The End of Our Study of Ecclesiastes & Why Did Jesus Come?

Sunday's class on Ecclesiastes brings to an end a profitable study on an insightful book. We end the study by looking at only the last two verses.  Solomon saves the best, the most poignant for last.  The Preacher sees his own life as a test, and he shares with us his conclusions.  The wisest man who ever lived, leaves us with only two action items.  Our response to these will answer the question, “is life worth living?” 

Advent.  We hear that word every year around the Christmas season, but what does it mean? Most of Christendom refers to the time between the fourth Sunday in November to Christmas Eve as the Advent season.   The word “Advent” means “arrival.”  We celebrate Christ's arrival in anticipation of His Second Advent. A spirit of expectation, preparation, and longing marks Advent.  There is a universal yearning for deliverance from the evils of the world, first experienced by Israelite slaves in Egypt as they cried out from their bitter oppression.  It is the cry of those who have experienced the tyranny of injustice in a world under the curse of sin, and yet who have hope of deliverance by a God who has heard the cries of oppressed slaves and brought deliverance in the past!  For the next three Sundays we will talk about the colors, the symbols, the themes of Advent in a series entitled, “Why Did Jesus Come?”

The Investment of Character Development & Ecclesiastes 11 & 12

On Sunday evenings we have looking at principles involving our finances – investing, saving, planning for retirement, etc.  This coming Sunday morning, we will look at a different kind of investment – the investment of character development.  We will review seven investments that Daniel made that affected his spiritual future.  The dividends are eternal! 

We begin our final section of Ecclesiastes this Sunday morning.  The Problem Decided (chapters 11 & 12).  Up to this point, Solomon has made four arguments about why life is not worth living “under the sun.”  In his final two chapters he gives his personal application on why life is worth living, and gives four illustrations to confirm his conclusions. We will look at the first two of these during this installment. 

Ecclesiastes 10 & Where's The Celebration?

Ecclesiastes is about two themes:  the importance of wisdom and the danger of folly.  In chapter 10, Solomon asks and answers the obvious question, “What makes one wise and one foolish?”  He provides four examples to validate his conclusion.  Key words for this study:  “fool” and “sinister.”  As you prepare for this chapter, ask yourself this question:  “What can people learn about me simply by listening to my talk?” 

Colossians 2:16-17 and Hebrews 10:1 are interesting passages for the believer.  Both passages speak that what the Jews had with the Law were merely shadows of what we have in Christ today.  Okay, we know this, but what does it practically mean?  We are going to talk about how the Jews celebrated their salvation and how their practice should be a “model” for how we celebrate today.  It's a good way to get focused for Thanksgiving, and a good way for us to be reminded that what we have “in Christ” is far better than what our spiritual ancestors had.  So, where's the celebration?

Ecclesiastes 9 & Homeless Sunday

Solomon, in Ecclesiastes 9 speaks about the common responses to the theme of death: Escape, endurance, and enjoyment. Only the believer faces death with joy. The Teacher shows us how in four areas. Chapter 9 is about two inescapable conclusions about life that should yield our hearts into the hands of Almighty God.

This Sunday (November 11th) is Homeless Sunday, a time for Christians to consider the plight of those without permanent shelter.  A broken world has broken people. Homelessness is not an issue; it's about people!  The problem is complex.  Sunday we will talk about the raw stats and the major causes of homelessness, and what our response must be as God's agents of grace.  God has revealed His heart in the way He structured Old Testament laws regarding the poor.  The New Testament continues to reveal God's heart by removing the word “mandatory” and replacing it with the word “mercy.” 

Making Sense Of It All, Ecclesiastes 8 & What's a Man To Do, Part III

Making Sense Of It All, Ecclesiastes 8.  How do we live and act in a broken world?  Solomon offers some wise counsel in this chapter by looking into three key areas of our lives.  The Teacher will discuss the problem with being naïve, how bad the judicial system was (an is), and what to do with the mysteries of life that nag our spirits.  Chapter 8 brings some order of all the disorder in the world.  He promises that God will eventually set everything straight.  We can't be overwhelmed with all the inequities. 

What's A Man To Do? Part III  Installment number three is this coming Sunday. Week 1 was about being a male in an unfriendly culture.  Week 2 was about being a husband in the context of Ephesians 5.  A Christian husband, like Christ, takes the initiative as he leads.  This final installment will focus on the challenge of a being a godly father. Ephesians 6:1-4 and Psalm 78:1-7 will be our primary texts.  As we blend these two great texts together a picture emerges of a father who knows how to train and discipline in a way where the ultimate goals is turning their hearts to God.  There will be some instruction to single moms and single guys who are looking for a mate. 

