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Ecclesiastes 11:7-12:8
Stephen Caswell © 2003
True Greatness
2 brothers were discussing their life goals after Sunday school.
The first brother’s goal was to be rich and famous.
The second brother’s goal was to follow Christ to the fullest.
The second brother went on to reach his goal.
His name was David Livingstone, the renowned medical missionary and explorer of Africa.
The first went on to be rich, but his fame came from another.
The epitaph on his tombstone reads: Here lies the brother of David Livingstone.
/What is life all about?
What is the point of it all?
Is it worth living?/
These were the questions the Preacher raised when he began the discourse that we call Ecclesiastes.
After experimenting and investigating /life under the sun/, he concluded, */No, life is not worth living!/*
He gave four arguments to support his conclusion: the monotony of life, the vanity of wisdom, the futility of wealth, and the certainty of death.
*/Being a wise man, Solomon reviewed his arguments and this time he brought God into the picture.
What a difference it made.
Life is rewarding when we fulfill God’s purpose for us.
/*Solomon’s final admonition is /that we accept life as a gift and learn to enjoy all that God shares with us./
Solomon says, to do this, we must obey 3 instructions: */I.
Rejoice, II.
Remove, III.
* *
/Firstly/   Rejoice
* *
*Ecclesiastes 11:7-9a* /Truly the light is sweet, And it is pleasant for the eyes to behold the sun; But if a man lives many years And *rejoices* in them all, Yet let him remember the days of darkness, For they will be many.
All that is coming is vanity.
*Rejoice*, O young man, in your youth, And let your heart *cheer* you in the days of your youth; /
* *
*/Firstly,/* Solomon says rejoice.
What a joy it is to anticipate each new day and accept it as a fresh gift from God! Most people don't realize this truth.
They live today as though life will go on forever.
Often it is only through a near death experience that people realize how fragile life can be.
Young person, rejoice and have a cheerful heart.
Life is exciting for you and holds so much promise.
Solomon especially instructs  young people to take advantage of the days of your youth before the days of darkness arrive.
He was not suggesting that young people have no problems or that older people have no joys.
He was simply making a generalization that youth is the time for enjoyment, before the problems of old age start to reveal themselves.
Young people you have so much going for you.
Usually they are healthy, strong and energetic.
You are fit and can enjoy sport to the full.
You have the enthusiasm and time to take on projects older folk can only dream about.
Life lies before you and you have so much potential.
Each new day is an adventure!
You can travel and see the world.
Young people can see clearly the beauty of creation.
You can hear music more crisply.
You begin to experience the freedom of being adults without all of the responsibilities that come later.
You can choose a vocation and earn an income.
You learn to drive and become more independent.
You can go out with your friends.
Many of your friendships will last a lifetime.
You have the joy and challenge of finding the right partner for life.
Falling in love and getting married bring some of the greatest joys in life.
Starting your own family is an exciting time.
Serving the Lord is especially rewarding too!
God wants young people to enjoy their youth.
These days are some of the best that you ever have.
Make the most of them because they doesn't last forever!
Dark days lie ahead and increase in number.
Youth doesn't last forever, so make yours count!
Wendell P Loveless
Wendell lived a full life and accomplished much.
He lived on well into his nineties and was alert to the very end.
When his pastor visited with him at this time, Wendell said this, /I don’t go out much now because my parents won’t let me ....... Mother Nature and Father Time!/
*/Young people have so much time, more opportunities, more freedom and many choices to make./*/
Young person, are you enjoying the days of your youth?/ /Do you play sport?
Are you building lasting friendships?
Are you visiting new places?
Are you using your time wisely?
Do you thank God for His goodness to you?  Are you serving Him? / /Young person rejoice!/
/ /
/Secondly  /Remove
/ /
*Ecclesiastes 11:7-9b*/ Walk in the ways of your *heart*, And in the sight of your eyes; But know that for all these God will bring you into judgment./
/Therefore *remove* sorrow from your *heart*, And *put away* evil from your flesh, For childhood and youth are vanity./
*/Secondly,/* Solomon gives a warning, with */increased freedom/*, */opportunities/* and */choices/* comes */responsibility/*.
The choices you make will carry */direct consequences/* for good or bad.
What we sow today we will reap tomorrow.
Our choices today have a bearing on our future lives.
They will affect our character for good or bad.
Young people have to watch their hearts and their eyes, because either or both can lead them into sin.
/Walk in the ways of your heart,/ is not an encouragement to go on a youthful fling and satisfy the sinful desires within.*
*It is rather a reminder for young people to enjoy the special pleasures that belong to youth and can never be experienced again in quite the same way.
*1 Timothy 6:17* says that /God gives us all things richly to enjoy/, but it is always wrong to enjoy the pleasures of sin.
Solomon’s warning is evidence that he doesn’t have sinful pleasures in mind: /God will bring you into judgment./
The young person who enjoys life in the will of God will have nothing to worry about when the Lord returns./
*Privileges must be balanced by personal responsibilities.*/
Young people must */remove/* anxiety out of their hearts and evil away from their flesh.
The word translated */sorrow/* means */vexation, inner pain, anxiety./*
If we are living in the will of God, we will have the peace of God in our hearts.
Young people, use your freedom wisely.
/Bad company corrupts good morals,/ so choose your friends carefully.
Worldly friends will pressure you to drink, smoke, take drugs.
Worldly people usually pull others down to their level.
They will encourage you to join them in deceiving your parents about your whereabouts, swearing or telling dirty jokes.
They will encourage you to drive foolishly and break the law.
They may tempt you to into sexual immorality.
Today temptation to sin abounds everywhere.
Many people live to regret the sins of their youth.
God greatly blessed *Samson.*
Clearly, God’s Spirit was with him.
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