Monday Morning Preacher: Ecclesiastes 10:8-11:7

 

I want to use this time to write about the last thing we talked about yesterday: excuses.  We make excuses all the time in our everyday life, for why we didn’t get something done on time, why we faltered and did something we know was wrong, and why we didn’t do something we knew was right.  In fact, if I want to be real and transparent, in writing this post, I made excuses all week for why I didn’t write it earlier.  And if I was truthful, I was lazy and didn’t feel like doing it because I knew I had more time until time was up and it was either get it done or send it out late.

But here’s the thing, excuses shouldn’t be driving our lives.  Excuses shouldn’t be the thing that is stopping us from living a full life of Christ.  And part of the problem is we’re looking for perfection.  As Solomon wrote in Ecclesiastes 11:4: “Whoever watches the wind will not plant; whoever looks at the clouds will not reap.”

If we’re always looking for those ideal conditions where everything must be perfect before acting, they will never come.  There is no such thing as a perfect condition because Satan will not allow it.  If just a small little attack can through us off our game, he wins.  He gets the better of us and God’s work goes unfinished.

But Solomon doesn’t leave us hanging.  In verse 5, He tells us that we do not know the work of God and how the wind blows, or how a baby is created in the womb and gives life.  And then he says in verse 6: “Sow your seed in the morning, and at evening let your hands not be idle, for you do not know which will succeed, whether this or that, or whether both will do equally well.”

Translation: You don’t know what’s going to happen.  You don’t know what will be successful and what will fail.  But still do it anyway.  Why?  Because maybe, just maybe, it all will succeed.  And even if it doesn’t, you are still honoring God with your actions.

Excuses should not be found in God’s people.  Excuses are a sign of doubt and a lack of faith.  Yes, it may not (and probably won’t) go exactly as you designed, and may be deemed a failure, but at least you did something to honor God in the process.  Only God can make a seed grow, our role is to plant the seed so it has the opportunity.

What happens next depends on how each and every one of us responds to this message.  There is a lost and hurting world out there who needs Jesus, who desperately needs to hear the Word of God be proclaimed and shouted from the rooftops.  But if all we do is make excuses, and hide Christ within ourselves, those we love and care about may not get to hear this important message that has radically transformed who we are.

So no matter how challenging it may be, we must remember one thing:  Fools continue to make excuses, while the wise rise up and repent. Let’s make progress.  Let’s get moving.  Let’s win this world for Christ.  Let’s be an army of believers who don’t let the fear and insecurities of this world get the better of us, but rather ones who will always take the hill and speak about the God who we believe with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength is above all.

Monday Morning Preacher – Ecclesiastes 9:13-10:7

This past Sunday, we talked about wisdom and folly, one of the many times Solomon brings up this idea. And what I want to focus on today is where do we get wisdom.

Here’s the major problem.  The one place where there is no wisdom is “under the sun” as Solomon would say, and yet, this is the most frequent place we go when we are stuck and in need of help.  And the question I have to ask (since I am guilty of this as well): why do we do it?  Why do we continually go back to the things of this earth for wisdom and advice when there is none to be found?  It makes absolutely no sense, and it really does show us the true definition of insanity.

True wisdom is not found in a newspaper column, a Facebook post or a tweet on Twitter, it’s not found a random person you ask on the street, or even people you know and love.  Wisdom is only found from one source: God.  That’s it.  No one else but Him.  And so if we reject Him, push Him away, keep Him at arm’s length, what we are really doing is keeping wisdom from being a part of who we are.

Now is it a sin to run to a book for help? No.  Is it wrong to call someone you know and trust? Absolutely not.  But is it the first thing you do?  Do you take this to the things of this world, rather than taking it to God first?

I feel like the Bible is pretty clear on this.  Some verses we discussed yesterday:

2 Timothy 3:14-17: But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

Colossians 2:2-3: My goal is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.

We should place first things first.  When problems come, and they will, we should pick up the Bible, drop on our knees, and go to Christ. If in Christ are hidden all of the treasures of the wisdom and knowledge of God, then everything we need is in Jesus. And if the Scriptures will make us wise, then we need to open the Scriptures and look for Jesus and see what He is teaching us.  And if we don’t know what the Bible says, we pray and open the door to the Holy Spirit to teach us, understand, and continue to mold us into His likeness.

