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Summary: PENTECOST 11(C) - When believers ask what is the world to me?--they realize life is meaningless without Christ but full of meaning with Christ.

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ECCLESIASTES 1:2; 2:18-26 AUGUST 24, 2003

ECCLESIASTES 1:2; 2:18-26

1:2"Meaningless! Meaningless!" says the Teacher. "Utterly meaningless! Everything is meaningless." …

2:18I hated all the things I had toiled for under the sun, because I must leave them to the one who comes after me. 19And who knows whether he will be a wise man or a fool? Yet he will have control over all the work into which I have poured my effort and skill under the sun. This too is meaningless. 20So my heart began to despair over all my toilsome labor under the sun. 21For a man may do his work with wisdom, knowledge and skill, and then he must leave all he owns to someone who has not worked for it. This too is meaningless and a great misfortune. 22What does a man get for all the toil and anxious striving with which he labors under the sun? 23All his days his work is pain and grief; even at night his mind does not rest. This too is meaningless.

24A man can do nothing better than to eat and drink and find satisfaction in his work. This too, I see, is from the hand of God, 25for without him, who can eat or find enjoyment? 26To the man who pleases him, God gives wisdom, knowledge and happiness, but to the sinner he gives the task of gathering and storing up wealth to hand it over to the one who pleases God. This too is meaningless, a chasing after the wind.

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Dearest Fellow-Redeemed and Saints in the Lord:

We sang in our first hymn(Christian Worship, Hymn 477) what is to be our theme today – what is the world to me?! If you look closely, that statement was made in the form of an exclamation. It speaks about believers who have Jesus as their treasure. If we were to look around us and take a poll and ask people around us what the world meant to them, very sadly, many in this world would probably say quite a bit. There are examples that abound. We look around us and we see what people spend on themselves. We see what people spend on their pets. It is said that in America people spend more on food and toys for their cats and dogs than what is given to church. “What is the world to me?” the Lord would have us ask that question of ourselves and ourselves as a nation.

We might feel we are pretty important in this world. The Lord reminds us that we, as human beings, as we look at the rest of the picture of the world, do not stand very long. The world has been here a lot longer and will last long after we are gone. Job says it this way, "Man born of woman is of few days and full of trouble. He springs up like a flower and withers away; like a fleeting shadow, he does not endure"(JOB 14:1,2). The point is, even though the world would stand longer than you and I, you and I have a soul and the Lord is concerned about us because of our immortal souls. Today when you go home, you might want to take out your hymnal and re-read the words of that first hymn – ‘What is the World to Me?’ We use it as our theme.


I. Meaningless without Christ

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