Think hard about this question for just a moment: what in your life will endure the test of time; what will withstand the ups and downs of the future?
The concept of faith is woven through the pages of Scripture and is essential to a personal relationship with God. In fact, “without faith, it is impossible to please God” (Hebrews 11:6 NIV). It is the gift of God (Ephesians 2:8-9) and not only is it necessary for salvation it is part of our daily walk and warfare as believers (Ephesians 6:16).
Contrary to popular Christian opinion, the Bible neither exhorts us to have childlike faith nor does it tell us to believe as children believe. The idea that we are to have childlike faith is an incorrect inference based on several passages of Scripture. “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it” (Mark 10:14-15; Luke 18:15-17 NIV).
These passages don’t tell us what receiving the kingdom of God like a little child means so it is wrongly assumed to be referring to the faith of a child. In Matthew 18:2-4 Jesus spells out what He means. “Truly I say to you, unless you are converted and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever then humbles himself as this child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.”
Our goal as believers is not childlike faith. Instead it is to grow to be “mature and complete, not lacking anything" (James 1:4).
The 18th century preacher Jonathan Edwards wrote 70 resolutions before the age of 20. He knew obstacles were inevitable, so many of his resolutions were written to address this challenge. No matter the difficulties that came before him, he resolved to continue upon the path laid out for him by God. That’s responsibility, which is our topic for this message.
Creating a legacy begins with looking back on where we came from and how we became who we are. That’s the purpose of this first lesson: creating a legacy of remembrance.
Let’s remember that God has set the authorities in place. Rebellion against earthly authorities amounts to rebellion against God, which is the most serious revolt of all.
If your work has become your all-consuming interest or your greatest source of identity, worth, and security, this lesson is for you. Though it may feel unnatural, sit back, put up your feet, and allow yourself to get a grip on leisure.
Let’s take a wide view of our lives as we seek to clarify our thinking from the Bible about where we have been, where we are, and where we are going.
Perhaps the best way to paraphrase Ecclesiastes 11:1-6 would be the five-word command, “Stop existing and start living!”
In Ecclesiastes 8, wisdom is personified in the life of “the wise man.” These principles can be applied to today's leaders.
The verses in Ecclesiastes 7:15-29 help us see the practical usefulness of wisdom and how to fit it into everyday life.
The interlude in Ecclesiastes 3:11-15, though brief, brings into perspective several things Solomon had missed in his search for purpose and direction.