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July 7, 2022 4:00 am
There's nothing wrong with pursuing dictation working hard or enjoying pleasure. Scripture warns us. These pursuits won't ultimately give our lives meaning it won't satisfy our deepest longings today untruthful life. Alastair beg teaches us where we can find lasting treasure studying the book of Ecclesiastes is Robert Barnes the boy pleasures are like me spread you seasonal flowers bloom and shed light snow falls in the river a moment white and melts. Whatever I like the rainbow was lovely for vanishing amid the storm reaching out for it and it's not there. Robert Burns, Scotland's national poet was well respected amongst the intelligentsia of Edinburgh but he was notorious as a womanizer and is a drunk and aggressive marketing and you know this plowman from Ayrshire who wrote these amazing versus had been down this happen.
You and he knew that it was a dead end street.
Eventually you see the Marion Antoinette syndrome takes over men and women are forced to acknowledge the fact that nothing tastes.
I have read this book some time ago now call balsamic dreams.
Those are my family are sick of me reading it to them in the house and other friends put the phone down. If I reach for it, to give them a quote. I don't have foisted any of it on you and so I want to just for a moment, not not because I'm looking for something to fill in a gap because it is it is my express purpose to show, especially to those of you are wondering that the key to effectively teaching the Bible is to be able to show how this book impinges upon this book that that our study of the Bible does not does not happen somewhere away in a box unrelated to yesterday and tomorrow but indeed of our study of the Bible does not immediately impact yesterday and tomorrow and there is something wrong with our study of the Bible. The only way that I can effectively do that is constantly urging in the direction of making sure that your reading effectively both your Bible and what is going on in the world around you. Joe Queenan writes this book call balsamic dreams which he refers to as a short but self-important history of the baby boomer generation and he starts it facetiously in a prologue by telling how he wakes up one morning and he is a very bad call and he self diagnosis lung cancer. And so, having determined that he is now on the road out. He says I'm going to have to get on and do something useful with my life and so we started taking piano lessons. He begins reading intelligent books.
He gets the Edward Gibbons fall of the Roman Empire, and so on. He decides that he needs his ashes put somewhere and after he says and I quote I taking care of the piano lessons in the tai chi and the personal trainer in the airplane lessons and that made the revolution relevant inquiries about a ceremonial trip to Kathmandu.
I figured it was time that I got my wife and children up to speed mortality Weiss here.
I had some rough sailing. Seeing that I only just entered my primarily years and in my career seem to be going extraordinarily well, after hitting a fiscal plan to in the mid-90s, my wife was a little ticked off that I should've picked this time to die.
She suggested that I seek a second opinion, which is just as well because when I did finally get a call.
Check out it was diagnosed as a generic allergy attack immensely relieved. I dropped the piano and cooking lessons put off learning to fly an airplane stuck the trip to the inscrutable Orient on the back burner and John Marcel Proust back out there on the bookshelf with all those unread Robert Musial and Italo Covino novels and for my friend at his next visit to Paris, you have extra room in his luggage since he would not be carrying my ashes, but that night my sleep was deeply troubled my brush with death, however fleeting, however absurd it brought me face-to-face with my own most jealously guarded volumes. Look at how I reacted to the thought I might be dying. Did I say to myself, now might be a good time to help eradicate poverty in rural America. No. Did I ask myself when this be a good opportunity to spend some time in the leper colony, no did ask myself why not use your few remaining months to make this planet a better place than the way you found it. Of course not. Instead, I embarked on a mad binge of self aggrandizement, rather than capitalizing on my remaining days and weeks to reconcile myself to my enemies spend more time with my loved ones consult wise men regarding the meaning of life. I had succumbed. Listen to the siren song of self actualization yet in my defense, I was the only member of my age group who would've reacted in this way, for in choosing this pointless self-involved course of action. I was, if nothing else, being true to the ethos of my generation. When faced with unsettling developments like death. Baby boomers always react in the same way we sign up for self-improvement classes, baby boomer, par excellence, prototypical product of the need decade. I only knew how to respond to the world insofar as it responded to more everything I have learned ever learned as a baby boomer had oriented me in a single direction for their into myself and my friends and especially those of you who do not believe, ask yourself the question, does that information match the deep longings of the human heart doesn't satisfy. Are we finding the answers within ourselves.
