Archive for the ‘Ecclesiastes Lessons’ Category

Don’t Waste Your Youth

Posted: February 28, 2018 by keystoneyouth in Ecclesiastes Lessons
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Attention Funnel: Things that Make Me Feel Old/ Video of Couple Who sees what they will look like when they are older.

Introduction:

  • This is our last week in Ecclesiastes. We’re going to take one last look into this book written by Solomon and hopefully see some of the same themes we’ve already hit on throughout this series.
  • Tonight, Solomon is going to point us to look ahead to the day when our bodies are old and spent. And his goal in doing this is to remind us, “You’re only young once, so don’t waste your youth.”

 Big Idea: Spend your youth wisely.

 Passage: Ecclesiastes 11:7-12:8; 12:13

Main Points:

  • We are all on a path to wheelchairs and walkers.
  • Youth is like money you can’t save.
  • Growing old can be filled with joy instead of regret.

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Attention Funnel:

  • Dream Life: If I told you that you could have the life of your dreams? Live anywhere, with anyone, do anything, have anything, be anybody… what would your life look like?
  • Real Life: Craig Sager Speech at the ESPYs

 Introduction:

  • There are two ways for us to enjoy life. We can think that when we get to the future and have achieved the life of our dreams, then we will finally enjoy life.
  • Or we can see the life we have right here and now as a gift from God and start to enjoy every moment of it.
  • I think too many of us fail to enjoy life in the present because we are so focused on a future life that we are sure will be more enjoyable.
  • In our passage tonight, Solomon is going to urge us to enjoy the life we have right now… and he’s going to do that in a rather odd way, by telling us to stare death right between the eyes.
  • He’s going to tell us, a tornado is headed straight for your house (and our response is to bunker down, board up the windows, prepare for the worst), and instead he says, so go outside and play while the sun is still shining.

 Passage: Ecclesiastes 9:1-12 

Big Idea: Enjoy the life you have, not the one you dream of. 

Main Points:

  • Death is the only guarantee in this life.
  • Death is a good teacher.
  • Enjoy the life God has given you.
  • Hope: Jesus has defeated death.

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Church in the Wild

Posted: February 28, 2018 by keystoneyouth in Ecclesiastes Lessons
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Attention Funnel: The Five Dangerous Places to Travel in the World

  • Death Valley, California – You can only survive 14 Hours here without water!
  • Mount Washington, New Hampshire – Although the mountain is only 6,288 ft high – massive winds (up to 230 mph), freezing temperatures, and fickle weather make this the most dangerous mountain in the U.S. – Over 100 people have died on Mount Washington
  • Lake Natron, Tanzania – The akali salt crust on the lake will kill any living creature that comes into contact with it.
  • Bikini Atoll, Marshall Islands – This beautiful Island was home to nuclear testing during WWII, and still today there remains high levels of radiation that keep inhabitants away.
  • lha da Queimada Grande (Snake Island), Brazil – This 110 acre island is home to up to 4,000 of the most poisonous snakes in the world – The Golden Lancehead. It’s estimated that there may be one snake every 6 yards. No wonder travel to this Island has been banned!

Introduction:

  • Solomon tells us the world is a wild place
  • In this wild place, there are lots of things that compete for our attention. Lots of things that hold out the promise to say, “I’m what life is all about. Chase after me and you will find satisfaction and meaning.” But these things end up being empty, hollow, and destructive.
  • Also in this broken place, there is lots of evil that happens. Bad things often happen to wise and good people. Injustice can seem overwhelming at times. Suffering and death eventually come for everyone.
  • Solomon tells us this world is a wild place. And in a wild place, we need somewhere we can run to.
    • Show Lizard Video

Big Idea: We need a place we can run to for healing and hope.

Passage: Ecclesiastes 4:7-12; 5:1-7

Main Points:

  • We need a place where people have our back.
  • We need a place that reorients us around God.
  • We need a place where we don’t have to pretend.

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Attention Funnel: Equations

 Introduction:

  • We want life to be like an equation – something that we can always figure out and make sense of.
  • We often have this expectation that if I live with wisdom and in obedience to God, then my life will go well. We might even accept this as a rule.
  • I want to talk tonight about how Ecclesiastes presents us with some exceptions to the rule.
    • I before E…except after C…or when it sounds like “A”… or in the case of the word “science.”
    • Proverbs tells us that in general if you live a wise life and obey God, things will go well for you.
    • But Ecclesiastes points out that there are exceptions.
  • Life in this world doesn’t always add up. Life in this world doesn’t always make sense.

