So soon we are in June 2016. We thank God for a new month. I trust before we entered 2016, you made a few resolutions. How well have you done with your resolutions? How have you fared so far in the first half of the year? It was the Apostle Paul who wrote “Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?— unless indeed you fail to meet the test!” (2Corinthians 13:5). The Greek philosopher, Socrates, also said “an unexamined life is not worth living”.
You see, self-examination and evaluation is crucial in all we do. At the end of our lives this side of eternity, we will be called to account before God. If this is true (and it is true), then our lives here matters. How we live and what we do with our temporal stay here is therefore crucial to our eternal destiny. As we enter a new month, I want to glean a few lessons from Ecclesiastes 12:1-7 which I trust will be valuable as you pilgrim through the second half of the year.
1. Seek Your Creator.
“Remember your Creator in the days of your youth…”(v.1a)
Many people live their lives disregarding God. They will do everything else but commit their lives to live and obey God. Don’t be one of them. The days of your youth as used here by Solomon I believe indicates the days of strength, wellness and ability. Comfort and “good days” have the ability to blind us to spiritual realities and we must guard against this. Jesus tells us to “seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness” (Matthew 6:33).
Notice how Solomon contrasts “the good days of strength (the days of your youth)” with the evil day when you have lost your strength: “Remember also your Creator in the days of your youth, before the evil days come…” (Ecclesiastes 12:1a). You see, there is a correlation between how we live our lives and what place God has in our lives in moments of prosperity, good health and comfort. The tendency to forget there is a creator is high. Thus, Solomon’s call to “Remember our Creator is appropriate as we go through the rest of the year.
How will you invest your life in the good days in relation to your Creator? The choice is yours. But remember, you have an opportunity to turn to your creator, if you haven’t. Be also reminded that, “…God is not mocked, for whatever one sows , that will he also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life”(Galatians 6:7-8).
2: Use Time Wisely
“..before the evil days come and the years draw near”(v.1b).
Picking up from the previous point, there will indeed be a transition from youthfulness to a period when youthful strength, opportunities and abilities will be gone. Which obviously includes opportunity to live in submission and obedience to God. Isn’t it amazing that so soon June is with us? It is said that, “time waits for no man” and it is true. J. Oswald Sanders in his book, Spiritual Leadership, wrote that “Each moment of the day is a gift from God that deserves care, for by any measure, our time is short and the work is great. Minutes and hours wisely used translate into an abundant life— living a God pleasing life”.
We will be held accountable for how we lived our lives and what we spent our time on. The Apostle Paul wrote to the Ephesians warning them about the use of time. He said: “Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil”.(Eph 5:15-16). Time is precious and we need to apply wisdom in our usage of time. Aptly, Moses prayed: “So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom”(Ps. 90:12KJV).
Will you make that your prayer?
3: Death, A Reality of Life
“…man is going to his eternal home, and the mourners go about the streets— before the silver cord is snapped , or the golden bowl is broken, or the pitcher is shattered
at the fountain, or the wheel broken at the cistern, and the dust returns to the earth as it was, and the spirit returns to God who gave it” (vv.5-7)
We see death clearly spoken of here. Death is inevitable. We will all die, because “… it is appointed unto men once to die….” (Hebrews 9: 27). Death is a reality of life, as natural as birth is. Once we are born, we will die. Ecclesiastes 3:2 tells us there is “A time to be born, and a time to die…”. Every passing month and similarly every passing year brings us closer to the end of our days here on earth. We don’t get a notification when death will knock at our door. Death will not wait for you to accomplish your projects, dreams and desires. You are not too busy to die. You don’t have the luxury of postponing your death.
Have you considered the state of your soul? “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts”(Heb 3:15).
4: Eternity–eternal life or damnation–Beckons.
“…man is going to his eternal home… and the spirit returns to God who gave it (vv5-7).
There is an eternal home for all of us. Either we will have eternal life or eternal damnation. As we begin a new month, and as you consider all that has been said in the previous points, bear in mind our life here is only temporal. Eternity awaits all of us and whether we will be in heaven or hell depends on what we do with God’s offer of eternal life. We are all sinners and until we come to faith in Christ, we are eternally separated from God. Don’t just embrace a new month, embrace also God’s gift of eternal life through faith in Christ:
For God so loved the world , that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life (John 3:16).