Summary: God has given the gift of time to every person, at every place, for each evolving time.
A. WHAT GOD TEACHES ABOUT TIME
“There is a time for everything . . . a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to harvest; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to tear down, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance . . . a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; a time to search, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to throw away; a time to tear, and a time to mend; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; a time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace. What do people really get from their labors? God has given people all types of jobs. He has made everything beautiful for its time. Also He has put eternity in people’s hearts. I know that whatever God does, it shall be final. Nothing can be added to it, and nothing taken from it. God wants people to fear Him. Whatever exists today, and whatever exists in the future, has already existed in the past. God calls everything back for another turn” (Ecc. 3:1-15, ELT).
1. God has given the gift of time to every person, at every place, for each evolving time. God has given us yesterday, today and maybe tomorrow. Therefore make today count.
2. God has appointed “everything appropriate in its time” (v. 11), so you have a choice to worry or not to worry.
3. You should profit from your work (v. 9); it is the thing that defines your life.
4. God has a task or plan for every life (v. 10). “I have seen the task which God has given” (v. 10).
5. God has given us the ability to look beyond our life of today. “I have set eternity in their heart” (v. 11).
6. God expects us to do good with our work (v. 12). “Nothing better . . . than to rejoice and do good in one’s lifetime” (v. 12).
7. God gives to all people the ability to appreciate the good of their work. “Every man (can) see good in all his labor, it is the gift of God” (v. 11). We can also know whether we do a bad or poor job.
8. God wants us to find enjoyment in our life. “Eat and drink . . . it is the gift of God” (v. 13).
9. Time changes us, but God never changes, nor does He change His purpose with us. “Everything God does will remain forever” (v. 14).
10. Even the day of our death has been set. “The man of God is invincible until the Lord is finished with him.” – Charles Spurgeon (paraphrase)
11. It’s easy to doubt because of crime, corruption, wars, accidents, and “Bad things happening to good people.” But God is in control.
a. God has a purpose – “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose” (Rom. 8:28).
b. God allows persecution, suffering and pain to grow our maturity.
c. God uses good and evil to glorify Himself. David’s sin, Ananias and Sapphire, PTL, Swaggart.
B. TIME CHANGES EVERYTHING
1. Three laws of growth:
• Growth equals change.
• All change is not positive growth, because some change is for the worse.
• Change is the price we pay for growth.
2. How do people react to change? People resist change because of:
• Lack of ownership.
• Their habit patterns.
• Change is not worth the price.
• Loss of something valuable.
• Satisfied with the old ways.
• Negative attitude toward change.
• Lack of trust in change-agent.
3. Evidence of change is all about us. Spring becomes summer, youth becomes aged and the new becomes old. Our bodies get stronger, then they become weaker.
4. Change is good. Change challenges you to grow; change won’t let you wallow in a rut.
5. Christianity has the greatest changes of all. First, we were blind and lost. Second, we saw spiritually. Third, salvation transformed us. Fourth, we grow or change to be like Christ (He is like no-One on this earth).
C. SO HOW SHALL I NOW LIVE?
1. Make every day count.
2. Enjoy yourself; it’s ok to have fun.
3. God has made beautiful things for us to enjoy.
4. Everything has purpose – find it. God has purpose in (a) sickness, (b) accidents, (c) pain, (d) storms and recessions, (e) wars, (f) death.
5. Wait with patience for God’s future revelation of His purpose in your life. You don’t understand how a new highway will turn out from the middle.