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Living a Good Life: What Gives Purpose to Life, Part 3

Delight in Grace / Grace Bible Church / Rich Powell
The Truth Network Radio
January 31, 2024 10:00 am

Living a Good Life: What Gives Purpose to Life, Part 3

Delight in Grace / Grace Bible Church / Rich Powell

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January 31, 2024 10:00 am

King Solomon found his ambition, efforts, and accomplishments to be grasping at wind.  Even the noble call of pursuing wisdom came up short when he realized that, for all his efforts, he would die just like the fool who shunned instruction.  There would be no difference.  What then makes life purposeful?  And how do we pursue meaning in this life that will carry us through eternity?

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Welcome to Delight in Grace, the teaching ministry of Rich Powell, pastor of Grace Bible Church in Winston-Salem. King Solomon found his ambition, efforts, and accomplishments to be grasping at wind. Even the noble call of pursuing wisdom came up short when he realized that for all his efforts, he would die just like the fool who shunned instruction.

There would be no difference. What then makes life purposeful? And how do we pursue meaning in this life that will carry us through eternity? In this episode of Delight in Grace, Pastor Rich addresses these questions from Ecclesiastes 2, 12-26. Let's listen in. This is part three of the message, which is part of a series on Ecclesiastes called Living a Good Life, Making Sense of the Journey.

It was originally preached at Grace Bible Church in Winston-Salem on March 11, 2018. Because Solomon had reached the epitome of humanity and left up to his own wisdom under the sun, man can only recognize the void. The void, that's what Pascal calls the abyss, the void in himself.

That's all he can do. And here's the point, you can't look to the void to fill it. There's nothing in the void that you can use to fill that void. And that is something that every human being has. Which is why Solomon says life is full of sorrow and vexation. It is painful, it is frustrating, and that's exactly the truth that we get from Genesis 3 verses 17-20, where God comes down into the garden ready to talk to Adam and Eve. And Adam and Eve had now crossed a boundary, they had trespassed one of God's loving boundaries. He said don't eat of that tree and they had eaten from it.

So God let them know what life was going to be like now. You have chosen to go your own way, as a branch you have severed yourself from the tree. I'm going to sustain you, but I'm going to let you see what life is like, severed from the tree. And he says two things, it's going to be painful and it's going to be frustrating. It's not going to go on forever.

Aren't you thankful for that? That's why Paul says in Romans 8, it was subjected to futility in hope. In hope. J. Stafford Wright says, grounding yourself in this material world does not hold the key to satisfaction. So where do we look for it? Wright continues, for the Christian the depression is overridden by the new revelation in Jesus Christ, not by wisdom's arguments.

That's a good point, isn't it? So the key to satisfaction is not found in this world, but it comes from the hand of God. Look with me at verse 24.

There is nothing better for a person that he should eat and drink and find enjoyment in this toil. This also I saw is from the hand of God. He says God has given wisdom, knowledge and joy. God gives that.

Paul says something very similar in 1 Timothy chapter 6 verses 17 to 19. God richly provides us with everything to enjoy. Do good, be rich in good works, be generous and ready to share, thus storing up treasure as a good foundation for the future. Take hold of that which is truly life. Do you see? You see in Paul's words there that he penned two thousand years ago that there is hope. Even with the stuff that we use in this world, there is hope, but you have to look beyond. You have to look outside of yourself. You can't look simply under the sun.

You can't look in this. You're not going to find satisfaction in this world. David Gibson said life was meant to be enjoyed, not mastered. And when we live simply under the sun, we think we have to master life to make it everything it was supposed to be. And when we don't arrive, we get frustrated. And even those who do ostensibly arrive, we've heard the testimony this morning, they get frustrated.

There's got to be more. I'm not satisfied. Life was meant to be enjoyed, not mastered. That's why in this life under the sun, we need to pursue meaning that will carry you through eternity.

That is beyond the sun. You were made for him. You were made for him, not his stuff.

You were made for him. That's why Paul says again to Timothy, 1 Timothy 6, 6, godliness with contentment is great gain. Here's the question for you this morning. Is there hope in what you are presently trusting?

Is there hope in what you are presently trusting? He says something very interesting here at the end of verse, and look at verse 26 with me, for to the one who pleases him, God has given wisdom and knowledge and joy. But to the sinner, he has given the busyness of gathering and collecting only to give to the one who pleases God.

