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10: Vanity!

Crossroads Connection / Pastor Andy George
The Truth Network Radio
March 7, 2022 10:00 am

10: Vanity!

Crossroads Connection / Pastor Andy George

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And the message today is simply a one-word title and that word is vanity look at something next to you so you so vain settlement survey song and I had already knows a lot this morning.

It's hard not to start writing on the song appear, but that would do none of us get it all vanity words all vanity for you Can you give a summary of the book of Ecclesiastes and jogging to be very helpful to understand what the book of Ecclesiastes is all about why it's there, who wrote it. So the book of Ecclesiastes begins with identifying what they called the Koheleth of the Koheleth is the Hebrew word is only found in the book of Ecclesiastes.

The English translation to that is preacher and teacher. In other words, there's a speaker there semi-speaking these words, he saw the Koheleth. It's a know it's a notation of talking to an assembly or gathering the word Ecclesiastes comes from the word ecclesia, which is where we get the word church from this is the assembly the solemn assembly. This is why we talk about the importance of gathering together that is Ecclesiastes is ecclesia. This is the church gathering together so what you have is you basically have the speaker the Koheleth speaking to the ecclesia of the church body as an assembly and that's kinda the gist of how the book starts out there's a lot of debate as to who wrote the book of Ecclesiastes.

Personally, I believe that it was Solomon. I think in Ecclesiastes 11 were in literally, says it this way since the words of the preacher which is Koheleth the words of the Koheleth son of David, king in Jerusalem.

So, the son of David, king in Jerusalem would and Solomon would've been this time. However, I don't think Solomon wrote this I think he spoke it in some else wrote it down so he followed so far. Now here's why that's important why that's important, I believe, is that in kings in the book of Kings and first Kings chapter 3 verses nine the 14th of Solomon as a younger man is approached by the Lord and the Lord asked him what do you wants what you want he found favor in God's eyes. And so God's okay will ask anything.

God came to you by the way in and said that one of you. By the way, if God can be as it asked me anything and then I'll give it to you. I won't. You asked for. Now, Solomon asked for wisdom and so second key decision. Give your sermon therefore an understanding mind to govern your people to want to wisdom that I may discern between good and evil. For who is able to govern this your great people and so God was impressed with that and the Lord said okay will since you didn't ask for riches. He didn't ask for glory. You did ask for fame. I want to give you everything I think that's important because what he does is God gives Solomon great wisdom. In fact, the Bible says that there is nobody before him during him and sense and that was as wise as Solomon not support because were about to read the words of Solomon spoke to us and he also gave him unfounded riches. He gave them tons of riches and work talk about that next week right next to her and talk about balancing within our work and life and finances.

Also, next week's will hit that a little bit more next week. So I think that's important to know because here's the thing we have the wisest man is a religious we have a man that the Bible says really did everything under the sun didn't all seen it all.

Did it all been there, done that. All that at the end of the day. He says that everything comes down to one thing. Now if you read the book of Ecclesiastes. You would think that Solomon was limning the Manila pulse survey rogue reports that some of you here would think that you are a glass half-full kind of person you're an optimist among all the optimistic people raise up your hands stay home if you are married to a pessimist, lucida that you're both pessimists. While the RA is denying that's our letter to his pastor's wife this to your children as you are pessimistic you you discount my wife calls a realistic look You very Galya. I'm always in your socially normal realism. I know your glasses shattered and there's no more water had all and all that. That's eyes are relational you turn on this coming race is like wall ball on its over. Ecclesiastes, Solomon's, glass is empty, and for some it was had everything done everything then there seen it all has money, fame, everything everything you can imagine, this is what he says. Ecclesiastes chapter 1 that is all vanity that's literally the theme of the book. The theme of the book is vanity vanity all is vanity is not real good way to start your book right now really encouraging way to say everybody got something to say. Everything is meaningless. That's always starts again because the teacher preserved Solomon just imagine you got everybody gathered together they're all there to hear the wisest man that ever lived is awesome because walking out of this horrible clause. There is something to say that everything is meaningless wrong and to die in Medford 12 chapters. He basically says that over and over and over and over and over over 30 times in the book of Ecclesiastes in 12 short chapters. He is describing everything is vanity now while I say that word vanity in Hebrew is the word of the NSAIDs impression you were to teach you Hebrew. There's a purpose that that were Novell is a very interesting word. It's hard to define. When you think of vanity home. If you have a picture in your mind you definition your mind of what vanity is well in this case in Ecclesiastes, the word he uses as were Novell it's like a vapor. It's like a breath, qualifies a later by simply chasing after the wind is trying to grab something and obtain something that shall never put your arms on socially very very fascinating way to approach life. He basically is sin everything in our life not look at this part because there is, by the way, there is hope to this message so messages and just everything is meaningless. No go get someone somewhere there's this really good hope behind this as well.

