June 8-14 Ecclesiastes


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Our little Church is using a Chronological Bible Reading Schedule by Skip Andrews. It can be found here: http://www.churchofchristduluthga.org/
Each Sunday a lesson is given from some of that week's reading. This lesson covers June 8-14.

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June 8-14 Ecclesiastes

  1. 1. Life In A Fallen World <ul><li>As the world enters the twenty-first century, more and more people are struggling to keep their heads above a rising tide of pessimism about prospects for the future. </li></ul>
  2. 2. Life In A Fallen World <ul><li>To be sure, a handful of optimists predict a better, brighter tomorrow. Still, the mass of humanity remains less than convinced. </li></ul>
  3. 3. Life In A Fallen World <ul><li>A hundred years ago, faith in human reason and progress was probably at an all-time high. Today it is as low as ever. There are growing doubts as to whether the world can ever solve its problems on its own. </li></ul>
  4. 4. Life In A Fallen World <ul><li>Ecclesiastes speaks to this condition. It well expresses the profound disappointment that people feel when they realize that life should be better, but isn't. </li></ul>
  5. 5. Life In A Fallen World <ul><li>It's about life in a fallen world. Ecclesiastes says we can deny it, fight it, hide from it, even try to make sense of it. But we can't escape it. </li></ul>
  6. 6. Life In A Fallen World <ul><li>The only meaningful response is to live in it one day at a time, fearing God and cherishing as best we can the stuff of which life is made—food, family work. These are gifts from God's hand. </li></ul>
  7. 7. Life In A Fallen World <ul><li>We can deny it, </li></ul><ul><li>fight it, hide from it, </li></ul><ul><li>try to make sense of it </li></ul><ul><li>but we can't escape it. </li></ul><ul><li>(Word in Life Study Bible) </li></ul>
  8. 8. Ecclesiastes 1 & 2, Situation: <ul><li>The writer of Ecclesiastes wanted to help those who would live after him lead a fulfilling life. He taught lessons learned from his own life. </li></ul>
  9. 9. Ecclesiastes 1 & 2, Observation: <ul><li>Without God, all of our work, pleasure, and wisdom are useless. Lasting fulfillment comes from honoring God in all we do. </li></ul>
  10. 10. Ecclesiastes 1 & 2, Inspiration: <ul><li>It is as if we are on an ocean beach called Earth. We are frantic. We build castles—or at least we think we do. </li></ul>
  11. 11. Ecclesiastes 1 & 2, Inspiration: <ul><li>But what we are really doing is just throwing up sand piles as fast as we can before the next big wave comes in. And that wave is coming. </li></ul>
  12. 12. Ecclesiastes 1 & 2, Inspiration: <ul><li>We can't run from it; there's no escaping it. We will stay on the beach building our castles higher, bigger, more elaborate. We won't enjoy them. There will be no time for that, The wave is coming.... </li></ul>
  13. 13. Ecclesiastes 1 & 2, Inspiration: <ul><li>People have always built sand castles, and those castles have always crumbled. There have always been those who grabbed for things that break. </li></ul>
  14. 14. Ecclesiastes 1 & 2, Inspiration: <ul><li>But now it is like the beginning of the end, like the first moments of a stock market crash, and the scramble is on.... </li></ul>
  15. 15. Ecclesiastes 1 & 2, Inspiration: <ul><li>We have made Jesus to be our Jesus, and we are so accustomed to responding to &quot;our&quot; Jesus that we have forgotten how to respond to the Son of the living God. </li></ul>
  16. 16. Ecclesiastes 1 & 2, Inspiration: <ul><li>His teachings have been taken with the pragmatic view of &quot;helping me,&quot; not followed because we must obey and can do nothing else. </li></ul>
  17. 17. Ecclesiastes 1 & 2, Inspiration: <ul><li>His words have been diluted by so many diverse therapies that all we know to respond to is a &quot;feel-good&quot; deity, a piece of religious plastic which we label &quot;God.&quot; </li></ul>
