"His Works Or Ours?"
In the book of Ecclesiastes, wise and wealthy Solomon declared that "all is vanity!" He reveals the reason for this bleak report and outlook in the opening declaration of his treatise:
"What profit hath a man of all his labor which he taketh under the sun?" (Ecclesiastes 1:3).
"All his labor." Solomon states that the works of humanity, originated and performed according to our own devices, result in an empty void. Contrast this with the Lord Jesus Christ, who assured His disciples of a life of peace and joy based upon seeking our Heavenly Father's working
"I must work the works of Him that sent Me… These things have I spoken unto you, that My joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full" (John 9:4; 15:11).
Emptiness or fullness? A broken and spilled vessel? Or "my cup runneth over?" (Psalm 23:5). We determine the answer by whether we seek to "work the works" of God, or rather live according to our own understanding, purposes, and abilities. Solomon exercised His God-given wisdom to tell us plainly that we do not independently possess the capacity for a life that fills the heart with joy. The Lord Jesus communicated the wisdom of God also, only in His case, our Savior presented the hope for redemption from vanity. Trusting and submitting to our Lord for His working in us, and our subsequent working by Him, fills heart, mind, and hands with the abundant life of God. "He that believeth on Me, as the Scripture hath said, out of His belly shall flow rivers of living water" (John 7:38). Emptiness or fullness thus depends on whether we work our own works, or rather the works of God.
God's working involves all that we do, including the everyday matters of life that may seem quite trivial, and mundane. "Whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God" (I Corinthians 10:31). Realizing His all-inclusive presence and involvement in "whatsoever" leads us to a life of growing recognition that all is indeed vanity that does not originate in our Lord. He alone supplies the Life of our lives. "To live is Christ" (Philippians 1:21). We commit our days and our ways to Him in the confidence that whether we pray or perform our earthly tasks, we live from His wisdom, power, and guidance. Presently, our experience of such grace is far from perfect, but God's faithfulness in keeping us on the track, or restoring us thereunto, is absolutely faithful and constant. "He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ" (Philippians 1:6). His works of joy? Our ours of vanity? The choice is ours, and we will experience this day in accordance with our decision.
"By the grace of God, I am what I am. And His grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me."
(I Corinthians 15:10)
Weekly Memory Verse
He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.
(I John 5:12)