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June 15, 2021 8:00 am
We live in a day when Christians are wallowing in a lack of experience while talking about how good God isn't simultaneously complaining about what is Jonathan Evan says that maybe the result of what we're not doing God has given us a gift and it is to enjoy only, but the gift has to be unwrapped celebrating 40 years of faithfulness. This is the alternative Dr. Tony author, speaker, senior pastor of Oakland Bible Fellowship Dallas, Texas, president of the alternative.
Have you ever heard the saying life is too short. Let's true for people who go to their grave. Having never understood the point of why they're here to begin with. Today, Jonathan Evans points out that were not simply here for time we were created for eternity. Let's join them in Ecclesiastes 310 as he elaborates. I was reading this and thinking to myself this is.
It seems like Solomon is just rich and he has it all and there's kind of nothing else for him to aspire to and so he has time to think about the fact that even though I have it all.
I still feel like there's a void in there is a lack of fulfillment. Even with having everything that I have.
I'm walking down the hallways that are gold.
I got a gold toilet heated Tallulah when heated.
But he's got all of these things that we aspire to look powerless. All of those different things and still is, he's writing and thinking about it. He's looking over the ledge of his palace and looking at his flock and thinking I'm just like y'all, we have the same in I'm not better than any of the things that I own.
We we breathe, we stop breathing. It's all just vanity into think that if someone reached that height and what are we chasing for what we chasing after it's almost as if were in life chasing after things and ambitions and nothing's wrong with that, but it's really just grabbing after the wind that something you can never really get a hold because if Solomon has this problem, then no matter what you achieve, you will find that there is still something lacking.
He starts out in verse 10, and he just says I have seen the task which God has given the sons of men with which to occupy themselves seriously. I mean you've given us these task to first to occupy ourselves with.
It means that I have kids all go over there and play occupy yourselves because there's something that I'm trying to do trying to accomplish something that I'm withholding that you can have so you have to be content with where you are. My daughter Kelsey she's nine. She wants an iPhone boo you and didn't know iPhone your nine. So you take this to Daniel and iPhone. She's yearning for this iPhone know you need to take this this touchpad that has no cellular barely works on Wi-Fi and has parental controls all through it. You need to just be satisfied with that because you can't how I know your heart desires. This phone but you need to be satisfied right where you are with those limitations and basically God is set us in the position we have limitations we don't have the full experience of what he has in his hands. Yet even though we don't have the full experience. He has set eternity in our hearts. He is set this thing in our hearts to grasp at something but never get the fulfillment of what were grasping for eternity. Happiness, joy, rest in peace. Paradise.
You know the things that you can't buy and so we chase after those things. I go to, you know, the Bahamas or someone like that.
I need a beach I need a good view. I need something that reminds me of Paradise that I'm away from the work in the labor and the toil on me that really the reality is that all were doing is really grabbing sand you get in your hand for a moment, only to see it seemed right through your fingers to try to have to grasp again.
That's why the chase for happiness gets us in trouble because were chasing after something in the reality is you're never going to get the fulfillment of that. The reason why were chasing. It is because God has set eternity in our hearts.
Solomon is letting us know this thing just kinda goes around in circles. He starting to see I'm just, occupying time, I'm not going anywhere. If you were to ask me what I'm doing with my life. I would say I'm doing ministry the chapter and the cowboys them try to be a good husband to my wife and I want to be a good father would ask me year from now what am I doing I say I'm doing ministry. I chaplain the Dallas Cowboys.
I'm trying to be a good husband to my wife and try to be a good father to my children and many times when you're answering that question that somebody is asking of you. You find yourself repeating yourself when you're going in circles. It seems like, and sometimes you feel that lack of fulfillment and Solomon is saying. That's just what that is the reason why you feel the lack of fulfillment is because God has set eternity in your heart but you can have that right now but I know it exists. You know why because every desire that I have apart from sin. Every desire that I have. It's available I have a desire to eat there's food.
I have a desire for relationship is relationship. I have a desire for the fulfillment of happiness and joy and peace in paradise and rest, because I have that desire.
I know what's available which is not available in this world have to wait until when I was reading this I was like Mrs. depressing but is coming true. The set eternity in our hearts, but he's just given us time in which to occupy ourselves and then here he says in verse 12 he says I know that there is nothing better than for them to rejoice and to do good in one's lifetime. Moreover, that every man who eats and drinks sees good in all his labor.
It is a gift of God that even though Solomon is setting up this expectation that that's just the way it is. There is no true 100% fulfillment. You're not going to be totally happy.
Things are not always been a be all good.
There's going to be this since sometimes a purposelessness or merry-go-round. I'm going around in circles. There's nothing new, nothing else to aspire to. I can't find the full piece that I'm looking for. He says, but there is a gift that God has given us a gift and it is to enjoy our labor, which means that even though you're going in circles.