  18. 18. Ecclesiastes 1 & 2, Inspiration: <ul><li>To reject God out of hand is one thing, but to acknowledge Him and then to live as if He is neither Lord nor God is a horrible existence. </li></ul>
  19. 19. Ecclesiastes 1 & 2, Inspiration: <ul><li>Then all we have left is sand. God expects us to be disciplined. It is not the unnatural but rather the natural thing to be. </li></ul>
  20. 20. Ecclesiastes 1 & 2, Inspiration: <ul><li>We were created to be disciplined, put on this earth by God at this time and in this place not for personal gain or personal pleasure but for His purpose. </li></ul>
  21. 21. Ecclesiastes 1 & 2, Inspiration: <ul><li>God is here in our world now. He has been all the time. He calls to scrambling, grasping people like us through the words of Jesus Christ. He says, &quot;Come unto me.&quot; </li></ul>
  22. 22. Ecclesiastes 1 & 2, Inspiration: <ul><li>It is time for us to do what He asks. (From Enjoying the Closeness of God by Roger Palms) </li></ul>
  23. 23. Ecclesiastes 1 & 2, Application: <ul><li>How do you seek intellectual knowledge? What pleasures do you seek? Solomon warns that these activities will never bring fulfillment by themselves. </li></ul>
  24. 24. Ecclesiastes 1 & 2, Application: <ul><li>Learn to live your life so every detail pleases God. Mow the lawn, clean up your house, or enjoy a hobby in order to please God. </li></ul><ul><li>(Max Lucado Devotional Bible) </li></ul>
  25. 25. Ecclesiastes 1 & 2, Exploration: <ul><li>Coming to God: </li></ul><ul><li>Matthew 11:28 NET Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke on you and learn from me, </li></ul>
  26. 26. Ecclesiastes 1 & 2, Exploration: <ul><li>because I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy to bear, and my load is not hard to carry.&quot; </li></ul>
  27. 27. Ecclesiastes 1 & 2, Exploration: <ul><li>Persevering: </li></ul><ul><li>Jude 1:20 NET But you, dear friends, by building yourselves up in your most holy faith, by praying in the Holy Spirit, </li></ul>
  28. 28. Ecclesiastes 1 & 2, Exploration: <ul><li>21 maintain yourselves in the love of God, while anticipating the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that brings eternal life. 22 And have mercy on those who waver; </li></ul>
  29. 29. Ecclesiastes 1 & 2, Exploration: <ul><li>23 save others by snatching them out of the fire; have mercy on others, coupled with a fear of God, hating even the clothes stained by the flesh. </li></ul>
  30. 30. Ecclesiastes 1 & 2, Exploration: <ul><li>24 Now to the one who is able to keep you from falling, and to cause you to stand, rejoicing, without blemish before his glorious presence, </li></ul>
  31. 31. Ecclesiastes 1 & 2, Exploration: <ul><li>25 to the only God our Savior through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, power, and authority, before all time, and now, and for all eternity. Amen. </li></ul>
  32. 32. Ecclesiastes 1 & 2, Exploration: <ul><li>Heavenly Wisdom: </li></ul><ul><li>James 3:17 NET But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, accommodating, </li></ul>
  33. 33. Ecclesiastes 1 & 2, Exploration: <ul><li>full of mercy and good fruit, impartial, and not hypocritical. 18 And the fruit that consists of righteousness is planted in peace among those who make peace. </li></ul>
  34. 34. Ecclesiastes 3:1-5:17, Situation: <ul><li>The author gives insights on values. He encourages the reader to use time wisely by making right choices. </li></ul>
  35. 35. Ecclesiastes 3-5:17, Observation: <ul><li>One of the key words in this section is the word &quot;time.&quot; Solomon said that God has an appropriate time for every activity and for every stage of life. </li></ul>
  36. 36. Ecclesiastes 3-5:17, Observation: <ul><li>How we use our time reflects our values and our understanding of our eternal destination. </li></ul>
  37. 37. Ecclesiastes 3-5:17, Inspiration: <ul><li>You have an eternal address fixed in your mind as well. God has &quot;set eternity in the hearts of men&quot; ( Ecclesiastes 3:11 , NIV). Down deep you know you are not home yet. </li></ul>
