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Ecclesiastes 12 – Live a Hopeful and Meaningful Life 传道书 12 – 活出盼望有意义的人生   

Friday, 18th February 2022

Pastor Kathy Poon

Section One V1-8 Seek God Early & Do Not Wait

Yesterday we talked about our attitude to face our life when we are young, and today we will talk about how we should live when we are growing older. While we can still see, still hear, still walk, still learn… we must follow meaningful things in the kingdom of God and live out the best life now. When we are young, we would think getting old is very far away and there is nothing fun about being old. But the Bible told us every minute of our lives is meaningful and hopeful, there is aways time for us Treasure the time we can praise and worship God together and let us continue to continue praying while we can!

V1-2 ‘Remember now your Creator in the days of your youth, before the difficult days come, and the years draw near when you say, “I have no pleasure in them”: While the sun and the light, the moon and the stars, are not darkened, and the clouds do not return after the rain.’ We must receive and give, let the living water flow through us to other people, then we will have the fulfilment in life. Be a living testimony, let people be blessed by us because the biggest joy is to see people’s lives change because of our partnership with God to serve them.

V3-4 ‘In the day when the keepers of the house tremble, and the strong men bow down; when the grinders cease because they are few, and those that look through the windows grow dim; when the doors are shut in the streets, and the sound of grinding is low; when one rises up at the sound of a bird, and all the daughters of music are brought low.’ These are all signs of becoming old, our voice, our hearing, our sight, our desires, our strength… everything will appear that we are not young anymore. Our hair will grow grey, and our bodies will grow weak.

V5-6 ‘Also they are afraid of height, and of terrors in the way; when the almond tree blossoms, the grasshopper is a burden, and desire fails. For man goes to his eternal home, and the mourners go about the streets. Remember your Creator before the silver cord is loosed, or the golden bowl is broken, or the pitcher shattered at the fountain, or the wheel broken at the well.’ So live the best life now, let our lives be the blessings of others, not only in our generation but generation by generation.

V7-8 ‘Then the dust will return to the earth as it was, and the spirit will return to God who gave it. “Vanity of vanities,” says the Preacher, “All is vanity.”’ Everything on this world is short, our life is short, but eternity lasts forever. We must train our spiritual man to be stronger and stronger, by reading the Word of God and by praying. Let the Word and the Spirit feed our spiritual being so then we will not just receive knowledge but be strengthened everyday in the Kingdom of God. Our bodies will fade away, so we must focus on what will last forever. What is vanity? The things we cannot bring to eternity is vanity, such as food, money, authority, fame… they may be important now, but do not become their slaves, they are just tools for us to invest in eternity, not the other way around.

The truth is that the world works for us so we can better prepare for eternity. So do not let worldly desires confuse us and blind us. Let us focus on the important things in the Kingdom of God, live everyday with our best effort to fulfil God’s purpose for us!

Section Two V9-12 Fear the Lord & Obey His Commandments

V9-10 ‘And moreover, because the Preacher was wise, he still taught the people knowledge; yes, he pondered and sought out and set in order many proverbs. The Preacher sought to find [d]acceptable words; and what was written was upright—words of truth.’ At the end of the Book, Solomon assured us that he has researched and meditated that everything he wrote was from his heart. We are not going to find all the answers in books because a lot of things we cannot fully understand until we really experienced them. Knowledge and books are important, but to act out what we learnt is also very important. And only by our life stories and our experiences, then we are able to really make an impact on people’s lives.

V11-12 ‘The words of the wise are like goads, and the words of scholars are like well-driven nails, given by one Shepherd. And further, my son, be admonished by these. Of making many books there is no end, and much study is wearisome to the flesh.’ Everyone has a life story that we can learn from. We must listen and respect every life because God created each one of us differently, and we all have different experiences. When we really hear others out, to really listen to their heart, we will be surprised how much we can learn from each other.

V13-14 ‘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.’ Why are a lot of people cannot submit to God? What is the root in our hearts? It may be because we no longer have the fear of God. The secret to a meaningful and hopeful life is to fear the Lord. Everything we do will be judged by God at the end, do we take this seriously? Our lives don’t just end when we die, we will stand before God and be accountable to Him. Everything we do and every word in say will be judged because God knows it all, we cannot hide from it.