Are we finding the answers in education are we finding the answers down the pathway of flesh look at the realities that's what he's asking us to do and I say a word to young people who were here this morning, the way the whole of our society is set up for you young folks is to call you down each of these dead-end streets.
It is important of course that you are educated and you're going to be in your choices to make concerning that it is equally important. You do not succumb to the idea that education will answer the deepest longings of your soul is important you learn to laugh and you have a wonderful time.
It is equally important that you do not buy the idea that the answers to your existence can be found with a bunch of good time Charley's laughing about everything. When the cynics call you and say nobody believes that anymore. It's important that you have a robust enough reaction to be able to stand against and when you look at those who've gone before you who have reached the apex of the answers of materialism and you find yourself distance from that in your mind. It's important that you recognize the distinction between work as a means to an end and work as an end in itself. Here's the deal. You may meet Christ. At the crossroads of the entryway to all these dead-end streets and that are more and you may meet him now in your youth and you may be saved from the heartache that is represented down those avenues or you may choose to resist the influence of your mom and dad who brought you to this place. You may choose to turn your back on the information that is been provided for you by those who have only the longing, loving urgency of their hearts to bring to bear upon you, and you may go down each of these roads I tell you, you will at the end of those roles and bloodied and beaten, broken and sad.
And even if you should remain happy at the end of all of those roads you will stand before they finally relieved the one ultimate destination before the throne of God when you will answer to God as to why it was that you chose to reject all that he offered at the crossroads in the person of his son the Lord Jesus Christ. I am an older man. I have both been down some of the roads and I have watched others go down the road and I have sat with parents and with children and agonize as they have built for themselves elongation stories that have come about as a result of running away from this, I say to you today. Make your parent's faith, your faith, trust Christ for yourself. This is not about what your dad is doing what your mother is doing. You will not stand in their custody before God.
You will stand alone.
You need a faith of your own. You need a Savior, who is your very own. You need a hell because all of the embodiment of these things will not diminish.
It will only increase as time goes by I say to you where you are today in your heart of hearts just prior out and say Lord Jesus be my Savior of the crossroads of my life before I go down into this educational world before I go further into this pathway of pleasure and all that it offers before I succumbed to all the allures of cynicism before I become just another disaster on the scrapheap of materialism, Lord Jesus be my Savior and my friend you do that is where you are now the rest of you start listening again. I'm going to finish the summer you're sitting here the parents, the fathers, especially sailors is a wonderful talk about.
I'm glad you did that terrific. I may not be so concerned about my son and my daughter that during the been down these paths I'm telling you, Don. The whole rotten lot of them. They haven't some number down there just on Friday evening. I wish I could be like me. I would try to tell them you know there's only one answer to this great tyranny of life just become like me just just give it all to your work just become a workaholic. It's all meaningless in a chasing after the wind. Why don't you give it to your work. Listen one of the reasons that your kids are down those streets because you give your work or so here we go. Guilt trip for that.
No, no, no guilt trip for that, but it is a legitimate response on the part of our children to look at us and say is this really ring in my father's bell.
I'm grateful for my bedroom and I love my room and I like the wallpaper. I'm glad that I got money in my pocket and is given to give me the scar that I can drive but ultimately what is doing to my dad I don't want to be.
