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The Daily Drift
06/23/2013
Scripture: Ecclesiastes 11:1-12; Proverbs 19:17; Pr...
Track 10 of 10 in the Pipe Dream series
Solomon encourages us to do all that we can because a day is coming when we will die and no more work will be done. Basically, live your life to the fullest. Make the time God gives you count for something. Dont wait to accomplish something tomorrow. It might never come and your opportunity will be lost. Because of hope, life is worth living and God wants us to live it to the fullest.



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Mike Nobis Speaker: Mike Nobis
Sunday School Teacher, Former Elder at Madison Park Christian Church. Mike is President of JK Creative Printers & Mailing in Quincy, IL. He is married to Pam and has three children, Tom, Tyler and Jennifer. Mike has three grandchildren: Ryne, Ivy and Alicia.

View all sermons by this speaker.


The Daily Drift
Ecclesiastes 11:1-12

The last time I taught, we were going through some tips from Solomon on how to live our lives 365 days a year. The last tip if you remember was Throw Yourself Fully Into Whatever. Solomon encourages us to do all that we can because a day is coming when we will die and no more work will be done. Basically, live your life to the fullest. Make the time God gives you count for something. Donít wait to accomplish something tomorrow. It might never come and your opportunity will be lost. Because of hope, life is worth living and God wants us to live it to the fullest.

What are you doing to keep the cutting edge of your life razor sharp? Perhaps another way to put it is, for what are you waiting? How many burglars of joy do you allow to break into your life to rob you of the fun, the challenge of living life to the fullest? Honestly, when was the last time you broke with routine and did something unusual? Are you doing something totally out of your nature to do?

I am quickly approaching 60 in my life. I have come to realize that I am more than half way in my life. I donít know how many days the Lord has decided to give me but I know I am probably half over at best. The one thing I fear is that my life get into a rut. I donít want my life to be predictable or dull. But I have also learned that there is a lot to do as one get older and that life really just starts when you get to 60. The question comes down to each one of us and Solomon is going to deal with this today, ďDo we want to live or just existĒ?

What are the things in your life that dictates what you do everyday? Are there things that seem to enslave you so that you live your life in a way you didn't intend? What are the things?

I have to ask myself all the time, ďWhat am I protecting?Ē Am I going to slip into a life that has the attitude to take it easy or am I going to live a life for the rest of my life to exert myself? Solomon in the text we are going to read will encourage us to be bullish. We can become itsy-bitsy people as we get older or we can become cutting-edge people.

Ecclesiastes 11:1-6 (NIV)
Cast your bread upon the waters, for after many days you will find it again. Give portions to seven, yes to eight, for you do not know what disaster may come upon the land. If clouds are full of water, they pour rain upon the earth. Whether a tree falls to the south or to the north, in the place where it falls, there will it lie. Whoever watches the wind will not plant; whoever looks at the clouds will not reap. As you do not know the path of the wind, or how the body is formed in a mother's womb, so you cannot understand the work of God, the Maker of all things. Sow your seed in the morning, and at evening let not your hands be idle, for you do not know which will succeed, whether this or that, or whether both will do equally well.

We only have a few more weeks in our study of Solomonís journal. But the last part can be summed up into three commands:

Be Bold, Be Joyful, Be Godly

They fit into a lifestyle that is extremely contagious and rare. And there is no age limit. It is for the young, the middle aged and the older person. Solomon is nearing the end of his life and he has done about all a man can possibly do. But he doesn't say to sit back and take life easy, he tells us to stretch, to reach and to take the challenge, to be downright bullish.

God gives our generation four commands and each command is in strong contrast to the advice we hear today from the world.

Instead of protecting, release yourself. (1)

How many of you put bread in the freezer? Why? When you put the bread back in the pantry, what do you make sure you do or else? If you go back 3 months later to the bread you have protected, what happens to it? Why? If you hoard it to save it for a time when you might need it, what happens to it?

Look at what Solomon says. He said we are not to save it or hoard it. We are to cast it. We are to use it. Our things are not to protect, but to use.

Look where we are to cast our bread. Why on the waters? What does bread represent in this illustration?

This is a command that has a promise. If we do this, we will find it in many days. If we cast ourselves, give ourselves to others, we will find ourselves in many days.

For many people, this is very scary. What causes the fear?

But if God is going to use us, that is the only lifestyle God is able to fully use. Give me a passage in scripture that teaches otherwise. The first command Jesus gives us if we desire t follow him is to deny self. What does that mean? Get vulnerable, depend on God!