And even though sometimes you feel like you're just occupying space that you have to try to see it in a way that unwraps the gifts so that you can experience it.
God can give a gift, but the gift has to be unwrapped and many Christians are still miserable. In verse going around in circles miserable at their job, miserable in their marriage miserable and what Solomon is saying is just the way it is because even though we have the gift. We refused to see it is one because he says right here.
Moreover, that every man eats and drinks and sees good in all his labor. Another words you have to see it, you can pay your bills. You're able to take care of your family. There are things that are happening where God is using it to sustain you even though it's not exactly everything that you wanted to be. God has given us the gift and he says the gift is I want you to enjoy your labor. It doesn't take away the fact that his labor. It just means that there's a gift within it. But gifts are given and if they stay under the tree or nobody tears off the gift wrapping. Then there is no experience in we live in a day were Christians are wallowing in a lack of experience while talking about how good God is and simultaneously complaining about what he's not doing Solomon sent I'm just set an expectation. This is what it is and he setting the expectations but he saying I want you to look at it a little bit differently calcium and need you to enjoy that touchpad that barely has Wi-Fi has no cellular and shuts off on you from time to time, but there are things in their that you can enjoy if you can find contentment with what I've given you these talking about contentment. I know that I've said eternity in your heart but is not time for that. I need you to learn to see what you already have and enjoy what you already have.
While you wait for me to fill you more and other places those who wait on the Lord will renew their strength, not those who don't wait here he saying is there is this gift here is this gift but you have to see it, enjoy it.
I know that everything that verse 14 says I know that everything God does will remain forever.
There is nothing to add to it and nothing to take from it.
It just is what it is for God has so worked that men should fear him. He answers the question why in the world is.
He set it up like this so that you can figure him.
It's as simple as that.
Where does fulfillment come from God.
He's the one who set eternity in your heart, and he saying I want you not to aspire to things because all you're going to do is climb the ladder of success and get to the top and realize the whole time he was leaning on the wrong wall is not about you just climbing the ladder of success is not about you chasing after what you will find out is simply the wind or just saying that you're grasping in your hands, watching football right through your fingers.
It's about seeking me. It's about finding me because when you find me, you find purpose. When you find me, you find fulfillment.
When you find me, you find calling you can complain about what you have or you can just come find me when you find when you find me. It's amazing how you see what you have differently. They say I have set it up this way so that you will find me reason why is because I have outcomes for your life. Deuteronomy 6 says this if you listen to me and obey me and find me submit your life to me this is what it says I like this. He says your days will be prolonged. You get to live. It will go well with you. I'll take care of your future know more about that and you will multiply grade in the land.
If you submit yourself to me. If you obey me if you find me. If you seek me, I'll give you some stuff that you can't buy. You get to live out all of your days. It will go well with you. I'll take care of where you haven't been yet and you will multiply grade in the land.
What is that mean before full in the place where I'm calling you if you submit to me what you're looking for. I got it into simple no because we just hear it and start right back chasing and is not that you're not supposed to be ambitious is not that you're not supposed to do and be. If you don't work should meet me but to do that apart from me, means you find yourself rich and meaningless. How you will have a lot and have nothing all at the same time. He says I have set it up this way so that you would fear me so that you would get to experience my outcomes that money can't buy will be back to continue this message on the importance of eternity just a moment but first as a part of our 40 year celebration of God's faithfulness were sharing a series of encouraging messages from Dr. Evan son, Jonathan Evans, author, speaker and chaplain who also serves with his father in the local church and national ministry. Tony will be returning to the broadcast. A week from today.
You know none of what we do here would be possible without the faithful contributions of people like you and that's why we put together a special package as a way of saying thank you. You make a donation to keep this ministry going.
It starts with our current nine message audio collection forever starts now, and also includes a copy of Jonathan's brand-new life-changing book. Your time is now that what God is giving you together. This powerful package expands on what we've been learning about discovering and fulfilling our God-given purpose God has something special.
He intends for you to do and these resources will help you find what it is and take action toward doing it and doing it now would like you to have a copy of forever starts now and your time is now. As our gift when you make a donation to help support the work of the alternative.
But don't wait. This offer will only be around for a short while details are waiting for firstname.lastname@example.org you can also sign up for Tony's free weekly email devotional email@example.com or call her 24 hour resource request line at 1-800-800-3222 let one of our friendly team members help you. That's 1-800-800-3222 will have more of today's message right after this God has big plans to you that you've never imagine your remand of influence strength and grace.
Are you ready to live up to your highest potential average brand-new book and Goodman rising a follow-up to his breath selecting the man over 400,000 copies challenges meant to sharpen their spiritual and relational skills to live with an influence of my kingdom in writing today for yourself or someone you love.
