ONLY GOD CAN GIVE SIGNIFICANCE TO LIFE Ecclesiastes 1:1-11
<ul><li>1.  The Author  -  1:1 “ The words of the  Teacher,   son  of David, king in Jerusalem.” </li></ul><ul><li>a)  The...
<ul><li>2.  The Thesis  -  1:2 “ Meaningless! Meaningless!” says the Teacher (Philosopher). “Utterly meaningless! Everythi...
<ul><li>3.  The Definition  -  1:3 “ What does man  gain  from  all his labor  at which he  toils   under the sun?” </li><...
<ul><li>8:15  - “So I commend the enjoyment of life,  because nothing is better for a man  under  the sun  than to eat and...
<ul><li>b)  The wrong focus -  1:3 “What does man gain from  ALL  his labor at which he  TOILS  …”  </li></ul><ul><li>- Wh...
<ul><li>4.  The 4 illustrations : </li></ul><ul><li>a)  Life is Brief (short) -  1:4“Generations come  and generations go,...
<ul><li>5.  A man’s conclusion </li></ul><ul><li>a)  There is no satisfaction under the sun –   </li></ul><ul><li>1:8 “ AL...
<ul><li>6.  God’s Answers </li></ul><ul><li>a)  Only God can give significance (not  success) to man -  1:10 “Is there any...
<ul><li>2 Cor 5:17  - “ Therefore, if anyone is in Christ,  he is a  new creation;  the old has  gone, the new has come!” ...
<ul><li>People will forget our paper qualifications, power, position and wealth.   But no one can take away God’s love fro...
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Finding Significance In God

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How to find your significance in God

