Summary: What do you do when everything seems to go wrong, when you have more to do than you can possibly accomplish, & you’re not sure what to do next? How do you get the most out of life in times like that? (Powerpoints Available - #146)
MELVIN M. NEWLAND, MINISTER
RIDGE CHAPEL, KANSAS, OK
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ILL. His name is John. He has wild hair, wears a T-shirt with holes in it, jeans & no shoes. He is different, but very bright. He became a Christian while attending college.
Across the street from his campus is a large, upper-middle-class, very conservative church. And one Sunday John decides to go to church there.
He walks in barefoot, dressed in jeans & T-shirt, with his wild hair. The service has already started as John heads down the aisle looking for a seat.
John gets closer & closer to the front, & when he realizes that the pews are all full, he just sits right down on the carpet. (Although that’s perfectly normal behavior at a college fellowship, trust me, it had never happened in this church before!) By now, every eye is on him, & people are looking a bit uncomfortable.
About this time a deacon gets up from the back of the church & is slowly making his way toward John. Now the deacon is in his 80’s, has silver-gray hair, & wears a 3-piece suit – very dignified.
He walks with a cane, & as he heads toward the boy, everyone is thinking, “I wonder what he is going to do?” It seems to take a long time for him to reach the boy, & by now the church is utterly silent except for the clicking of his cane.
All eyes are focused on him. Then he’s there, an elderly man standing over a seated boy. He drops his cane to the carpet, & with difficulty lowers himself & sits down next to John to worship with him so that John won’t be there alone.
Everyone chokes up with emotion. When the minister regains his composure he says, “What I am about to preach, you will never remember. What you have just seen, you will never forget.”
PROP. This morning I want us to think about the question, "How can I make the most of what’s left of my life?" Now, I’m not talking about when everything is going your way, all the pieces are falling into place, & the skies are blue above you.
Instead, I’m talking about when everything is falling apart, when unexpected things happen, when there’s death or divorce or financial or family problems.
What do you do when everything seems to go wrong, when you have more to do than you can possibly accomplish, & you’re not sure what to do next? How do you get the most out of life in times like that?
Well, in Ecclesiastes 3:1-17, Solomon gives 5 keys to making the most out of our lives.
I. ACCEPT GOD’S GUIDANCE IN EVERY AREA OF YOUR LIFE
A. The first key is to “Accept God’s guidance in every area of your life.”
Listen as I read Ecclesiastes 3:1-8, "There is a time for everything, & a season for every activity under heaven: a time to be born & a time to die, a time to plant & a time to uproot, a time to kill & a time to heal, a time to tear down & a time to build,
“a time to weep & a time to laugh, a time to mourn & a time to dance, a time to scatter stones & a time to gather them, a time to embrace & a time to refrain, a time to search & a time to give up,
“a time to keep & a time to throw away, a time to tear & a time to mend, a time to be silent & a time to speak, a time to love & a time to hate, a time for war & a time for peace.” (Ecclesiastes 3:1-8)
Now what is Solomon saying? He is saying that in our lifetime we will experience both good times & bad, victories & defeats, sadness & joy. God knows when these will happen, & He wants to help us through them, if we will allow Him.
B. So let’s notice a few of the 28 events of life that Solomon mentioned.
1. Vs. 2 says there is "a time to be born & a time to die, a time to plant & a time to uproot." In God’s planning, there was a day for you to be born. Long before your birth, God knew when you were going to be born.
But what happens when we short-circuit God’s plan? What about the millions of babies who were to be born, but instead were aborted? Could we have aborted the ones who would have found the cure for cancer or AIDS?
Have we destroyed another Einstein or Edison or Beethoven? In God’s plan there is a time to enter the world, & a time to leave. And too often people have short-circuited God’s plan.