  38. 38. Ecclesiastes 3-5:17, Inspiration: <ul><li>So be careful not to act like you are. Don't lower the duffel bag too soon. Would you hang, pictures on the wall of a Greyhound bus? </li></ul>
  39. 39. Ecclesiastes 3-5:17, Inspiration: <ul><li>Do you set up a bedroom at the roadside rest stop? Do you load your king-size bed on a commercial flight? Would you treat this world like home? It isn't. </li></ul>
  40. 40. Ecclesiastes 3-5:17, Inspiration: <ul><li>The greatest calamity is not to feel far from home when you are, but to feel right at home when you are not. Don't quench, but rather, stir this longing for heaven. </li></ul>
  41. 41. Ecclesiastes 3-5:17, Inspiration: <ul><li>God's home is a forever home. &quot;And I will live in the house of the LORD forever.&quot; ( Psalm 23:6 ) </li></ul><ul><li>My friends Jeff and Carol just adopted two small children. Christopher, the older, is only three, </li></ul>
  42. 42. Ecclesiastes 3-5:17, Inspiration: <ul><li>but he knows the difference between Jeff's house and the foster home from which he came. He tells all visitors, &quot;This is my forever home.&quot; </li></ul>
  43. 43. Ecclesiastes 3-5:17, Inspiration: <ul><li>Won't it be great when we say the same? Couldn't we use a forever home? This home we're in won't last forever. Birthdays remind us of that. </li></ul>
  44. 44. Ecclesiastes 3-5:17, Inspiration: <ul><li>During the writing of this book I turned forty-six. I'm closer to ninety than I am to infancy. All those things they say about aging are coming true. </li></ul>
  45. 45. Ecclesiastes 3-5:17, Inspiration: <ul><li>I'm patting myself less on the back and more under the chin. I have everything I had twenty years ago, except now it's all lower. </li></ul>
  46. 46. Ecclesiastes 3-5:17, Inspiration: <ul><li>The other day I tried to straighten out the wrinkles in my socks and found out I wasn't wearing any. </li></ul><ul><li>Aging, It's no fun. The way we try to avoid it, you'd think we could. </li></ul>
  47. 47. Ecclesiastes 3-5:17, Inspiration: <ul><li>We paint the body, preserve the body, protect the body. And well we should. These bodies are God's gifts. We should be responsible. But we should also be realistic. </li></ul>
  48. 48. Ecclesiastes 3-5:17, Inspiration: <ul><li>This body must die so the new body can live. &quot;Flesh and blood cannot have a part in the kingdom of God. Something that will ruin cannot have a part in something that never ruins.&quot; ( 1 Corinthians 15:50 ) </li></ul>
  49. 49. Ecclesiastes 3-5:17, Inspiration: <ul><li>Aging is God's idea. It's one of the ways he keeps us headed homeward. We can't change the process, but we can change our attitude. (From Traveling Light by Max Lucado) </li></ul>
  50. 50. Ecclesiastes 3-5:17, Inspiration: <ul><li>Eternity seems like a long way away for some people. If you're avoiding thinking about it, start looking at your own mortality. </li></ul>
  51. 51. Ecclesiastes 3-5:17, Application: <ul><li>What does it mean for you to live today in the knowledge that God has set eternity in your heart? What changes can you make in your lifestyle based on that knowledge? </li></ul>
  52. 52. Ecclesiastes 3-5:17, Exploration: <ul><li>Eternity: </li></ul><ul><li>Psalms 89:47 NET Take note of my brief lifespan! Why do you make all people so mortal? </li></ul>
  53. 53. Ecclesiastes 3-5:17, Exploration: <ul><li>Psalms 139:24 NET See if there is any idolatrous tendency in me, and lead me in the reliable ancient path! </li></ul>
  54. 54. Ecclesiastes 3-5:17, Exploration: <ul><li>Isaiah 26:4 NET Trust in the LORD from this time forward, even in Yah, the LORD, an enduring protector! </li></ul>
  55. 55. Ecclesiastes 3-5:17, Exploration: <ul><li>John 5:39 NET You study the scriptures thoroughly because you think in them you possess eternal life, and it is these same scriptures that testify about me, </li></ul>
