Thursday, November 10, 2011

Tiny Gifts and the Wisdom of God

At the beginning of 2011 we began preaching through the O.T. book of Ecclesiastes on Sunday evenings.  To be honest, it was a huge challenge, yet at the same time very rewarding.

This past Sunday evening I covered Eccl. 11:1-6.  The main points were:

In Order to Gain You Must Venture

Cast your bread upon the waters, for you will find it after many days. (Eccl 11:1)

The Stifling Effects of Looking for Perfect Conditions

He who observes the wind will not sow, and he who regards the clouds will not reap. (Eccl 11:4)

Someone said, "A ship is safe in the harbor, but that is not what ships are built for." We can try to play it safe, but that's not what we're built for; we're built to walk by faith in a mighty God in the midst of the uncertainties of life.

We Must Remain Steadfast In Our Labor for the Lord for It Is Not In Vain

Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain. (1 Cor 15:58)

We may not know fully how God will use our gifts, even the smallest, or our labors – but He will.

It was here that I was helped greatly by the thoughts of Ray Stedman.  He recalled the story of Jesus observing the people throwing their money into the temple treasury.  One woman threw in two pennies, two mites, the smallest coin in Israel.  Yet of her Jesus said, "This poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others."

Stedman remarks:

"Two mites are hardly a drop in the bucket compared with the wealth that may have been put into that treasury that day.  What did Jesus mean?  What he said was literally true.  That story from the lips of Jesus has been repeated all over the earth, in every culture.  For two thousand years it has been told again and again.  It has motivated more people to give than any other story ever told.  Thus it is true that in the wisdom of God that tiny gift was so multiplied that it has outweighed all the giving of any single gift from any individual, no matter how rich, throughout the history of Christendom." (Is This All There Is  - Answers From Ecclesiastes; Discovery House Pub. 1985)

Be steadfast; continue on; your labor and your gifts are not in vain.

Pastor Van

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