传道书 12 – 活出盼望有意义的人生        

2022年2月18日 星期五

Kathy 师母 

一、趁早寻求神 不要等 v.1-8

V1 人在年轻的时候会认为中年和老年人的生命“毫无喜乐”,现代的人虽然可以活到很长寿,但越到后面越容易觉得“衰败”。圣经说我们要在这日子到来前就要记念造我们的主,不浪费光阴。我们要趁着年轻还有力气可以行动的时候抓住时机,把生命献给神,追求神国的事,而不是追逐世俗那些风花雪月的虚浮之物。

V2 “不要等”在本章的原文出现了三次,说明其重要性。我们不要等到时间已经浪费掉了,身体衰败,躺在床上了,才后悔自己没做该做的事。“雨后云彩返回”指的是悲哀痛苦的日子一直来,人无法抵挡。以赛亚书55:6也教导我们,“当趁耶和华可寻找的时候寻找他,相近的时候求告他”。当我们有机会一起聚集赞美、祷告的时候就要珍惜,全心全意赞美神,向他祷告。要活出在当下最美好的时刻,对能做的事摆上自己的那一份。如果神感动我们在一个时刻为一个人祷告或传福音,我们就要抓住这个机会,不用自己或环境的限制来推脱。当我们在寻求神的时候,可能只是在领受,会觉得没有意义;但当我们愿意在人的需要上而付出时,看到人因着我们的服事而生命蒙福、灵魂得救,这样的喜乐是世上任何事情都不能给我们的。

V3-7 这一段用比喻的方式描述人年老时的光景。人到年长的时候,手臂没力气、会发颤,双脚和腰无力,牙齿脱落,眼睛昏花、视线模糊(v.3);听力衰微、食欲不振,容易被一点点声音惊醒,声音会衰弱(v.4);会怕登高,头发变花白,连轻的东西也觉得沉重,意志消沉,濒临死亡,周围同辈的朋友有越来越多的追思礼拜(v.5);神经系统受损,头颅、精力受损,整个生命渐渐衰败(v.6);人一生经历生老病死,最后尘归尘,土归土:从出生,到读书、找工作、结婚、生孩子、到最后死的那一刻,我们的肉体(尘土)仍归于地,灵仍归于赐灵的神 (v.7)。

V8 人随着年纪的增长,会觉得一年不如一年,甚至一天不如一天,因为感觉衰败越来越快。然而,我们的肉体虽会衰败,我们里面的灵人却要一天新似一天,所以要用方言祷告和神的话语来喂养里面的灵人。金钱、财富、名誉等都是虚空的,只是一个我们在世上可以使用的工具,为我们效力,而不是我们成为它的奴仆。我们不要像小鸡那样整天只为眼前看得到的食物忙碌,而要成为老鹰,有更大的格局,看到我们在世上只是过客,思想如何活出殷勤美好的一生,成为神的管道,借着我们将祝福带到后代,使我们的祝福可以存到永恒。

二、敬畏神 谨守他的诫命 v.9-14

V9 传道者说自己的话是有权威的,也是经得起推敲的。

V10 这是从传道者真心的话语。

V11 刺棍是用来赶羊的器具,比喻神的话可以引导我们,又像稳固的钉子让我们可以抓住,使我们不动摇。

V12 知识使人膨胀,但唯有爱使人被建造。我们从书里并不能找到所有的答案。学了很多知识,也要应用出来。很多时候,听到真实生命的故事比从书上读到的知识更能让我们有益处。要对人的生命故事感兴趣,不管哪个人的生命都能教导、帮助别人。

V13 传道书讲了12章,“总意就是敬畏神,谨守他的诫命”,也就是顺服神,谨守他的话语。箴言1:7说“敬畏耶和华是智慧的开端”。敬畏神不仅是智慧的开端,也是生命的根基。我们生命所说的一切话、所思所行一切事的根基要建在“敬畏神”之上,把神放在正确的位置,才不会有虚空的人生。当我们敬畏神,跟神有对的关系,知道他是我们一切的源头,我们就会想要顺服神,活出神给我们的命定。当我们无法顺服神,根源可能是我们没有敬畏神的心。

V14 我们要投资生命在有永恒意义的事情上。我们的人生不是这样就结束的,因为将来是要向神交账的,我们在世上所做的一切事、心里所想的一切,神都知道。我们在世上有限的时间里,是一个管家,所有的一切才干、所面对的一切机遇、挑战,是神为要借着他托付给我们的去成就他的心意,这心意是有永恒价值的,要祝福你我,是丰盛的有盼望的。