But you have to give through the reality of what is trying to say and was trying to say is that everything is meaningless apart from Jesus everything is meaningless apart from fearing God and following his commands effect in chapter 12 will get there a little later he starts the chapter by saying vanity vanity all is vanity he ends with the chapter by saying at the end of it all.

After his speech at the end of it all. The reason why were.

Here's the fear God and follow his commands that is then resolved of all of humanity to the book of Ecclesiastes. He doesn't actually answer a lot of questions. It's kind of fun but to preach out of because he doesn't really give you a lot of answers. He disposes a lot of questions. He gives a lot of ideas.

He makes love statements. The one answer. He does give, however, is what is the purpose of life gives us that answer this morning connectionism talk about that I want talk about the purpose of life is a complex, essential questions that swirl around us. Why am I here what's my purpose is this all there is to life how we know that people are asking a question, even without asking if they're asking a question why my here what's the purpose of all this is this all that there really is and so this morning were to answer the question we asked the question about what is our purpose in life and of course, balances so where this comes in is that we can live our life chasing after the win. Pavel we live our life in vanity we can live our life trying to pursue what we think is great accomplishments. We can live our life building. All that we can build them at the right of Ecclesiastes is saying is that the end of the day all meaningless.

You can't get there you're never going to attain everything that you think that you want to obtain in life.

Ecclesiastes 114. He says again he says I've seen everything that is done under the sun. I've seen it all, and behold, everything is vanity everything is striving after the wind. Ecclesiastes 211 uses. I considered all my hands have done the toil I've expended in doing it, and behold, all is vanity all is striving after the wind. Ecclesiastes 12 then summarize it and says but here's the end result. Fear God and follow his ways. Again, I think that this is so important because this is the wisest man in the face of the planet who was seen it all, and done everything he says at the end of the day everything you're striving for is like being in the stream.

You can't put your arms around the air in this room, you can't. You can't catch it right, you can catch Gonzaga breath of vapors is gone. So what is the real purpose in life and why we actually hear.

Now let me qualify this in saying this use is also true. There's actually nothing wrong with acquiring wealth is nothing wrong with wisdom. There's nothing wrong with trophies is something wrong with work is nothing wrong with being successful at all. Nothing is anything wrong with that.

I'm saying that what happens is it that is your and resolve all meaningless. That's all that you want to be in life if all life you want to do and be is what you can build apart from God. At the end of it meaningless. Gone. So how do we balance that where is the balance in that in Matthew chapter 6 verse 19 to 21 Jesus says it this way. He says do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal pieces but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroy and where thieves cannot break in and steal. As for where your treasure is, there your heart will be awesome and so what he's saying is that where our heart is where we are in life. What we value most important is all that we can do on the side of eternity or his honor and glorifying God throughout her life. So what is a source of our satisfaction. What is the source of our purpose where in your life are you finding purpose and meaning not carefully get out of balance and our purpose and meaning come out of just what I can do what I can build or or my identity becomes from my work, my identity becomes from my worth my identity comes from my relationship right is how we build life and unfortunately see this happen day in and day out in the world around us that we are consciously seeing that people are building their own mini empires apart from God and at the end of the day. What is sin meaningless gone. You spent your whole life chasing after something you'll never get. This is why people are so discouraged.

