Devotion by Mike Geiger originally published August 13, 2010 on www.whataboutjesus.com
For this week’s Sermon from Cross & Crown (CLICK HERE)
18 I hated all the things I had toiled for under the sun, because I must leave them to the one who comes after me. 19 And who knows whether he will be a wise man or a fool? Yet he will have control over all the work into which I have poured my effort and skill under the sun. This too is meaningless. 20 So my heart began to despair over all my toilsome labor under the sun. 21 For a man may do his work with wisdom, knowledge and skill, and then he must leave all he owns to someone who has not worked for it. This too is meaningless and a great misfortune. 22 What does a man get for all the toil and anxious striving with which he labors under the sun? 23 All his days his work is pain and grief; even at night his mind does not rest. This too is meaningless.
24 A man can do nothing better than to eat and drink and find satisfaction in his work. This too, I see, is from the hand of God, 25 for without him, who can eat or find enjoyment? 26 To the man who pleases him, God gives wisdom, knowledge and happiness, but to the sinner he gives the task of gathering and storing up wealth to hand it over to the one who pleases God. This too is meaningless, a chasing after the wind.
“I can’t understand it. I’ve invested 25 years in that company. I was only five years from retiring and they showed me the door. What a waste.”
“I’ve been saving for the past twenty years only to see all my savings depleted through the down turn in the economy. Why did I work so hard to save that?
“I can’t believe I have to be on call all weekend. It seems like the harder I work, the more I work and in the end I’m neglecting everything else. What’s the use?”
Life can feel pretty meaningless at times. If these type of thoughts move through your mind from time to time, you wouldn’t be the first. Hundreds of years ago one of the most powerful rulers of all time, King Solomon of Israel, mused about how meaningless life can be. He described it as a “chasing after the wind.”
If our focus in life is to chase after material things, we will never catch them. There is always more money to earn, a higher standard of living to obtain, more tasks to do, and another promotion to be had. Yet, why do we spend so much energy trying to catch something as fleeting as a breath? The world leads to believe we can catch it and find significance and value and purpose in it. What a lie!
This Scripture today is a great one to refocus our day and our life. We all need to repent of our chasing after things that are meaningless and temporary. Today God desires to focus our attention on what is important and lasting. Recognize that all you have is a gift of God and is to be used to please God. Go to work, not to please your employer, but to please the Almighty Living God. As you think about the purpose and meaning to life, realize that what matters most is what God has given you in his Son Jesus, full and free forgiveness for all of your sins. As you look ahead through this life to the next, realize that while all the stuff of this earth will pass away, God has in store for you a place in heaven that will never pass away.
PRAYER: Dear Father, today turn my attention away from what is temporary and meaningless to what is eternal and meaningful. Keep my focus on you and your Son Jesus and lead me to realize my purpose today is to love and please you and love and serve the people around me. This is where I can find true joy and meaning in what I do. AMEN.