Summary: A haunting question with which we all deal is why we are living and what is the meaning of our lives. The Bible contains powerful answers that not only motivate us, but also shape us.

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JUNE 9, 2002

Ecclesiastes 12:13-14 “What is the Meaning of Life?”


We often ask many “Why?” questions. Usually they are frustrating and useless because there is no answer to them. There is one, “Why?” question that is vital for us to answer. The question is, “Why am I here?” “What is the meaning of life?


There are many phrases that we use to capture the essence of life

· You only go around once in life, so give it all you’ve got.

· Eat, drink and be merry for tomorrow we may die.

· It doesn’t get any better than this.

The writer of Ecclesiastes is assumed to be King Solomon. If any man had it all, Solomon did. He was reported to be the richest and wisest man on earth. If anyone could write that life is great at the top, so do everything that you can to get here, Solomon would be that person.

Interestingly, Solomon does not write those words. Instead he writes earlier in his book that riches in life are meaningless and are vanity.

If we look for the meaning of our lives in the things of the world we shall always be looking. There is only emptiness in these things. Solomon and others who have made it to the top bear witness to this truth. There is more to life than accumulation, than making ends meet, than feeling comfortable and good.


Death gives us a different perspective on life and on our purpose for living. It casts a rather harsh light on life.

The first thing it does is to put into proper perspective much of life. It reminds us just how unimportant those vitally important issues of our life were. We were willing to break relationships, hurt others, and forgo the really important issues of life in order to meet these important issues. In the light of death, they are nothing.

Death also reminds us that the things we work so hard for cannot be taken with us, and those who follow us often squander what we have given them.

· Recently a person commented to me that he saw the strangest sight. He saw a stretch limo pulling a U-Haul. We both got a good laugh from that image. I then said that the only thing that could top that would have been if it had been a hearse. You never see a U-Haul being pulled to the cemetery.

· Solomon wrote prophetically. He left great riches and a great kingdom to his sons. Within a generation, the kingdom had been split and the richest consumed.

All of us seek something that will pass through the refining fires of death. We want our lives to amount to something.


The only part of life that passes from life to life is our relationship with God. It is that relationship—the invitation to “Follow me,” that is the true purpose for our existence. It is why we live and breath.

Solomon writes that after investigating life and seeing it from every perspective there is only one conclusion. The purpose in life is to serve God.

This relationship and the ability to love and serve God is God’s gift to us.


Check it out, like Solomon did, and you will see that there is no true, lasting purpose in life, but to live in God’s love and to share that love. This answers that nagging question, “What is the meaning of life?” And it answers it abundantly.


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