Category: Sermon Notes

Pitfalls and Platforms

2021 THEME: Life on the Edge

Series: Life Matters

TITLE:  Pitfalls and Platforms

Scripture: Eccl. 3: 16-4:16

 

I.    PITFALLS TO AVOID           

1.     First pitfall to avoid is (Injustice). Two lessons Solomon teaches us about injustice:

1)     Injustice will only be (temporary).

2)     Injustice reveals our (beastlike qualities).

2.     Second pitfall to avoid is (Tyranny).   “Power corrupts; absolute power corrupts absolutely.”

3.     Third pitfall to avoid is (Rivalry).

4.     Three other pitfalls listed for us:

1)     (Stupidity) v.5

2)     (Misery) Vv.7-8

3)     (Popularity) Vv.13-16

II.   PLATFORMS TO BUILD UPON           

Platform #1: (Contentment)  See I Timothy 6:6-8

“Better to have little, with fear for the Lord, than to have great treasures and inner turmoil. A bowl of vegetables with someone you love is better than steak with someone you hate.” Pr.15:16-17 (NLT)

“Better to have little, with godliness, than to be rich and dishonest.” Pr.16:8 (NLT)

 

Platform #2: (Companionship)

Theme: Life on the Edge / Series: Life Matters

Title: Religion Investigated- Eccl 5:1-7

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Time Travel

2021 THEME: Life on the Edge

Series: Life Matters

TITLE:  Time Travel

Scripture: Eccl. 3: 1-15

 

I.    TIME HAS NO MEANING WITHOUT GOD

Solomon says it all comes down to a life of measurable chunks which he calls (matters). The NLT calls them (activities)

Keep in mind what Solomon has been teaching us in the previous two chapters: if this cursed world is all there is, then all our actions in this life are futile.

One writer calls this poem (the quiet versus the disquiet).

A couple questions to consider:

1.     What is the (profit?)

2.     What is the (purpose?)

II.   TIME HAS MEANING WITH GOD          

God’s most impeccable timing is in Gal.4:4- “When the right time came, God sent His Son, born of a woman…” (NLT)

“When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners.” Rom.5:6 (NLT)

What is verse 11 teaching us:

1)     God has made everything (beautiful) in its time.

2)     God has put (eternity) in our hearts.

3)     God has not (revealed) His eternal plan.

3 applications:

1.     Wait for God’s time.

2.     Live your whole life knowing that there is a time for you to die.

3.     Make good use of whatever time you have.

 

Theme: Life on the Edge / Series: Life Matters

Title: Pitfalls and Platforms- Eccl 4:1-16

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Work, Eat, Drink, and What?

2021 THEME: Life on the Edge

Series: Life Matters

TITLE:  Work, Eat, Drink, and What?

Scripture: Eccl. 2: 18-26

 

I.     THE EMPTY PURSUIT OF WORK          

Brief “Previously on Life Matters” recap

Verse 18: we are about the read the diary of a (workaholic).

Turn to Luke 12: 13-21

 

II.   THE EMPTY PURSUIT OF DEBAUCHERY         

(“I said in my heart”) is so counterintuitive to what we could or should do.  That phrase can be paraphrased as (“I resolved”).

The (sensual life) will get you nowhere.

Solomon says enjoying life is (from God).

Theme: Life on the Edge / Series: Life Matters

Title: Time Travel- Eccl.3:1-15

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Life is Sacred

2021 THEME: Life on the Edge

Series: Life Matters

TITLE:  Life is Sacred

Scripture: Psalm 139: 13-18

 

Over 20 million babies have been casualties of being unwanted. “95+% of children killed by abortion are killed for reasons of convenience; not incest, not rape, not the physical condition of the unborn, and not the threatened health of the mother.” (Chuck Swindoll)

I.   HOW PRO-LIFE IS THE BIBLE?         

Scriptures to consider:

1)     Gen.4:1

2)     Job 3:3

3)     Psalm 51:5

4)     Luke 1:41. Same word used later in Luke 2:12,16

5)     Isaiah 49:1

6)     Jeremiah 1:5

7)     Judges 13

 

II.   HOW DOES GOD SEE THE UNBORN?       

Psalm 139 breakdown:

1.     Verse 13- Two key words

a)     Inward parts is the word for (kidneys).

b)     Knitted literally means (to interweave).