This is why people are frustrated. This is why people don't have joy in her life and peace in her life because it is running as hard as they can try and accumulate as much as they can. Thinking that that's can give them purpose.

But, you know that your purpose in my purpose actually started with Jesus. That's where it starts.

Then all those other things are fine right seek the Lord first seek the kingdom and first seek God first then all that other stuff is after that.

The problem is that we make our own kingdom, it starts to fall apart so we invite God into our mess is okay God come fix my must now come bless my mess I made a mess of it all.

Now come in and they cannot fix it and do what you can to the next few minutes in order to do this were to spend time talking about this. We spent our life chasing after the wind Pavel the vanity or will we spend our life in pursuit of true purpose in Jesus. I want to give us three things about life. Turn to Ecclesiastes chapter 3 Ecclesiastes chapter 3 verse one date is our main text, this passage is typically red most time only overheard at funerals or in a song. Okay, you'll see that the second again if you say the words turn turn turn after every single verse I will escort you out of the building will be here all day, but as soon as I read it here in time and the song in your head. Aren't you.

I know it. It's hard for me not to do that you for everything there is a season yesterday. It's right there is an inherent I hear in my head to the reader sees the time, every every matter under heaven. A time to be born. A time to die. A time to plant and a time to pluck up what is planted a time to kill and a time to heal in time to break down of the time to build up a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance. A time to cast away stones and a time to gather stones together. A time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing a time to seek and a time to lose a time to keep in the time to cast away. A time to tear and a time to so time to keep silent and a time to speak. A time to love the time to hate. A time for war and a time for peace. Point number one is this right is down three quick things this morning went on about life point number one pleasure and pain. Both intersect each other. Pleasure and pain. Both intersect the reason why we have pain we always have to go here to put in context.

The reason why there's pain why their suffering. We talked about last week.

The reason why there's war why what's happening in Europe is happening why what happens in your life happens is because of sin, we still call what it is and the reason why there's pain and suffering is because of the fall of mankind. Mankind falls that immediately introduces a separation from God.

Mankind falls in immediately introduces sin in the entire Bible is a story of redemption of God. Try to redeem his people back to himself in the process of that people sin people fall away. People come to him because of sinful nature reminder from last week. There is a real devil that really really hate you. So because of this there is evil in the world are some of the world. There's pain in the world around us, but there's also purpose in our pain is also purpose in our pleasure. We just read in Ecclesiastes. What I like about that is, every line, every verse compare two things did you notice that it compares something beautiful like life was something like death.

It compares something like growth and planting with a time of tearing down and ripping out a comparative time about love and a time about eight and compare these things back and forth together. You'll notice as we unpack the book of Ecclesiastes for the next couple weeks you'll you'll see that the writer is constantly doing is he's he's writing things in Amy's comparing it to the other side of it. There's purpose behind the seasons of our life now. The hard thing about that is often times we don't see the purpose while going through it.

I'll think there's very many people that when you're going through a season of pain that your first instinct is to be like.

Thank you God.

I see the purpose of this pain was the first thing we do. We pray for the pain to go away.

We pain we pray for a different doctors report. We pray for a different job. We pray for healthy pray for all these things but there's purpose behind that we sometimes might not ever see the purpose behind it.

On the other side of that is actually purpose behind the pleasure to. This is not just to have pleasure.

There's also purpose behind those times. Ecclesiastes chapter 3 verse 11. He says it this way again this after he's just written out all of these times of time for this.

A time for that. He says in verse 11 that he has made everything beautiful in its time to signal that for a moment, the wisest man that ever lived wrote and spoke to spoke these words is the time for this and the time for this is tougher pain, this time for pleasure and all of it. God has made it beautiful in this time, everything is beautiful now that requires a whole lot of faith. At times a whole lot of maturity doesn't requires a whole lot of the spirit of God inside of us that as we navigate through something to start to think about the purpose behind that God can actually turn this and make this something beautiful. As I was reading this I thought of Job in effect in Ecclesiastes chapter 5 verse 15 the writer, speaker, writer uses the same phraseology that Job uses in Job chapter 1. If you don't know who Joe was.