So where do you get your wisdom?  My hope and prayer is that it comes from the Bible and not a candy wrapper.  It comes through prayer and not the radio.  It comes from God and not from someone under the sun.

Monday Morning Preacher: Ecclesiastes 9:1-12

 

This morning started with a very difficult and very challenging question:  If you knew the exact date that you were going to die, would it change the way you live the rest of your life?

I honest think it would.  If you knew you only had a few moments left, you would take the time to be with your family, friends, and all the people who made an impact in your life.  Not a single moment would be wasted.  There would no time to Netflix and chill because there would be a bucket list of activities to complete before that final day comes.

But the problem is, we live life as if it’s going to be infinite.  We will always have another day.  We can say no to meeting up with our high school friend because we can make more time months down the road when it’s more convenient.  We can say no to playing ball in the back yard with our kids after a long day of work because there would be another less stressful day around the bend.  We can push back that trip to visit family because we can always go there another time.

And the truth is, before we know it, all those moments of procrastination catches up with us.  We always think there will be another moment until there’s not.  And so Solomon here is trying to get us to answer this question: Are we investing our time wisely?  Are we doing the true things that matter with our time?

And one of the areas he wanted us to focus on are the petty things in our lives.  I think we all know what we’re talking about.  Those little disagreements, and some times larger ones, that have destroyed and fractured relationships for far too long.  How many have family and friends that they are not speaking to anymore because of a problem that may have been blown to epic proportions?

Solomon’s point here is that when we die, we’re going to be forgotten.  As much as we strive to be remembered, as popular and as noteworthy our accomplishments may be, there will be a time when no one will remember who we are.  Look at the entertainment industry.  Everyone thought these movie stars were great, the singers were legendary, and half the time we can’t even remember if they are alive or dead.  And two generations from now, people are going to say, “The King of Pop? Who’s that?  And what’s pop music?”

Here’s the point: At the end of time, we’re going to stand before God and give Him an account of our lives.  And how many missed opportunities will we have?  How many times will we choose foolish things over making memories?  How many times will we allow petty, trivial fights between us and our family or friends destroy that bond?  And most importantly, how many people would we have had the chance to share Jesus with and we chose to allow the fear stop us.

My hope and prayer is that we live a life of no regrets.  That when we stand before God at the end of time, He will say, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”  And not, “I wish you could have done more.  I know you could have if you were just willing.”

As I was reading in Gabe’s devotional last night, it said that yesterday is in the past and there’s nothing we can do about it.  If you have made mistakes, if you have regrets, it’s okay because none of us are perfect.  We have all failed.  The only thing in our control is how we respond.  Starting today, what are you going to do?  What choices are you going to make?  How will you do it better?

Monday Morning Preacher – Ecclesiastes 8:2-17

 

So I want to pick up where I left off yesterday.  This passage in Ecclesiastes was how to handle yourself when you’re a part of an organization, like a church.  Don’t commit yourself to something you don’t believe in.  If you’re frustrated, don’t cause problems, but, if you believe in the mission, come up with a solution and a game plan to get there.  Understand plans will change. Things will not go your way, but at the same time, God is sovereign and in control of it all.  And when we stress ourselves out, and don’t take the rest we need, and don’t enjoy the food we eat with the people we love, we end up diminishing our faith in God.  Because when we rest, He is still working.  When we enjoy life, God is still on control.

As a church, we have a vision: Being disciple making disciples.  That as a body of believers, we focus on making new disciples, whether it’s in our families, in our neighborhoods, or in our communities. But here’s the issue and what we must always remember.  Having a vision is great.  It gives us purpose and a reason for existing.  But if it’s something that’s just on paper, it’s completely meaningless.  To take a saying from Solomon, “It’s utterly meaningless and a chasing after the wind.”

The problem with a vision statement is that people can look at it two different ways.  Some will look at it and see it as something to strive for.  We’re not there yet, but we really hope to be one day.  That’s what we want to be like but we haven’t reached it yet.  But it may take us a while to get there, and if we don’t, it’s okay.  Others look at it and say that is who we are.  That’s what we’re doing.  I’m a part of that and I want to do everything I can to achieve it. The fruit may be a little ways away, but the seeds are definitely being planted.