2.     Verse 14- David breaks into spontaneous praise for the (way he is made).

3.     Verse 15- David refocuses on the womb.

a)     Frame actually means (bony substance).

b)     All this takes place in (secret).

4.     Verse 16- Removes any doubt that any conception is an (accident) or a (surprise).

 

Theme: Life on the Edge / Series: Life Matters

Title: Work, Eat, Drink, and What? Eccl.2:18-26

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Chasing the Wind

2021 THEME: Life on the Edge

Series: Life Matters

TITLE:  Chasing the Wind

Scripture: Eccl. 1:12-2:11

 

“Most men led lives of quiet desperation.” Thoreau

I.    CHASING WISDOM IS EMPTY        

Lies we face:

1.     “Laugh and the whole laughs with you. Cry and you cry alone.”

2.     “Every day our world is getting better and better.”

3.     “There is a light at the end of every tunnel.”

4.     “Things are never as bad as they seem so dream, dream, dream.”

What does Solomon tell us?

1)     His first quest is to understand the (universe).

2)     His second quest is to understand the (meaning of life).

3)     His third quest is for the accumulation of (wisdom).

 

II.   CHASING PLEASURE IS EMPTY

Two key words to notice:

1.     (Pleasure)

2.     How many times he uses the word (“I”).

What we need to learn:

1)     Pleasure holds out promises but (can’t fulfill them).

2)     Pleasure pretends to open our eyes but in reality (blinds them).

3)     Pleasure (disillusions) us, making us cover up the (emptiness)

 

Theme: Life on the Edge / Series: Life Matters

Title: Life is Sacred- Psalm 139:13-18

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Same Old, Same Old

2021 THEME: Life on the Edge

Series: Life Matters

TITLE:  Same Old, Same Old

Scripture: Eccl. 1:1-11

 

I.    LET ME INTRODUCE YOU

Over the past few years, diagnoses of major depression have skyrocketed, rising 33% from 2013-2016. The percentage of Americans who experience stress is 20 points higher than the global average.

 

Why study Ecclesiastes?

1.     Helps us ask the same questions people are asking today that they asked back then.

2.     Helps us worship the (one true God).

3.     Helps us live for God and (not for ourselves).

4.     Helps us to be honest about the (troubles of life).

 

II.   THE RIGHT PERSPECTIVE

The word vanity in the Hebrew refers to a breath or a vapor.

The word gain (v.3) means profit or advantage.

Three closing thoughts:

1)     The constant lure of something better (tomorrow) (so we think) robs us of joy we are (offered today).

2)     The desire to escape it often covers up the realization there are (consequences).

3)     If God is left out, the future is (bleak).

 

 

Theme: Life on the Edge / Series: Life Matters

Title: Striving after Wind- Eccl. 1:12-18

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Back to the Future

2020 THEME: TRUTH

TITLE:  Back to the Future

Scripture: Romans 10:9-17

 

“What we do in life echoes in eternity.” (Quote from Gladiator)

I.    THE CHALLENGE FROM THE PAST       

“I think everybody should get rich and famous and do everything they ever dreamed of so they can see that it’s not the answer.”  (Jim Carrey)

II.   THE CHALLENGE FOR THE FUTURE        

“Only one life will soon be past; only what’s done for Christ will last.”

Every follower of Jesus is called (to leverage) his or her life for the (cause of Christ).

Romans 10: 9-17

1.     It is a call to (listen to the gospel) and then to (surrender our lives) to Jesus.

2.     Note the progression found in verses 14-17.

“The world has yet to see what God can do in and with and through a man who is wholly committed to Him. I want to be that man.”  D.L. Moody

Next Year’s theme: (Life on the Edge)

A wasted life according to Pastor John Piper:

1)     A life without (passion) for the supremacy of God in all things.

2)     A life lived not for (the glory of God).

3)     A life lived without weaving God into our (eating and drinking).

4)     A life lived when we don’t pray and think and dream and plan and work toward (magnifying God) in all spheres of life.