After all you building castles in the air. Look at verse 18. I hated all the things I told father of the sun because I gonna leave them to the one who comes after me some of your attorneys. That's how you spend all your life and making a great deal of money sitting with people who are phenomenally concerned because the phenomenally successful. Another transition is the facing death is such that if they just don't know what to do, what to do with the stuff to do my money I can make a transition is going to get my succession plan is in working as a man, get verse 22 for all the toil and I'm just driving with which he labors under the sun. Remember under the sun is so important as a network where God is in control is in relevancy were saying that when I say that the totality of it. Verse 23 all his days.
His work is pain and grief and even at night is mine doesn't rest it wakes up in the night he turns over in his bed.
He has bills to get them to sleep those to wake him up pills to get him to the airport without losing his temper and pills to bring them home successfully to his wife and he's not using those pills, perhaps he's gone down to one of the other possibilities and easily 86 preventers that encourages proper him to the top where the smiles are all synthetic alleles was never stop is already. Remember that nonsense. While that's a song, but that nonsense is all around me in London just a whatever.
Two weeks ago where I was sitting in the early hours of the morning.
Two hours ahead of my flight and then came to fellows and and the one in the door. A split-second appraiser. Are you ready to head and looked around and I wonder whether going to hit. Then I saw what they were effective the big three drinks steel everything in their what time it was in the morning to find his freedom.
Assuming Scottish is on the fight. It is free so why did they hit it. I was looking at them. They know they like not condemning them but it's not here call in the morning when you do and is said by the time they get in their bags you know and we said in the same section the play. The lady said, can I get you something to drink before we take up you please. It was pathetic.
It was trashy.
So how come you can do it from so well. What's called growing up in Glasgow, which is the center of the Western world's center of heart attacks in the center of alcoholism and in the and Western Europe's travel on public transportation as a small boy, and you can do it you know might let me end with a hint of hope because our time is gone. The final section. Verse 24 gives an indication that he's pushing beyond the canopy. He's going up and out is essentially pointing out the fact that there is a way to live your life that is built on sand and eventually everything will collapse. That's the story Jesus told the picture used in Matthew seven and there is a way to build your house upon the rock and that life then will stand in last see would be a dreadful misunderstanding. If anybody was to take from this that somehow or other, this was a story about how Christianity is disinterested in education in pleasure in that laughter and in working employment. Nothing could be further further from the truth. What the writer is saying is this, that none of these things will make sense of your life or answer your deepest longings. If you approach them down these avenues. But when you understand the true and living God, and why it is you've been made and why it is that Christ died for your sins and all of a sudden all of the enjoyment of these things becomes a magnificent and wonderfully attractive proposition that is quite wonderful. Set his book that I've read in the last 24 months I have in my hand. The private diaries, memos and letters of Howard Hughes. He was once the richest man in America is not in the world and in this book, I don't recommend you buy it. I don't even recommend you get it out of the library and read it to the end because I was committed to his full of so much that is sad and empty.
He is ultimately the great hedonist. I think you know he's been down all these roads you for those of you are saying well I just can run a couple more corners. I'm sure that you know it's down there, let let Hughes tell you he's being down there memo from Las Vegas, Nevada May 12, 1969 to Robert Mayhew who was his key guy to whom he had given everything and entrusted everything in terms of his business empire. Bob I want you to remember one thing I can by any man in the world.
Or I can destroy if that wasn't true. People like me wouldn't exist in a biographer going on to say in the two years that Howard Hughes had been in Las Vegas is bedsheets had only been changed five times the shack carpet in his bedroom had never been vacuumed in the end table and never been dusted in the bathroom never clean his closets were beginning to fill with Mason jars filled with urine and the order of rubbing alcohol. Barely camouflage the stench from his rotting teeth and fungus contorted nails's greatest trilemma. At this point was the transition was the exact expression of the preacher here. What am I going to do with all this stuff and he was annoyed and frustrated because this guy bawled to me and entrusted so much begun to think for himself and he knew I can have them thinking for himself if he thinks for himself, he may think me right out of the equation and so he continued to give himself to writing these prolonged memos that were about absolutely nothing at all. The tragedy on scene.
For example, in this.
