Dear San Lo Community, an update for the week of June 25, 2017…
Thank you Pastor Eric for the message from Ecclesiastes 3:9-15, “Work, Work, & More Work.” We begin our new summer series: Biblical Stewardship: Time, Talents, and Tithe. God has called us to be faithful stewards of what He’s given us. A quote from Pastor and Teacher John MacArthur, “All Christians are but God’s stewards. Everything we have is on loan from the Lord, entrusted to us for a while to use in serving Him.” In Genesis 1:28 - God said to Adam and Eve, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it (work) and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the air.” God’s original intent and design was for man to work the earth. God’s business plan from the beginning of time was to work, work, and work more, and then rest on the seventh day. The fall of man distorted God’s perfect and original plan for work. But we can be assured that God isn’t cruel or mean to send us to work. He always wanted us to work and even in Heaven we will be working. Sadly, many people have lost their way with work. There are a lot of reasons why people work, both good and bad. In our American culture, there are a lot more reasons why we’ve lost our way, so my job as your preacher and teacher, is to refocus our thoughts and hearts back on why has God created us to work?
1) God created us to work in order that we might know our limitations. (vv.9-11) Solomon has just written some of his famous words in Ecclesiastes about time, a time for this and a time for that, a time for everything. Now, he ponders A BIG life question, what gain has the worker from his toil? The first answer is in verse 10-11. Verse 10, God has made man busy. There is a good reason for being busy, because God has made life that way. But then for what reason? verse 11 is our answer, God has made everything beautiful in its time. This stems from the previous verses a time for everything: time to be born, to plant, laugh, to weep, to work, etc… God has made all things wonderful and beautiful in His time. Then, in verse 11, God has put eternity in man’s heart so man might see God is God and man is man. Man might understand God is infinite, and he is finite. Man might know that God is everlasting and he is so limited. We might gain an eternal perspective. The point is that only God can do all things in the world, not us. God is the one who really runs and operates every business, school, and home. The weight of work should cause us to see our own limitations in life. It should humble us. It should cause us to gain a greater perspective of ourselves and our God.
2) God has created us to work in order that we might experience His satisfying graces. (vv.12-13) Since we can’t comprehend all of what God has for us in this life even in our work, then let us enjoy the benefits of our labor. Let us eat and drink and take pleasure in our efforts of work. We all want to feel happy both now and for all eternity. We all want to feel good about what we’ve done on this earth and life. Our God is completely good and is complete joy. We can experience God’s goodness and joy on earth as a gift, part of His grace. They are God’s common graces something that we don’t deserve or earn, but God has gifted to us all. Because of a job well done, we can enjoy the labors of our work from the Lord. As good as God’s common graces are, now think about how much greater God’s eternal graces are. God’s common graces are only given now and His eternal graces, salvation in Christ is given for now and forever. God wants you to experience an eternity of joy and bliss with Him, free from sin and death if you are willing to give Him your heart and surrender your life, your work and desires to Him. His satisfying grace we experience from work, points toward a greater eternal satisfying grace, salvation in Christ. Let us never forget that.
3) God has created us to work in order that we might understand He’s in control. We might know that our God is the sovereign God in control over all things in the universe and in the world. His hand is the one guiding and leading us no matter the circumstances, whether we have a bad job, no job or a great job. He’s in control! 14 I perceived that whatever God does endures forever; nothing can be added to it, nor anything taken from it. God has done it, so that people fear before Him. 15 That which is, already has been; that which is to be, already has been; and God seeks what has been driven away. Solomon ends this section of Scripture with a strong sense of God’s sovereignty. God endures forever. God is the beginning and the end to all things. Nothing can be added to what God does nor can anything be taken away from what God has done. God does so that we might stand in fear, in awe of Him. He has first place over all things. He is number #1 above everything. God created all things - heaven, earth, visible and invisible, seen and unseen, presidents and kings, the ones we like and the ones we don’t like. He has created and made all things…and He has created and made our work. He is ultimately the one in control. He is sovereign and we can trust in Him with our work, with our lives, and with our eternity as well.
Our labor is part of a much bigger plan. Our earthly hands are being used and moved by much bigger and mightier hands, the Hands of God. This truth and reality should give us relief. It should ease the anxiety and the stress over work. It should give us peace in God for He’s got it all taken care of, no matter our circumstances. It ought to bring us to Jesus with great joy and thankfulness for what He has done, does, and will do. That we might humbly know our limitations and we might enjoy the moments of good work and that we might surrender our lives under His control to give Him the glory.
Thank you Forrest Yee for encouraging the children about working hard and enjoying the results of that labor. There are many examples in sports team who have to work hard all year to win the championship. Tony Gacayan shared how he has to work hard to play instruments and sing as he leads praise singing, and to also learn a special skill, juggling! It is not just about the fun things in life, but work diligently to follow God’s Word, to work at things through His strength.
6/28 – 7/17 Holly Yamagata and Brazil 2017 team to Presidente Prudente and Pompela in Sao Paulo
6/29 7:00pm Benjamin and Lea’s bridal shower – all are invited to attend
7/1 8:30am Mission Prayer
7/2-8 JEMS Mt. Hermon Summer Camp & Special Camp
7/9 both services NAOMI Team commissioning
7/9 after both services English Department Annual Meeting
7/9 12:30pm Craft Day planning meeting for teachers and helpers (rm.8-9-10)
7/13-15 General Assembly at WCCC
7/15 1:00pm OMF China Update by David Leung (Steve Weemes)
7/16 12:30pm VBS Setup
7/17-21 Vacation Bible School – “Maker Fun Factory”
7/21-25 Brazilian Holy Art Youth Choir (hosted by LAHC HYC) home base for NorCal at SanLo
7/22-28 NAOMI House Mission
7/23 both services commissioning of Japan Mission 2017 Team & Jondy Natividad to Nagano, Yokohama & Tokyo 7/24-8/2 Japan Mission – Chiba VBS
7/25-8/6 Jondy Natividad to Japan with On A Mission sports ministry
8/5 San Lo Golf Outing
8/12 1pm-6pm Special Camp – Post Camp Retreat
8/13 9am-10am Teachers’ Kickoff Meeting
8/13 12:30pm Craft Day planning meeting
Have a blessed week of work knowing He is in control,
Stan, for SLZJCC