Do you see the difference between the two views?  One says I believe in the words and the premise, but I’m not working on it actively.  I want to get there but I’m just not in a hurry.  The other says, I am doing everything in my power to be this type of person.  This is who I am and this is giving me the avenue to express it.

The last verse we read yesterday was 1 John 3:18, which says, “Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.”  Simply put: actions speak louder than words.  How do we know Jesus is working within us?  If it changes what we do, not what we say.  We can say anything because talk is cheap, but our actions speak the truth.

So what are you actively doing to make new disciples?  What seeds are you planting?  What soils are you cultivating?  What people are you reaching? What steps are you taking?  What fruit are you reaping?  My hope and prayer for this church is to be one of action and not of words.  One that goes forth and does the costly, expensive, difficult work of Jesus to reach the lost, rather than just calling it a hope, a wish, or desire.

At the end of the day, the church was not created as a place to be comfortable.  It wasn’t created for convenience, or programs, or honestly, for us.  It was created so we will worship God, that we will be encouraged and strengthen by each other to then go forth and to share that love we received from the God who has given us everything to the ends of the earth.  If we are not sharing that love with those around us, we are missing the point of our faith and placing comfort and ease above the mission as Christ’s disciples.

 

Monday Morning Preacher – Ecclesiastes 7:15-8:1

 

Yesterday at church, we discussed what it meant to be an arrogant religious zealot, and why this is not what God desired from us. And really what it came down to is a matter of righteousness.

Arrogant people try to get their righteousness through the wrong ways.  They try to become righteous through rule making, legalism, control, manipulation, gossip, power, mistrust, and listening to people who back up their point of view.

But as we saw, they were missing the point.  We cannot earn our salvation.  In fact, because of how crooked and bent we are, we cannot even be deemed righteous.  Romans 3:10 told us that “There is no one righteous, not even one.” When we try to get our righteousness through our religion, it’s not just wrong, it’s evil.  It’s trying to earn our righteousness without Jesus.  It’s trying to say that what we do and how we do it should be enough so that we deserve to be accepted and deemed righteous in the eyes of God, when nothing we can do is great enough to cover our sin.

Righteousness can only come through faith in Jesus by repenting of our sin and being washed in baptism.  When this happens, we become righteous, not because of what we have done, but because of what Christ has done for us.

And so, living a life for Christ is not about fulfilling a list.  It’s not about following a bunch of rules. It’s about loving the One who first loved us.  It’s about what’s going on in our heart.

  • If we love Jesus, we’ll read our Bible, not because it’s another thing to check off a list, but because we have this desire to know more about our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
  • If we love Jesus, he says we’ll obey his commands, not because it’s the right thing to do, but because we want to do what is pleasing to Him.
  • If we love Jesus, we’ll give to his work, not because we should expect to be paid eternal life but because what is important to Christ is important to us.
  • If we love Jesus, we’ll pray to him in times of joy and need, not because prayer is something Jesus commanded, but because we need to have an open dialogue with God.

Do you see the difference?  The difference is within our hearts.  One is trying to go through the motions to act like what is perceived on the outside is the same as within, while the other is truly living their faith, not out of obligation, but out of the joy and freedom and love that Jesus brings to their lives.

So where is your faith today?  Is it just a bunch of rules and regulations to follow, or is it something more than that?  It’s time to stop trying to earn God’s love and just accept it.  You cannot earn grace, but you can receive it.  It’s time to be truly connected to God and leave the arrogance behind.

Monday Morning Preacher – Ecclesiastes 7:1-14

Yesterday, during our discussion of Ecclesiastes 7:1-14, I shared a little bit about my life. When I was in junior and senior high.  I had a moment when I stopped caring about God.  It wasn’t like I stopped believing in Him.  I would pray when I had a desperate need.  I would read my Bible from time to time.  But I just didn’t care about what He wanted from me.

And part of that was due to what I was taught growing up.  Now, it wasn’t intentional.  I think the said the right thing, they just didn’t give the full picture.  When teaching our children about Jesus and the faith, we try to simplify it down into a message they can comprehend, but we can also go too far and not realize our message is being lost.

When a Christian comes up and says, “You should turn your life and accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior!”  An appropriate response is usually, “Why?  Why should I do that?  Why should I allow Jesus into my life?”  The most common answer given is usually this: “Because when you die, you don’t go to hell, you get to spend eternity with God in heaven.”

