1) Lovers of Pleasure -
2 Timothy 3:1-2, 5: But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be…lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God--having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them.
- DQ 1) How can indulgence in pleasure blind people to real meaning in life?
2) Chasing after the Wind -
Ecclesiastes 2:1-11: I thought in my heart, "Come now, I will test you with pleasure to find out what is good." But that also proved to be meaningless. "Laughter," I said, "is foolish. And what does pleasure accomplish?" I tried cheering myself with wine, and embracing folly--my mind still guiding me with wisdom. I wanted to see what was worthwhile for men to do under heaven during the few days of their lives. I undertook great projects: I built houses for myself and planted vineyards. I made gardens and parks and planted all kinds of fruit trees in them. I made reservoirs to water groves of flourishing trees. I bought male and female slaves and had other slaves who were born in my house. I also owned more herds and flocks than anyone in Jerusalem before me. I amassed silver and gold for myself, and the treasure of kings and provinces. I acquired men and women singers, and a harem as well--the delights of the heart of man. I became greater by far than anyone in Jerusalem before me. In all this my wisdom stayed with me. 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.
- DQ 2) Why does the earthly acquisition of possessions, wealth, relationships, power, and status leave people empty and void of meaning?
3) A Time for Everything -
Ecclesiastes 3:1, 9-13: There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven…. What does the worker gain from his toil? I have seen the burden God has laid on men. He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end. I know that there is nothing better for men than to be happy and do good while they live. That everyone may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all his toil--this is the gift of God.
Colossians 3:23-24: Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.
- DQ 3) What provides true meaning and purpose to the endeavors of life?