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Ecclesiastes 7:1-11:6

Reading Time: 15-20 Minutes


with Pastor Jed Robyn (5-minutes)

JUNE 7, 2023




"Don’t be fooled by those who say such things, for “bad company corrupts good character.” 1 Cor 15:33


There are so many "How to" books that offer to teach us shortcuts or methods to help us achieve whatever it is we desire. The desire comes from within us, and we seek out an expert to guide us. So there are books on how to build a deck, how to become a millionaire, how to lose fifty pounds, and to be a better spouse or parent. If the book is honest, the best that you can hope to become is like the author. Our walk with God is very different. For whatever reason, God saw something in us to have chosen us. Our goal is not to take a shortcut, or emulate another Christian, but to empty ourselves and become vessels in which God can use. He chose us individually so that we can be unique vessels to be used according to His will. Who I am is not who I was. But who I am is also not who I will be, if I allow God to continue to have His way in me. He has chosen you. Yet, to become that unique vessel you need to approach Him daily, like any other relationship, and get to know Him. There are no shortcuts. It is His word. It is the simplicity of the message.

It is interesting that Solomon comes to such a simple conclusion in a book that details all of the emptiness associated with following all of the "How to" plans to an earthly successful life. He concludes that the purpose of life, and the way to avoid the emptiness of worldly pursuits is to have fellowship with God, as we read in Ecclesiastes 12:13-14, "Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God and keep His commandments, For this is man's all. For God will bring every work into judgment, Including every secret thing, Whether good or evil." As brilliant as Paul was, his purpose was to bring the simple "Good News" or the gospel to the people. He explains that his message did not come from man, the other leaders, etc., as we read in Galatians 1:11-12, "But I make known to you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached by me is not according to man, nor was I taught it, but it came through the revelation of Jesus Christ." Paul did not add anything to the simplicity of the gospel, as we read in 1:6-8, "I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed."

The good news is that God has accepted the finished work of Jesus Christ and applied His righteousness to us through our faith in Him. We read in 2 Corinthians 5:21, "For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him." It is by grace. He has lovingly bestowed something upon us that we do not and cannot deserve. There is no "How to" book that adds to the simplicity of this message. Adding works to grace destroys what grace truly is. Our works are simply a response to this wonderful gift and our relationship with Him. Our works are the fruit of our salvation but not the root. It is hard to fathom that God in His infinite wisdom and infinite ability actually even uses us, but He does. Though there is nothing wrong with reading books from pastors and preachers from this and previous generations, there is nothing like spending daily time in His Word, the Bible. Every one of the sixty-six books is relevant and instrumental to our becoming those vessels which can be used by Him.


Here, then, is the real problem of our negligence. We fail in our duty to study God’s Word not so much because it is difficult to understand, not so much because it is dull and boring, but because it is work. Our problem is not a lack of intelligence or a lack of passion. Our problem is that we are lazy.

— R. C. Sproul (1939-2017)

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