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Finding Significance In God

  1. 1. ONLY GOD CAN GIVE SIGNIFICANCE TO LIFE Ecclesiastes 1:1-11
  2. 2. <ul><li>1. The Author - 1:1 “ The words of the Teacher, son of David, king in Jerusalem.” </li></ul><ul><li>a) The word “ko hi le” can be translated as “teacher, preacher, or philosopher.” </li></ul><ul><li>b) The book is very philosophical. There are many wise sayings. </li></ul><ul><li>c) The book is very pragmatic. It is about real life experiences. </li></ul><ul><li>d) The book provides solutions to philosophical thinking about life. </li></ul><ul><li>e) The author is none other than Solomon, the very wise, pleasure loving and very wealthy king, the son of King David. </li></ul><ul><li>f) The book is not against wealth but about significance in life that will bring satisfaction and is lasting. It is about human success vs significance in God’s kingdom. </li></ul>
  3. 3. <ul><li>2. The Thesis - 1:2 “ Meaningless! Meaningless!” says the Teacher (Philosopher). “Utterly meaningless! Everything is meaningless.” </li></ul><ul><li>a) What is meaningless? </li></ul><ul><li>b) Why is it meaningless? </li></ul><ul><li>c) How can it be meaningless? </li></ul><ul><li>d) To whom is it meaningless? </li></ul><ul><li>The word “meaningless” means “useless, futile, and fruitless.” Solomon spoke of his power, his pleasure and his wealth. They were all meaningless to him because they were not lasting and they did not bring real meaning in life. They brought more problems than peace. </li></ul>
  4. 4. <ul><li>3. The Definition - 1:3 “ What does man gain from all his labor at which he toils under the sun?” </li></ul><ul><li>a) The Scope - “… under the sun.” These words appeared many times in the book. It has to do with the materialistic world and materialistic mindset. The whole focus is earthly. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>1:9 - “…there is nothing new under the sun .” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>1:14 -“I have seen ALL the things that are done under the sun.” </li></ul></ul><ul><li>2:18 - “I hated ALL the things that I had toiled for under the sun , because I must leave them to the one who comes after me.” </li></ul><ul><li>6:12 - “…who can tell him what will happen under the sun after he is gone.” </li></ul>
  5. 5. <ul><li>8:15 - “So I commend the enjoyment of life, because nothing is better for a man under the sun than to eat and drink and be merry. Then joy will accompany him in his work all the days of the life God has given him under the sun .” </li></ul><ul><li>8:17 - “…No one can comprehend what goes on under the sun.” </li></ul><ul><li>9:3 - “This is the evil in everything that happen under the sun .” </li></ul><ul><li>12:1,2 - 1 “… I find no pleasure in them - 2 under the sun and the light and the moon and stars grow dark, and the clouds return after the rain.” </li></ul>
  6. 6. <ul><li>b) The wrong focus - 1:3 “What does man gain from ALL his labor at which he TOILS …” </li></ul><ul><li>- When work becomes a toil, it is meaningless. </li></ul><ul><li>- When a person works for the sake of working, it is meaningless. Work can be a ministry for God </li></ul><ul><li>- When his whole life is dictated by work alone, it is meaningless. We don’t have time for people. </li></ul><ul><li>- When he allows work to define his self-worth, it is meaningless (I am a lawyer, doctor, teacher, accountan,manager, CEO, etc). </li></ul><ul><li>- “Success” means paper qualifications, position and wealth. It is meaningless. Why? Verses 4-7 - Solomon gave 4 illustrations. </li></ul>
  7. 7. <ul><li>4. The 4 illustrations : </li></ul><ul><li>a) Life is Brief (short) - 1:4“Generations come and generations go, but the earth remains for ever.” No one can live on earth permanently. There is mortality in human life. </li></ul><ul><li>b) Life is Boring (going around a circle) - 1:5 “The sun rises and the sun sets and hurries (panting) back to where it rises.” We wake up, go to work, come back watch TV and sleep, and the routine continues . </li></ul><ul><li>c) Life is Bare (aimless) - 1:6 “The wind blows to the south and turns to the north; round and it goes, ever returning on its course.” We move aimlessly and not sure what we want. </li></ul><ul><li>d) Life is a Paradox - 1:7 “All streams flow into the sea, yet the sea is never full . To the place the streams come from, there they return again.” With whatever we have on earth there is no real satisfaction. </li></ul>
  8. 8. <ul><li>5. A man’s conclusion </li></ul><ul><li>a) There is no satisfaction under the sun – </li></ul><ul><li>1:8 “ ALL things are wearisome, more than one can say. The eye never has enough of seeing , or the ear its fill of hearing .” Wearisome means confusing, and complicated. The key words are, “never enough.” The more we see and hear of many things, the more we are confused and perplexed. We don’t understand why some people are rich without hardwork and yet some are not rich though they work so hard. </li></ul><ul><li>b) There is no meaning (nothing new) under the sun - 1:9 “What has been will be again , what has been done will be done again ; there is nothing new under the sun.” We move in a circle, though at times with new packaging. For example movies of old were in black and white but now are in colours. They are old but new packaging. Whatever a novelty, will not be a novelty anymore at a while. Fashions come and go. It is a cycle and a recycle. We move around a circle. </li></ul>
  9. 9. <ul><li>6. God’s Answers </li></ul><ul><li>a) Only God can give significance (not success) to man - 1:10 “Is there anything of which one can say, ‘Look! This is something new?” It was here already, long ago; it was here before our time.” New things and fashions can never satisfy anyone because once the novelty is gone, it is no longer new. External props cannot give significance. External new things cannot give significance. The position, power, and wealth given by a man are short lived because if a person can give, the same person can also take them away one day. But when it is given by God, no one can take away. The significance given by God, always begins from the inside. The newness (transformation) must come from the inner man (born again). When that takes place, we no longer see things from the world’s perspective but from God’s perspective. We no longer define our self worth by the external but as in the kingdom of God. We are first a child of God then an accountant, a lawyer, manager, CEO, and others. </li></ul>
  10. 10. <ul><li>2 Cor 5:17 - “ Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” </li></ul><ul><li>John 10:10 - Jesus said, “… I come that you may have life and have it abundantly.” </li></ul><ul><li>b) This kind of significance will last for ever - 1:11 “There is no remembrance (forgotten) of men of old, and even those who are yet to come will not be remembered (forgotten) by those who follow.” </li></ul><ul><li>Famous, powerful, and capable people will be forgotten one day. Only God’s work in us cannot be forgotten. Mother Theresa is dead but the work of God in and through Mother Theresa is still around and will last forever. </li></ul>
  11. 11. <ul><li>People will forget our paper qualifications, power, position and wealth. But no one can take away God’s love from us. </li></ul><ul><li>Rom 8: 31 “… If God is for us, who can be against us? 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” </li></ul>

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