Monthly Archives: April 2022

Ecclesiastes – Sat – 22-04-30



In March of 2020, Mike Sexson froze to death searching for treasure near Dinosaur National Monument. He was the fifth person to die searching for a million-dollar treasure hidden in the Rocky Mountains by Forrest Fenn. Another person found the treasure later that year.* It seems tragic that one person found treasure and others failed and a few died.

Fortunately, this is not true for the search for life’s meaning. Oh, many fail. But many have found it. Anyone who knows where to look can find it.

This week, we’ve looked at Solomon’s search for the meaning of life in the book of Ecclesiastes. Although we didn’t look at everything Solomon tried in his search, we did discover he rejected pleasure, education and knowledge, as well as accomplishment and career as ultimately meaningless pursuits. He gives us his conclusion in Ecclesiastes 12:13-14, “Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole [duty] of man. For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil.” (NIV)

Solomon’s wisdom is that the meaning of life is found in a right relationship with God. To respect and obey God is the path to satisfaction and purpose, for we are accountable to him. Take a moment today to acknowledge the one who created you!


*”One chest of gold, five deaths: The search for Forrest Fenn’s treasure,” CBS News, December 25, 2021, https://www.cbsnews.com/news/forrest-fenn-treasure-five-deaths-48-hours/.

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Ecclesiastes – Fri – 22-04-29



I like money, don’t you? It’s such a handy thing. I can use it to pay my bills, go out to eat, buy gifts for others or do things I enjoy! Everyone likes money. And you know what? Practically everyone also wants more money! So how much money is enough? Someone once said, “I have enough money to live comfortably for the rest of my life – if I die next Thursday”! They must not have had much money!

John D. Rockefeller was one of the richest men of his day. He founded Standard Oil and made it a monopoly. If you adjusted his fortune for inflation, he was the wealthiest American of all time. He said, “How much money does it take to make a man happy? Just one more dollar.”* He was speaking from experience, though he may have known what Solomon said in Ecclesiastes 5:10-11, “Whoever loves money never has money enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with his income. This too is meaningless. As goods increase, so do those who consume them. And what benefit are they to the owner except to feast his eyes on them?” (NIV)

If we are searching for satisfaction and meaning by pursuing wealth, we will be disappointed. Solomon was the wealthiest king of ancient Israel. He knew from experience wealth does not satisfy. Tomorrow, we will examine his conclusion on what gives life meaning.


*”John D. Rockefeller Quotes,” AZQuotes, https://www.azquotes.com/quote/919457

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Ecclesiastes – Thu – 22-04-28



Remember Charles Dicken’s character Ebenezer Scrooge in the book A Christmas Carol? He was a grasping, miserly workaholic. He had no friends. Devoid of charity, with hardly a relative, he pursued business above all else. In his youth, he sacrificed a relationship with a young love to pursue career success. He wasn’t very happy, was he?

Yesterday, the book of Ecclesiastes reminded us that meaning in life can’t be found by piling up accomplishments and advancing our careers. Yet some people persist in being workaholics. They often sacrifice relationships with family and friends in their drive to succeed. They need to hear Solomon’s words in Ecclesiastes 4:8-11, ‘There was a man all alone; he had neither son nor brother. There was no end to his toil, yet his eyes were not content with his wealth. “For whom am I toiling,” he asked, “and why am I depriving myself of enjoyment?” This too is meaningless– a miserable business! Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up! Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone?’ (NIV)

This passage reminds us that relationships are more important than career success. In fact, one relationship is the key to the meaning of life. But we won’t discuss that until Saturday!


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Ecclesiastes – Wed – 22-04-27



Do you use LinkedIn? It’s an employment-related social media site. People use it to keep up on the careers of coworkers and friends. They also use it to advance their own careers. People list their job history, qualifications, accomplishments, skills and recommendations. When searching for a new position, many people use it to network with friends and the friends of their friends. Recruiters also use it to search for talent.

Let’s face it. Careers are one of the ways we look for satisfaction and meaning in life. For some, they try to climb the fabled career ladder. For others, they don’t search for advancement as much as a job they’ll like better than the one they currently have. But does a long list of accomplishments and career advancement provide meaning in life?

Solomon was a king. But he found little satisfaction in it. He called his work as king “toilsome”! Listen to his words in Ecclesiastes 2:20-21, “So my heart began to despair over all my toilsome labor under the sun. For 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.” (NIV)

We may find some satisfaction in our work, but Solomon reminds us that the ultimate purpose and meaning of life will not be found in our accomplishments or career. Tomorrow, we’ll continue our search for meaning through Ecclesiastes.


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Ecclesiastes – Tue – 22-04-26



Think back to the election year of 2020. Do you remember the flap over whether Jill Biden should be called “Dr. Biden?” She earned a doctorate in education, so the title was appropriate. But some people were concerned she would be confused with a medical doctor, especially during a pandemic. That, and it gave people an excuse to criticize political enemies!

You know, most people who earn a doctorate, whether in medicine or another discipline, like to be called “doctor.” We value education. Some people even get multiple degrees. This makes me ask whether the pursuit of knowledge and education is what gives meaning to life. King Solomon also asked the question. He systematically pursued knowledge. Listen to his words in Ecclesiastes 2:12-15, ‘Then I turned my thoughts to consider wisdom, and also madness and folly. What more can the king’s successor do than what has already been done? I saw that wisdom is better than folly, just as light is better than darkness.  The wise man has eyes in his head, while the fool walks in the darkness; but I came to realize that the same fate overtakes them both. Then I thought in my heart, “The fate of the fool will overtake me also. What then do I gain by being wise?” I said in my heart, “This too is meaningless.”’ (NIV)

In other words, knowledge and education have some value, but are not the meaning of life. Death ultimately makes them empty pursuits.


