Art’s Latest Sermon -December

Art Moffat Pastor
Art Moffat Pastor

 

 

 

Is Your Life Meaningless or Meaningful to You

Is your life meaningless to you or meaningful, or somewhere in between?

We are going to look at the book of Ecclesiastes. Solomon wrote it. Solomon had everything or anything physically that anyone could ever want.

He wrote Proverbs in the middle portion of his life and he wrote Ecclesiastes later in life.

And through 11 chapters of Ecclesiastes he is saying “I have all this and all this and all this. Here I am at the end of my life and what does all this matter. I don’t think it does!!!!!”

He felt hollow, empty, meaningless. I read someone who said, “Unless there is a description of you in a book somewhere, you will be completely forgotten in 100 years after you die.”
That is one reason we write obituaries. So people will remember someone.

Now, Solomon was considered the wisest of the the wise. People from all over the world would come to listen to Solomon. To hear his wisdom – on many subjects.

He loved the Lord so much that one day as Solomon, as King of Israel, was praying, the Lord said to Solomon, “Ask for anything and I will give it to you.”

You all know the genie jokes— ask for any three things…..

Well, the Lord said to Solomon, “Ask me for ANYTHING you want.” That means an unlimited amount. If the Lord can create the universe what is too much for Him to provide?

Solomon answered,
“ Give me wisdom and knowledge to rule [your people] properly, for who is able to govern by himself such a great nation as this one of yours? 2Chronicles 1:9-11

This must have already been the desire of his heart. Solomon doesn’t even seem to blink before he has this answer for the LORD. And, this was way before he had everything he could ever want.

The Lord loved Solomon’s answer, because Solomon wanted God’s wisdom in his life above anything else. Not human wisdom. God’s perfect wisdom. I occasionally have someone say to me, “I really don’t seem to get much from the Bible. Other things seem to work better for me.” Why???? Why is this person not really getting much from the Bible to help them? Because, (and I do not in the least mean this negatively about that person – who is just being honest) this one has always looked for human wisdom. That has been his/her standard in reading and conversation. God’s wisdom just doesn’t sink in. The frame of reference does not translate. There is a vast difference between the wisdom of the wisest person and God’s perfect wisdom.

2 Corinthians chapter 1 & 2 talks about this.

And the Lord gave His wisdom and discernment to Solomon in great abundance.

So here he is many years later and Solomon writes, “What is there to gain or achieve in life when at the end, you lose it all to death and people eventually forget who you are and what you accomplished?”

He’s asking, “Is life worth living?“

Remember those hollow chocolate Easter bunnies they sell at Easter? You take a bite and they just collapse — like they just disappear.

That was how Solomon was seeing his life. It was all going to disappear. It was a hollow shell.

Let’s follow some of Solomon’s thoughts on this:

Everything is meaningless,” says the Teacher, “completely meaningless!”

What do people get for all their hard work under the sun? Generations come and generations go, but the earth never changes. Ecclesiastes 1:1-4

There is more:

Again, I observed all the oppression that takes place under the sun. I saw the tears of the oppressed, with no one to comfort them. The oppressors have great power, and their victims are helpless. So I concluded that the dead are better off than the living. But most fortunate of all are those who are not yet born. For they have not seen all the evil that is done under the sun.

Then I observed that most people are motivated to success because they envy their neighbors. But this, too, is meaningless—like chasing the wind. Ecclesiastes 4:1-3

By the time Solomon wrote these words, he had reached a high level of success. But,,,, he felt empty. He he couldn’t put his finger on why he wasn’t feeling fulfilled. Solomon searched high and low, gave himself all kinds of pleasures. Gave himself all kinds of goals to achieve. Yet, they were all always temporary. Sort of like that chocolate bunny.

