Derek Smith, Lead Pastor LHBC

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8
For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:
2 a time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
3 a time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up;
4 a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
5 a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
6 a time to seek, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
7 a time to tear, and a time to sew;
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
8 a time to love, and a time to hate;
a time for war, and a time for peace.

A university professor decided to teach a lesson on time management to her students one day. She pulled out a large glass jar and said, “okay, I’m going to fill this jar and you tell me when it is completely full.” She then pulled out a jar of large rocks and poured them in the glass jar all the way to the top and asked the class, “Is the jar full?” A student spoke up and said, “yes.” She then reached behind the table and pulled out a jar of gravel and poured the gravel in filling in the space between the rocks until it reached the brim and asked, “Is it full now?” Another student said, “I think so.” Then she proceeded to pull out a jar of sand and pour it into the jar with the grains filling in the gaps between the gravel and the large rocks, and she asked once more, “Is the jar full now?” Reluctantly a student responded, “It sure does look like it.” To which she responded by pulling out a jar of water and poured the water over it all so that it saturated the sand in between the gravel and the rocks. Finally she asked, “Okay class, what is the lesson to be learned here?” One proud industrious young man answered, “No matter how much you do you can always do more.” The professor abruptly replied, “No. If you don’t put the large rocks in first they will never fit in the jar.”

When the Bible talks about time it often does so not in plural but in singular language. We think of time in seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, and years; but Scripture often refers to time as one set. Why? Because we only have one life to live, one shot to get it right, just one opportunity to live for Jesus. Hebrews 9:27 says it is appointed for man to die once then comes the judgment. James 4:14 says our life is like a mist that appears for a moment then is gone. If anyone understood the importance of not wasting a minute of life, it was Solomon. He had wasted much time chasing after the stuff of this world through licentious and lavish living. After chasing pleasure, prestige, power, and prosperity, Solomon came to realize that when all our time on earth has passed only what’s done for Christ will last.

In Ecclesiastes 3, essentially what he is telling us is make sure the big rocks get in the jar. What are those big rocks? Our relationship with Jesus is number one. Our relationship to our family is a close second. Pouring our heart into our God-given God-called purpose is there. Making disciples of others should be there as well. What else is there? I mean really, what else matters? Loving God. Loving your family. Loving others by serving them and inviting them to Christ. Using the resources we’ve been given to help those in need. This is the stuff you want to make sure goes in the jar.

What’s in your jar? Is it filled with selfish, trivial, temporal pursuits; or is it filled with selfless, eternal stuff? This moment let’s choose together to fill the jars of our lives with the stuff that really matters.  

Father God, forgive me for filling this life with trivial pursuits. Lord, I want to invest in eternal things that glorify You. Fill me with Your wisdom and love and help me live for what really matters. In Jesus name, amen.

Jeremiah 10:6
There is none like you, O Lord ; you are great, and your name is great in might.