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Living a Good Life: Making Sense of the Journey, Part 1

Delight in Grace / Grace Bible Church / Rich Powell
The Truth Network Radio
February 1, 2024 12:13 pm

Living a Good Life: Making Sense of the Journey, Part 1

Delight in Grace / Grace Bible Church / Rich Powell

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February 1, 2024 12:13 pm

 Ecclesiastes 3:1-15 makes it clear who orders our life.  God is Master of life and gives life to us as a gift to be well-stewarded.  How do I turn control of my life over to the Master of my life? This message continues the series on Ecclesiastes titled Living a Good Life: Making Sense of the Journey.

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Welcome to Delight in Grace, the teaching ministry of Rich Powell, pastor of Grace Bible Church in Winston-Salem. Ecclesiastes 3, 1-15 makes it clear who orders our lives. God is master of life and gives life to us as a gift to be well stewarded.

So how do I turn control of my life over to the master of my life? This message continues the series on Ecclesiastes titled, Living a Good Life, Making Sense of the Journey. It was first preached on March 18th, 2018 at Grace Bible Church in Winston-Salem. Listen in with us as Pastor Rich describes the master's purpose in life and our beautiful role within that purpose. Ecclesiastes 3, the title of this whole series is Live a Good Life, Making Sense of the Journey.

This is part 5 today. Our text is Ecclesiastes 3 verses 1 to 15. So far Solomon has given us a critique of life without God. A critique of life without God. And it leads to nothing but despair. It was Richard Dawkins who said that the universe has no purpose.

There is nothing but blind, pitiless indifference. And that is what life is like under the sun if you have no sense or no acknowledgement of what is beyond the sun. So we come now to chapter 3 and it's a very familiar portion of scripture. And what we have is the observation of life under the sun.

These are opposites and they very much parallel what you have in chapter 1 verses 4 through 7. A generation goes and a generation comes but the earth remains forever. The sun rises and the sun goes down and hastens to the place where it rises. The wind blows to the south and goes around to the north. Around and around goes the wind and on its circuits the wind returns.

All streams run to the sea but the sea is not full to the place where the streams flow. There they flow again. And it's an endless cycle. It's like life is just a machine.

It just keeps going and going and going. And so there is definitely repetition here. And these are the everyday occasions of life.

They happen every day. So there is a time to be born and a time to die. And those are the two dates on a tombstone, aren't they? And then there's a dash in between.

And what fills in that dash? Well, all these observations of life, there is that which is delightful to be born, to love, to dance. Unless, of course, you're a Baptist.

Then you have to change scripture to match your theology. But there is also the distasteful to mourn, to die. There is war. There is production and destruction. There's production to plant, to gather, to build, to sow.

But there's destruction to tear down, to break down, to scatter, to kill. There is the relational, love, a time to embrace. There is the physical, again, dance, embracing or not. There is the emotional, a time to weep, a time to laugh, a time to mourn. There is the physical, there is the embracing, the not embracing.

There is the new and the novel, a time to be born, a time to build up. There's the old and the obsolete, that to count something as lost, to break down. There is separation in the occasions of life, kill, time to kill, time to cast away, a time of war.

That's separation. But there is also restoration, a time of peace, a time to gather, a time to heal. There is the incidental in life, to count something as lost or a time to refrain from embracing.

It's a good rule for dating. There is the consequential, not just the incidental, but there's the consequential. There's war, there's a time to build up, a time to kill, a time to speak. All of these are consequential. What can we summarize from this?

Five points I want to bring out. Number one, life is repetitive. Life is repetitive. And it is kind of like, and it can seem like a machine.

It just goes on and on and on, and the same things will continue to happen. But number two, life is limited. In other words, there are natural boundaries to life. There is a time to be born and there is a time to die.

There is a time to build up, there's a time to tear down. There are natural boundaries in life. But point number three, life is broken. Life is broken. In other words, what this list in verses two to eight make very clear is that there is something that is not right.