During the journey of men rising up through impact culture from the online government right. He says in verse 16. Furthermore, I have seen under the sun that in the place of justice. There is wickedness in the place of righteousness. There is wickedness. You know it's been hard for me as I've gotten older.
Just just finding good people. I don't know about you but I like you really think like that, like your brain who told you that it's just been hard for me to find good people and you think that it's righteous and it's okay and then somehow it turns its back on you. You think that justice would just be a norm for people, but in the place of justice.
That's where wickedness stands now he's given you the reality that the unfairness that you're experiencing God meant that to be justice to do is go back to Genesis 1 to he meant to be paradise, peace, rest, justice, righteousness, holiness he meant one thing crept in the world that were experiencing the way it is. I can't find fairness with the people that love me, I can't find fairness the with the people that are supposed to be pushing me to where God is calling me. I can't find fairness at the job I can Find fairness with my husband or my wife.
I can't not mean because in its its place has been taken. And guess what, that's the way it is so you can see why. After reading the cells like this is terrible but he's setting this expectation to situate Christians are surprised a lot of times when life turns on them. And Solomon is telling you. Don't be surprised. This is the way it is, will God is good all the time and all the time that is good that's true.
But all things are not good all the time and he allows them to be bad. Why so that you would seek him because it's in the badness that illuminates God's goodness. I've said it before, but if everything was good all the time. You wouldn't even know who to give the credit to just be good all the time but when he allows things to go downhill and you to experience the way it is, then you get to the privilege of experiencing who he is and he set it up this way so that you would fear him, and then it kinda gets worse. He says for the fate of the sons of men, and the fate of the beast is the same one dies, so dies the other. Indeed, verse 19.
They all have the same breath, and there is no advantage for man over beast all is vanity. Thanks. I'm just like my dog Solomon. Just letting you know there's an justice there's justice is replaced by wickedness and righteousness and replaced by wickedness and you ain't no better than your animal that you feed about and he just thing and that's just the way it is all is vanity gets towards the end and he just kinda reminds us of what we all have in common that are in this coming. There is no pause button. There is no rewind show DVR that's not your life, and so he concludes with this after letting you know that your occupying space that the world just turns on its axis. What was will be and what you do now. Next year when somebody asked you what you do, your probably say the same thing that you will experience unfairness constantly. That's the way it is and then after that you're going to die.
Thanks and then I like this since verse 22 so I conclude, after having said that, in fed you a pill of anxiety and depression. I have seen that nothing is better then that man should be happy in his activities, for that is his lot for who will bring him to see what will occur after. You can see all the misery he setting up the expectation.
This is the way it is. So I conclude by telling you this. Enjoy your life. You know why because it's going to be unfair.
You know why because you're gonna die you know why because right now yeah it's just kind occupying time enough. But God has given you a gift and that is for you to see it, unwrap it and enjoy it experiencing all the good news held inside the gift, Jonathan Evans just mentioned begins with a personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ. Learn how you can live the life God has created for you. Visit Tony Evans.org and click on the link that simply says Jesus there. Dr. Evans will expend what it means to be a real Christian walk you through everything you need to know to start your brand-new life.
Well, as I mentioned earlier, Dr. Evans is taking time off from the broadcasts this week so we can present this series of encouraging messages from his son and co-laborer in ministry, Jonathan Evans, forever starts now is a nine lesson collection that will help you find and fulfill God's unique plan for your life will be happy to send you this complete audio series on CD and digital download along with Jonathan's powerful new book that goes hand-in-hand with the material we been hearing today. The book is called your time is now. Yet what God has given you where offering both of these resources for a limited time is our thank you when you request them and make a contribution to help support the ministry of Dr. Evans and the alternative, so be sure to visit firstname.lastname@example.org right away. That's Tony Evans.org or call our 24 hour resource request line at 1-800-800-3222 and let one of our team members help you with your request. That's 1-800-800-3222. It's been said that two wrongs don't make a right. But payback is many times the first thought that goes through our minds when we been wronged tomorrow.
Jonathan Evans will explain why we need to give God's wisdom a try.
If we truly want to make a change in our situation right now though he's back to conclude today's message. My conclusion is simple is Solomon's conclusion.
After setting the expectation of what you will experience in your life.
Find a way to enjoy it and enjoy my life and we got so many Christians who are just measurable because they see what Solomon says is what it is he's letting you know that this is the expectation justice is replaced. Righteousness is replace and and is coming, so enjoy yourself. You know why because you're knocking to get to try this again. You're not going to get this second chance here. Dad told me life is like a dollar bill, you get to have it and you get to spend it. Once suspended the alternative with Dr. Tony is brought to you by the celebrating 40 years of faithful thanks for the generous contributions of listeners like you