This also is vanity and striving after wind. Jesus said the meek will inherit the earth. See if we're going to look for, if we're going to find any satisfaction at all, we have to recognize that it comes from the hand of God.

It's not just going to come by our pursuits here under the sun. It comes from the hand of God. And he says the meek will inherit the earth. When he refers to the one who pleases him, the one who pleases God, that's faith. That is a person of faith, Hebrews 11, 6. For without faith, it is impossible to please him. So what is he saying when he speaks of the sinner? The sinner is the person who has no regard for God, therefore he serves sin. And that person will live a life of failure.

He will fail. It is vanity and striving after the wind. Because as Proverbs 13, 22 says, the sinner's wealth is laid up for the righteous. Those who disregard God, those who ignore God, those who simply live under the sun, they do not look to God for their satisfaction even though they were made for God. Those who live under the sun will live a life of vanity.

They will fail. Because everything that they work for is laid up, is stored up for the righteous. Those who will inherit eternal life, essential life. Is there hope in what you are presently trusting?

I want you to remember that question. What are you looking to for your hope and satisfaction? Christopher Parkining, considered to be the world's greatest classical guitarist, achieved his musical dreams by the age of 30. By then he was also a world class fly fishing champion. But his success failed to bring him happiness. Weary of performances and recording sessions, Parkining bought a ranch and gave up on the guitar. But instead of finding happiness after getting away from it all, his life became increasingly empty. And this is what he wrote, if you arrive at a point in your life where you have everything that you've ever wanted and thought that would make you happy and it all still doesn't, then you start questioning things. It's the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

I had that and I thought, well what's left? He had his pot of gold. While visiting friends he attended church and he put his faith in Christ. Parkining developed a hunger for scripture and was struck by 1 Corinthians 10.31, do all, whatever you do, do it all, what? For the glory of God. And so he explains, I am playing the guitar today absolutely by the grace of God. I have a joy, a peace and a deep down fulfillment in my life I never had before. My life has purpose, I've learned first hand the true secret of genuine happiness. So we conclude this morning as the way we began with the song that we sang just before the message this morning and we get it from Psalm 73. Whom have I in heaven but You and there is nothing on earth that I desire besides You. My flesh and my heart may fail but God is the strength of my heart and my portion for He is my lot. God is my lot. For how long? Forever.

Do you get it folks? There is lasting hope and satisfaction. Is there hope in what you are presently trusting? Behold those who are far from you shall perish but for me it is good to be near God. It is good to be near God. I encourage you to know these verses. These are very important, very powerful, very meaningful verses because this psalmist started out his psalm in despair. He was looking at the prosperity of those wicked people who did not acknowledge God and he was asking the question, what difference does it make?

This is the conclusion that he came to and I invite you to come to the same conclusion as well. Is there hope in what you are presently trusting? What are you looking to for your satisfaction? What are you investing, what are you devoting yourself to thinking that is going to bring you satisfaction? Let me tell you please on the authority of scripture from Solomon's example and all of these that we have read, if all you are simply doing is pursuing finding out yourself or pursuing your accomplishments for your satisfaction, let me tell you right now, right up front, it is not going to happen. You are not going to find it there. Satisfaction comes from the hand of God.

Have you found it? We are grateful Father for your love. We are grateful for your self-disclosure. You have not left us to our own despair, to our own delusions and our own darkness but Father thank you for turning the light on with your self-disclosure. We understand Father that you made us and you made us for yourself therefore we are not capable of being satisfied apart from you. And so Father I pray that you would search our hearts as we ask the question, as you ask the question of us, is there hope in what you are presently trusting? Indeed Father may you alone be our object of trust. May we look to you alone for our fulfillment and our satisfaction. As we do that Father, we will enjoy life and all the good things that you give. But that rescues us Father from seeking after all empty places for that satisfaction. Thank you for who you are, for what you have done in Jesus Christ for it is in his name we pray.

Amen. We are so glad you have joined us for Delight in Grace, the teaching ministry of Rich Powell, Pastor of Grace Bible Church in Winston-Salem. You can hear this message and others anytime by visiting our website www.delightingrace.com. You can also check out Pastor Rich's book, Seven Words That Can Change Your Life, where he unpacks from God's Word the very purpose for which you were designed. Seven Words That Can Change Your Life is available wherever books are sold. As always, tune in to Delight in Grace, weekdays at 10 a.m.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-02-19 13:14:05 / 2024-02-19 13:18:46 / 5

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