There is something that is not right. Point number four, life is reflective. Life is reflective.

What does it reflect? It reflects personality. It reflects an innate, an inherent sense, an absolute sense of morality.

It reflects intelligence. It reflects indeed the absolute. Because this word time, verse one, for everything there is a season and a time for every matter under the sun.

That word time is used consistently in scripture as an appointed occasion. Life reflects the absolute. That takes us to point number five. When you consider it all, when you truly contemplate it all, life is hopeful. Meaning this, there is purpose in life. Life is purposeful. As David Gibson says, life, this represents the rhythmically ordered arrangement of time.

That's a really good phrase to describe this. And we say it is hopeful. This portion of scripture here, verses two to eight, is quoted often. It is quoted oftentimes even at funerals.

Not just Christian funerals, but even secular or humanist funerals. Because it seems to fit, doesn't it? Yes, this is a reflection of reality. But what happens when you contemplate this long enough, you recognize and you look at the language that is used, you understand that this is a rhythmically ordered arrangement of time. What's so important is that, and we know this, right? When studying scripture, what is king? Context is king. You see, this scripture doesn't end at verse eight.

It goes on nine through fifteen, as we're going to consider right now. Context is king because it shows us that life and reality is not chaos from chance, but it is indeed cosmos from the Creator. And that word cosmos is a word, it's a Greek word, it means order and design and beauty. And it comes from the Creator, the one who has appointed these times. So we come down now, look at verse nine, what gain has the worker from his toil? Look at verse ten, this is key. I have seen the business that God has given the children of men to be busy with. That is a very important verse and here's the point of it. Life is the business that God has given. Life is the business that God has given in verses ten to fifteen. Now, what is the emphasis here?

What does this mean? You say, I know that life is the business that God has given, so what? It just comes down to this, there is purpose. There is purpose.

And you think about all the factors, everything that goes into making one's life, there's good and there's bad, there's pleasant, there's unpleasant, there's desirable, there's undesirable, all of it goes into making one's life. Listen, behind all of it, there is purpose. It is God's purpose. And three points that I want to bring out to you now in the next several verses, in terms of observing God's purpose. First of all, God's purpose is beautiful.

I'm using a word that's in the text. God's purpose is beautiful. This word beautiful, it's a very well-known verse, we have it in verse eleven. He has made everything beautiful in its time, also he has put eternity into man's hearts. This word beautiful is translated by the Septuagint, which is the Greek translation of the Hebrew Old Testament.

It's the word kalos, which means good, useful, appropriate, fitting, right. As this word is used in the Old Testament, mostly, overwhelmingly, it's used of a beautiful woman. He has made everything beautiful in its time, so it fits the sense of something looks attractive, it is pleasing to the eyes and pleasing to the senses, so that when you recognize it, you say, this is nice, this is beautiful. God has made, what does it say, the good things beautiful, is that what it says?

Everything. Everything that shapes your life, God makes it beautiful in its time. So here it is, the perspective of man, and this is a perspective from under the sun, all the stuff that goes into life, the good, the bad, the pleasant, the unpleasant, how does it fit into the scope of life?

How does it fit? Man's sea is bound by time and cannot grasp the big picture, but God has the whole picture in view. It's like a tapestry that's woven together, and He has the finished product. He knows the finished product.

From His perspective and His experience, it's done, but not from ours. We're so glad you've joined us for Delight in Grace, the teaching ministry of Rich Powell, pastor of Grace Bible Church in Winston-Salem. You can hear this message and others anytime by visiting our website, www.delightingrace.com. You can also check out Pastor Rich's book, Seven Words That Can Change Your Life, where he unpacks from God's Word the very purpose for which you were designed. Seven Words That Can Change Your Life is available wherever books are sold. As always, tune in to Delight in Grace weekdays at 10 a.m.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-02-09 01:21:20 / 2024-02-09 01:25:50 / 5

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