Big Idea: Life in this world doesn’t always make sense.

 Passage: Ecclesiastes 2:12-17; 3:16-4:3

  • There are things in the passage we read that should shock us. There are things we read that we don’t expect to find in the Bible.
  • It’s as if we walked into Chick-Fil-A, ordered our favorite sandwich, and told the employee thank-you, only to have him respond, “I hate my job.”
  • Can you say that? Are you allowed to be in here?
  • That is how we should feel when we read Solomon’s words.

Main Points:

  • Wisdom doesn’t always produce the results that we want.
  • People are often treated unfairly in this life.
  • There is an appropriate hatred for this life.
  • Hope: God judges everything AND he treats me like I don’t deserve.

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Attention Funnel: Food-Eating Contests

 Introduction:

  • Often in this life we take good things and we end up misusing them.
  • We hope to get more out of them then what they really offer.
  • Rather than accepting the good things for what they are, we take them and try to make them what gives us life, purpose, meaning, and satisfaction.
    • Rather than accepting Hot Dogs as a thing to be enjoyed, people take them and try to eat as many as they can in order to win a prize,
  • One of the ways we do this as humans is that we take pleasure and make it the end all of life.
  • Solomon is going to test this way of life out for us… he’s going to put pleasure to the test, to see if it can give him the meaning and satisfaction in life that he craves for.
  • And spoiler alert, He is going to find that it comes up empty.

Big Idea: Pleasure is a good gift from God.

 Passage: Ecclesiastes 2:1-11; 2:24-26

 Main Points:

  • Pleasure is not the problem
  • Pleasure unhinged from God is the problem.
  • Enjoy pleasure as a gift from God.

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Life 2.0

Posted: January 13, 2018 by keystoneyouth in Ecclesiastes Lessons
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Series Attention Funnel: Name That Famous Historical Figure

 Series Introduction:

  • Prepare to Die and Learn to Live… seems like a weird title for a series right.
  • We live by avoiding death at all costs. We don’t want to think about it. We push it out of our minds.
  • But Ecclesiastes is a bit of a weird book, so perhaps a weird title fits.
  • One person compares this book to a crazed man downtown. “He smells like he hasn’t bathed and looks like it too and as we pass by he won’t stop glaring at us and beckoning to us that our lives are built on illusions, and that we are all going to die. So, most of us choose to get our lunch at a different shop on a less dreary corner of town.”
  • I’ve already compared him to the friend that ruins everything.
    • “You look really beautiful today. But someday you’re going to grow old, saggy, and eventually be planted in the ground. So, have a nice day.”
  • But Ecclesiastes is not an eternal pessimist who only points out the bad in life to draw us down to his level.
  • Rather he simply wants to keep us from rooting our hope, meaning, and satisfaction in something in this world, when death will in fact take it all away from us.
  • He wants to prepare us for the day that we die… and in so doing, teach us to live well here and now.

 Lesson Attention Funnel: Name a Movie Sequel That Came Out in this Past Year

  • What do we know to be the case about sequels? They are almost always worse than the original.
  • So why do we go in flocks and droves to see sequels?
  • Because we secretly hope that they will be better. We hope that the second, third, fourth, or twentieth movie in a series is going to deliver better entertainment then the first one.
  • You thought SpiderMan 1 was good, just wait until SpiderMan 6! You liked Star Wars 7, just wait until Star Wars 8! You liked the Avengers… Well then you are definitely going to like Avengers vs. Smurphs! Can’t wait!
  • Life in this world is a little bit like this. We spend our whole lives chasing after something more, chasing after a better life.
  • I’m going to call that concept Life 2.0. We are convinced that this better, more improved, more fulfilling life is right around the corner… when I get to high school, when I get to college, when I get a job, when I get my license, when I find true love, when I have a family, when I have lots of money.
  • And yet just like the sequel to a movie, the future life we are chasing never quite delivers. We’re convinced there has to be more, but everywhere we look in this life that more eludes us.

 Passage: Ecclesiastes 1:1-11

 Big Idea: Life in this world leaves us longing for something more.

 Main Points:

  • We long for a life that is permanent.
  • We long for a life of complete satisfaction.
  • We long for a life of lasting significance.
  • Hope: Jesus broke into the world to give us life.

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