Faithlife Sermons

Remember

Ecclesiastes  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
0 ratings
· 1 view

As Christians we need to take time to remember and reflect.

Notes
Transcript
Sermon Tone Analysis
A
D
F
J
S
Emotion
A
C
T
Language
O
C
E
A
E
Social
View more →
Many of us often look up to certain individuals in the sports world, the music industry, or even Hollywood. For example, I have been a fan of Barbra Streisand since the late 60s. She, of course, is a famous female singer. There are many things about her which I do not care for; however she has a very unique way of causing a song to permeate your very innermost being. Whenever I hear her sing on music tracks, I am able to take her songs with me in my mind with very little effort. I can pinpoint certain events in my life through songs that were playing on the radio at that time. One song which our high school group sang which she made popular in the 60s and 70s was “Memories.” Some of you will find your mind humming this right now.
For the Christian, we should do all that is possible to share the love of Christ with others of that which we have seen, living a life of service to our Savior.

There Was a Rush to See.--2:15-16

We home probably look up to certain individuals in the sports world, the music industry, or even Hollywood. I have been a fan of Barbra Streisand since the late 60s. She, of course, is a famous female singer. There are many things about her which I do not care for; however she has a very unique way of causing a song to permeate your very innermost being. Whenever I hear her sing on Music tracks, I am able to take her songs with me in my mind with very little effort. I can pinpoint certain events in my life two songs that we're playing on the radio at that time in which she signed. One song which of our high school group sang which she made for a popular in the 60s and 70s was “Memories.” Some of you will find your mind humming this right now.
NASB95When the angels had gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds began saying to one another, “Let us go straight to Bethlehem then, and see this thing that has happened which the Lord has made known to us.” So they came in a hurry and found their way to Mary and Joseph, and the baby as He lay in the manger.
Today, as we take sometime to do a little reflecting, remembering, even rehearsing some memories from this past year, we want to do so for the purpose of glorifying God.
I am reminded of a silly story which I heard sometime ago about memory. It appears that there was a couple sitting in the worship service, when suddenly the wife remarked,"oh, how awful! I forgot to turn off the electric iron before I left home!"
The Angels are no longer with the shepherds, vanishing as quickly as they had come. The shepherds found themselves out in the night air with their sheep, with no theologians or scholars to discuss with them what they had just experienced. They were left there to ponder for themselves what has just transpired.We can assume that it did not take very long for them to make that decision to not just hang around there. They were going to check out for themselves what they had been told. It should be obvious to us that the shepherds believed wholeheartedly the angels message by the fact that they actually did something. In fact the words for Let us go along with the phrase came in a hurry, carries with it a sense of urgency. One can almost sense the excitement and intensity in the shepherds as they rushed off to the village of Bethlehem.At Bethlehem, they found everything just as the angel had said. What they found was complete accuracy and truthfulness in the message. Just as the Old Testament and the New Testament provide signs within all the prophecies and promises to point humanity to the Savior, so did the angel for the shepherds.This should be an encouragement to us today. If these little details were helpful to the shepherds at that time, we can be assured that all which God has revealed in the Bible tells us everything that we need for today. The Bible tells us what we should be doing now and gives directions for the future.Again, I would like to share a quote from Francis Schaeffer's book, No Little People: "If you believe in God, and act on what he tells you, there is so much that is exciting ahead that you can say to yourself, ‘I haven’t seen anything yet to compare with what God is preparing right now!’"You can just imagine the impact the shepherds must have felt once they saw this newborn baby. Hallmark cards nor Leonardo da Vinci have ever seen Jesus as a baby. The shepherds had not seen that there was a bright light or halo around Him. What they saw was a small baby, with tiny feet that were most likely small and wrinkled; eyes not quite able to focus; and other characteristics very much like any other baby.So, if what they saw must not have looked like a superhero baby or anything else outlandish, what would cause them to worship Jesus? Only the fact that they had believed what they had been told and had seen for themselves.
"Don't worry, dear," the husband said cheerfully."It won't burn long. I just remembered I forgot to turn off the faucet in the bathtub."

