Week One – Day 1 – Ecclesiastes 1:1 – 6 SOAP v. 1,2
If I gained the World but Lost the Savior – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a5B2WDc9Jpg
If I gained the World but Lost the Savior – older hymn version – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KfloKot1pnU
1 The words of the Preacher, the son of David, king in Jerusalem.
2 Vanity of vanities, says the Preacher,
vanity of vanities! All is vanity.
3 What does man gain by all the toil
at which he toils under the sun?
4 A generation goes, and a generation comes,
but the earth remains forever.
5 The sun rises, and the sun goes down,
and hastens to the place where it rises.
6 The wind blows to the south
and goes around to the north;
around and around goes the wind,
and on its circuits the wind returns.
O – Solomon comes to the end of a life that COULD have been so powerful, given that he was granted wisdom as his request to God. But, what good is wisdom if it is not applied and lived out? He had riches, palaces, gold and silver, many wives, friends in high places – but what did he really think? “Vanity of vanities! All is vanity.” He realized that his life was coming to an end – all his work was done. His influence would be done. And – what would he have? He would be dead. BUT – the world, God’s creation – it would go one. The sun. The wind. The earth. Cycle upon cycle. A generation goes, a generation comes.
A – As I worked to find songs that would fit the themes of Ecclesiastes, I found it difficult. The book is so full of futility – of looking to find meaning in prosperity, in riches, in prestige, in “things.” But, I also came to realize that there IS NO MEANING in life APART from CHRIST! Riches, “things,” a good job, money, prestige, the “right” friends – they will not stay with you. It is ONLY JESUS!
But – I remembered this hymn from my childhood. “If I gained the world, but lost the Savior – were my life worth living for a day?” “Had I wealth and love in fullest measure, and a name revered both far and near, YET no hope beyond, no harbor waiting….” ”O what emptiness!—without the Savior, ’Mid the sins and sorrows here below! And eternity, how dark without Him!” Here’s the answer, though – “If I have but Jesus, only Jesus, Nothing else in all the world beside—O then everything is mine in Jesus; For my needs and more He will provide.”
Since moving out to Indianapolis, and leaving behind so many “things” – my job, my church, my ministry at the piano, family and friends – I have found that there really is ONLY fulfillment in Jesus Christ! The house I lived in is sold, my former classroom is now being taught by a newer and younger teacher, many others are playing the piano, and my family is now almost 1,000 miles away. We are so easily “replaced!” While my family will never be replaced in my heart, or I in theirs, and I cherish the love of my new husband, I do realize that time passes, and things are different. There is a CONSTANT. There is something that will NEVER CHANGE. That – my Savior’s love. God’s presence. His Holy Spirit indwelling.
Did Solomon ever discover that? Did he ever go beyond “vanity of vanities. All is vanity.”? How sad! I want to live my life so that it has meaning, not only for me, but for those around me. How can I invest in others so that they, too, will KNOW that eternity is dark without Him? How can I share my life now, in Indy, so that others will seek Him, and find Him? While I KNOW that life is short, but my life in Him is eternal – do others? The neighbor down the street who loves to garden? The neighbor who is a recluse? The neighbor whose dog bit me last week? His children?
P – Father God – I am SO thankful that I have You. You have brought meaning to my life. I don’t have to say, “Vanity of vanities. All is vanity.” I can say “Hallelujah! All I have is Christ!” Father, as I go through this day, giving blood, making a blanket for a new foster baby, taking a walk through my neighborhood, and running a few errands, give me open eyes, and an open heart. Help me to see those around me who do not have hope. Who do now know You. Thank You for your constant faithfulness in my life. Thank You for Your presence. Thank You for ALL that You have given me. My life has meaning – in You, and because of You.
- If I gained the world, but lost the Savior,
Were my life worth living for a day?
Could my yearning heart find rest and comfort
In the things that soon must pass away?
If I gained the world, but lost the Savior,
Would my gain be worth the lifelong strife?
Are all earthly pleasures worth comparing
For a moment with a Christ-filled life?
- Had I wealth and love in fullest measure,
And a name revered both far and near,
Yet no hope beyond, no harbor waiting,
Where my storm-tossed vessel I could steer;
If I gained the world, but lost the Savior,
Who endured the cross and died for me,
Could then all the world afford a refuge,
Whither, in my anguish, I might flee?
- O what emptiness!—without the Savior
’Mid the sins and sorrows here below!
And eternity, how dark without Him!
Only night and tears and endless woe!
What, though I might live without the Savior,
When I come to die, how would it be?
O to face the valley’s gloom without Him!
And without Him all eternity!
- O the joy of having all in Jesus!
What a balm the broken heart to heal!
Ne’er a sin so great, but He’ll forgive it,
Nor a sorrow that He does not feel!
If I have but Jesus, only Jesus,
Nothing else in all the world beside—
O then everything is mine in Jesus;
For my needs and more He will provide.