A team of researchers at the Harvard Graduate School of Education asked 10,000 middle and high school students the following question: "What is most important to you? Achieving at a high level, happiness (defined as feeling good most of the time) or caring for others?"
48 percent of students selected high achievement as their top priority; 30 percent chose happiness.
Only 22 percent placed caring for others at the top of their list.
The researchers said, "Some youth made it quite clear to us that their self-interest is paramount: 'If you are not happy, life is nothing.
After that, you want to do well.
And after that, expend any excess energy on others.'"
Their research report was appropriately titled, "THE CHILDREN WE MEAN TO RAISE: The Real Messages Adults Are Sending About Values," and the first line of their Executive Summary stated, "Our youth's values appear to be awry, and the messages that adults are sending may be at the heart of the problem."
What is the world telling our young people today?
Be happy, do well, then give the excess to others.
No excess, never satisfied.
Set aside just parents today…there is more reach, more outreach, more messages, ideologies, more worldly philosophy, more ungodly values reaching our young people than ever before by the whole world.
The exponential change in technology is allowing a greater reach with greater amounts of information on a global scale.
Sure there are tons of immoral, evil, unkind, unloving, perverted, diabolical, deceptive, violent, hateful, demeaning messages that we need to protect our young people from.
However, did you know that there are lots of “positive” messages that we get today that we also need to protect our children from.
Nothing wrong with happiness, doing well and helping others.
But are we fulfilling the law by just loving others?
We see that we need to be aware of a very very important distinction.
We here in the church… we do a great job teaching our children how to tell the difference between right and wrong.
What is destroying our children today is the inability to tell the difference between right and almost right.
We want to raise, well behaved, polite, respectful, successful, healthy, generous, truthful, patient, well off, great husbands and wives, great parents, faithful, loyal, honest, self-sacrificial, and loving.
Many in society today and even in the church will look at people like this and think what a wonderful amazing person they are their parents must be proud.
But here is the kicker… this is almost right.
A person who has all of these character traits, yet has no faith in Christ is going to hell.
A life with all of these traits minus Christ ends in hell.
Everything thing in this life apart from Christ is utter meaninglessness.
This is why suicide rates are going up.
This is why drug use is going up.
This is why hopelessness is going up.
This is why discouragement and apathy is going up.
And they lived happily ever after is a lie.
You can be anything you want to be is not true.
You can do anything you put your mind to is a fallacy.
Have faith in yourself?
Why I’m the worse person I know.
Just follow your heart.
The heart is deceitful above all things.
Make your dreams come true.
The only reality I know are my nightmares.
God helps those who help themselves… uh which God is that?
So you see… The message of hope from the world today brings no hope.
The message from the world for a better life today, brings no life.
The scriptures declare… Life without Christ is meaningless.
Socrates said, “The unexamined life is not worth living.”
The gospel essentially declares, “the unredeemed life is no life at all.”
The grass withers, the flower fades, but the Word of our God stands forever.
Remember the Creator
Now Not Later
He Remembers You
The first thing we will look at today is how a full Christ-centered life brings a lifetime of glory to the King of kings.
The second thing to witness is the beauty of a life that knows and is known by Christ before it comes to the end of its day.
Finally, we will see that our hope does not rest in our ability to remember Christ, but in the fact that He remembers us.
Thesis: Though sin and the pattern of this world cause us to fall into hopelessness because of a message of hope that has no hope, it is the truth of the Gospel and the power of the Holy Spirit that will lead us to the way the truth and the life.
I. Remember the Creator
- This is a call to remembrance.
A. I think this here is an interesting observation.
Solomon’s instruction here is aimed mainly for young people, but I wonder if the people who will truly understand these words are older.
The Preacher’s last instruction is mainly for young people, although maybe the people who understand it the best are older.
Here Qoheleth is calling us to live a God-centered life.
Easy exhortation… Make the God who made the universe our first and highest priority.
This is the key to all the other things that he has called us to do in this passage.
This is a call to remember the Lord.
Ryken, P. G. (2010).
Ecclesiastes: Why everything matters (p.