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"A New Beginning"

January 2, 2022

Going Deeper in "A New Beginning"

A Time for Everything

3 For everything there is a season,

    a time for every activity under heaven.

A time to be born and a time to die.

    A time to plant and a time to harvest.

A time to kill and a time to heal.

    A time to tear down and a time to build up.

A time to cry and a time to laugh.

    A time to grieve and a time to dance.

A time to scatter stones and a time to gather stones.

    A time to embrace and a time to turn away.

A time to search and a time to quit searching.

    A time to keep and a time to throw away.

A time to tear and a time to mend.

    A time to be quiet and a time to speak.

A time to love and a time to hate.

    A time for war and a time for peace.

What do people really get for all their hard work? 10 I have seen the burden God has placed on us all. 11 Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end. 12 So I concluded there is nothing better than to be happy and enjoy ourselves as long as we can. 13 And people should eat and drink and enjoy the fruits of their labor, for these are gifts from God.

Read the following a few times:

Ecclesiastes 3: 1-13

1 Samuel 9: 1-27

Romans 1

The word Ecclesiastes is derived from the Greek word, ekklesia, meaning a public assembly. The emphasis in the book of Ecclesiastes is on the wisdom of the one who is qualified to address the public assembly rather than on the assembly itself. Ecclesiastes 3 gives us a chapter to contemplate the way we are living and should be living our life. We can contemplate the meaning; the purpose of life and what role God has given us to play in it. There is a time for every purpose, even though we won’t understand it all.

Reflect on the following:

1.      Using your own words, describe what Solomon is saying through this poetic section in verses 1-8. For everything there is a season …

2.      Go through each pair of terms (plant/uproot, etc.) and share whether you have seen it before. Is so, where? What season are you entering?

3.      What parts of your life are God concerned with? Do some parts please Him while other don’t? What areas need a fresh start?

4.      Do you think God is more impressed with a person making $1,000,000 under 30 years old, than a mother washing some dishes? What is God most pleased with?

5.      What might he mean in verse 11, “He has also set eternity in their heart?”

6.      What other New Testament scriptures address this inner awareness of something greater than our own earthly affairs?

7.      How does the first set of verses (1-9) contrast with this thought of “eternity in their heart”?

8.      After looking at all that man involves himself in, daily living and exploration of the greater world and what is beyond, what is Solomon’s recommendation?

Respond in one of the following ways:

1.      Use four words to describe your own circumstances in this past year. Finish the phrase, “A time to ________”.

2.      Think of five trivial things you did this week. Does God want them to be part of your life? Why or why not? (For example, drinking a soda).

3.      Write a resolution for this year using the prompt: “This year is a time to ___________. This year God wants me to _____________.”