True or False: I do not believe in hording?

We are to cast our bread upon the waters. Notice when you do that, all of a sudden the water has control and the water does with the bread what it wants. You no longer have control over it. And if you try to retrieve it, the bread is no longer the same. Over a short period of time, the brad will dissolve and become like the water. But in real life, how exactly are we to cast our bread upon the water?

Rather than hoarding, give and invest. (2)

Ecclesiastes 11:2 (NIV)
Give portions to seven, yes to eight, for you do not know what disaster may come upon the land.

Be bullish as you release yourself. Be bullish in the investment of yourself and the giving of yourself to others. Divide your portion to seven or even to eight. In todayís investment terms, ďdiversifyĒ!

When we invest our money, we are encouraged to diversify our wealth. Why is that good advice? In life terms, what does it mean to diversify? Why is that good advice?

Are you successful? If you are a giver, the answer is yes. And if you are a godly successful person, you donít give in one area. You are a broad based giver. You give generously and you give liberally, you give in a variety of ways. You invest all of yourself and all that you are and all that you have.

We are to cast our bread upon the waters. When we do this, we canít determine the currents or the winds that will carry our bread. It is up to God. This makes you vulnerable. But only vulnerable people can fully be used of God.

Now this way of thinking goes against much of what we have been taught. The philosophy of our parents and our grandparents will be different and con be summed up in 13 words:

Get all you can,
Can all you get,
Then sit on the can!

People who live like that will never discover what ragged edge living is all about. Solomonís insight says be as liberal and generous to as many as you can and then some. Make as many friends as you can for you never know when you yourself may need assistance.

Look at the 2nd half of verse two. We donít know what lies out there for us but in the mean time, we give. We leave the results to God. Look at some proverbs Solomon wrote:

Proverbs 19:17 He who is kind to the poor lends to the LORD, and he will reward him for what he has done.

Proverbs 21:13 If a man shuts his ears to the cry of the poor, he too will cry out and not be answered.

What do you think Solomon is trying to tell us with these proverbs?

In place of drifting, pursue!

Ecclesiastes 11:3-4 (NIV) If clouds are full of water, they pour rain upon the earth. Whether a tree falls to the south or to the north, in the place where it falls, there will it lie. Whoever watches the wind will not plant; whoever looks at the clouds will not reap.

Solomon is probably describing people who spend their lives observing the obvious and noting the inevitable. Instead of occupying ourselves with the obvious, we should pursue! There are a lot of things we canít change. Then what are we doing standing around watching them as though we can change them? If we focus on the obvious, we will come dangerously close to falling into a rut.

Think about all the things you think and worry about? Things that you canít change. Give me some examples. He asks the question, why are you standing around watching the wind? Why do we worry where the tree falls? Who cares anyway? Who really cares if it is hot or cold outside? Or if it I sunny or cloudy? In the long run, what does it matter? Do you get the point?
God wants us to pursue the things we can change, the things that offer a challenge and leave the rest in the hands of the One who has no problem dealing with the other stuff. Donít wait on life, live life. If we wait for life to deal us a good hand, it might be too late to play it. Live life now!

As an alternative to doubting, trust. (5-6)

Ecclesiastes 11:5-6 (NIV) As you do not know the path of the wind, or how the body is formed in a mother's womb, so you cannot understand the work of God, the Maker of all things. Sow your seed in the morning, and at evening let not your hands be idle, for you do not know which will succeed, whether this or that, or whether both will do equally well.

There are a lot of things we donít know. With all our technology, we might be able to observe and learn how things work, but we donít really now how God does it. How does God form the tiny bones in the body of an unborn baby? We can observe it as it is being done and we can learn the physical principles and understand the process, but how does God actually do it? Man thinks he is so smart. But how smart would man be if God were to say, ďI am going to remove many of the principles I have created, so now you do it. ď How successful would man be?

Solomon states a very important principle that leads to an action on manís part. We do not know the activity of God who makes all things. The principle is ďGod makes all things and we donít know how he does it. Since that is the fact, we TRUST in God. We have to because we really donít know for sure.

How as the world made? How do you actually know? Who was actually there other than God? Scientist say it was due to a big bang. This contradicts Godís version. Who do you believe? Who was actually there?

Did George Washington actually live and exist? How do you actually know? Who, living today actually has seen him? What about Jesus? Did he actually exist? Who living today has actually seen Him?

How does the beginning of verse 6 go against what many practice today?