Ecclesiastes 1:1-11 Chasing the wind, all is vanity

May 30th, 2016

Chasing the Wind: All is Vanity

Ecclesiastes 1:1-11

 

What is Ecclesiastes? (v. 1)

      A book of deep wisdom based on the personal experience of its author

      It is a book that is best understood when one knows the end from the beginning (Ecc. 12:13)

      It is written in poetic form

      The author: The Preacher

     Hebrew: Qoheleth; Greek: Ecclesiastes

      One who speaks to the assembly

     Son of David, king in Jerusalem

      Any of David’s ancestors

      Probably Solomon

     Known both for his wisdom and his extravagance

 

All is Vanity (v. 2)

      Vanity: Lacking in lasting effect

     הֶבֶל (hebel): “vapor” or “breath”; fleeting

     Something that will not satisfy or last

      A summary of the theme of the book

     Life apart from God is unsatisfying

 

The Monotony of Life (v. 3-7)

      Despite all of our efforts and how important we think we are

     The world will keep spinning without us

      There is seemingly never-ending pattern to life

     Both for humanity

     And for Creation (see Rom. 8:19-21)

      This thought ought to humble us

     But not depress us*

 

Nothing New (v. 8-11)

      Even our senses fail to bring us satisfaction

      This cycle of dissatisfaction is a result, in part, of humanity’s inability to learn from our past

 

So What?

      Life apart from God is unsatisfying

      Thus, we need God to have true meaning in life

     Do you find your meaning in your relationship with God?

     Are you sharing the hope that you have with others?

 

Meditation Verse: Ecc. 12:13

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The GOSPEL part 2

May 23rd, 2016

The GOSPEL, part 2

Various Texts

Our Mission

      As followers of Jesus we are called to share with the world the truth of:

     Who Jesus is

     What Jesus has done

      This message is called the Gospel

     The Good News

     The heart of this message can be summarized in the GOSPEL acronym

 

The GOSPEL

      God created us to be with Him

      Our sins separate us from God

      Sins cannot be removed by good deeds

      Paying the price for sin, Jesus died and rose again

      Everyone who trusts in Him alone has eternal life

      Life with Jesus starts now and lasts forever

 

Paying the price for sin, Jesus died and rose again

      Jesus’ sinless death paid the debt for all our sins (1 John 2:1-2)

     Propitiation: appeasement

      As our sinful nature makes us “children of wrath” (Eph. 2:3)

      Jesus took on the punishment that our sins deserved

      His resurrection is proof of His victory over sin and death (1 Cor. 15:54-57)

 

Everyone who trusts in Him alone has eternal life

      Christ gives eternal life through faith in Him (John 3:16; Rom. 6:23)

      This is all God’s doing, not ours

-   Grace: A free, unmerited gift

 

Life with Jesus starts now and lasts forever

      The life Jesus offers us begins now (John 5:24; 10:28)

      We will experience it fully with Christ’s return and our resurrection (1 Cor. 15:52)

 

 


 

So What?

      We are called to share the Good News of Jesus with the world

      Do you know the truth of the Gospel well enough to share it?

      Do you believe the Gospel and are you living it out?

 

Meditation Verse: 1 Peter 3:15

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The GOSPEL, part 1

May 16th, 2016

The GOSPEL, part 1

Various Texts

Our Mission

      As followers of Jesus we are called to share with the world the truth of:

     Who Jesus is

     What Jesus has done

      This message is called the Gospel

     The Good News

     The heart of this message can be summarized in the GOSPEL acronym

 

The GOSPEL

      God created us to be with Him

      Our sins separate us from God

      Sins cannot be removed by good deeds

      Paying the price for sin, Jesus died and rose again

      Everyone who trusts in Him alone has eternal life

      Life with Jesus starts now and lasts forever

 

God created us to be with Him

      Humans were created by God (Gen 1:27)

      We were made to be with Him (Ps. 100:3)

 

Our sins separate us from God

      We are all sinners

-   Sin: Disobeying God’s commands

-   We were born as sinner (Eph. 2:3)

-   We choose to sin (1 John 1:8, 10)

      Sin separates us from God (Isa. 59:2; Rom. 3:23)

-   In our sin, we do not give God the glory that He is due

 

Sins cannot be removed by good deeds

      Regardless of how good we act, we cannot pay the debt that our sins have earned us (Rom 6:23a; Isa. 64:6)

      We must rely on God to act on our behalf (Eph 2:8-9)

 

 

So What?

      We are called to share the Good News of Jesus with the world

      Do you know the truth of the Gospel well enough to share it?

      Do you believe the Gospel and are you living it out?

 

Meditation Verse: 1 Peter 3:15

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Gospel of John: John’s Purpose & Witness

May 9th, 2016

The Gospel of John: John’s Purpose & Witness

John 20:30-31; 21:24-25

John’s Goal

      John ends his Gospel with two statements concerning his:

     Purpose

     Selectivity

     Trustworthiness

 

John’s Purpose

      To proclaim Jesus as:

     Christ: King

     God’s Son: God

       In order to instill faith in Him

     Which leads to eternal life

      This happens through declaring His signs & teachings

 

John’s Selectivity

      John selected the stories and signs that he did to inspire faith in Jesus in his readers

     He always connected the message with the audience

 

John’s Witness

      John wrote down his own experiences with Jesus

-   As the beloved disciple

-   He tells his audience of how Jesus loved others and loved him

      Jesus’ words in 20:29 declare that those who believe without being firsthand witnesses are blessed

-   Thus, those who come to faith by the testimony of John from this Gospel are blessed

      That’s us!

 

So What?

      Just like John:

     We need to declare Jesus to the world

     We need to connect the Gospel to those with whom we are sharing it

     We need to testify to what Jesus has done in us

 

Meditation Verse: John 20:31

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The Gospel of John: The Call to Follow

May 2nd, 2016

The Gospel of John: The Call to Follow

John 21:18-23

Peter’s Fate Foretold (v. 18-19a)

      Jesus then tells Peter cryptically of his fate

     He will die for Jesus by crucifixion

      Just like Jesus

     And his death will bring glory to God

      Just like Jesus

      Peter’s died by crucifixion about 30 years after this prediction

     This prediction had been fulfilled by the time of the writing of John’s Gospel

      Peter, and the other disciples, are shown to be carrying on Jesus’ ministry

     Including by sharing in suffering and death (1 Pet. 4:14-16)

 

Peter & John (v. 18-23)

      Jesus then gets up and leaves the larger group

     And commands Peter to follow Him

      Which Peter probably took to mean “walk with me”

     But it also meant: “Follow in my footsteps”

      Living in obedience to Jesus

      When Peter sees the beloved disciple (John) tagging along

     He asks Him what John’s fate will be

      Jesus' response is: “YOU focus on following ME!”

     “Don’t worry about what will happen to him.”

      Jesus was NOT saying that John would never die

     He is using hyperbole to make a point

 

So What?

      Our obedience, even in suffering and death, gives glory to God

     Are we living for His glory?

      Are we focused on our own walk with Jesus?

     Or are we comparing ourselves to others?

 

Meditation Verse: John 21:22

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