Is that wrong?  No.  It is a horrible answer.  Not really.  But put it into the context of a young person’s life.  Even though it wasn’t the intent, that message comes out as this:  “Jesus is someone you believe when you’re dying or close to death so that you can go to heaven.” When you’re in your teens, you feel invincible. Death is not something you think about often or even experience much.  And if you do, it tends to be something to deal with later on in life.

There was a disconnect in my brain.  I assumed that Jesus was someone that helped us with death, but not someone who could help me with life.

And so because of where I come from, I always get concerned about people who present the gospel asking the question: “If you died tonight, do you know where you would go?”  To me, it sounds more like they’re selling fire insurance, or in this case, hell insurance, than presenting the gospel.

I’m not as worried about death as I am about life. I think a better question would be: “If you live tomorrow, do you know what you’re doing?” Because odds are, you’re more likely to wake up for another day.

And so a life as a Christian does include eternal life.  It includes life after death with Jesus forever in heaven.  A place with no pain, sorrow, heartache, or sin.  But a life as a Christian also impacts how you live on this earth.  Christianity is the anti-religion. It’s not a list or morals or a philosophy of life.  It’s living a life with God.

Living a life with God will not mean we live lives without any hardship, suffering, grief, strife, pain, struggle, toil.  But what it does do is guarantee that we will know how to get through it.

  • That a wise person will know how to rise to the occasion and overcome, while a foolish person gives up and never grows.
  • That a wise person will work through their grief, while a foolish person tries to bury it in a bottle.
  • That a wise person would be willing to share why their life is so challenging, and a fool would rather put on a facade and pretend everything is fine.
  • That a wise person has friends who will keep them accountable, while fools rationalize their poor decision.
  • A wise person toughs it out and follows through to the conclusion, while a fool makes grand promises and gives up when they cannot execute.

A life with Jesus brings wisdom into our lives.  He’s not someone who only impacts the life to come, but He impacts this life as well. If we’re missing out on the joy this life has to offer, it may be because our focus is not on what He desires for us, but rather what we desire for us.  And if that’s the case, we must repent from our sin, turn to Christ, and allow Him to shower us with wisdom so that we can navigate life with freedom and joy.

Monday Morning Preacher – Ecclesiastes 6

This past Sunday, we looked at Ecclesiastes 6, and in this passage, it challenged us to look at six questions which were asked directly or indirectly:

  1. Do you enjoy what you have?
  2. Who’s going to be at your funeral?
  3. Are you content with what you have?
  4. Who’s in charge?
  5. Do you need to know everything?
  6. Why are we here?

How you answer those first five questions, ultimately determines how you answer number six.

The first three questions deal with contentment.  Do you enjoy what you have?  Well if you don’t then how can you enjoy anything new?  Even if you get your heart’s desire every single time, if you cannot enjoy what’s presently in your possession, what’s going to change?

Who’s going to be at your funeral?  Is your life so wrapped up in gathering stuff that you neglect those around you?  Do you worship at the altar of greed and sacrifice your family, your friends, and an opportunity to make memories with them so that you can obtain something else?

And are you content with what you have?  Straight up asking us outright.  Are you always looking at the grass in your neighbor’s yard?  Are you always wanting and craving something more like a new house, a new car, a new spouse, new kids, more money, thinking it will finally make you happy?

When we lack contentment, what we are saying is we don’t trust God to provide what we truly need.  Which leads to what fourth question of who’s in charge.  When we say we need or want something, we are saying that God is not doing a great job being God, and we must intervene (or interfere) with His plans to prove that ours are better.

And if that is where our thoughts lie, we cross over into asking question five: Do you need to know everything?  Many people feel like that need to understand all of God and the universe and how it perfectly fits together to believe that He is God and He is real.  But we do not and cannot know everything.  Our brains can only compute so much.  And while there are times in our lives we may not understand, and there are times when we may not get what we desire, do we really need to know the why?  Will it change anything?

Because ultimately, it comes down to: Why are we here?  And here’s the problem: No matter how much we feel this is our life, it’s not about us.  We live our lives focused on the wrong things.  We focus on our needs, our desires, our wants when it was never designed to be for that purpose.  Our purpose, our goal in life is to give glory and honor to God.  That’s it.  We live because He is weaving together this beautiful tapestry known as human history that all comes together to show His glory and not our own.  But when we shift the focus from God to us, we’re essentially trying to destroy His to make our own.

