We’ve said it from the beginning of our study in Ecclesiastes. This is a book that needs to be read backward. Solomon had it all and tried it all. But nothing under the sun in this fallen world could satisfy his heart. Then Solomon, reflecting on all he had done, concluded that the only way life makes sense is to love, honor, respect, and obey God. Living well must be done through the perspective of eternity. We want to leave this earth well! That means we must live well with Jesus at the center of everything. That’s when we can truly live a passionate life.
Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might, for there is no work or thought or knowledge or wisdom in Sheol, to which you are going.
Once we are dead, we can no longer live. How’s that for a profound statement! But let’s think about its truth. We can no longer hug our wife and tell her how much we love her. We can no longer hug our husband and let him know we’d marry him all over again. We can’t help our kids with homework, watch their sports activities, or go to concerts or dance recitals. We can’t send an encouraging note to a friend. Or show others that we will battle cancer God’s way, trusting him even when it’s hard. We can’t show our employer that our diligent work is done to honor Jesus. We can’t show our employees they are valued and respected for who they are, not just what they do.
So, every day that God gives you breath–live! Live with all your might. Hold nothing back. Laugh. Love. Hike the Grand Canyon. Do some rock climbing. Paint a picture. Run a 5K. Show up early for work. Coach your child’s sports team. Take a long vacation with your family where there is no internet. Write an encouraging note. Take a person to get their treatment. Visit a nursing home with your children. Deliver meals to shut-ins. Make your own list of things you want to do to honor God and leave an impression on your children and grandchildren. The apostle Paul says it like this:
Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.
You are serving the Lord Christ! Fearing God is more than just morning devotions and weekend worship. He has given us the gift of life to love, respect, honor, and obey him…with all our might! Live for Jesus and live to the fullest.
Father, through our study of Ecclesiastes, we have learned about the brief life we have on this earth, a life that doesn’t always work out the way we want it to. We have learned that nothing under the sun satisfies our hearts, no matter how hard we try. We have learned that we must trust you with our questions when there are no answers. We have learned that life only makes sense when we have a personal relationship with you through Jesus. Help us live the days you give us “as for the Lord and not for men.” Give us the eternal perspective to live well and leave well. In Jesus’ name. Amen.