He's in the dunes hotel and with this.
I'm going to finish. I don't feel were here for the rest the afternoon. He's within the dunes Hotel and he is occupying them. The vast majority of his time rewriting instructions about tiny details.
For example, the correct handling of the envelope which contains the cord or his hearing aid and these are his instructions. The door to the cabinet is to be opened using a minimum of 15 Kleenex's great care is to be exercised in opening and closing the doors. They are not to be slammed or swung hastily so as to raise any dust and get exceeding care is to be exercised against letting insects and nothing inside the cabinet is to be touch the inside of the doors the top of the cabinet. Besides no other objects inside the cabinet are to be touched in any way with the exception of the envelope to be removed. The envelope or package is to be removed using a minimum of 15 Kleenex if it is necessary to use both hands than 15 Kleenex's are to be used for each hen is to be understood that these 15 Kleenex's are to be sterile on both sides of each tissue with the exception of the very outermost edge of the tissue center the tissue, only to come in contact with the object being picked up. If something is on top of the package to be removed. Sterile instrument is to be used, to lift it all out this is only a tiny answer from the focus of this matter and then says the biographer, the content of the memo on the handling of the hearing aid court did not differ substantially from the one that Hughes had dictated 11 years earlier. The major distinction lay in the fact that when Hughes was devoting days to the rewrite in 1970 he had not worn his hearing aid in over six years or past for the court master somebody that is a wonderful rhetorical ploy you have just used setting up the apex of it all weird strange psychology. Individual and that you're saying so therefore well you see if we had time I can show you what a wonderfully handsome young man. This was excellent in sports.
How clever in mind how devoted in family life. He didn't get up one morning and decided he was going to end up dying on the plane as they hastened him to help with the end of his life. He just went down all the dead-end streets, one after another. Eventually it ensnared killed. The only solid Joyce, the only lasting treasures that may be discovered in all of the journey of life are those joys and treasures that are found in a personal living faith in the God who said, by means of this little book careful don't go there instead trust my son. I sent him to make your life all that it might be to fill you with all that joy could be. So we must choose today whom were going to set the key to a meaningful life, both before and after death is the gospel listing to Truth for Life with Alastair Bragg.
Alister will be back in just a minute to accompany this current study, we are recommending to you a book called living life backward how Ecclesiastes teaches us to live in light of the end as the title suggests this book as a further exploration of how we can move away from focusing on what's in front of us. It's too easy for us to get lost in planning the next thing. Our next vacation or an upcoming promotion or a bigger house, but the author of Ecclesiastes assures us that these things can be diversions they can't offer us lasting happiness only living life backward can request your copy of the book living life backward when you give a donation to Truth for Life. Just click the image you see on our app or visit us on our website Truth for Life.org/donate. Alister ended today's message by explaining that the only solid Joyce and lasting treasures of life are found in the personal living faith in Jesus. If you'd like to learn more about what it means to follow Christ. Visit Truth for Life.org/the story there you can watch a helpful video that explains how Jesus sacrifice on the cross frees us from sin and grants us salvation.
Now, here is Alister to close with prayer.
Father, we thank you for the word of God which is the Bible we thank you for the truth that it conveys. We pray that you will draw to yourself.
Men and women, young people pray for young man that are buffeted by all of these advances who are wrestling trying to figure it out trying to make the shift from all that this represented in the faith of their fathers, whether it is their own weather will become their own Lord God, I pray that you will grip to them such a sense of your welcoming and your beckoning and all the joy and the reality that is found in Christ that they may lay hold upon your great and precious promises and we pray that the grace of the Lord Jesus and the love of God our father and the fellowship of our Holy Spirit may be the abiding portion of each one. Now and forevermore Bob Lapine.
The Bible teaches that frustration and dissatisfaction. We experience in this world is actually a God given birth.
Why would he do that will listen tomorrow to find out the Bible teaching of Alistair Begg is furnished by Truth for Life. Learning is for Living