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Out of Control pt 2

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Sermon Notes – Out of Control pt 2

Finding Meaning in the Madness.

Exegetical Outline – Ecclesiastes 2

  1. The result of Solomon’s pursuit of pleasure was emptiness (1-2).
  2. Solomon explored the good in physical pleasures (3, 8b).
  3. Solomon explored the good in material pleasures (4-8a).
  4. Solomon explore the good in the pleasure of power (9).
  5. Solomon exhausted the limits of personal pleasure and made pleasure his greatest reward (10).
  6. Solomon’s conclusion for the benefit of pursuing pleasure as an end was that it was profitless (11).
  7. Solomon’s response to failing to find meaning in pleasure was to seek meaning in the pursuit of wisdom (12a).
  8. Solomon’s conclusion for finding meaning in wisdom was that both the wise and the fool will die alike – both being forgotten - , hence the pursuit of wisdom is profitless, under the sun (12b – 16).
  9. Solomon’s response to a lake of meaning in pleasure and wisdom was depression (he hated life). (17).
  10. The reason Solomon hated the fruit of his labor was because there was no lasting gain for the one laboring (18-23).
    1. Solomon hated the fruit of his labor because he must leave it to another he does not know whether that person will be wise or foolish (18-19).
    2. Solomon completely despaired of his labor because he would have to give it to someone who has done nothing to earn it (20-21).
    3. The reason Solomon despaired of the fruit of his labor was because one profits nothing from it and it is a painful and grievous task (22-23).
  11. Solomon’s ultimate conclusion about wisdom and enjoyment is that they can only come from the hand of God, whereas the sinner will ultimately give all his gain to God’s children (24-26).
    1. Solomon exhorts us that believing our labor is good is a gift of God (24).

                                                              i.      Colossians 3:23

    1. Solomon reminds us that true and lasting enjoyment can only come at the Hand of God (25).
    2. Solomon reminds us that the wisdom and joy that fulfills us can only come when we are made right with God (i.e. “good in His sight). (26a).
    3. Solomon reminds us that the end result of the striving sinner is the removal of all gain and placing it in the hands of God’s children (26b).

                                                              i.      Revelation 18


Homiletical Outline – Ecclesiastes 2

  1. My selfish pursuit of PLEASURE is profitless (1-11)
    1. Physical pleasure #. Material pleasure
    2. Pleasure of power.

Illus: Me Church Video

  1. My selfish pursuit of WISDOM is profitless (12b-16).
    1. It is better to be wise than a fool, however, both end up the same, so why exert the effort?
    2. Point: Knowledge = pride, power. Instead, we should seek it to serve other more effectively. If your gain in knowledge simply benefits you (through honor, respect, admiration, power, material gain, etc), then it is profitless.
  2. My selfish pursuit of ACHIEVEMENT is profitless (18-23)
  3. My selfish pursuits will leave me DEPRESSED and DISCOURAGED (17-23).
    1. Because another will get it all.
    2. Because I ultimately gain nothing.
    3. Because it cost me a lot to get “nothing.”

Illus: Augsburg Football Experience.

            (I lost hope & courage because I had put it in temporal gains (wins/losses). That’s Solomon’s whole point in this passage. I didn’t realize that joy and wisdom are gifts from God. These last verses are the first peek we have “above the sun.” Don’t miss what they say.)

  1. My joy and wisdom is a GIFT from God (24-25) (Jas 1:17)
  2. My joy and wisdom come through OBEDIENCE to God (26).
    1. How do I find joy & wisdom?

                                                              i.      Get RIGHT with God.

1.      Share gospel.

                                                            ii.      Give your LIFE away. (Lk 9:23-24; Acts 20:35; Mt 13:44; Phil 3:7-8).

1.      i.e. live for something of true value!

2.      Find a place to “give” (Sunday ministries)

                                                          iii.      Obey without EXPECTING earthly reward (Mt 6:1-4)

1.      This begins the process of separating you from the world’s influence.

2.      If you give expecting earthly reward, then what are you really living for?

3.      If you give believing in a heavenly reward, then you live above this world.

                                                          iv.      Act IMMEDIATELY on truth you hear (Jas 1:22-25).

1.      This removes the opportunity for doubt, denial (justification) and forgetfulness.

·         Response: Play “Offering” by Third Day while people write profitless pursuits on card and bring them forward.  Also, write step of obedience on CC card for us to pray about.

Application Points

  1. Write on CC what pursuit you are wrongly seeking as an end for meaning. Place in bucket and I will burn them to ashes and present them at entrance as a reminder of what will become of our earthly pursuits.
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