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Skip's Teachings > 21 Ecclesiastes - What's the Point? - 2000 > How An Uplook Can Change Your Outlook!

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How An Uplook Can Change Your Outlook!
Ecclesiastes 2:12-26
Skip Heitzig

Ecclesiastes 2 (NKJV™)
12 Then I turned myself to consider wisdom and madness and folly; For what can the man do who succeeds the king?--Only what he has already done.
13 Then I saw that wisdom excels folly As light excels darkness.
14 The wise man's eyes are in his head, But the fool walks in darkness. Yet I myself perceived That the same event happens to them all.
15 So I said in my heart, "As it happens to the fool, It also happens to me, And why was I then more wise?" Then I said in my heart, "This also is vanity."
16 For there is no more remembrance of the wise than of the fool forever, Since all that now is will be forgotten in the days to come. And how does a wise man die? As the fool!
17 Therefore I hated life because the work that was done under the sun was distressing to me, for all is vanity and grasping for the wind.
18 Then I hated all my labor in which I had toiled under the sun, because I must leave it to the man who will come after me.
19 And who knows whether he will be wise or a fool? Yet he will rule over all my labor in which I toiled and in which I have shown myself wise under the sun. This also is vanity.
20 Therefore I turned my heart and despaired of all the labor in which I had toiled under the sun.
21 For there is a man whose labor is with wisdom, knowledge, and skill; yet he must leave his heritage to a man who has not labored for it. This also is vanity and a great evil.
22 For what has man for all his labor, and for the striving of his heart with which he has toiled under the sun?
23 For all his days are sorrowful, and his work burdensome; even in the night his heart takes no rest. This also is vanity.
24 Nothing is better for a man than that he should eat and drink, and that his soul should enjoy good in his labor. This also, I saw, was from the hand of God.
25 For who can eat, or who can have enjoyment, more than I?
26 For God gives wisdom and knowledge and joy to a man who is good in His sight; but to the sinner He gives the work of gathering and collecting, that he may give to him who is good before God. This also is vanity and grasping for the wind.

New King James Version®, Copyright © 1982, Thomas Nelson, Inc. All rights reserved.

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21 Ecclesiastes - What's the Point? - 2000

Solomon didn't have a sight problem as he looked around at his world to find fulfillment. His was an insight problem. He saw a world full of allurements that all promised to satisfy but could never produce. For a long time Solomon failed to gain the needed insight, because things on the horizontal plane aren't the source of enjoyment.  It was then that he momentarily turned his eyes upward and, with a flash of perception, had balance brought to his pessimistic perspective.

In Ecclesiastes, Solomon delves into the hard issues of life, and attempts to find satisfactory answers that avert despair. Pastor Skip Heitzig examines Solomon's search for meaning.

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Outline

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  1. Outlook: Comparing Life's Pathways

    1. Comparing Two Approaches to Life

    2. Comparing Two Approaches to Labor

  2. Uplook: Comprehending Life's Purpose

    1. God's Creation Can't Produce Satisfaction

    2. Gift to Mankind is Enjoyment

    3. God Cares for Those Who Seek Him

Questions for Discussion:
  1. Take an "enjoyment inventory" on life. How much satisfaction are you deriving from your sojourn on the earth? Yes, I know you're on your way to heaven, but what's the journey like?