There Was a Rush to Share.--2:17-18

Needless to say, I trust that your reflections and remembrances regarding this past year will be a bit deeper than that. However, I am certain that you will be able to also be reminded of some humorous memories that can convince you of how human all of us truly are.
NASB95When they had seen this, they made known the statement which had been told them about this Child. And all who heard it wondered at the things which were told them by the shepherds.
We have seen that the shepherds rushed to see the new born Messiah. How do we know they believed it? Because the Bible tells us that they went out telling what they had experienced. After they have seen Jesus, they spread the word about what had been told to them about the child. Considering the fact that the shepherds were unschooled, as well as supposedly untrustworthy, they were actually the first individuals to be evangelists for Christ.It is fascinating to know that they did not just report on their experience of seeing the newborn Jesus. They spread the word about what they had been told by God’s special messengers. This is one more reminder that it is always much more accurate to share the facts from God, than our own personal experiences.Imagine for a bit that you were one of those individuals in the community who was accosted by this group of shepherds. We are not told if the shepherds went as a group or as individuals. Yet we do know that they rushed to share this incredible news with others. Now if you would have been confronted buy one of the shepherds, what might your reaction have been? Would you have paid any attention to them, considering what society thought of them? After all, it was assumed the shepherds had a real problem with credibility and integrity. Plus, they were definitely not scholarly.Yet consider what the Bible says. The Bible says that all the people who had heard what was reported were amazed. Let me ask you a simple question. Has anybody been amazed lately by what you have shared with them about Jesus? I know that there are some pretty amazing things taking place in each of your lives. I realize that you may think others don't always like to hear about you and your family, or me and my family. But the reality is, we need to be sharing what God is doing in our lives. But be sure it’s not about you, but rather about Jesus. Actually, I want to have people amazed. Folks, we serve an amazing God. We have been saved my an amazing God. We should not apologize for talking about our amazing God. Because when we share, people will be amazed and want to know more about him.
As Christians we need to take time to remember and reflect.
There is a book in the Bible seems to be built around those things; Ecclesiastes.

There Should be a Rush to Serve.--2:19-20

Today, the title of the message is “Remember." I wish to use for as the basis for this.
for as the basis for this thing.
Ecclesiastes 12:1a NASB95
Remember also your Creator in the days of your youth, before the evil days come and the years draw near when you will say, “I have no delight in them”;
It really is important to remember God, and especially so in our younger days. If we don't remember, we won't have much of a remembrance when we are older.
I will be taking us through four different areas in which I would like to encourage us to think about as we “remember."
NASB95But Mary treasured all these things, pondering them in her heart. The shepherds went back, glorifying and praising God for all that they had heard and seen, just as had been told them.
I find, when reading through this account, then taking time to reflect on it, I am left with an almost out of breath feeling for the shepherds. With that angelic visitation, an incredible amount of emotional energy has been expended. As the race was on to Bethlehem to see the baby, an incredible amount of physical energy was spent by the shepherds. Emotional and physical energy was drained even further as the shepherds ran about telling a message of hope, not even considering how it would be received. One almost finds himself collapsing, while saying, "what's next?"What is next, is the challenge facing us just as it did for the shepherds and the parents. As this point states, there should be a rush to serve. You and I cannot merely sit back, filled with quiet praise and adoration, while keeping this wonderful message to ourselves.These shepherds recognized that what they had experienced was not a vision, nor was it even a fairytale which was told around the fires at night. It was very real. In fact, the Bible tells us that the reason the shepherds were glorifying and praising God on the return is that they themselves had heard and seen all this, just as had been told them.The shepherds were thrilled and excited.The people were amazed. "But Mary…" A literal understanding of the short phrase would be"Mary, on the other hand…" Mary is meditating on the meaning of it all. I find myself wondering as what it was exactly that Mary was pondering. Could it have been the realization she herself was holding in her very own arms, her own Savior? The Bible is silent, so we don't truly know. But we do know, that amidst all the rush, Mary treasured and pondered.

Remember to Worship God as Creator.

He is the maker of all.