Our life is not about us, it’s about Him.  It’s not something that shackles us, but is rather something that should be freeing.  We can be content and joyful for what we have because it’s not about us, it’s about God.  As long as God is being glorified by our actions, not just on Sundays but every single thing we do, then we will live a purposeful and happy life.  Because instead of being miserable, wishing for things and striving for things that are not ours to have, we will be doing something with purpose and a meaning and will be giving glory to the one who will enable us to live life to the fullest in ways we never thought were possible!

Monday Morning Preacher – Ecclesiastes 5:8-20

 

This past Sunday, we talked about whether it is better to be rich or poor.  Some people come into this discussion with their own thoughts:

  • The rich are rich because they work hard while poor people are lazy.
  • The poor are better because they don’t steal and cheat to get ahead.
  • The rich are better because God has blessed them.
  • The poor are better because they are victims of those who have.

The problem is, this isn’t the right question to be asking.  Rich and poor really doesn’t matter because we will always find good and bad people who are rich and poor for a variety of reasons.  The real question we must ask is this: Are we righteous or unrighteous?

This is the question that Jesus would want us to answer.  Are we following Him, obeying Him, living our life in a way that’s pleasing to Him?  The previous Sunday, we discussed worship and how worship was not just an event that happens on Sunday, but something that should be tied to every action that we take.  That our whole life should be lived as an act of worship to God, ascribing Him the glory that He is due. And when it comes to this idea of righteousness and unrighteousness and our money or wealth, I want to focus on the idea of being content.

Are you content with your life?  Are you content with your lot in life? The truth is, we all grow up with this idea that we can be anything we want to be if we just put our mind to it, but the truth is, that’s not necessarily true.  I know I can never be a pro baseball player.  While I loved the sport and I blocked the majority of pitches behind the plate, my arm strength was terrible and I think I threw out 3 out of 300 runners in my career.  I also know I could never be a model.  Usually, models aren’t flabby and balding.  It’s okay, I know it and I’ve accepted it.

But I love how Solomon puts it in Ecclesiastes 5:19: Moreover, when God gives someone wealth and possessions, and the ability to enjoy them, to accept their lot and be happy in their toil—this is a gift of God.

When he speaks about wealth and possessions here, please know that this is not some sort of proof to prosperity theology.  That if you’re good enough, God will give you everything.  That your righteousness, faith, and belief is tied to your wallet.  That’s not the case.  What he means is that the possessions and wealth that you do have, whether it’s a lot or a little, can be a gift from God if you are content.

It also means that wealth is not just your wallet.  A wealthy person is not just someone who has a lot of money. A wealthy person is someone who takes a lot of naps. Has a lot of friends. Eats a lot of meals. Has some hobbies. Tells a few jokes. Has people laugh at those jokes. That’s a wealthy person. Why?  Because when you leave this earth, you can only take two things with you:

  1. Your friends and family who believe in Jesus Christ
  2. Your memories with those people

That’s it.  Nothing else comes with us.  All the stuff we crave, desire, and covet because we want more than what God has blessed us with stays here for someone else.  And at the end of the day we need to ask this simple question, one I will admit I struggle with, what is more important: the stuff or the memories with the people?  When we place our job and our ability to make money above everything else, when we’re too tired from the job to spend quality time with the family, we’re missing the point.

Solomon puts it this way: Eat, drink, and do your job.  Do your job well, work hard, but when it’s time to punch out, punch out.  Don’t let it destroy the rest of your day, or your relationships.  Enjoy what God has blessed you with, and if you desire more, find more in making time with your family, friends, and the relationships that last, rather than stuff that will end up in the trash.

Monday Morning Preacher – Ecclesiastes 5:1-7

 

Yesterday at church, we talked about worship.  How worship is not defined by what happens only on Sunday, but what happens every day of the week.  That we should be living our faith every single hour of every day rather than just for an hour, when it’s time to get serious.

To some, that idea must sound radical.  That worship happens with every single action we make, whether it’s public or private, seen or unseen.  Everything we do is a part of our act of worship.  But it also is a little frightening as well.  Think about every aspect of your week between services, and sometimes, even the rest of your Sunday.  Was every single moment, everything you said and did an act of worship?  Was it an act of worship when you snapped at your family member?  Was it an act of worship when you lied to your friend? Was it an act of worship when you didn’t come through on fulfilling your promise?  Was it an act of worship when you put yourself and your wants above everyone else?