“The one who fears God need fear nothing else.” John Wesley

 

Theme: Life on the Edge / Series: Life Matters

Title: Same Old, Same Old- Eccl. 1:1-11

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A Star is Born!

2020 THEME: TRUTH

SERIES: A Grand Production

TITLE:  A Star is Born!

Scripture: Lk. 2: 1-7; Mt. 18-25; Jn. 1: 1-5,14

 

I.    THE DRAMA UNFOLDING      

Matthew talks about Joseph’s role.

Luke gives us a detailed account.

John gives us no physical details, but does give us the deeper meaning.

This story begins years before. To God time is (irrelevant). He is on no one’s (time table).  The whole story was set in motion before time began, even thousands of years before. Every page, Genesis to Malachi, seems to tremble with the wondrous (anticipation of his coming).

II.   THE DOCTRINE MADE KNOWN       

Verse 14: the most concise biblical statement of the (Incarnation).

1.     The first four words express the reality that God took on (humanity); the (infinite became finite); and the (invisible became visible).  {See Phil.2:6-7}

2.     The idea of becoming flesh means He took on full humanity. Be He also was (fully God).

“Christmas was not a beginning but a becoming. Christmas wasn’t His start, but His commission. He was not created; He came.” (The Christmas We Didn’t Expect-Mathis)

            So why did Jesus come and what does all this mean?  [Mt.1:21]

We are not being told merely that Jesus Christ has eternal life or even that He gives it. This verse in I John 1 is saying He is eternal life, salvation itself.

 

Next Week:  Theme: Truth!

Title: Back to the Future (Don’t Waste Your Life):  Rom. 10: 9-17

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The Co-Stars

2020 THEME: TRUTH

SERIES: A Grand Production

TITLE:  The Co-Stars

Scripture: Mt. 1:18-25; Luke 1:26-38

 

I.    THE UNSUNG HERO     

Joseph had two options:

1.     He could (publicly shame her).

2.     He could (divorce) her.

“First century folk knew every bit as well as we do that babies are produced by sexual intercourse. When, in Matthew’s version of the story, Joseph heard about Mary’s pregnancy, his problem arose not because he didn’t know the facts of life, but because he did.” (Wright)

One of Joseph’s major strengths was he (listened).

We know this about Joseph:

1)     He was in the (lineage of David)

2)     He is (fulfilling Scripture).

3)     He would have been a (pariah) among his own people.

II.   THE SECOND VIOLIN      

Mary was not looking for (prominence).  This does tell us about her (simple faith) and her willingness to (say yes to God).

Some observations about Mary:  (Tim Keller)

1.     Mary responded (thoughtfully).

2.     Mary responded (gradually).

3.     Mary responded in (willing surrender).

 

Next Week: Series: “A Grand Production”

The Star is Born! – Matthew 1: 18-25; Lk. 2:1-7; John 1:1-5, 14

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The Unknowns

2020 THEME: TRUTH

SERIES: A Grand Production

TITLE:  The Unknowns

Scripture: Luke 2: 8-20; Mt. 2:1-12

 

I.   SIMPLE MEN AND A BIG SURPRISE     

Here is the key and Rome missed it: “Christmas is a powerful reminder that what is important in heaven is often unimportant on earth.”

“Sheepherding was one of those occupations that everyone needed but no one wanted.”  (Jeremiah)

What can we learn from the shepherds?

1.     They (heard) well.

2.     They (listened) well.

3.     They (worshiped) well.

 

II.  WISE MEN AND A SMALL SURPRISE     

Who were these guys?

1)     The name wise men is the word magos in Greek. It typically means “those who have wisdom through investigation and interpretation of the movements of heavenly bodies.”  Fancy way of saying they were (star-studiers) or (astronomers).

2)     They were from the east.

3)     Doubtful just three of them.

What do we know?

1.     They had an earnest desire to find the (King of the Jews).

2.     The prophecy of a star is found in Numbers 24:16-17

3.     Their desire to follow the star let them (place they never thought possible).

4.     What they found let them filled with (worship and joy).

 

Next Week: Series: “A Grand Production”

The C-Stars- Matthew 1: 18-25; Lk. 1:26-38

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