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July 11, 2022 4:00 am
How we respond to life's says a lot about us today on Truth for Life will look at why assurance of God's providence changes our perspective as well as our response to just about everything that includes the Monday frustrating and confusing aspects of Alastair Vegas teaching from chapter 3 in the book of Ecclesiastes in verses one through five. Our lives are an open book to the God. This, to the open book of our lives. He brings this book in order that he might match his truth to our need this morning in the time that we have.
I want to draw my thoughts around three headings. First of all, in verses 1 to 8 I like you to notice that what we have described for us here is what we might refer to as the same old routine. Same old routine, followed by a whole new perspective.
First, this is good news. I have seen the burden God has laid on men in other was the frustration that men and women experience is actually the result of a God given burden God given burden God has created us for the purpose, and unless we discover and fulfill that divine purpose.
We will never be fully satisfied with anything else that is offered along the journey of life and within the realm of Vanity Fair and this is the pundit is the burden that God has laid on men having me this for this pleasure having created is in his image. We have to be forever dissatisfied until we come to know him and until we come to live in fellowship with what the Bible says is that you and I live out that life that is ours actually made his presence therefore is no surprise that our lives would be marked by frustration and by confusion when we turn away from it shouldn't surprise us that if we choose to live in the dark. We can see why doesn't God make himself known to me, listen, God is under no obligation to satisfy your intellectual curiosity.
He will cater to the genuine humble expression of a longing seeking heart, but he doesn't do tricks for the arrogance and if we doubt that we need only look at Jesus dealing with the Pharisees and the people around Jesus do another miracle for us. If you do this will believe that if you send somebody here will do that Jesus walks away.
He leaves them, why doesn't he care about them. He cares passionately about.
He cares so much about them that he refuses to capitulate to their arrogant insinuations when a man or woman begins to think for a moment about the finitude I was not in charge of my birth, I will not be in charge of my debt.
I can make the leaves fall and I can't make the green shoots grow.
I'm really actually in a process here, over which I have very very little control and find I'm not sure how the double circulator system really functions I I really have no concept of of what would bring about renal failure.
I don't know why it is that my eyes don't stick shot in the night and wide awake. Why when I wake another still in a fluid and I don't know why it is that there is synovial fluid in my joints that prevent me from becoming an arthritic basketcase. I can explain why even of breath to breathe, to shout and search triumph of these Ohio State games and so on.
What is it all, what is it all you see in man in all of his pride says it all. I'm in charge of this. I am in charge of this. You're in charge of nothing. Anything you think you're in charge of is an allusion. Rethink your blistering and make God dance for you.
He is magnified himself in the beauty and order of creation. He was spoken in the person of the son. He who comes to us through the pages of a book that understands us to visit all different is a radical perspective, isn't it tyrannized by the routine. Frustrated by a sense of homesickness that we can explain why we feel this way because we had a fugitive to our destiny so well when I graduate are going to feel fine. Then, says the adolescent kid and a graduate and there's a great sense of flatness while get on and I'll get it agreeing to get a degree in another sense of flatness.
Well, if I can get a job that will give me the opportunity for enough to be able to make a little and there's another sense of flatness well and so it goes on through life.
Why is there no joy in life. Of course, that is what I'm saying is this, that ultimately fleeting that ultimately transient. They ultimately cannot fulfill the deepest longing in the soul of a man because God has sent this burden upon this explained your friends at work incident only to unpainted them tomorrow morning when they show up at work because they're frustrated with everything. I'm confused by everything and going through another Sunday there was no worship in it for them and fairness that we could see there was worship in the worship of their own shrines.
They did that one thing they they they assemble themselves before the gods of their own making. Anybody didn't satisfy their gods couldn't answer the gods didn't speak the gods didn't here and fight him in charge of their gods.
They program their gods and go from the mother desire and what they desire really didn't satisfy a note here the driving a car again done for 20 to know what to do.
71 Noah back from us in rat race is last Monday and the same one is next Monday in the same one as the following Monday and the following Monday and the following Monday and I can take enough vacations to deal with. I can drink enough booze to handle this. I can shoot up enough to clean this, nowhere. I'm just living in my nowhere land. I'm making all my nowhere plans for nobody in the data you're prepared to get there is great day. It's a great day because now the burden on your bankers weighed you down enough to realize that has to be an answer somewhere else that has to be an answer and someone else. And of course that is Augustine read his confessions. What a story Augustine you know, turning his back on everything that was made available to them as a boy running away into oblivion, spending his life in dissolution, ignoring the prayers and the cries of those who love them most. And finally, in the space of a very short period of time.