Joe was a very rich man, a very fortunate man. He had a wife and family get lots of animals lots of land lots of wealth and in very unique passage of Scripture Satan member really really doesn't like you does the goddesses God I bet you that Job will curse your name if you take all that stuff away from an goddesses will go ahead and testament which can't touch you can view testing Dragon you are, but you can't touch Job to say nose and basely wipes away everything he has his kids die as livestock is stolen. He loses all his wealth he lost everything. His wife tells him curse God and die his friends come alongside to discuss this and it all just curse God and die eventually got even allow Satan to impose harm on Joe's body three head now has boils all over his body in Scripture is very graphic with this is a stake in shards of clay that's broken and scratching the boils on me sitting in a heap with nothing with nothing. Job chapter 1 verse 20 says it this way since Job arose, and tore his robe, and shaved his head, and fell to the ground in worship this after he finds out that it's children have died. This is naked I came from my mother's womb and make it our turn.

The Lord gives and the Lord is taken away. Blessed be the name of the Lord, and in all this Job did not sin or charge God with wrong you read that any think what kind of person is able to do that you read them you you think about how often we might give up our relationship with Jesus for far less than that. I'm always amazed him and I do them. I like to. I'm sure you do, that the moment they start to go wrong. It's really easy just to start blaming God why why God is happening. What's happening to me. I thought we are tight. I thought you loved me with all these games, but I wonder if we were able to take a step back and realize that in the middle of all this that there's an opportunity for us to praise our way through the pain to this. The pointers that we need to get to this work.

God is bringing us to our you and I able to praise God through the pain. Are we able to see the purpose behind the pain. Are we able to take and become and make a platform out of the pain. Another was a real to use our pain for God's glory. At the same time we able to use our blessings for God's glory to its usual size right there brighter.

Ecclesiastes is just constant talk about gloom and despair is also talk about what we do with what God is prosperous and so we taken the painful times and saying got everything is beautiful in your time.

Use me, praise my way through the pain and at the same time. On the other side do we say God bless me abundantly. I want to be selfish how God can use me through the pleasures through through the blessing to be a blessing. Other people so there's always both sides of that work. I was so blessed this morning. I love him so much I love hymns and also blessed when Tyler broke into how great thou art just here and you all sing those words is so powerful, but you really believe that we really believe only sing the words how great thou art or is it just when things are good, you know, it's really easy to thank God when things are good. Got thank you for blessing me with health and healthy children and a wife and a job. But what happens when that starts to fall apart.

Sometimes all we have left is to praise our way through the pain. So in life as we talk about the meaning and the purpose of life. There are times when that purpose includes pain as a times when that purpose includes pleasure. The second thing is is number two is this is about life. Life is God's gift to us in our worship back to God. We think about what it is that is the main purpose of our life and why are we actually here Let's address this question right now is answer the question what is my purpose in life. Why am I here. Is there more than life than this.

What's next in life. Medicinally is answer the question for you. The purpose of life is actually found in Ecclesiastes and chapter 12 in the book of Ecclesiastes. The writer at the end of the day gives us two purposes of our life. Fear God and follow his commandments as it the purpose of life no fear. God doesn't mean we are crippled with fear of God, our fear of God and since it has to do with our worship of God our acknowledgment of God our love for him putting God word belongs to God is holy right. God is holy and righteous and is just what he also has allowed us to column our friend. You know that right, God is sending younger friend like you are friends of mine that Jesus incarnate God incarnate on earth. Jesus himself here on uses this and I will lay down my life for my friends not know what kind of guy would cause his friends at all. He wanted us to do was shudder in fear of him. It's not as now with the fear of God really means it's kind like being afraid to do life without God, what he thought about that to the way that I think about the fear of God is I'm afraid to do life without God. I'm afraid to do life without his leaving without his guidance, and he's given me one life to live. Give one shot at this life. One one-shot and the Bible. It's like it's here and then it's gone.