Reflections

As you and I are confronted with the reality of Jesus Christ, there is most definitely a place for exuberance and enthusiasm. God bless the pure zealousness and unbridled urgency of the shepherds! Now may God give us a little jumpstart in our witness for Christ. We all could use some of that zeal and sense of urgency.As we are reminded again of the reality of Jesus Christ, there is also a place for quiet contemplation and reflection. May God bless that strong desire and passion to more intimately know the Lord and his ways and his purposes. May the Lord lasso some of us and rein us in to take time to meditate upon His Word and get to know Him better. Whatever reaction you have, recognize that there is always a need for some action when confronted with the reality of Jesus Christ. For He is the One Who was born in the stable Who can provide salvation just as was promised. For the Christian, we should do all that is possible to share the love of Christ with others of that which we have seen, living a life of service to our Savior.
Ecclesiastes 11:5 NASB95
Just as you do not know the path of the wind and how bones are formed in the womb of the pregnant woman, so you do not know the activity of God who makes all things.
When you consider our lives, we must come to a very simple conclusion. Very simply, we owe our very existence to God. Everything that is around us and all that we use and all that we see was made by God. Colossians 1:16 makes all of this very clear, as the apostle Paul makes very obvious Jesus' role in all of this.
Colossians 1:16 NASB95
For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him.
As we worship God as Creator, specifically as the Maker of all that exists, we also realize that
All of our situations and circumstances are in God’s hands.
gives further insight.
Ecclesiastes 7:14a NASB95
In the day of prosperity be happy, But in the day of adversity consider— God has made the one as well as the other So that man will not discover anything that will be after him.
leaves us no doubt as to the fact that there is nothing outside of God's purview.
Romans 8:28–39 NASB95
And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren; and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified. What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things? Who will bring a charge against God’s elect? God is the one who justifies; who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us. Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? Just as it is written, For Your sake we are being put to death all day long; We were considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
So as we worship God as Creator, understanding that he is the Maker of all and has every situation under His authority, we are reminded that
He is beyond understanding in .
Ecclesiastes 11:5b NASB95
Just as you do not know the path of the wind and how bones are formed in the womb of the pregnant woman, so you do not know the activity of God who makes all things.
Not only is God to be worshipped as Creator, but also as Provider

Remember To Worship God as Provider.

Many of us have a tendency to consider ourselves self-made or self-sufficient. Sadly, mini people have a tendency to work yet work and eating and drinking as necessary evils. But look at the verses in . It's almost as if someone were requesting permission to enjoy life and god gives the okay.
Ecclesiastes 2:24–25 NASB95
There is nothing better for a man than to eat and drink and tell himself that his labor is good. This also I have seen that it is from the hand of God. For who can eat and who can have enjoyment without Him?
Receiving more information in , as if god is saying that it's not only okay but it also is a gift from him.
Ecclesiastes 3:12–13 NASB95
I know that there is nothing better for them than to rejoice and to do good in one’s lifetime; moreover, that every man who eats and drinks sees good in all his labor—it is the gift of God.
In , we see a double affirmation as we are to not just accept our situation, but to take joy in it because it is the gift of God.
Ecclesiastes 5:19 NASB95
Furthermore, as for every man to whom God has given riches and wealth, He has also empowered him to eat from them and to receive his reward and rejoice in his labor; this is the gift of God.
Isn't it wonderful to remember and you be able to be thankful for the fact that God provides as well as enjoyment in our work!?
We can understand worshipping God as Creator and Provider, but this next area may take a little deeper thinking.

Remember to Worship God as Judge.

help us to remember that God is not just a celestial Santa Claus. Yet as we read those verses, we are forced to ask some questions.
Ecclesiastes 12:13b–14 NASB95
The conclusion, when all has been heard, is: fear God and keep His commandments, because this applies to every person. For God will bring every act to judgment, everything which is hidden, whether it is good or evil.
First of all, humanity should naturally be curious as to what God's Commandments are. For this answer, it is helpful to look at .
Matthew 22:34–40 NASB95
But when the Pharisees heard that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered themselves together. One of them, a lawyer, asked Him a question, testing Him, “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” And He said to him, “ ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ “This is the great and foremost commandment. “The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ “On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.”
What about this issue of worshipping God as judge?
2 Corinthians 5:10 NASB95
For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.
Then we are forced to ask about this judgment. Is this judgment of works just for non-Christians? Here we see the judgment is on actions and thoughts. Of course, if one is genuinely born again, our deepest actions and thoughts we'll want to honor God and to worship him. And from the Matthew passage, we see that our actions and thoughts, or service and obedience requires love. And this can only be truly found in surrender to Christ.
However, in order to draw all of this into a proper perspective, we must go to the final area of study.