  56. 56. Ecclesiastes 3-5:17, Exploration: <ul><li>Galatians 6:8 NET because the person who sows to his own flesh will reap corruption from the flesh, but the one who sows to the Spirit will reap eternal life from the Spirit. </li></ul>
  57. 57. Ecclesiastes 3-5:17, Exploration: <ul><li>1 Timothy 6:12 NET Compete well for the faith and lay hold of that eternal life you were called for and made your good confession for in the presence of many witnesses. </li></ul>
  58. 58. Ecclesiastes 5-8, Situation: <ul><li>Although people cannot fully understand all of God's plan, the author of Ecclesiastes believed people could find some of God's goodness. </li></ul>
  59. 59. Ecclesiastes 5-8, Observation: <ul><li>In this passage, Solomon made it clear that wealth cannot buy happiness and that enjoying your work and life is a God-given gift. </li></ul>
  60. 60. Ecclesiastes 5-8, Inspiration: <ul><li>Take your seat in the chair, and look across the table at the psalmist David. He motions for you to lean forward. </li></ul>
  61. 61. Ecclesiastes 5-8, Inspiration: <ul><li>&quot;I have a secret to tell you,&quot; he whispers, &quot;the secret of satisfaction. 'The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.'&quot; ( Psalm 23:1 NKJV) </li></ul>
  62. 62. Ecclesiastes 5-8, Inspiration: <ul><li>David has found the pasture where discontent goes to die. It's as if he is saying, “What I have in God is greater than what I don't have in life.” You think you and I could learn to say the same? </li></ul>
  63. 63. Ecclesiastes 5-8, Inspiration: <ul><li>Think for just a moment about the things you own. Think about the house you have, the car you drive, the money you've saved. </li></ul>
  64. 64. Ecclesiastes 5-8, Inspiration: <ul><li>Think about the jewelry you've inherited and the stocks you've traded and the clothes you've purchased. Envision all your stuff, and let me remind you of two biblical truths. </li></ul>
  65. 65. Ecclesiastes 5-8, Inspiration: <ul><li>Your stuff isn't yours. Ask any coroner. Ask any embalmer. Ask any funeral-home director. No one takes anything with him. </li></ul>
  66. 66. Ecclesiastes 5-8, Inspiration: <ul><li>When one of the wealthiest men in history, John D. Rockefeller, died, his accountant was asked, &quot;How much did John D. leave?&quot; The accountant's reply? &quot;All of it!&quot; </li></ul>
  67. 67. Ecclesiastes 5-8, Inspiration: <ul><li>&quot;People come into this world with nothing, and when they die they leave with nothing. In spite of all their hard work, they leave just as they came.&quot; ( Ecclesiastes 5:15 ) </li></ul>
  68. 68. Ecclesiastes 5-8, Inspiration: <ul><li>All that stuff—it's not yours. And you know what else about all that stuff? It's not you. Who you are has nothing to do with the clothes you wear or the car you drive. </li></ul>
  69. 69. Ecclesiastes 5-8, Inspiration: <ul><li>&quot;Then Jesus said to them, 'Be careful and guard against all kinds of greed. Life is not measured by how much one owns.&quot;' ( Luke 12:15 ) </li></ul>
  70. 70. Ecclesiastes 5-8, Inspiration: <ul><li>Heaven does not know you as the fellow with the nice suit or the woman with the big house or the kid with the new bike. Heaven knows your heart. </li></ul>
  71. 71. Ecclesiastes 5-8, Inspiration: <ul><li>&quot;God does not see the same way people see. People look at the outside of a person, but the LORD looks at the heart.&quot; ( 1 Samuel 16:7 ) </li></ul>
  72. 72. Ecclesiastes 5-8, Inspiration: <ul><li>When God thinks of you, he may see your compassion, your devotion, your tenderness or quick mind, but he doesn't think of your things. </li></ul>
  73. 73. Ecclesiastes 5-8, Inspiration: <ul><li>And when you think of you, you shouldn't either. Define yourself by your stuff, and you'll feel good when you have a lot and bad when you don't. </li></ul>
  74. 74. Ecclesiastes 5-8, Inspiration: <ul><li>Contentment comes when we can honestly say with Paul: &quot;I have learned to be satisfied with the things I have.... I know how to live when I am poor, and I know how to live when I have plenty.&quot; ( Philippians 4:11-12 ) </li></ul>
