by Jeffrey W. Hamilton
Text: I Timothy 6:6-21
I. What is it that you are looking for out of life? What are you expecting?
A. So many people never find contentment with their lives because they are expecting things that life cannot deliver.
B. They decide they can’t be happy with life unless something changes
1. I’m taller, or shorter
2. I have straight hair, or curly, or more of
3. I have some other color hair
C. They decide they can’t be happy unless life goes perfectly, despite the fact that they cannot act perfectly throughout life
1. They want no stress.
2. They want no concerns.
3. They want no effort.
II. The American dream
A. Many people pursue riches and possessions
1. Life would be so much better with a bigger house, newer car, nicer clothes, etc.
B. Some people chase after fun
1. They use drugs and alcohol because they don’t have to face stresses while they are high. They can pretend they don’t exist
2. They do whatever feels good at the moment because they don’t have to think about responsibility
3. They want to be entertained. They want to escape the realities of life.
C. Some want to better themselves
1. They work hard, study hard, put in lots of effort, but often without a particular goal to achieve.
2. They get excited about something new, but have no use for it
D. Isn’t that what we have in our society
1. We have wealth and possessions today that centuries ago could not be imagined
2. We have more ways to have fun than can be tried in a lifetime
3. We have endless opportunities to better ourselves
4. Yet, why is our society so filled with people who aren’t satisfied with life?
III. Useless pursuits
A. So much of what people see as important, really isn’t worth anything - Ecclesiastes 1:2-3
1. Pleasure - Ecclesiastes 2:1
2. Work - Ecclesiastes 2:11
3. Education - Ecclesiastes 2:21
4. Living for the moment - Ecclesiastes 3:19
5. Escapism - Ecclesiastes 5:7
6. Wealth - Ecclesiastes 5:10
7. Something new - Ecclesiastes 6:9
8. Endless youth - Ecclesiastes 11:10
B. The problem is that people are trying to get something out of life for which it wasn’t designed.
1. It would be like trying to bake dinner in your clothes dryer, eating a meal with a pitchfork and shovel, or cutting your grass with scissors.
2. It isn’t that life has no purpose. The problem is that people are wanting the wrong things from life.
IV. The purpose of life
A. God means for us to be happy
1. Contented - Ecclesiastes 2:24-26
a. Food and drink
b. Knowing that you have done good work
c. Knowing that you are with God
d. Knowing that God has blessed you
2. Why must we work?
a. To stay out of trouble by being busy - Ecclesiastes 3:10
b. To realize that there more to life that this world - Ecclesiastes 3:11
c. To be able to do good - Ecclesiastes 3:12-13
3. But bad things happen!
a. True, but that reminds us of our need for God - Ecclesiastes 3:14
4. Find contentment in the present - Ecclesiastes 3:22
a. So many tell themselves they’ll be happy when ...
b. Be happy now!
c. You don’t know what the future holds
d. Dreams are nice but dreams are empty - Ecclesiastes 5:7
e. Life is too short to waste time in discontent - Ecclesiastes 5:18
f. If you happen to be blessed with wealth – great! - Ecclesiastes 5:19-20
g. But wealth isn’t the key to happiness - Ecclesiastes 6:9
5. The future is uncertain - Ecclesiastes 8:7
a. But future of the righteous is certain - Ecclesiastes 8:12
b. So enjoy life now! - Ecclesiastes 8:15
c. So much of life is out of our control, but we have some things in our control - Ecclesiastes 9:7-10
d. Make preparation for uncertainty - Ecclesiastes 11:6
e. You know bad days will come, so enjoy the good days now - Ecclesiastes 11:7-8
(1) Why ruin a good day with a dread of the future?
(2) Especially when the future is uncertain?
f. While you are young, enjoy your life - Ecclesiastes 11:9-12:1
(1) This is the time to explore, to experiment, to experience
(2) But it is not a time to forget God or that we will be judged
B. Man’s duty is to serve God - Ecclesiastes 12:13-14
1. We can only serve one master - Matthew 6:24
2. True happiness results when God’s purpose is put first - Matthew 6:31-34
C. Those laws are based on the concept of love - Matthew 22:36-39
1. Therein lies the core problem, most people live life with the idea that life is about them.
2. But God designed life to be about serving God and our fellow man.
3. Loving God means obeying Him - John 14:21
D. Those laws guide us in the ways that make life best - Deuteronomy 10:12-13
E. Happiness comes when we choose to be content with life - I Timothy 6:6-10
V. When we are pursuing the wrong thing, just when we think we’ve obtained it, we lose it - Luke 12:15-21
A. What are you doing with your life?
B. Are you endlessly chasing things which will never last?
C. Give meaning to your life – serve God!