God in his grace uses that the tiny voice of a little child playing in the garden, singing a little rhyme, take up and read pickup and read take up and read any systems are uniting to take up and read the Bible and it takes off and reads the Bible and it comes like a dagger to his soul that comes like a shaft of light into his darkness. It comes like a river north of the assuaging the deepest thirst of his life.
The Thurston could not be met in his dissolute lifestyle and Augustine finally encapsulates the sizzle God you made us for yourself, and our hearts are restless till they find their rest in you see, I know this about you. I don't know where you live. I don't know your street.
I don't know your income. I don't know your IQ, but I know this about you.
You have a burden laid on your back by God, you have a restlessness in your life laid on you by God in order when you face up to that he, the burden make may become to you the burden take.
You see, you never ask anybody to help when you're walking down the street carrying nothing. I be a bizarre person just walking down the street you see someone coming say could you help me with this process with what we have. That's why I don't have anything for you helmet with sorry I just wanted person, but when you coming down the thing with those plastic you want plastic or paper. Here is what a paralyzing choice that can be sometimes. Someone is indecisive is me.
I miss that we are about seven minutes. When when you get when you finally go for plastic and you got them all creased and pulled in here and the thing then you realize if somebody didn't intervene here for me, I'm in trouble. First, the burden and the awareness of the board, then a cry for help in the solution. But if in your life is walking through like this, no cry for help. No relieving of the book.
Finally, same old routine whole new perspective on the possibility of a solid conviction. See the when you and I respond to life's circumstances and circumstances that are described here under the heading at time for everything actually reveals a great deal about us the despair that the preacher here describes is clearly not his own despair, and he describes it in such a way as to tell is and this needn't be yours either the believer or the person who trusts in God can accept the same program is as described here, but accepted as an assignment accepted as a gift. Look at verse 13. For example, that everyone may eat and drink and find satisfaction in all his toil. This is the gift of God. Now let's read it another way that everyone may eat and drink and find satisfaction in all his toil. This is a gift of God.
This is the unbeliever comes to you telling me this is the gift of God, my sorry pilgrimage. I'm a trained rhyme. I drive up and down the Amtrak Baltimore DC Althea New York Baltimore DC every day on the tree and you're telling me that this food in the thing in my way of putting your percentages in the jolly Diet Coke and whatever I'm getting when I get home. This is satisfaction and this is the gift of God. I don't see Corsi Lucy now why a train driver. I don't know I guess you know the psychologists are there is a need. He probably really wants to be a train driver may be, but leaving that aside for the moment. It doesn't matter when you're driving a train, a golf cart boat or your automobile you see the difference same people going down the same road same people going through the same routine. The same people experiencing the same rhythm one looks at it and says this is absolute nothingness. The other person looks out and says I'm driving a train to the glory of God. Suddenly, my food, my drink, my life, my coming and going is taken on a completely different perspective because I understand verse 14. The plans of God need no correction. I know that everything God does will endure forever and nothing can be added to the nothing taken from it.
So you see a have come to terms of my own thing that you do come to realize that I won't even be a footnote in history come to recognize that, in point of fact, you go through the cycle you build it up you lose it you tried again. You build it up.
You were successful than a little failure little more failure than trying again and so on. You work hard you start with nothing, you end up with nothing, and thus the process why it's like because I know that God, who in his overarching purpose is doing things that will endure forever and my significance is not ultimately in me, but my significance is ultimately in my identity in God that I was made for this pleasure. I suddenly realized I exist for someone other than myself.
I exist for a purpose far greater than just driving the train. I exist for more than being a dad more than being the mother more than being the teacher I have all these things, but those things left within the cycle of life may become for me only the source of confusion and the source of tyranny until I understand that in this process. God is doing something far greater. As Paul writes in Romans eight he says all things work together for good to those who love God and who have been called according to his purpose that God today in his providence is preserving his children operating in everything that comes to pass, so that through it all, God has his hand in all of our affairs that we are not at the mercy of blame forces that when he uses the three letter word all he uses it purposefully. He means it, and in all things, the things that happen as a result of my personality.
The things that happen as a result of choices that I have made good choices and bad choices the things that happen within the frame of my own biochemical makeup.