  75. 75. Ecclesiastes 5-8, Application: <ul><li>Make a list of the ten most valuable possessions that you own. Now make a list of what God has given you. Consider which list contains the greater gifts. </li></ul>
  76. 76. Ecclesiastes 5-8, Application: <ul><li>Take time to reflect on what changes you need to make in your attitude toward what God has given you and your earthly possessions. </li></ul>
  77. 77. Ecclesiastes 5-8, Exploration: <ul><li>Contentment: </li></ul><ul><li>2 Corinthians 9:8 NET And God is able to make all grace overflow to you so that because you have enough of everything in every way at all times, you will overflow in every good work. </li></ul>
  78. 78. Ecclesiastes 5-8, Exploration: <ul><li>1 Timothy 6:6 NET Now godliness combined with contentment brings great profit. </li></ul><ul><li>Hebrews 13:5 NET Your conduct must be free from the love of money </li></ul>
  79. 79. Ecclesiastes 5-8, Exploration: <ul><li>and you must be content with what you have, for he has said, &quot; I will never leave you and I will never abandon you .&quot; </li></ul>
  80. 80. Ecclesiastes 9-12, Situation: <ul><li>Every person must face death. Those who are righteous and wise rest in God's hands. </li></ul><ul><li>Observation: Work hard, enjoy what you have in life, and seek wisdom. </li></ul>
  81. 81. Ecclesiastes 9-12, Observation: <ul><li>Wisdom provides greater assets than power. Although you still face death, you can be comforted to know that those who follow God will live forever with him. </li></ul>
  82. 82. Ecclesiastes 9-12, Inspiration: <ul><li>Remarkable. </li></ul><ul><li>Each morning I climb into a truck that weighs half a ton and take it out on an interstate where I—and a thousand other drivers—turn our vehicles into sixty-mile-per-hour missiles. </li></ul>
  83. 83. Ecclesiastes 9-12, Inspiration: <ul><li>Although I've had a few scares and mishaps, I still whistle while I drive at a speed that would have caused my great-grandfather to pass out. </li></ul>
  84. 84. Ecclesiastes 9-12, Inspiration: <ul><li>Remarkable. </li></ul><ul><li>Every day I have the honor of sitting down with a book that contains the words of the One who created me. Every day I have the opportunity to let him give me a thought or two on how to live. </li></ul>
  85. 85. Ecclesiastes 9-12, Inspiration: <ul><li>If I don't do what he says, he doesn't burn the book or cancel my subscription. If I disagree with what he says, lightning doesn't split my swivel chair or an angel doesn't mark my name off the holy list. </li></ul>
  86. 86. Ecclesiastes 9-12, Inspiration: <ul><li>If I don't understand what he says, he doesn't call me a dummy. In fact, he calls me &quot;Son,&quot; and on a different page explains what I don't understand. </li></ul>
  87. 87. Ecclesiastes 9-12, Inspiration: <ul><li>Remarkable. </li></ul><ul><li>At the end of the day when I walk through the house, I step into the bedrooms of three little girls, Their covers are usually kicked off, so I cover them up. </li></ul>
  88. 88. Ecclesiastes 9-12, Inspiration: <ul><li>Their hair usually hides their faces, so I brush it back. And one by one, I bend over and kiss the foreheads of the angels God has loaned me. </li></ul>
  89. 89. Ecclesiastes 9-12, Inspiration: <ul><li>Then I stand in the doorway and wonder why in the world he would entrust a stumbling, fumbling fellow like me with the task of loving and leading such treasures. </li></ul>
  90. 90. Ecclesiastes 9-12, Inspiration: <ul><li>Remarkable. </li></ul><ul><li>Then I go and crawl into bed with a woman far wiser than I... a woman who deserves a man much better looking than I... but a woman who would argue that fact and tell me from the bottom of her heart that I'm the best thing to come down her pike. </li></ul>
  91. 91. Ecclesiastes 9-12, Inspiration: <ul><li>After I think about the wife I have, and when I think that I get to be with her for a lifetime, I shake my head and thank the God of grace for grace and think, Remarkable. </li></ul>