We have one shot at it. And God has made you unique, you know you are the only view that is ever existed.

Thank God for that summary next Tuesday. Thank you that you're the only one. You're the only one.

Now the husband say because I can handle more than one of you that price and say that your special, unique, God is given us life in Psalms chapter 139 I'll be remiss if we didn't talk about this to God's given me life in my my gift back to God's worship Get there.

My gift back to God's worship is honoring him is glorifying him is following his commandments is doing his will. That's my gift back to God. But his life to me is life. Life this is why personally in our church so passionate about life and there's no surprised by the way Louise put this in concert is a real eye-opening for people this morning that are for service.

Why do you think it is that Satan, the enemy of your soul is pushing so hard on the sanctity of life with its in the news. Now it's wrapping up again.

Could it be that Satan knows that you are the only person that God is created in his image that out of all of God's creation, animals, trees, nature of the universe the only people the only thing the only thing you know that God created in his image is you Satan hates you. This is why the such attack on the sanctity of life. Life begins at conception in the womb, and Satan would love nothing more than for us to start to believe that that's a lie that's later on on sinners of all gentleness as I can in all humility and grace I can give.

I know people make mistakes and I know God forgives a listen. There we have to fights to a degree for life in Psalm 139 verse 13 says that God formed us in my inward parts.

He knew this together in our mother's womb is speaks that God is actually a creator actually designed you and your mother's womb is his crazy friend fearfully and wonderfully made.

This is what God is speaking about a we are fearfully and wonderfully made.

This is God's gift to us is our life, our life, I think it hits home with me know not honestly more than anybody but today I just saw my daughter leave early because her, my wife are going to celebrate with the little guy that we foster care blasters turning one today and we are invited to his one year birthday party and Satan Kennedy her head in there to celebrate and I think about that often affect when when we often get asked about foster care. Usually, the question is, is it hard to foster and then handoff in course of this, the second question usually is about the mom because Emilio nobody judges mom immediately. Every goes to. While this lady she can have her kid and so she must be whatever my response is always this I'll say this cheekily I'll say the sarcastically.

My response is always been a lease she gave life she didn't have to sell his mom's are far from God and and they chose to give birth. And now today there's a young couple celebrating a one-year-old is in place in her life. Listen. Life is precious life is precious and life is hard and there's a lot of people that are experiencing the hard which means that people like us have an opportunity to come around and give them the good and the gift of God is in the goodness of his nature, which is our third and final point this morning that this number three is this is that life is about God's master plan versus my plan, there is still plans at work in our life. There's God's master plan and then there's kind of my plan in my thoughts for my life and in Proverbs 1412. This is a there's a way that seems right to man, but in the end leaves the death unfortunately are in life. There's a lot of people that are following their own plan of life in their own plan of life. As the writer of Ecclesiastes says the gods are our plan for our life without God is vanity Pavel fleeting unattainable. You never make enough, you'll never do enough. You never succeed enough and here's why. Because is a void in our life that is crying out for eternity.

You know, Ecclesiastes, it says in chapter 3 when we get this passage for Ecclesiastes 3 verse 11 it says it this way. It says that God has put eternity in the hearts of every person I love ever so much.

It speaks about a God who created us and designed us going. God designed us and we heard of this, like the court amend another song right is a God, she pulled all site visitors are sick. But the reality is when God designed us. He put a place in our heart that only he can fill piquant God is the only one that could fill that void of our soul, longing for eternity. He has placed eternity in the hearts of every single person and too many people are spending all their life trying to fill that with everything that the writers just called vanity.

We try to fill it with dizziness and careers. We try to fill it with pleasure. We try to fill it with relationships. We try to fill it with our self-interest and I'm just telling you at the end of the day you will never ever fillets only God can fill

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