Vanity, Vanity (Part Two) – Sermon Recap

Last week, we introduced our new sermon series, “Living Life Backwards,” where we will journey through the book of Ecclesiastes. Our goal is to unpack the themes of this profound book and gain a new perspective on life, inspired by “The Preacher.”

Imagining Your Legacy

Remember the famous book “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People”? One of its principles asks us to imagine our funeral and think about what we would want people to say about us. This exercise helps us identify what truly matters in life and encourages us to live with the end in mind. The book of Ecclesiastes echoes this sentiment by reminding us that we all face the inevitable reality of death.

Understanding the Perspective of Ecclesiastes

To grasp the significance of Ecclesiastes, we need to understand its author’s perspective. Although there’s debate about whether King Solomon wrote the book, it is generally agreed that it reflects his life experiences. Solomon, reflecting on his life, offers us wisdom through the lens of hindsight, urging us to learn from his insights.

The Realities of Life According to The Preacher

Life is Short

Ecclesiastes 1:1-9 emphasizes that life is fleeting, like the smoke from a candle. This brevity should influence how we live and what we prioritize.

Life is Elusive

The Preacher asks, “What does man gain by all the toil at which he toils under the sun?” (Ecclesiastes 1:3). Life can feel elusive, as if we are constantly chasing something just out of reach.

Life is Repetitive

He also points out the repetitive nature of life: the sun rises and sets, the wind blows in circuits, and streams flow endlessly to the sea. This repetition can lead to a sense of weariness and dissatisfaction.

Taking Responsibility for Our Lives

In today’s culture, it’s easy to let our circumstances define us and hold us back. However, we can choose to respond differently. Life is not what happens to us but how we respond to it. By taking full responsibility for our lives, we empower ourselves to overcome obstacles and embrace the potential for redemption through God’s power.

Key Takeaways for Living Life Backward

Prioritize What Really Matters

Reflect on what you want people to say about you at your funeral. This exercise can help you identify and prioritize what truly matters in life, such as character, integrity, faith, and the impact on others.

Keep God’s Commands

The Preacher frequently returns to the importance of fearing God and keeping His commandments. This is a central theme in Ecclesiastes and serves as a guiding principle for our lives.

Enjoy Your Days

We are called to live with joy, recognizing that life is short. Ecclesiastes 11:8 reminds us to enjoy all the years we are given, making the most of our time on earth.

Conclusion: Embracing Our Mortality to Truly Live

The Preacher wants us to let the reality of our short lives and eventual death sink in. Accepting our mortality is the first step in learning how to live fully. We are finite creatures, not in control, and we won’t live forever. By embracing this truth, we can focus on what really matters and live a life of purpose and joy.

What Would Tomorrow You Want Today You to Do?

Consider what actions today will benefit you in the future. Jesus offers us hope and peace for the future, as stated in John 16:33: “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” Let us follow Him and live with the end in mind, making choices that will bring fulfillment and honor to our lives.

Print your tickets