Jump Starts Daily

Jump Start #3591

Jump Start # 3591

Ecclesiastes 3:1 “There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under Heaven.”

  Our verse today begins Solomon’s grand portrait that we call “the seasons of life.” There is a time for everything, he says. And, what follows are a series of couplets, opposites. Solomon lists fourteen of them. Big things such as birth and death. Important things such as war and peace. Keeping and throwing away, we think about that as we stand in front of a cluttered closet.

  The key expression running through these verses is “time.” There is a time. The important factor before us is knowing what time it is. When is it time to speak and when is it time to be silent? When do we keep looking and when do we stop the search and count it lost? What time is it?

  And, a classic example of this is the wealthy farmer in our Lord’s parable found in Luke 12. He was planning to tear down barns and build larger barns. He had plans. He had thought things out. He felt that now was the time.

  There are three mistakes this farmer made. He simply didn’t know what time it was.

 First, he thought it was time to take his ease. It wasn’t. He’d die that very night. He’d die rich in farmland and crops but bankrupt in faith. What time it really was, was the time to get serious about his faith. It was time he moved himself out of the picture and put the Lord as the central place in his heart.

  Second, he thought he had many years still ahead of him. He didn’t. Had he known what time it was, he would not have wasted the energy making plans about bigger barns. He didn’t have another day ahead of him. Before the night was over, he was on the other side. He simply did not know what time it was.

  Third, he thought he had control of the future. This is what I will do, so he thought. So, he planned. He didn’t know what time it was and he didn’t realize that God has a divine appointment for each of us.

  Now, what are we to take-away from such lessons? Is it wrong to make future plans? Is it wrong to dream? These passages are not throwing water on vision, goals and planning. If that were the case, there would be no ambition or improvement. No one would plan to go to college or start a family. God had plans and dreams. He saw a childless Abraham as having more descendants than the stars in the sky. Through the voice of the prophets, God saw a kingdom that would become the chief of the mountains or so powerful that it would crush all the other kingdoms.

  The farmer’s mistake was living and then dying without God. He was never thankful to God for sending the rain and the sun that made his fields so plentiful that he needed larger barns. He never thanked God for the knowledge and ability he had to be a wise farmer. Had he kept God before his eyes, he would have known what time it was.

 Now, some lessons for us:

  First, each day is a gift. We make plans months and even years into the future, but we must remember the time. These things will be if God so allows. Each day is brand new. Each day can be better than the last one.  Each day has the opportunity to honor and glorify God. Today is a gift from Heaven. Be thankful.

  Second, one day will be our last day here. The rich farmer thought his last day was still a long way off. He never realized that it was that night. There is a strong possibility that most of us won’t know when our last day is. It may come suddenly upon us, as it did the farmer. As I write these words in my office at the church building, I look around at all the books, framed pictures and collectibles that fill this room. It’s definitely me. But one day, all these books will be boxed and the room will be cleared out. They have served me well. They have been my tools and helps for a long time. A final day here comes, but it won’t be our last day. We will move to the eternal and things like barns, farming equipment, and for me, a room full of books and stuff will be left to someone else to deal with. These things ought not to define us. They help us for a moment, but they are not us. Who we are, goes with us to the other side.

  Third, knowing what time it is, helps us from being wasteful. When you kill time, there is no resurrection of that lost time. It’s gone and gone for good. So, make the most of your time. Surround yourself with the things that will build faith and encourage others. Continue learning. Continue growing. Continue serving.

  What time is it? The farmer didn’t know. Do you? It’s not what the hands of the clock tell you. It’s what your faith tells you.