Ecclesiastes 11:1, 2, 6
(All Scripture is from the New King James Version unless otherwise indicated)
The featured Scripture I have chosen for today is from Ecclesiastes 11:1, 2, and 6:
Cast your bread upon the waters, for you will find it after many days. Give a serving to seven, and also to eight, for you do not know what evil will be on the earth....In the morning sow your seed, and in the eve- ning do not withhold your hand; for you do not know which will prosper, either this or that, or whether both alike will be good.
What is the best thing you can give to someone? And I am not just referring to the upcoming Christmas celebration. I think there are three ‘best things’:
- Acceptance – sincerely welcoming someone into your life.
- Love – the kind of love that accepts a person as they are, and treats them with genuine care and respect.
- The gospel – This is the most important thing you can give another human being! Why is it the most important thing you can give? Here is the gospel in a brief presentation called the Roman Road:
✞ The human problem in Romans 3:10 and 23: “As it is written: ‘There is none righteous, no not one’ ....for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” ✞ Consequences of the human problem in Romans 6:23 (first part): “For the wages of sin is death....” ✞ The hope for sinners in Romans 6:23 (second part): “...but the gift of God is eternal life in Jesus Christ our Lord.” ✞ The sinner’s response in Romans 10:9, 10, and 13: ...if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto right- eousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation....For “whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” ✞ The result of believing in Jesus Christ in Romans 5:1 and 2, and 8:1: Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God....There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus....
Giving someone the gospel gives them the opportunity to gain eternal life and the possibility of abundant life! (See John 10:10). Eternal life…
✞ ...starts the moment you receives Jesus Christ as Savior! (See John 5:24). ✞ ...means you have the Lord Jesus as your constant companion! (See Hebrews 13:5; Matthew 28:20). ✞ ...also means that He will be with you in the dif- ficult times as well as good times! (See Matthew 11:28-30; John 16:33). ✞ ...is extended forever in heaven! (See I Thessalo- nians 4:16, 17; Revelation 22:1-6). ✞ ...means you escape from eternal hell! (See Psalm 86:13 (KJV); Matthew 25:41; Revelation 14:11).
So what has all this to do with Mandy, and Ecclesiastes 11:1, 2, and 6?
About a week ago, I received a call from the office of the church to which my wife and I belong. On their office phone a woman had left a message and her Pennsylvania phone number. I did not recognize the name of the number, nor did my wife. But Hope said, “Call her and find out! ” I did, and Miranda answered! Here is what she told me:
“Thirty-six years ago I was a mixed-up 16 year old. My parents were hard-core drug addicts. I walked to church one Sunday, the Baptist Church, and you were the pastor. You welcomed me, and I told you my name was Mandy. I started coming every Sunday, walking to church because my parents wouldn’t go or take me. At one point the church people were to choose prayer partners. You chose ME! I think you were trying to protect me.
“My life hasn’t been easy. I fought drug addiction myself, and my first marriage failed. But I have been clean and sober for years now. I haven’t missed church, and I even have a ministry for the last ten years – helping drug addicts to get and stay clean. My daughter is clean for a year now from serious addiction, and is healing.
“God laid it on my heart to contact you and tell you what you meant to a mixed-up 16 year old girl. I searched the internet and tracked you down. Thank you, and stay in touch.”
I don’t remember the exact words, but there was a lot of back-and-forth conversation between us, and what is recorded above captures the gist of it.
Now what about Ecclesiastes 11:1, 2, and 6?
Solomon, the wisest man who ever lived (see I Kings 4:31), tells us in verse 2 to invest our riches, even spreading our wealth “…to seven, and also to eight…” places. And in verse 6 he says…
In the morning sow your seed, and in the evening do not withhold your hand; for you do not know which will pros- per, either this or that, or whether both alike will be good.
I posed the question above: What is the best thing you can give to someone? And the very best thing to give is the gospel! That’s what I gave Mandy! I didn’t know how her life would turn out. I lost contact for 36 years. But back then I tried to give a confused teenager not only the gospel, but also the other two gifts mentioned, acceptance and love! And look what happened!
Solomon reminds us that “…you do not know which will prosper, either this or that, or whether both alike will be good.” So we give! We give out the gospel with acceptance and love, not knowing how things will turn out! But sometimes you do get to see the return…and the return is great!
Thank you, Mandy!