Responding to Opportunities - Ecclesiastes 11:8-9
April 13, 2023, 8:52 AM

8. However many years a man may live, let him enjoy them all. But let him remember the days of darkness, for they will be many. Everything to come is meaningless. 9. Be happy, young man, while you are young, and let your heart give you joy in the days of your youth. Follow the ways of your heart and whatever your eyes see, but know that for all these things God will bring you to judgment.

Being wise involves using good judgment. It is being aware of opportunities that help you and others. Think about that which lasts.

Since our life is so fleeting and brief, God's given it for us to enjoy, but to enjoy it wisely with eternity in mind. Live it up, but remember the judgment of God. Live it up, but real enjoyment is not found in the things of this earth, but in the Creator of them. Live it up, but let your enjoyment be that which is not sin or which will lead you away from your accountability before God. Rejoice in the days God gives you, but remember you'll be accountable for it. There will be a judgment.

John Pound helped build England's fighting ships, but fell from mast and suffered several broken bones. For two years he lay in bed and learned to walk again although crooked and deformed. He learned to hobble with one crutch. He used this accident to learn a new trade as a cobbler.

Pound taught himself to read and accepted Jesus into his life when reading a Bible. While John's brother was out at sea his nephew was living with him. He was also crippled. John examined his nephew’s foot and made little pieces of leather and iron that corrected his ankle allowing him to walk. John began to teach his nephew to read.

Only 2,000 in a city of 100,000 could afford to go to school, leaving also many kids to fend on their own on the streets. He invited children to join in his teaching times and soon this group was called the Ragged School.

He'd offer ‘Hot taters’ to eat and in time up to 40 kids from the streets were taught by this crippled, poor cobbler. In his lifetime John Pound rescued 500 children from streets and lead them to follow the Lord Jesus Christ. He had gift of holding their attention. He never accepted a penny for his teaching of 20 years.

When John Pound died his reputation of good was so well know that they started the Ragged School movement. Missionaries volunteered to open ragged schools. Laws were passed to establish school for the poor as a memorial to John Pound. Within 90 years of his birth over 50 mission centers were started, 13 hostiles, and training institutions for the poor and urchins of England.

John Pound was poor, crippled, and limited but looked for opportunities around him to be used of God. He gave himself away. He was able to manifest fruit for the kingdom of God and the good of Britain.

Application: We need to respond to the opportunities God gives to us. We don't know how God works. He surprises us.

Prayer: To You O Lord, to You in all things may I give glory.