Tuesday, April 7, 2015
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Well, several years ago it was our turn again for the cicadas to pay us a brief visit. You can't really complain; they only drop by every 17 years. What a life these critters have! They suck on a root in the ground for a while, they finally emerge, they climb a tree, they make a lot of noise for about three weeks, and they die. You talk about "get a life!"
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "When Life Feels Meaningless."
Live a little while, make some noise, and then you're gone. Ecclesiastes 1, our word for today from the Word of God - the diary of one of the richest, most successful, most brilliant men who ever lived - the Jewish King Solomon. He opens his life's testimony with his bottom line on living. Here's what he ways, "Meaningless, meaningless, utterly meaningless, everything is meaningless." Man alive! He says, "I haven't found meaning in anything I've done!" Then he goes on to say, "The eye has never enough of seeing, nor the ear its fill of hearing." So he says there's never enough!
As he passed through his life cycle, here are some of the noises that Solomon made. He says in 1:17, "I applied myself to the understanding of wisdom, but this too is chasing after the wind." Then he says, "I will test you with pleasure to find out what is good. But that also proved to be meaningless. I surveyed all that my hands had done and all that I have toiled to achieve," which, by the way, was pretty incredible. He said, "Everything was meaningless." And then finally, "Like the fool, the wise man too must die."
After a life full of pleasure, achievement, relationships and learning, Solomon sums it all up in one word: meaningless! Like those cicadas, a short stay, make a little noise, and then you're gone. Solomon's search and Solomon's conclusion have been repeated over and over again in millions of lives...maybe yours. Maybe there's been activity but not much meaning. You've lived long enough to feel the hollowness of so many things that were supposed to make your life fulfilling. Nothing has really done it for you.
You might be interested though, in the key that Solomon finally found in the meaning that had eluded him his whole colorful life - chapter 3, verse 11 of Ecclesiastes: "God has set eternity in the hearts of men." See, there's this eternity vacuum in us that can never be filled by anything or anyone that earth has to offer. We're not just 70-year cicadas going through a largely meaningless lifestyle for 70 years. We're built for eternity!
In his final chapter he says things like, "Remember your Creator." Now he's looking for meaning in the only direction it can possibly come from - the One who gave us our life in the first place. The Bible actually says, speaking of Jesus Christ, "You were created by Him and for Him." You can't find your purpose until you find the One you were made by and made for, and that's Jesus. That's why He can make this exciting promise in John 10:10, "I have come that they might have life and have it to the full." All the life you were made for is in Jesus Christ. But for you to have life, it cost Jesus His life.
The next verse says, "I am the Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd lays down His life for the sheep." It's no mistake Jesus refers to us as sheep. We've wandered away from God, like sheep, the Bible says. It's called sin. The penalty is death. But Jesus, God's own Son, paid that penalty on the cross for you. Your last meaningless day is the day you reach out to the author of your life; the day you tell Jesus you are putting all of your trust in Him. And this could be that day.
That's why I want to invite you to visit our website. Because right there I will lay out for you in simple and non-religious language how you can be sure you have begun the relationship that begins life the way it was meant to be. Our website - ANewStory.com.
One day it was very quiet in our yard again. That short, seemingly meaningless life of the cicadas was over. You were made for so much more than that. You were made for eternity, and that begins the moment that you begin with Jesus.