  92. 92. Ecclesiastes 9-12, Inspiration: <ul><li>In the morning, I'll do it all again. I'll drive down the same road. Go to the same office. Call on the same bank. Kiss the same girls. And crawl into bed with the same woman. But I'm learning not to take these everyday miracles for granted.,.. </li></ul>
  93. 93. Ecclesiastes 9-12, Inspiration: <ul><li>I'm discovering many things: traffic jams eventually clear up, sunsets are for free, Little League is a work of art, and most planes take off and arrive on time. I'm learning that most folks are good folks who are just as timid as I am about starting a conversation.... </li></ul>
  94. 94. Ecclesiastes 9-12, Inspiration: <ul><li>I'm learning that if I look ... if I open my eyes and observe ... there are many reasons to take off my hat, look at the source of it all, and just say thanks. (From In the Eye of the Storm by Max Lucado) </li></ul>
  95. 95. Ecclesiastes 9-12, Observation: <ul><li>Do you feel like you are falling behind in the rat race? Do you wonder how you will catch up? Look at your remarkable blessings, and give God thanks for what you do have. </li></ul>
  96. 96. Ecclesiastes 9-12, Exploration: <ul><li>Life: </li></ul><ul><li>Genesis 9:5 NET For your lifeblood I will surely exact punishment, from every living creature I will exact punishment. </li></ul>
  97. 97. Ecclesiastes 9-12, Exploration: <ul><li>From each person I will exact punishment for the life of the individual since the man was his relative. 6 “Whoever sheds human blood, by other humans must his blood be shed; for in God's image God has made humankind.&quot; </li></ul>
  98. 98. Ecclesiastes 9-12, Exploration: <ul><li>Deuteronomy 8:3 NET So he humbled you by making you hungry and then feeding you with unfamiliar manna. He did this to teach you that humankind cannot live by bread alone, but also by everything that comes from the LORD's mouth. </li></ul>
  99. 99. Ecclesiastes 9-12, Exploration: <ul><li>Psalms 90:12 NET So teach us to consider our mortality, so that we might live wisely. </li></ul><ul><li>Psalms 144:3 NET O LORD, of what importance is the human race, that you should notice them? </li></ul>
  100. 100. Ecclesiastes 9-12, Exploration: <ul><li>Of what importance is mankind, that you should be concerned about them? 4 People are like a vapor, their days like a shadow that disappears. </li></ul>
  101. 101. Ecclesiastes 9-12, Exploration: <ul><li>Matthew 10:39 NET Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life because of me will find it. </li></ul><ul><li>Mark 8:35 NET For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and for the gospel will save it. </li></ul>
  102. 102. Ecclesiastes 9-12, Exploration: <ul><li>36 For what benefit is it for a person to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his life? 37 What can a person give in exchange for his life? </li></ul>
  103. 103. Ecclesiastes 9-12, Exploration: <ul><li>John 4:13 NET Jesus replied, &quot;Everyone who drinks some of this water will be thirsty again . 14 But whoever drinks some of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again, but the water that I will give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up to eternal life.&quot; </li></ul>
  104. 104. Ecclesiastes 9-12, Exploration: <ul><li>Acts 20:24 NET But I do not consider my life worth anything to myself, so that I may finish my task and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the good news of God's grace. </li></ul>
  105. 105. The Conclusion <ul><li>One of the most important things that has ever been said is found at the end of Ecclesiastes. </li></ul>
  106. 106. The Conclusion <ul><li>Ecclesiastes 12:13 NET Having heard everything, I have reached this conclusion: Fear God and keep his commandments, because this is the whole duty of man. </li></ul>
  107. 107. The Conclusion <ul><li>14 For God will evaluate every deed, including every secret thing, whether good or evil. </li></ul>