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Lessons - Monthly Archives: February 2012

The Book of Ecclesiastes – Week 17

February 24th, 2012

ECCLESIASTES 7

We live during some strange times, perhaps because our generation is foolish and aimless.  If our culture is any indication, Os Guinness in his book, The Call, was right when he said, “Out of more than a score of great civilizations in human history, modern western civilization is the very first to have no agreed-on answer to the question of the purpose of life.  Thus, more ignorance, confusion, and longing surround this topic now than at almost any time in history.  The trouble is that, as modern people, we have too much to live with and too little to live for.  Some feel that they have time but not enough money; others feel that they have money but not enough time. But for most of us, in the midst of material plenty, we have spiritual poverty.”

Living Wisely

Is there anything we can do to redeem the culture, our neighbors or neighborhoods?  Can we do anything for the people in our lives that make foolish choices?  We can choose to live differently, choose to live wisely and be distinct and winsome.  “Wisdom is the God-given ability to see life with rare objectivity and to handle life with rare stability.” (Chuck Swindoll)

A few weeks ago in our study of Ecclesiastes, we talked about how the future is known to God and uncertain to us.  Solomon, in Ecclesiastes 6 and 7, points out that we must live wisely.

Solomon said that the way to wisdom is to:

  • Recognize that nothing is fool proof. We all make mistakes, some of them are dreadful.
  • Have patience and humility over pride.
  • Avoid being angry or picking a fight.
  • Live today, not in the past, for we don’t know what tomorrow brings.
  • Be wise, for it preserves us in life.

God is sovereign over our lives.  He lives in the Heavens and He is in control.

Where Does Wisdom Come From?

We need to live wisely by fearing God and living a life pleasing to Him.  Wisdom is not something that is intellectual, it is lived out in the day-to-day, through your hands, your feet and your mouth.   It’s not about knowledge, it’s about “doing.”

We need to live before an audience of One.  God is sovereign and He sees in the secret places.  If we live for him alone, God will give us wisdom.  Fear God.  Live pleasing lives before Him (Prov 9:10, Ecc 7:18, 26).

Table Talk

Last week, we spent some time around the tables discussing these questions:

–  What is the Lord doing in your heart, your mind, and in your life?

–  Where in your life do you need to bring wisdom?

Are you living for an audience of One?  Are you living to please Him?

 

Application For This Week

If we could only live wisely.  Wisdom comes from the Bible.  May our prayer this week be Psalm 19:7-14:

“The law of the LORD is perfect, restoring the soul; the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple.  The precepts of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes.  The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring forever; the judgments of the LORD are true; they are righteous altogether.  They are more desirable than gold, yes, than much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and the drippings of the honeycomb.  Moreover, by them Your servant is warned; in keeping them there is great reward. 
Who can discern his errors?  Acquit me of hidden faults.  Also keep back Your servant from presumptuous sins; let them not rule over me; then I will be blameless, and I shall be acquitted of great transgression.   Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O LORD, my rock and my Redeemer.”

Our culture today is decadent and deprived.   We live in a time of spiritual poverty.  If we could learn one thing from Solomon, may it be that we would live before God in fear, but not be afraid.  That in full obedience, we might live our lives so that the words of our mouth and the meditations of our hearts would be please God and win those who don’t know the Lord, to Christ.

 

Topic Description Date
The Book of Ecclesiastes – Week 17 ECCLESIASTES 7 We live during some strange times, perhaps because our generation is foolish and aimless.  If our culture is any indication, Os Guinness in his book, The Call, was right when he said, “Out of more than a score of great civilizations in human history, modern we ... [more] 2/24/2012
The Book of Ecclesiastes – Week 16 The Present:  Live Wisely While the future is uncertain, we know that God is sovereign and He is in control:
  • Today and tomorrow is as God planned it and there’s no arguing with Him about it.
  • Tomorrow is as God planned it and we can’t know it.
Ecclesiastes 7:1-12 reiterates that we must li ... [more]
2/13/2012
The Book of Ecclesiastes – Week 15 The Future: Known and Uncertain   Has life turned out the way you imagined it?  In our study of Ecclesiastes to this point, Solomon has searched for meaning in life by examining:
  • Wine and women
  • Power and prestige
  • Philosophy and education
  • Labor and constructio ... [more]
2/13/2012