What's in your Hands?

Scripture: Ecclesiastes 5:15, ‘Naked a man comes from his mother’s womb, and as he comes, so he departs. He takes nothing from his labor that he can carry in his hand.’


Observations: This is one of the proverbs that we are all familiar with, ‘Naked we are born and naked we die!’ The point being that we brought nothing into this world and we take nothing out of it. Solomon is specifically thinking of material possessions here, and that to enjoy our wealth and possessions is a gift from God (v19). But while we can’t take our possessions with us, we do take our deeds with us. When John sees a revelation of heaven he hears an angel say, “Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord…” and the Spirit responds, “Yes, they will rest from their labor, for their deeds will follow them.” (Rev 14:13)’ And later John writes that at the resurrection of the dead, ‘each person was judged according to what he had done. (Rev 20:13)’ We may not be able to take anything with us when we die, but when we stand before God’s throne our hands won’t be empty. Jesus says we will give an account for everything we did and we will either hear ‘well done good and faithful servant, (Mt 25:21)’ or ‘depart from me you who are accursed. (Mt 25:41)’


Application: God’s acceptance can never be achieved by what we do, only by faith in what Jesus has done for us on the cross, but what we do, or how we build upon the foundation of faith, matters. When you leave this world what will you be carrying in your hands, a life time of sin and rebellion against God, or your love for Jesus and the works that spring from faith in him (1 Thess 1:3)? We may leave this life naked, but God promises his people that he will clothe them in white.


Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, I thank You that You give meaning and purpose to my life. Lord, Solomon is right in saying that in light of eternity my possessions mean nothing, they belong to this temporary and fleeting life. But the deeds that I do in response to Your love and grace have eternal significance. Lord, as Your Spirit moves my hands, may I be faithful and obedient, so that I may lay down my deeds as the foot of Your throne and hear You say, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant!’ In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.


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