicting in a series of word pictures the increasing gloom and declining powers of old age which culminate in death.
These word pictures are arranged in three groups, each introduced with “before” (vv. 1-2, 6) and modifying the basic imperative, “Remember your Creator in the days of your youth” (v. 1).
Live responsibly before the miseries of old age come
12:1 A life without God can produce bitterness, loneliness, and hopelessness in old age.
A life centered around God is fulfilling and can be richer and more bearable than one without him if we are faced with disabilities, sickness, or handicaps.
Being young is exciting. But the excitement of youth can become a barrier to closeness with God if it makes young people focus on passing pleasures instead of eternal values.
Make your strength available to God when it is still yours—during your youthful years.
Don’t waste it on evil or meaningless activities that become bad habits and make you callous. Seek God now.
12:6-8 The silver cord, golden bowl, water jar, and pulley symbolize life’s fragility.
How easily death comes to us; how swiftly and unexpectedly we return to the dust from which we came.
Therefore, we should recognize life as a precious resource to be used wisely and not squandered frivolously.
12:7-8 Stripped of the life-giving spirit breathed into us by God, our bodies return to dust.
Stripped of God’s purpose, our work is in vain.
Stripped of God’s love, our service is futile.
We must put God FIRST over ALL we do and in ALL we do because without Him we have nothing.
Knowing that life is futile without God motivates a wise person to seek God first.
12:11 A cattle prod was a wooden rod with a sharp metal tip, which was used to keep cattle moving.
Like a cattle prod, wise words or important truths might be unpleasant when first heard and applied but can be essential for moving us in God’s direction.
12:12 Opinions about life and philosophies about how we should live could be read and studied forever.
It is not wrong to study these opinions, but we should spend most of our time feeding on the truth of God’s Word and putting the wisdom we gain into action.
Wise students of the Bible will understand and do what they are taught. Because our time on earth is so short, we should use it to learn the truths that affect not only this life but also eternity.
12:13-14 In his conclusion, Solomon presents his antidotes for the two main ailments presented in this book.
Those who lack purpose and direction in life should fear God and obey His commands.
Those who think life is unfair should remember that God will review every person’s life to determine how he or she has responded to Him, and He will judge every deed.
Have you committed your life—your present and your future—to God?
Does your life measure up to His standards?
12:13-14 The book of Ecclesiastes cannot be interpreted correctly without reading these final verses.
No matter what the mysteries and apparent contradictions of life are, we must work toward the single purpose of knowing God.
In Ecclesiastes, Solomon shows us that we should enjoy life but that this does not exempt us from obeying God’s commands.
We should search for purpose and meaning in life, but these cannot be found in human endeavors.
We should acknowledge the evil, foolishness, and injustice in life yet maintain a positive attitude and strong faith in God.
All people will have to stand before God and be judged for what they did in this life.
We will not be able to use life’s inconsistencies as an excuse for failing to live as God wants.
To live as God wants, we need to…
(1) recognize that human effort apart from God is futile;
(2) put God first—now;
(3) receive every good thing as a gift from God;
(4) realize that God will judge both evil and good; and
(5) know that God will judge the quality of every person’s life.
How strange that people spend their lives striving for the very enjoyment that God gives freely!
In Isaiah 55:2, God asks the question…
“Why spend money on what is not bread, and your labor on what does not satisfy? Listen, listen to Me, and eat what is good, and you will delight in the richest of fare.”
Max Lucado’s Life Lessons…
Every person must face death. Those who are righteous and wise rest in God’s hands.
Work hard, enjoy what you have in life, and Seek wisdom.
Wisdom provides greater assets than power.
Although you still face death, you can be comforted to know that those who follow God will live forever with Him.
Remarkable. Each morning I climb into a truck that weighs half a ton and take it out on an interstate where I—and a thousand other drivers—turn our vehicles into sixty-mile-per-hour missiles.
Although I’ve had a few scares and mishaps, I still whistle while I drive at a speed that would have caused my great-grandfather to pass out.
Remarkable. Every day I have the honor of sitting down with a book that contains the words of the One who created me.
Every day I have the opportunity to let Him give me a thought or two on how to live.
If I don’t do what He says, He doesn’t burn the book or cancel my subscription.
If I disagree with what He says, lightning doesn’t split my swivel chair or an angel doesn’t mark my name off the holy list.
If I don’t understand what He says, He doesn’t call me a dummy.
In fact, He calls me “Son,” and on a different page explains what I don’t understand.
Remarkable. At the end of the day when I walk through the house, I step into the bedrooms of three little girls.
Their covers are usually kicked off, so I cover them up.
Their hair usually hides their faces, so I brush it back.
And one by one, I bend over and kiss the foreheads of the angels God has loaned me.
Then I stand in the doorway and wonder why in the world He would entrust a stumbling, fumbling fellow like me with the task of loving and leading such treasures.
Remarkable. Then I go and crawl into bed with a woman far wiser than I . . . a woman who deserves a man much better looking than I . . . but a woman who would argue that fact and tell me from the bottom of her heart that I’m the best thing to come down her pike.
After I think about the wife I have, and when I think that I get to be with her for a lifetime, I shake my head and thank the God of grace for grace and think, Remarkable.
In the morning, I’ll do it all again.
I’ll drive down the same road. Go to the same office. Call on the same bank. Kiss the same girls. And crawl into bed with the same woman.
But I’m learning not to take these everyday miracles for granted. . . . I’m discovering many things: traffic jams eventually clear up, sunsets are for free, Little League is a work of art, and most planes take off and arrive on time.
I’m learning that most folks are good folks who are just as timid as I am about starting a conversation. . . . I’m learning that if I look . . . if I open my eyes and observe . . . there are many reasons to take off my hat, look at the source of it all, and just say thanks.
(From In the Eye of the Storm by Max Lucado)
Do you feel like you are falling behind in the rat race?
Do you wonder how you will catch up?
Look at your remarkable blessings, and give God thanks for what you do have.
Come join the Adventure!