My physicality the things that emerge as a result of the social context in which I live on in the inner city of Boerne in suburbia born to be a king or born to be up on in all of this, God is fashioning his purpose and his plan for us and when a man or a woman is brought to that perspective then it changes everything you see, it will produce within such an individual at least two things I tell you, he's not finish number one humility. Humility to find a person who understands that God is intervened. In this way, while Charon so you know, I'm such a smart individual and but I figure all this out and and I have a course on it I like to introduce you to know this individual is amazed that God would have intervened in this way, he need to dad through life has brought me. I'm amazed in the presence of Jesus as this individual so there is a humility that comes and also there is a security that comes there is a security that comes we live the same lights we go through the same things we have the same leaves that fall we have the same at diabetes that sets in. We have the same challenges with our children. We have the same issues with the all of the accoutrements of life. Christianity doesn't take you out of that take you off into some funny place leaves you right in the middle of it all. So then how do you make sense of the cycle of life. I kindly born a dime to diet plan and gather and heal and so how to make sense because I'm confidence as Paul when he was begun a good work and you will bring it to completion of the day of Jesus Christ that right in the heart of it all he made. He made everything beautiful in its time that God has no abandoned projects and he has no forsaken children is a doctrine of providence is he doesn't abandoned projects and he doesn't forsake his kids, mercifully, is not like us into that again you right here. If I hear that one more time from you and so on. If God were to treat as in that way we would any of us be today, but he doesn't abandoned his projects and he doesn't deserve his children. Why would he was involved in the lifecycle of the sparrow is profoundly involved in the life of his children. So here we haven't the same old routine. A brand-new perspective solid conviction.
Why should I feel discouraged, why should the shadows come. Well, because I've had a bad week and because something happened here in a couple of things that I can tell you about the meaning in immediate terms. There's a number of reasons.
I'd be lying if I said I was in the case, just the cycle of life. Just the just the stuff. So, what changes the cycle.
The perspective, why should I feel discouraged and why should the shadows, why should my heart seem lonely and long for heaven and home. When Jesus is my My constant strength is he in his eye is on the sparrow and I know he watches me making a pathetic attempt to dig some leaves out one day this week. It was a humorous tragic picture really.
I hope none of my neighbor saw me, but I was hanging out the bathroom window when jeopardy of my life holding onto the room. Part of the room and using the long part leaves out of the gutter and a couple of times or almost flicked myself right. One story down, but in the course of doing that I came on a tiny sparrow that was set and it died right up in the gutter and I thought why I can tell you is I think you think I'm weird but you know because I was think things like, I wonder if wonder if he went out flying in was supposed to be home for Steve and he never came back and I can stuff but anyway and then I thought and there's not a sparrow falls to the ground the Lord you you know it all together and I point out something that was like a major thing on the back of my neck. So here I am hanging out with a broom flicking around China.
Make sure that when it rained on the next day it wouldn't be a dreadful over spill and garden his providential care in the course of the cycle of life. Said of God, you got you. I want you to know I make everything beautiful in my time. Just hold on to to have you deal with him may.
It's no wonder our hearts are restless this world.
We were made for eternity. Until we rest in God's providence will continue to be restless this is true for life with Alastair big Alister will be back in just a minute to close today's program with prayer. If you are enjoying this study of the book of Ecclesiastes. You can download any or all of the messages from this study for free. The series is titled a study in Ecclesiastes. You can relisten the messages as often as you like, whenever it's convenient or share of the teaching with a friend. You'll find the messages on our email@example.com along with the daily Bible teaching new hero in this program we are able to offer these free downloads and other helpful resources because of the generosity of our true partners true partners or listeners like you who come alongside Truth for Life faithfully praying for Alister the ministry and for the many who hear the program praying that they will become committed followers of Jesus. True partners also support Truth for Life financially to give a set amount that they choose each month without their faithful giving this program would not be possible.
So if you are one of our true partners. Thank you on behalf of everyone at truthful, I put as well as listeners throughout the world who are benefiting from Alister's teaching. Let me assure you, the staff your Truth for Life is praying for you as well.
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It's titled living life backward how Ecclesiastes teaches us to live in the light of the M you compared this book with the messages in the series and you will have a thought-provoking Bible study. Requester copy of the book living life backward when you become a true partner or you can request a book with a one time donation to the ministry of truthful, I go to Truth for Life.org/donate. If you'd rather mail your donation along with the request for the book right to Truth for Life at PO Box 39, 8000, Cleveland, OH 44139. Now, here is Alister close with prayer at our father, thank you for the Bible that speaks to us with clarity about life and the things that all of us face points is away from ourselves to the wonder of what you've done in laying a burden upon us, and so that when we become aware that we may see that Jesus and his death upon the cross bears all of the burdens in order to having all of our care in all of our sin and all of our darkness cast on him.
We may rise to face the same routine. The same leaves the same process of life but to view ourselves.
Not now trapped in some tyrannical confusing cage but now living in the framework of your providential care come then to our hearts. We pray and remind us forcibly that you really do what you say that although we see through a glass darkly that you will make everything beautiful in your time for Jesus sake. Amen Bob Lapine thanks for listing today. Tomorrow will discover why keeping up with the Joneses will ultimately leave you feeling dissatisfied the Bible teaching of Alistair Begg is furnished by truth for line where the learning is prolific