Bible Passage for Meditation: Ecclesiastes 3:9-15
Key Verse: “He hath made everything beautiful in its time: also he hath set eternity in their heart, yet so that man cannot find out the work that God hath done from the beginning even to the end.” Ecclesiastes 3:11, ASV
It is interesting to observe that when two people pass each other on the street or sidewalk, they often look at each other’s faces, even if they don’t know one another. Also, while in a room with others, even if we don’t talk to one another, we often observe and make private judgments about other people based on appearance, words, body language, and more. Some people we are drawn to and subconsciously want to emulate. Others turn us off, and we think to ourselves, I’m glad I’m not like them.
While we may live in the twenty-first century, and while styles and ways of life have changed over the years, this pattern of observation and interaction among humans has been going on since Creation. In fact, as Ecclesiastes 1 tells us, “There is no new thing under the sun” (v. 9). “All things are full of labour; man cannot utter it: the eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor the ear filled with hearing” (v. 8).
However, one thing does last, and one thing can change: our character and our witness. This includes both the intentional witness we try to put forth and the subtle witness that we don’t think about. The Bible tells us, “He hath set eternity in their heart” (Ecclesiastes 3:11, ASV). In other words, God has given us the desire and capacity to rise above mundane daily life and make a difference for eternity.
So what “eternity” do others see in your life today? Does your life exude Christ in every word and action, even the way you walk into a room or the way you smile as you pass others on the street? Do others see Christ when they observe you at play, or when they see you shopping for groceries?
Ellen White tells us, “Daily, in the words we speak, in the plans we form, in the acts we perform, we are making impressions for good or for evil upon those with whom we come in contact. In all we do and say we should testify for Christ” (Manuscript Releases, vol. 7, p. 306).
Unfortunately, sometimes I’m so busy with what’s in front of me that I miss the person who is watching me, looking for a smile and desiring to know what it means to be a follower of Christ. Sometimes I’m so busy trying to accomplish important errands that I don’t think about the people who are watching the choices I make.
Let’s pray that God will help us make every action count for eternity. After all, the only thing we will take to heaven is our character—and those people with whom we’ve succeeded in sharing Christ. The true evidence of conversion in our lives is not just our intentional witness; it’s also the subtle influence that is shared daily when we think no one is watching.
Heart Prayer Challenge:
Lord, help me to see people as You see them. Also, help me to be a witness wherever I am, in my home, on the street, while I’m shopping, when I walk into a room, in my classroom, when I’m traveling on a plane, and wherever I go. Help my life to be an eternal witness for You, not just with my words but also in the subtle influence that others see when I’m not paying attention. Help me not to be too busy to smile, give an encouraging word, and appreciate those around me. Forgive me for the many times I’ve been so consumed with myself and my tasks that I’ve missed opportunities to witness for You. As I continue praying for my church, I pray that You would fill me with Your Spirit and teach me to love and live as Jesus did while on this earth! Thank You for hearing this prayer. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
By Roman Ril
(Roman is co-author with his wife, Raluca, of the Ten Days of Prayer materials for 2015-16. He and his wife serve the Lord in Germany as missionaries. To read more of Roman’s personal testimony, CLICK HERE.)