Remember to Worship God as God.

Our world and some faulty, shallow teaching have led many people to not being willing to recognize God as God. There is a tendency to see him as a good buddy, the man upstairs, a beholden provider, etc. But take some time and look at .
Ecclesiastes 5:1–7 NASB95
Guard your steps as you go to the house of God and draw near to listen rather than to offer the sacrifice of fools; for they do not know they are doing evil. Do not be hasty in word or impulsive in thought to bring up a matter in the presence of God. For God is in heaven and you are on the earth; therefore let your words be few. For the dream comes through much effort and the voice of a fool through many words. When you make a vow to God, do not be late in paying it; for He takes no delight in fools. Pay what you vow! It is better that you should not vow than that you should vow and not pay. Do not let your speech cause you to sin and do not say in the presence of the messenger of God that it was a mistake. Why should God be angry on account of your voice and destroy the work of your hands? For in many dreams and in many words there is emptiness. Rather, fear God.
There are some very basic principles which jump out and speak to us. A very simple principal is that you and I must be in awe of God. He is not someone we should treat flippantly. Yes, I admit that I get quite uncomfortable when people refer to God as a "good buddy," or “the man upstairs," or make comments such as, “God understands why I'm this way." This last statement is simply an excuse for sinful behavior.
My friends, let it be clearly understood; He is God! Guard your steps. Be in awe of God. I believe that we need to develop a fear of God. Sadly, it seems that many in the churches have become so complacent that there is no longer fear or sorrow when someone participates in sin, or when someone fails to do what God commands. Consider what is said in . It is easy for us to quickly quote the first part and seems somewhat pious. We usually hear "the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge…" However, the problem is that many of us stop short of completing the verse. The rest of the verse goes on to state "Fools despise wisdom and discipline." Do we have a healthy view and fear of God? Or do we find ourselves amongst the pools on various occasions?
I personally believe that it is extremely difficult to remember to worship God as God if there is no fear of God. The writer of Ecclesiastes has a wonderful comment in .
Ecclesiastes 8:12 NASB95
Although a sinner does evil a hundred times and may lengthen his life, still I know that it will be well for those who fear God, who fear Him openly.
seems to almost me a summary comment.
Ecclesiastes 12:13b NASB95
The conclusion, when all has been heard, is: fear God and keep His commandments, because this applies to every person.

Remembering

Today, as we near the end of 2018, let me challenge all of us to spend some time remembering.
Remember to worship God as Creator. Give thanks to Him for making the world and all that is in it. Give thanks to Him for making you. Give thanks to Him for being in charge with all of life's situations.
Remember to worship God as Provider. Go ahead and thank Him for your food. Take time to thank Him for your job. And if I can encourage you in this; do not feel badly when you find yourself enjoying life. Remember, it is a gift from God.
This may sound strange, but I believe it too is necessary. Remember to worship God as Judge. This requires that we realize that were it not for Christ, we would be judged and condemned to hell. Obviously, that should lead us do being thankful for His grace and mercy. Then thank Him for his Holy Spirit Who enables us to love God as we are and then love one another.
Then we remember to worship God as God. We need to be thankful to Him for being in control of everything. To us, it may not seem like it oftentimes. Yet, as God, He sees the big picture and knows His perfect plans. And that causes us to thank Him for the fact that we cannot understand His ways. Reflect upon His holiness and be in awe and reverence of Him. Then praise God and thank Him for the wonderful reality that you are a child of the King.
As Christians we need to take time to remember and reflect. Remembering truly does put life into perspective. So as you reflect and remember back on 2018 and maybe even further back, give God all the glory.
Remembering truly does put life into perspective. So as you reflect and remember back on 2018 and maybe even further back, give God all the glory.
Related Media
Related Sermons