Search - Answering LIfe's Biggest Questions

ANSWERING LIFE’S BIGGEST QUESTIONS

Part 3 – How Can I Make the Most of My Time?

(Ecclesiastes 3)

January 27, 2019
Dr. Mark S. Hartman, Lead Pastor

 

INTRODUCTION

The seven stages of a person’s life are, “spills, drills, thrills, bills, ills, pills, and wills”.  (Richard Needham)

 

1. ACCEPT THAT GOD HAS A PURPOSE FOR BOTH THE GOOD AND BAD TIMES OF OUR LIFE.

A. Ecclesiastes 3:1  There is a time for everything and a season for every activity under heaven.

1. God doesn’t do anything by accident.  God has a purpose, plan and even a time, behind everything that happens.  That doesn’t mean that everything that happens to us is God’s best.  But, it does mean that God is able to take anything in our life and use it for His purposes.  Good and bad alike can become blessings to us.

2. Time delegates our physical life.

Ecclesiastes 3:2-3  There is a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up.

3. Time delegates our emotional life.

Ecclesiastes 3:4-5  There is a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing.

4. Time delegates our spiritual life.

Ecclesiastes 3:6-8 There is a time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; A time to rend, and a time to sew; 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.

B. Life, whether we like it or not, is a combination of good and bad, positive and negative, things we want to happen and things we don’t.

C. Ecclesiastes 3:11a  God has made everything appropriate in its time.

D. Part of living life effectively is coming to accept that there is both good and bad and to be willing to allow God to use both as benefits in my life.

 

2. WHEN WE DON’T UNDERSTAND LIFE, TRUST GOD.

A. Ecclesiastes 3:11  God has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end. (NLT2)

1. God has put eternity into our heart.

2. We have limited perspective.  Our brain isn’t big enough to handle all of God’s plan.

3. John 13:7  Jesus said, “You don’t realize now what I’m doing, but later on you will understand.”

B. Isaiah 40:31  But those who trust in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

When, in our bad times of life, we choose to trust God, He takes our weaknesses and exchanges them with His strength so that instead of bitterness and despair, we can operate with strength and confidence.

 

3. MAKE IT A PRIORITY TO THINK OF OTHERS NOT JUST MYSELF.

A. Ecclesiastes 3:12  There is nothing better for men than to be happy and to do good while they live.

B. Ephesians 2:10  For we are what he has made us, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand to be our way of life.  (NRSV)

C. Philippians 2:3-5  Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves.  4 Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too.  5 You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had.  (NLT)

 

4. SLOW DOWN AND ENJOY THE LIFE GOD GAVE US.

A. Ecclesiastes 3:13  All of us should eat and drink and enjoy what we’ve worked for.  It is God’s gift.

B. Ecclesiastes 11:8  However many years a person may live, let him enjoy them all.

 

5. PREPARE TO GIVE AN ACCOUNT OF OUR LIFE TO GOD. 

A. Ecclesiastes 3:15, 17 …God will call the past to account.  …God will bring to judgment both the righteous and the wicked, for there will be a time for every activity, a time for every deed.

B. Romans 14:12  Each of us will give an account of himself to God.

C. 2 Corinthians 5:10  For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive what is due him for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.

D. John 5:24  I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life.

 

The Action Steps I Will Take This Week Are…

  • I will open my heart to see God in the difficult moments of life, knowing He has plan and purpose for everything.
  • I will open my heart to the truth that God can be trusted and I will choose to trust in Him.
  • I will make it a priority to think of others more than myself.
  • I will pick moments to slow down and enjoy what God has already given me.
  • I will live my life with heaven in mind.