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Living a Good Life: Prepare to Die, Part 3

Delight in Grace / Grace Bible Church / Rich Powell
The Truth Network Radio
March 15, 2024 10:00 am

Living a Good Life: Prepare to Die, Part 3

Delight in Grace / Grace Bible Church / Rich Powell

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March 15, 2024 10:00 am

What does it look like to live it out in light of eternity? Let's listen as Rich answers this question from the text.

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Welcome to Delight in Grace, the teaching ministry of Rich Powell, pastor of Grace Bible Church in Winston-Salem. In Ecclesiastes 9, King Solomon confronts the idea of death and offers us wisdom about how to live in a way that prepares us for death. In this message, Pastor Rich reminds us that whatever difference we can make for eternity happens now. This life is a gift entrusted to us for a time.

What does it look like to live it out in light of eternity? Let's listen as Rich answers this question from the text. This is the third part of a message from Ecclesiastes 9, 1-10. It was first preached on June 24, 2018 at Grace Bible Church in Winston-Salem.

It's part of a series in Ecclesiastes called Living a Good Life, Making Sense of the Journey. You must be, you need to be in the presence of other people. You were created by a community to be in community. You need that. And a life absent of those relationships is not living well.

Not at all. We are to be gathering with people because we were designed for community. Loneliness is an epidemic with physical impact. 17% of older people interact with family, friends, or neighbors less than once a week. 11% do so less than once a month. This loneliness is linked to cardiovascular disease, dementia, and depression.

It can increase the risk of an early death by as much as 30%. There's a strong link between isolation and poverty. Having two or more close friends reduces the likelihood of poverty by nearly 20%. You need community. Do you pursue community or is your life about you? Leave me alone.

I just want to live my life. That's not living well. This is why God made the church.

Did you know that? The church is about community. The church is about being together, coming together, doing life together. This is why we have emphasized hospitality and many of you have stepped forward and said, I want to commit to being hospitable. A book that is being read by some, the gospel comes with a house key.

It's a good read by Rosario Butterfield. It is a biblical method of outreach. We need to be in community. The reason why we do care groups is because we need to be in community. We need to be with each other, fellowshipping with each other. Not just in a corporate worship sense like this, but in places where we can discuss with each other, eat with each other, pray with each other, support each other. The idea of dinner for six that you're going to be hearing more about.

Maybe you've heard it some already. It's a marvelous idea. Doing it on a regular basis. Good way to get to know your neighbors. See, the church has so much to offer because there's so much loneliness in the world today. So much loneliness.

Isn't it amazing that there's never been a generation that's so connected and yet is so lonely? We need each other. We need to be pursuing that. Here's the third thing. First of all, gratitude. Secondly, relationships. Thirdly, look at verse nine with me. Enjoy life with the wife whom you love all the days of your vain life that he has given you under the sun.

Now you like the first part of that and the second part is like, what's up with that? Did you know that my wife is only my wife under the sun? And this life is so short, isn't it? And yet it is in this life that we are preparing for life beyond the sun. But it's very interesting. There's a key preposition in here.

What does he say there in the beginning of verse nine? Enjoy life what? With your wife. With your spouse.

Gratitude, relationship, intimacy. Now stay with me. All right. Don't check out here. Don't go crazy on me.

This is a word that has been misunderstood and therefore abused. Read the headlines this week and I promise you it was in the headlines. Ashley Madison, the website. Their enrollment has spiked in the last year, particularly in 20 cities across the United States.

Charlotte is number nine on the list ahead of Chicago and New York. Ashley Madison on the website. Their motto is life is short. Have an affair. You can sign up anonymously and hook up with somebody. You see, people are dying for what they think is intimacy. And they're willing to do that. More than half of them are women. I don't know what that means and I'm really not sure why I even said that, but that's what the headline said. Okay. But more than half of them are women. Don't squirm because I mentioned intimacy.

It's an abused word. Relationship and intimacy. These two things that we ought to be pursuing.

Solomon says enjoy life with the wife whom you love. Relationship and intimacy ask this question about life. And I've asked it before, but here it is again. How are we doing?

Have you asked that question? Husbands, you want to make your wife faint? Grab her by the hand. Look at her in the eyes and say, how are we doing? Okay. Give her a few minutes.

She'll come back. How are we doing? Here's a good definition of it. It's not the only exhaustive definition, but it includes this. The ability to give to another without resentment and in turn receive from that other without embarrassment is what intimacy is all about. Now listen, this is not just a physical thing. That's how this word has been misunderstood and therefore abused because Ashley Madison misunderstands this word, but we need intimacy because you know what? God knows you deeply. This is beyond mere coexistence. God knows you.

Intimacy means to know someone and to understand someone and to provide loving care for them and to listen to them. Are you listening to me? Listen. Christians develop the virtuous skill of listening to someone. In today's world, it's all about demanding to be, have my opinion heard.

Stop it. Learn to listen. We need to listen to each other. Listen and leading to meaningful mutual interaction. This is not coexistence and whether you're talking about spouses or you're talking about family members or spiritual family members, we don't just coexist. As church, as a church and multiple members, we don't just coexist.

We are intended for vital connection. We are to dwell with understanding. And here's how it reflects the gospel.

This is why I put this in here. Because intimacy reflects the gospel in this way. What does God know about you? Everything. All the dirt. All the brokenness. But, but what? He loves you. What if the church got along like that?

Wouldn't that be awesome? Instead of judging and labeling and disdaining? When you recognize that because of the gospel, God knows me completely and yet loves me deeply and we reflect the same disposition with each other. That's what we're talking about when we say intimacy. And nowhere can that be more real and meaningful than in a marriage relationship. That's why it takes work. That's why relationships take work. Because people are flawed. People make mistakes. But to know them and see intimacy requires forbearance and it requires forgiveness.

Hello? Have we received that from God? Absolutely. That's the gospel of grace. This is what we ought to be pursuing. And when we do, listen to this, the result of it is that we will delight in each other. You see, because God knows you so fully and yet loves you so deeply that you respond to that in faith and then there is that delight. And that's how it works. You see, we've been mistaken to think that the intimacy, and to many people it's just a physical thing, that that intimacy is the delight.

No. Intimacy leads to delight. When you know someone and yet you love them, they know you and they love you. That's intimacy. That's the gospel. That's what's important in life.

And the last one is in verse 10. Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might. Gratitude, relationship, intimacy, thoroughness. Thoroughness.

Younger generation, are you listening? Be thorough and listen. Today's generation struggles with this. To some degree all people struggle with this. Thoroughness means several things.

First of all, diligence. It means hard work. One of the inhibitors to this is what we call convenience. In his article, The Tyranny of Convenience, Tim Wu is a law professor. He calls it the most powerful force shaping our individual lives and our economies. With its promise of smooth, effortless efficiency, it threatens to erase the sort of struggles and challenges that help give meaning to life.

Created to free us, it can become a constraint on what we are willing to do and thus in a subtle way, it can enslave us. Thanks for joining us here at Delight in Grace. You've been listening to Rich Powell, the lead pastor at Grace Bible Church in Winston-Salem. The Delight in Grace mission is to help you know that God designed you to realize your highest good and your deepest satisfaction in Him, the one who is infinitely good. We hope you'll join us again on weekdays at 10 a.m.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-03-15 12:28:37 / 2024-03-15 12:33:01 / 4

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