Hello Project Ezra! Today is Thanksgiving (at least for us in the United States), and we celebrate the day by spending time with family and giving thanks for the many gifts God has given us. Sadly, many people are also preparing to stand in line for hours in the early hours of the morning to satisfy their need for the best and the newest. I work in the busiest shopping center in my area, and have been watching the Black Friday Scramble for the past decade. For those of you outside the States, Black Friday is the day after Thanksgiving, and marks the beginning of our Christmas shopping season. It is the busiest shopping day of the year, with many stores opening at midnight with many special deals to draw people in. It is sad to see so many so obsessed with possessions. Thankfully, it can also provide an excellent opportunity for evangelism, since there are few days of the year where more people will be out and about.
This week we will be reading from Ecclesiastes 2, which deals with the vanity of worldly possessions. Rather than a complete outline, I’ve given a few bullet points, along with a couple other passages that I think would be good follow-ups. I would encourage you to put together your own outline based on these passages, or other appropriate passages. Be sure to include the essential aspects of the gospel message. For more information on sharing the gospel biblically, I encourage you to go to www.livingwaters.com, and listen to Hell’s Best Kept Secret and True and False Conversion. They are free, and will give you an excellent foundation for sharing the gospel Biblically.
I pray this will be a blessing.
Read Ecclesiastes 2
Solomon had the best the world had to offer, but realized the best could not satisfy.
Possessions are not bad in themselves. God has given us many gifts for our pleasure. But they will never satisfy, because they are not what we were created for.
"Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
"The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light, but if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!
"No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.”
We were not created to possess. We were created to know and be known by God.
But because of our sin, the relationship between us and God has been broken, and we are in danger of judgment for our rebellion.
Adam and Eve coveted, desired what God had not given to them. In order to possess what was not theirs and not meant for them, they broke God’s law.
Like Adam and Eve, many of you have coveted, desiring that which is not yours, as I have. God’s law says you shall not covet your neighbor’s house, his wife, or anything else he owns.
Luke 12:13-21 - Someone in the crowd said to him, "Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me." But he said to him, "Man, who made me a judge or arbitrator over you?" And he said to them, "Take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions." And he told them a parable, saying, "The land of a rich man produced plentifully, and he thought to himself, 'What shall I do, for I have nowhere to store my crops?' And he said, 'I will do this: I will tear down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. And I will say to my soul, Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry.' But God said to him, 'Fool! This night your soul is required of you, and the things you have prepared, whose will they be?' So is the one who lays up treasure for himself and is not rich toward God."
If your life was demanded of you tonight, would you be ready to start before God? Would He see you as good enough to enter heaven?
GO THROUGH THE LAW TO BRING CONVICTION OF SIN
The greatest gift we can possess, salvation through Christ.
The greatest fulfillment, since it is what we were created for.
DISCUSS THE CROSS AND THE ATONEMENT
Jesus rose from the dead, proving His power over death
Jesus is now seated at God’s right hand, and is our advocate with the Father.
If we repent and trust Christ alone, we can be saved.
Christ’s righteousness laid to our account. We are still guilty, but our fine has been paid, and justice satisfied.
Time is short, and none of us is promised tomorrow. Turn and trust in Christ while He has given you time.