Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Vanity of Self Improvement: Session 2

Yesterday I was listening to a John Macarthur sermon on principles for giving.  He pointed out many valid, biblical reason we are to want to give as Christians.  As always, he went through a lot of scripture, but 2 Corinthians 2:9 stood out to me in light of the way I was treated this weekend.  "So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver."  I think that was the kind of giving that the people I was with this weekend practiced.  No grudges, no guilt trips, no future expectations.  Money was given, time was given, acts of kindness were given quickly and simply because God laid it on their heart.

Session 2: Ecclesiastes 2:12-17

  • Wisdom is better than foolishness, but wisdom is not the best.  Even wisdom can become an idol. 
  • Madness: people get so tired of dealing with pressure of the world and they revert to complete madness
  • Folly: lacking biblical sense; doing morally wrong and thinking nothing of it; rude, crude, obstinate (knowing the truth and refusing to do it). 
    • Wisdom not his pursuit - Proverbs 17:24
    • Wisdom not his passion - Proverbs 17:16
    • No delight in wisdom - Proverbs 18:2, 1:22
    • Not protected by it - Proverbs 1:32
  • Even wisdom, as good as it is, cannot be ultimate priority because one event happens to all: death. 
  • Only in death can we reach everything we were ever intended to be.  
  • There are three types of remembering: 
    • Metal understanding
    • Active remembering
    • audible speaking (verbal) 
      • Solomon's "remembering" is the verbal.  
  • God remembers you.  He pays attention to you forever.  That is the wisdom that escapes Solomon.  
  • Hate for life: this is not a genuine depression or intense dislike. Just a stark contrast to love.  He is not fulfilled by it.  It failed to bring him meaning, so he is dissapointed.  This is a confession of failure.  
  • Conclusion: 
    • Wisdom will make you happier than foolishness.  
    • "It is better" are different than the words "It is best."
    • The wise die just like the fool, but see that even though all men die alike, not all men live alike.  Live in wisdom and joy rather than as a fool. 

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