Finding Purpose Amidst the Vanity of Life

Text: Ecclesiastes 1:2-11

All is Vanity

  • Futility of wisdom (Ecclesiastes 1:12-18; 2:12-17)
  • Futility of pleasures (Ecclesiastes 2:1-3, 10-11)
  • Futility of possessions (Ecclesiastes 2:4-11)
  • Futility of labor (Ecclesiastes 2:18-26)

Yet These Things Can Have Profit

  • Profit of wisdom (Proverbs 3:13-18)
  • Profit of pleasures (Ecclesiastes 11:9-10)
  • Profit of possessions (Proverbs 10:15,22)
  • Profit of labor (Proverbs 14:23)

Is the Wise Man Contradicting Himself?

  • No — Scripture always harmonized with Scripture (John 10:35)
  • Difference between profitability & futility is purpose (Ecclesiastes 12:13)

Our Pursuits Must Be According to Our Purpose

  • Pursuit of wisdom — seek God’s wisdom (Proverbs 3:5-7), look in the right place to find truth which leads to wisdom (Proverbs 23:23), as wisdom is the application of knowledge, seek to obey God (James 1:22)
  • Pursuit of pleasures — enjoy life, but remember that we will be held accountable (Ecclesiastes 11:9), limit ourselves to wholesome things (Philippians 4:8), must not neglect our responsibilities (spiritual, family, work, etc.)
  • Pursuit of possessions — remember where blessings come from (James 1:17), use blessings to glory of God (1 Timothy 6:18), do not develop the love of money (1 Timothy 6:9-10)
  • Pursuit of labor — work hard (Ecclesiastes 9:10) as for the Lord (Colossians 3:23); with fruit of our labors provide for ourselves & our families (2 Thessalonians 3:7-10; 1 Timothy 5:8), help those in need (Ephesians 4:28), give back to the Lord (1 Corinthians 16:1-2)

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