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The Journal

Stepping out in faith produces growth

Stepping out in faith produces growth the writer is seeking to instil humility into our character by helping us to know that life is uncertain and we can’t know the future but God does. In v1-2 we may receive a return for our investment or disaster could strike. However this inability to predict the future is not an excuse to retreat and play it safe. Rather we are encouraged to ship our grain across the sea and invest in 7 yes 8 ventures. God wants His people to engage in life and use the gifts they have to witness to His goodness and love. The writer continues to instil humility by reminding us that our knowledge of life is very limited. In v5 we do not know the path of the wind nor how God puts His Spirit into a baby in their mother’s womb. There are so many things in life which are beyond our understanding and control. We are encouraged to focus on what we can do which is to sow our seeds in the morning and not be lazy v6. As we move to the New Testament we are reminded to lay up treasure in heaven. This is not a scheme to encourage us to buy our way in heaven. Rather when we invest in spiritual things which have eternal significance it is showing that our heart has been captivated by Jesus love. That is what the power of Jesus’ death does. He captures our hearts with His love and then this changes our focus so that His priorities and values become ours. In the New Testament Jesus told a number of parables about sowing seed and many of these have links to Ecclesiastes. For example in Luke 12:15-21 Jesus told a parable about building up treasure in heaven. A rich man yielded an abundant harvest and said to himself what shall I do. This was his major mistake because he forgot that this harvest was a gift from God in the first place. He makes a decision to take life easy, eat drink and be merry. This sounds very much like Ecclesiastes which has encouraged us to enjoy God’s gifts but this man has forgotten God and so God’s values and priorities are far from his mind and his heart. Ecclesiastes 9:1-6 is encouraging us to step out in faith and use our gifts and abilities and resources to build relationships of love and sow God’s seed or Word of life. May the Lord enable this to increase. God’s Blessing Rev David O’Mara