  2. Name a few ways that God has taken care of your needs? How has He lavishly supplied your life with His good gifts?

Additional Messages in this Series

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Date Title   Watch Listen Notes Share Save Buy
11/5/2000
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What's The Point Of It All
Ecclesiastes 1
Skip Heitzig
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Message Summary
In the book of Ecclesiastes written by Solomon, the bell of disillusionment tolls over and over again. It is a book often quoted by unbelievers because it strikes a chord of familiarity. The deepest questions about life are probed by one of ancient society's most brilliant thinkers. Modern men and women would do well to consider this man's journal and especially his conclusions so as not to make the same mistakes.
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11/12/2000
completed
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Common Paths On A Frustrating Journey
Ecclesiastes 1:12-2:11
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"The pursuit of happiness" is written into the script of the American dream. As a culture we take it literally and go for it wholeheartedly. Have you ever stopped to observe those on that pursuit? Have you ever met someone who stopped pursuing it because they found it?  Solomon, the king of Israel was able to create and finance his own dreams. He walked down many roads to find the illusive golden pot of happiness at the end of the rainbow.  But what was it he found?
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12/3/2000
completed
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Caught Between Time and Eternity
Ecclesiates 3
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"Man is the only animal that worships." one observer noted. Have you ever wondered why people always seem to be groping for more than they have?  No matter what our lot in life, no matter where we find ourselves, we want to know what's on the other side of the wall! Is there more? We have the strange predicament of living in time and yet longing to outlive it. Here we discover one of the great truths of Scripture - God is sovereign over both time and eternity.
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12/10/2000
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How's Your View?
Ecclesiastes 3:12-22
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Solomon was a torn and conflicted individual. He spouted a cynical glumness as he observed life, then he would lapse moments of optimistic spirituality in his journal. Perhaps that's nowhere better seen than in these paragraphs. Within the span of a few verses his divergent viewpoints can be seen. What Solomon faced is what we all face how to maintain a spiritual outlook while living in a skeptical world!
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12/17/2000
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The Case For Companionship
Ecclesiastes 4
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God said it from the very start and it's still true today: "It is not good that man should be alone" (Genesis 2: 18). Loneliness and isolation are formidable forces in our fast-paced culture. Separation is easier than integration. Seclusion is easier than assimilation. But these are not better! God created us to be comfortably knit together n meaningful relationships, sometimes in marriage, and at other times as friends.
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1/7/2001
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You've Come To Church...Now What?
Ecclesiastes 5:1-7
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Think about it: Its 2001, and here you are in church...again! Why? What are you doing here? Now, I'm not trying to discourage you from attending, nor do I want you to turn on your heels and high-tail it out of here. But I do want you to think about why you're here, what happens to you while you are here, and what happens afterwards. The beginning of this New Year is a good time to consider the value of commitments we have made.
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1/14/2001
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Money Matters
Ecclesiastes 5:8-20
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Look again at the title, Money Matters. Most of us would say a hearty Amen to it. Money does matter to us: it pays the bills and buys us food to live. But how much is enough and how much will bring us happiness? Can we be trusted with money? Will we use it for the right purposes? In the end what will money profit us?
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1/21/2001
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All That Glitters...
Ecclesiastes 6
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Living in a prosperous country has its advantages. It also has its problems. Solomon understood this since his own nation was experiencing economic growth through free trade and low unemployment. But he was willing to see both sides of the economic coin. Today we consider the personal problems that prosperity can bring and solutions to those problems.
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1/28/2001
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Seven Ways To A Better Life
Ecclesiastes 7:1-14
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Steven Covey, the guru to the business community, wrote his best-selling book Seven Habits of Highly Effective People and outlined a strategy for making life count. King Solomon wrote his own list, but by balancing over it you can readily see that the majority wouldn't accept these biblical directives. Let's follow along with this wise king as he takes us on a tour of these seven ingredients:
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2/4/2001
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Building A House Or A Home
Psalm 127
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The reason this psalm is important to us today is because of its author-notice Solomon was the one who wrote it. Here, the master philosopher-builder-entrepreneur reflects on the central core of human life-the home. The Christian leader John Henry Jowett wrote, "Anyone can build a house: we need the Lord for the creation of a home." I believe Solomon penned this psalm during the upswing in his outlook described in the second half of Ecclesiastes.
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2/11/2001
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Life: A Realistic View
Ecclesiastes 7:15-29
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Solomon has graduated: Rather than tipping the scales completely towards pessimism, he balances out with realism. This is a realistic view at one of man's most puzzling problems. we will explore the nature of man with undiminished realism and find out what it means to us here and now.
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2/18/2001
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Are You Getting Along With Uncle Sam?
Ecclesiastes 8
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In one of the most insightful writings about the working of human government, King Solomon shows the problems of it, the power of it, the failure of it, and the believer's relationship to it. We are citizens of God's kingdom, but we also have an earthly address. This means we are to be model citizens attracting others to our heavenly destination.
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2/25/2001
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A Matter Of Life And Death
Ecclesiastes 9:1-10
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You are alive! You will die! Those two absolutes are as basic as it gets. But how many people really live well? And how many really die well? Solomon's deep probing of the human condition and plan of God drives him to consider these two irreducible certainties. Concerning these two absolutes, there are some things we can't change but some that we can:
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3/4/2001
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Certain Truths For Uncertain Times
Ecclesiastes 9:11-18
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Have you ever felt like life is a violin solo and you're wearing mittens? Things can get pretty frustrating from time to time, can't they? In fact how often have you heard (or said), "It's just not fair"? With this seemingly precarious nature of things we must bank on the certainty of other things-divine sovereignty and biblical authority.
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3/11/2001
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Four Common Follies
Ecclesiastes 10:1-10
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The old saying goes, "Man is pretty much a fool: when it's hot he wants it cool; when it's cool he wants it hot-always wanting what it's not!" That might sound simplistic but folly is simply think of and living for the short-term. Solomon in his unique and pithy style points to several areas where folly is demonstrated in life:
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3/18/2001
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Watch Your Mouth!
Ecclesiastes 10:11-20
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An old proverb reads: "The ability to speak several languages is an asset, but the ability to keep your mouth shut in one language is priceless." There are times when that is true. The tendency to let our mouths rule, whether in a conversation or at a meal, can get us into trouble and harm others. Solomon, in poetic style, considers three foolish ways our mouths can be used:
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3/25/2001
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What Are You Doing With Yourself?
Ecclesiastes 11:1-6
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When Dr. Karl Menninger was asked, "What advice do you have for someone feeling a nervous breakdown coming on?" Astonishingly he replied, "Lock up your house, go across the railway tracks, find someone in need, and do something to help that person." I think Solomon would agree. In this section he is winding down his journal with this advice: Give yourself away!
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4/22/2001
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Living Life To The Brim!
Ecclesiastes 11:7-12:1
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A wise pundit once wrote, "Your life is like a coin. You can spend it any way you wish, but you can spend it only once." Each of us is assigned just one shot at this thing called life. There is an eternity that we are all moving toward. So much of that eternity is shaped by how we live our lives right here and now, and that is one of the sobering thoughts with which Solomon chooses to close his journal. His theme is: Life should be enjoyed to the fullest-within proper boundaries!
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4/29/2001
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Is That Your Final Answer?
Ecclesiastes 12
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Solomon has run his course. His journey is completed. Years have passed since he began his search for meaning in life. After wearing several well-trodden paths of experimentation he now gives his final conclusion-his final answer as to the purpose of life. Boiling all of life down to its unavoidable terminus he leaves us with a few salient truths of guide our course through life.
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There are 19 additional messages in this series.