Ecclesiastes and What's A Man To Do? - Part II

In Ecclesiastes chapter 6, Solomon looked at three mysteries. In chapter 7 he returns to the topic of wisdom. He will mention “wisdom” 14 times in chapters 7 and 8. He will conclude that as valuable as wisdom is, it cannot explain all of life's mysteries. “Wisdom,” says Solomon “is not about answering questions as much as it is for making a contribution to the quality of our lives.” Chapter 7 visits these areas of contribution.

What's A Man To Do? Part II: In the first installment the role of man as a male was examined. This Sunday our series will take us to the role of men as husbands. The key passage we bring to the table will be Ephesians 5:22-25. Our study will ask what the instructions of this chapter look like in real life. Words like “submission” and “love” are not spiritual buzz words. They are the cement that make relationships work.

New Study Series; What's A Man To Do?

New study series this coming Sunday, October 21, "What's A Man To Do?"  In the past, we have had extensive studies on the role of women, and after having a weekend seminar last month on Relationships, I felt it would be profitable to example the role of males. In this three-week series we will visit three topics: How do we do this thing called manhood, How do we serve as husbands, and how do we serve as fathers. The Holy Spirit is not silent on these topics. A message to women: Don't turn this topic off! This study affects you massively. Our perception of God's principles directly affect the practice of males in the role of masculinity.

This week's study on Ecclesiastes 6 discusses three of life's mysteries: Why do some not enjoy their riches, why do some labor without some satisfaction, and why are there mysteries that go unanswered? Typical of Solomon's approach to wisdom, he focuses on how to survive perplexities, and not so much about how to explain them. We will look at the three areas where the ancient Jews believed God blessed His favored people. We will also take a look at the word “evil” and the phrase “under the sun” more closely. Read Ecclesiastes 6 in preparation. Ask God for wisdom!

How To Approach God & Defining Who We Are

Jesus addressed the Pharisees in a harsh way at John 5:37-40. He basically told men who had memorized Scriptures, that they did not know the Scriptures. That would be like individuals with PhDs that they didn't really know the area of their disciplines. What a slap! In our study at 10:30 am, we are going to talk about what Jesus meant in John 5. What is the goal in memorizing Scripture? Why study it? What did the Pharisees miss, and why was Jesus so hard on them? This Sunday's message is entitled, “Defining Who We Are.” It is so easy to forget how we do church in a dying culture.

In our study of Ecclesiastes 5 at 9:30 am, we will learn how to approach God. In this chapter, Solomon takes a break from all the ills of the world. He focuses on the individual who may be facing some tough choices. Ecclesiastes 5 addresses those times when we are in the spiritual desert. When spiritually drained we need to know how to come to God. Solid advice. Sound wisdom for pilgrims who need direction.

Adult class on Ecclesiastes 4 at 9:30 & a new series on 'Objects Of Faith' at 10:30

This Sunday's Adult Class will examine Ecclesiastes 4. There are four places Solomon wants us to visit: the courtroom, the marketplace, the highway, and his palace. Solomon is concerned with the injustice that goes on in these places. He is careful in stating that there are on answers to these places of oppression, but we can survive them! He will also share with us the four things that derail meaningful relationships.

This Sunday at 10:30, we will look at “Objects Of Faith” – things that can help us develop a working knowledge of the gospel for when those times arise to share our faith. Everyday we notice objects that are important, but do not understand how they work. For example, just about everybody has at least fire extinguisher in his/her house and at work. What if there is a fire? Would you know how to grab the extinguisher and use it? There are many objects we see in our daily routines that might become critical for our use. Recognizing something and having a working knowledge of something are worlds apart.

Making Sense of It All & Invasion and Rescue Continue

Ecclesiastes 3 is the text for our next installment of Making Sense Of It All. Studying for this one chapter has caused me to re-examine some key Christian doctrines.

Solomon says “There is a time or season for everything.” At first glance it appears like the wise man is discussing the different seasons of life that happen upon us, but a closer examinations reveals something much deeper and much more challenging in our walk with God.

The source of these seasons may surprise you, but our response is foundational to our faith. Looking forward to our unpacking of these truths together.

The last installment of Invasion & Rescue, attention will be given to the temptation of the survivors of the USS Indianapolis to drink salt water as they waited rescue.

Like these men, we're immersed in a sea of temptation that claims many lives daily. How could the crew take their minds off the deadly seawater and on the task of survival? What keeps us from indulging the alluring waters about us?

Survival must look beyond the immediate plight and gaze upon the ultimate goal of being rescued. Sharks, injuries, thirst, and hunger cannot block the dream of rescue without our permission.


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