Then comes the end of Ecclesiastes, Chapter 12. After 11 chapters of saying everything in life is
meaningless, he writes:

Yes, remember your Creator now while you are young, before the silver cord of life snaps and the golden bowl is broken. Don’t wait until the water jar is smashed at the spring and the pulley is broken at the well. For then the dust will return to the earth, and the spirit will return to God who gave it. Ecclesiastes 12:6-7

( The silver cord, the golden bowl, the water jar smashed were different ways in Hebrew of saying, “one’s life is over.”)

And he adds,
That’s the whole story. Here now is my final conclusion: Fear God and obey his commands, for this is everyone’s duty. God will judge us for everything we do, including every secret thing, whether good or bad. Ecclesiastes 12:13-14

What is The Lord saying to us in Ecclesiastes? He’s saying, Solomon had somewhere along the road lost his God focus. He was so focused on his work, on his future, on keeping his kingdom up that he forgot who is our real fulfillment. That the Lord is our ultimate fulfillment.

Again, that scripture says,

“That’s the whole story. Here now is my final conclusion: Fear God and obey his commands, for this is everyone’s duty.” Ecclesiastes 12:13

Know God.
Fear God.
Keep His commandments.

And in this Age Of Grace, keep your life focus on Jesus and His life in you.

Seek the Holy Spirit’s guidance.
Study His word.

And know that the Lord has a wonderful and amazing destination for those who have Jesus and not things, or position as the focus of their life.

– That we can enjoy life, yet this does not exempt his from keeping His commandments.

– Meaning in life does not come from our endeavors – our work. These are side pieces. Meaning comes from our devotion and love of God.

Then, He comes to you—like he came to Solomon. Only Solomon forgot. The Lord had to refocus Solomon in chapter 12 of Ecclesiastes. It was almost too late. He was late in life.

I read a headline the other day that said, “I am very sick.” It was quote of a well known radio host. I didn’t read the article, but I wondered about it. Then on my way to the mountain the other day, this line, “I am very sick” came into my mind. I turned on the radio and the first words I heard were this very fellow and he said, “I am very sick.” First words that I heard. I then knew that God was in this. And it was this guy explaining his story.

He said that the past two months he has had focus problems. Sometimes he would get excruciating headaches for several seconds. He had to have his radio program taped because of the lapses. So, he went to a neurologist. He did extensive testing on him. And the conclusion was, “You have a neurological disease that I have never seen before. There is no name for it. But, I can see from the tests its progression and its future progression. In two months you will probably not be able to function.”

The radio host then went to another noted neurologist. The same result was given.

After explaining this, he went on to say,

“I am no longer going to be discussing politics on this show. To be entirely frank with you, that doesn’t matter to me now. What I am going to focus on is what is really important to me now. You see, what is going to sustain me through this is my faith in God. That is what I am going to talk about in these next two months that I have to function. That is what is really important. Ultimately important. And, maybe through my talking about faith, a few of you may be helped.”

Solomon had maybe 20 or 30 years when he had lost his focus on ultimate things. He let himself become distracted by everyday life, things, trials, good food, his work, and other things.

And now late in life, he is getting refocused. I’m sure The Holy Spirit had everything to do with that.

The Lord is saying to us in Chapter 12 of Ecclesiastes, “NOW, is the day. Get your focus right. Your faith in the cross of Jesus is what will carry you — sustain you. Measure things, ideas, and people you are around by and through Him.”

Your faith and life in Him are the only things that lead you beyond your death.

And do not be satisfied with only your own salvation. Make it your life goal and focus to lead those around you away from an ultimately fruitless life, but into a personal and forever and wonderful relationship with Jesus.

So, when Solomon said, “all is meaningless —everything. Because one day I will die and leave everything behind and one day be forgotten,”

Then, The Holy Spirit wakes up Solomon’s spirit and says, “Solomon, this life is but a drop in a very large bucket compared with what I have prepared for those who love Me and give their whole life to Me. Who put their main focus of life on Me. Share that with others. That is why I made you. Love, Jesus. “

Jesus is Lord.
Amen!

 

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