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Ecclesiastes – Mon – 22-04-25



Do you enjoy parties? Most people like to have fun, eat good food, and enjoy life. I enjoy getting together with friends and family, don’t you? There are a lot of things I enjoy, like frozen custard, grilled brats and sour cream donuts – though usually not at the same time. I also enjoy coffee every morning. But is pleasure what gives life meaning? If it does make life meaningful, why are so many people who live a Hollywood lifestyle so unhappy?

One of the first things Solomon did in his search for meaning, was to explore pleasure. Here’s what he said in Ecclesiastes 2:1, ‘I thought in my heart, “Come now, I will test you with pleasure to find out what is good.”’ (NIV) Well, he sampled food, wine, comedy, and music among other things. He had a huge harem of women. Let’s face it, as a wealthy king, Solomon lived larger in his day than Hollywood stars and Silicon Valley tycoons do today.

What did he conclude? Listen to Ecclesiastes 2:10-11, “I denied myself nothing my eyes desired; I refused my heart no pleasure. My heart took delight in all my work, and this was the reward for all my labor. Yet when I surveyed all that my hands had done and what I had toiled to achieve, everything was meaningless, a chasing after the wind; nothing was gained under the sun.” (NIV) So, enjoy life, but remember you will never find true satisfaction and meaning in pleasure.


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Ecclesiastes – Sun – 22-04-24



Do you remember the Indiana Jones films? Each story was about searching out treasure, some ancient artifact. The stories could be a picture of life. We often search feverishly for something much like Indiana searched for the lost ark. We strive to find satisfaction and meaning in life, often in our hobbies, careers or education. But unlike the movies, our search does not end in a couple of hours!

Solomon also searched for satisfaction and meaning in life. He wrote the book of Ecclesiastes to share his conclusions. I must admit, the opening is pessimistic. Ecclesiastes 1:1-2 says, ‘The words of the Teacher, son of David, king in Jerusalem: “Meaningless! Meaningless!” says the Teacher. “Utterly meaningless! Everything is meaningless.”’ (NIV)

He continues in verses 12-14, “I, the Teacher, was king over Israel in Jerusalem. I devoted myself to study and to explore by wisdom all that is done under heaven. What a heavy burden God has laid on men! I have seen all the things that are done under the sun; all of them are meaningless, a chasing after the wind.” (NIV)

This week, the podcast will look at Solomon’s search for the meaning of life. Is everything really meaningless as he said, or is he exaggerating to make a point? Can we find satisfaction and meaning, or will all our efforts be as empty as grabbing a handful of wind? Join me tomorrow as we follow Solomon’s search.


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Resurrection – Sat – 22-04-23



This week, we’ve looked at the resurrection of the dead. It is the central hope of the Christian faith. Without his resurrection, Jesus’ death would have accomplished nothing. With it, Jesus not only provides forgiveness for sins, but eternal life to his followers in new, glorious bodies. He is the first fruits of the resurrection. We’re just waiting for his return to receive our new bodies.

So, how should this hope affect us? Well, Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 15:58, “Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.” (NIV)

This verse mentions two things. First, we must stand firm. In the context, he is urging us to keep our faith in Jesus and in the reality of resurrection – both Jesus’ and ours. The world tries to deceive us about the big truths. You hear it. Claims like “there is no creator, we evolved,” Or, “death is natural, there’s nothing after this life.” Don’t believe it! Stand firm in your faith!

Second, we should “give ourselves fully” in serving the Lord. What does that look like? Well, we go all in. We leave everything on the field. We hold nothing back from serving Jesus. Why? An old saying express it well. “Only what’s done for Jesus will last.”


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Resurrection – Fri – 22-04-22



“Hey, let me tell you a secret.” Have you ever heard words like that? How do you react when someone offers to tell you a secret? Does it raise your interest? Do you lean in close, anxious to hear? What is it about secrets that make them so interesting? Is it because something hidden is surely worth discovering?

Or consider mysteries. Do you like to read mystery novels? Do you enjoy films where the main character has to solve problems and discover the truth? Would you find hunting for and discovering buried treasure exciting?

If you like mysteries, listen to 1 Corinthians 15:51-55, ‘Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed– in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality. When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory. Where, O death, is your victory?”’ (NIV)

These verses give us a glimpse of the return of Jesus. Christians alive at that time will be changed, receiving a resurrection body. The death that entered the world through Adam’s sin will be gulped down, gobbled up — swallowed in victory!


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Resurrection – Thu – 22-04-21



Have you noticed that a lot of popular portrayals of heaven or of life after death are a bit mundane? Sometimes, they picture a person in a white robe with wings, often sitting on a cloud and strumming a harp. At other times, they are portrayed as having a body much like the one they had before death, although they may be able to walk through walls or have special power. You know, like Clarence in the film It’s a Wonderful Life.

I think these ideas miss the mark. Listen to 1 Corinthians 15:42-44, “So will it be with the resurrection of the dead. The body that is sown is perishable, it is raised imperishable; it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power;  it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body.” (NIV)

Notice how different the resurrected body is? It will not decay or grow old. It will not be subject to frailty and weakness, but will be raised in power. It will also be more glorious than what we have now. I like to think of this as the difference between flower seeds and the beautiful blooms they produce! Today, we have a body suited to life on this earth. But the resurrected body will be suited to life eternal!


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