Temple Baptist Church 05-04-2008
Introduction: In our text verses, we find the “Cycle of Life.” My, how time flies and our perspective changes!
1. I remember, while in Grade School, looking across the street at the High School and thinking how old and mature the students were. I couldn’t wait until I could cross the street and be grown up.
2. I remember, while in High School, going to Western Kentucky University for “College Days” and seeing the students there and thinking, “My, how old they are! How mature and grown up they are!”
3. I remember the neighborhood that Barbara and I grew up in was full of young families with kids everywhere. The kids grew up, the families on the street grew old. Later, we went back to the same neighborhood and saw kids on the streets again as the older died and the young families moved back in and raised children. Now, the streets are once again empty of children.
4. There was a time when teens were old in my perspective; young people in their 20’s and 30’s were old; middle aged where ancient and the grey haired were virtually gone. My perspective is still changing as I grow older and, in less than two weeks, will hit 60.
5. My wife used to say that I could hug any girl up to 9 and any woman over 60 but nothing in between. That has certainly changed! Now, she has to be at least 80!
6. We look around at the saints that have been gone for some years now, the saints that are now the aged ones, and the youth that are just getting started—and see the reality of the “Cycle of Life.”
A. Life Is Fragile as a vapor - James 4:14 Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.
B. Life Is Swift as a weaver’s shuttle - Job 7:6 My days are swifter than a weaver’s shuttle, and are spent without hope.
C. Life Is Mysterious as the wind - Job 7:7 O remember that my life is wind: mine eye shall no more see good.
D. Life Is Full of troubles - Job 14:1-2 Man that is born of a woman is of few days, and full of trouble. He cometh forth like a flower, and is cut down: he fleeth also as a shadow, and continueth not.
E. Life Is Temporary in nature - Psalms 39:5 Behold, thou hast made my days as an handbreadth; and mine age is as nothing before thee: verily every man at his best state is altogether vanity. Selah.
Genesis 47:9 And Jacob said unto Pharaoh, The days of the years of my pilgrimage [are] an hundred and thirty years: few and evil have the days of the years of my life been, and have not attained unto the days of the years of the life of my fathers in the days of their pilgrimage.
THREE PHASES OF LIFE: YOUTH, MANHOOD, OLD AGE
1. The Days Of Youth - 11:9-12:1 (These should be days of Decision!) REPENTANCE
A. Days Of Rejoicing - “in thy youth” - vs. 11:9a (Days of health, little responsibility, fun and laughter)
B. Days Of Realization - “thee into judgment” - vs. 11:9b (For all these things God will judge in the end)
C. Days Of Removal - “sorrow from thy heart…put away evil” - vs. 11:10 (Sin’s result is sorrow, regret, and bondage)
D. Days Of Remembrance - “Remember now thy Creator” - vs. 12:1 (The time to set your heart and serve is when you can give the most)
2. The Days Of Manhood - 12:1-12:5 (These should be days of Determination!) RESOLVE
A. Days Of Wickedness - “evil days” - vs. 12:1a (Satan is working hard to defile, defame, and destroy your family)
B. Days Of War - “have no pleasure in them” - vs. 12:1b (Spiritual warfare is essential)
C. Days Of Work - “strong men shall bow themselves” - vs. 12:3 (There is much to be done and little time to accomplish it)
D. Days Of Walk - “afraid of that which is high” - vs. 12:5a (The key to spiritual victory is the fear of the Lord)
E. Days Of Witness - “because man goeth to his long home” - vs. 12:5b (Give your family and friends the witness of a good profession)
3. The Days Of Old Age - 12:5-12:14 (These will be days of Deliberation!) REFLECTION
A. Days Of Realization - “man goeth to his long home” - vs. 5b-7 (The only important thing is serving the Lord)
B. Days Of Reflection - “dust…dust...spirit to God who gave it” - vs. 12:7 (Life is temporal and you won’t be here long)
C. Days Of Regret - “all is vanity” - vs. 12:8 (Years wasted cannot be brought back)
D. Days Of Resolve - “whole duty of man” - vs. 12:13-14 (Dedicate your life to the Lord and live only for Him)