Qoheleth 3:11-13 He has made everything beautiful in its time; also he has put eternity into man's mind, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end. I know that there is nothing better for them than to be happy and enjoy themselves as long as they live; also that it is God's gift to man that every one should eat and drink and take pleasure in all his toil.
I’d like to offer 3 truths to begin the new year:
1. everything beautiful in its time
2. God has put eternity into man's mind
3. every one should eat and drink and take pleasure in all his toil - God's gift to man
I don’t know whether its lying or stealing – you be the judge, if you take credit for something someone else did, which is it – lying or stealing? Perhaps its both, either way its wrong, and most of us do it regularly, every time we say to ourselves – you’ve earned it! We rarely give any thought to it, it seems reasonable, we can even point to things we’ve done – and yet, if we are all sinners, and the wages of sin is death, if we by ourselves can do nothing good – then the only thing we can earn and deserve is God’s wrath, God’s punishment, and eternal damnation. The effects of sin are profound on all the world – and if there is any good, if there is any pleasure, its there as a gift from God – that’s what grace is, something which is neither earned or deserved – the good things in our life, they all come from God.
Its important for us to remember that, but its equally important to remember that whatever it is that we do, we should do all to the glory of God, whether at work or at school – don’t spend the time wishing you were somewhere else – do all to the glory of God. Don’t complain about the weather, don’t complain about failed plans – this is the day the Lord has made, and if we do all things to the glory of God, then we will find pleasure in our work, whatever it might be. Remember that God loves you, remember that He has a plan for your life, remember that part of his plan is to give us pleasure – of course, if you are not walking with your Savior, it is quite possible to miss the pleasure he has prepared. But the important thing to know is that he has prepared such things for you.
That brings us to the second point, one that seems lost on the world – everything is beautiful in its time – nothing lasts forever, certainly not youth – its time we learn to ignore all the things the world is telling us, and stop looking at the past in regret. Don’t compare yourself to someone else, remember that God made you – and when God made you, he didn’t make a mistake – when we are young we wish we were older, when we are old we wish we were young – in either case we miss the beauty of now – Know what time it is and enjoy it while it is here – this is the day the Lord hath made, let us rejoice and be glad in it.
God has put eternity into our minds, we know that our lives on this earth will end, and we will face God – we have already seen a variety of our sins, seen that we sin much daily, seen what we deserve for our sins – and that brings us to the greatest gift and the most beautiful person in the whole world – Our Savior, Jesus Christ – for in love he gave us all the gifts that fill our lives, he is the source of every blessing – and the greatest gift he gave us was His blood that washes away all our sins, gives us peace with God, and everlasting life.
As we look to the new year, we know that God has good things in store for us, but we don’t have to wait for a new year, because God’s grace and mercy are new each and every day – that alone is reason to rejoice and be glad – it is a new day, filled with God’s grace and mercy and blessing, all of which is ours in Jesus Christ.