Romans 12:1-2 says, “Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”

Translation:  Worship is not conforming God to our desires, our needs, and our world; but instead to conform us to His desires, His needs, and His world.  That every single action we make is done in light of what He wants from us.

If we’re not doing this, we are the true definition of the word hypocrite.  A hypocrite is someone who will say one thing, and act the complete opposite.  Someone who doesn’t practice what they preach.  A person who will walk into church on Sunday, pray and sing with conviction, only to throw off this persona until Sunday comes around again.

Solomon ends this passage with a simple message.  “Fear God.”  My question for you is this:  If we act like a hypocrite, are we truly fearing God?  If God is our judge, the one who will pronounce us innocent or guilty at the end of time, are we truly fearful of Him if we act like a hypocrite?

So let us worship God as our Father and King.  Let us guard our steps, making sure we see Him in the right light.  Let us give Him the glory alone, and stand aside so that His name is praised not above all other names, but instead of any other names. That when we leave church on Sunday, and leave for the rest of the week, that our focus remains and stays on Him and not ourselves.

 

Monday Morning Preacher – Ecclesiastes 4:4-4:16

 

Yesterday, I mentioned that our culture has been drifting from an active one to a passive one.  That we act more like spectators than participants.  So let me ask: are you a participant or a spectator? I think we can all agree on the difference between the two.

A participant is “a person or group that participates.”  Thanks to Dictionary.com for that helpful definition.  To participate then means “to have a part or share, as with others; partake; share” So it means to do something, usually with others.

A spectator is “a person who is present at and views a spectacle, display, or the like; member of an audience.”  So this person is a witness and is present to what’s going on, but they are not actively participating.

So what do you think is better – to be a participant in something or a spectator?  I would say a participant.  Why?  Because you’re in the middle of the action.  You’re the one causing progress, whether it’s a baseball being thrown to a plate, lines of a play being spoken, a bike racing down a hill, or an offer being sent across a table in a negotiation.  You’re a part of the history being played out at that moment.  When you’re a participant, you’re active in creating an outcome.

So why is that better than being a spectator?  Well, as a spectator, you have no say or input into what happens next.  As a spectator, you’re, in a nutshell, watching participants.  You have no influence over what happens next.  Yes, as a spectator at a basketball game, you can boo and wave your arms as the visiting team attempts a free throw, but really, nothing you do will impact what happens out on the court.  Being a spectator means you’re passively witnessing something happen right in front of you, and whether you like it or hate it, agree or disagree with the outcome, nothing you do will influence what you watch.

Here’s the thing, when Jesus called us to live life in relationship with Him, what did He call us to be?  A participant.  In fact, His most important commands were not even commands.  They were expectations.  He would speak expecting us to act:

  • It’s not “Therefore go…” in Matthew 28:19 but “As you go…”
  • Matthew 6:2 is not “Give to the needy…” it’s “When you give…”
  • Matthew 6:5 is not “Pray to your Father…” it’s “When you pray….”

We were called to be active in our faith and not passive.

So how do we stay active in our faith?  By doing God’s will here on this earth.  We were called in Matthew 28:19-20 to be disciples by making disciples.  However, as American Christians as a whole, we have failed to do this.  I think this is a major reason why churches have been in decline.  Instead of being active in winning this world for Christ, we began to focus inward, enjoying what we have found rather than sharing it with those who are still looking.

There is a broken world out there that is struggling with broken relationships due to jealousy, laziness, and the quest for more stuff – all the stuff we discussed in this passage of Ecclesiastes.  And the only way to overcome these issues is with a relationship with Jesus Christ.  Through Him and His relationship with us, despite the fact we still sin and disobey Him, He still love us with an unconditional love.  What He models to us, we must take and be the example to the rest of the world.  But we can’t do that as spectator.

In fact, there is no such thing as a spectator Christian.  Another word for a spectator Christian is a lukewarm Christian.  And what does Jesus say about the lukewarm? Revelation 3:16 says, “So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth.”  That’s rejection. If a person who claims Christianity is not being fruitful, they will be cut off and spit out.  For us to bear fruit, we must sow seeds, and for us to sow seeds, we must be active and a participant in our faith!