This week we conclude our 20 week study of Ecclesiastes (as many are shouting "hallelujah!"). I trust you've been both challenged and encouraged by Solomon's very blunt and honest look at life. He has repeatedly told us that "life under the sun" (apart from God) is futile, frustrating, meaningless, and like trying to grasp the mist / vapor with your hands ... you just can't do it. Yet all through the book he's also repeatedly told us to "rejoice" (2:24-25; 3:12-13; 3:22; 5:18-19; 7:14; 8:15; 9:9; 11:8-9). This can only be done if and when we keep life in proper perspective ... that life is a gift from God, that all we have is from His hand, that He is in control, that everything is under His authority and rule. Solomon has demonstrated that real life is NOT found in the things of the world, but rather in the One who rules over the world.
But now he wraps it all up in Ecclesiastes 12:9-14 and simply tells us to "fear God and keep His commands." As we examine this passage we need to consider both why he tells us to fear God and how we are to go about doing it. Please prayerfully read through these verses prior to Sunday and come prepared to encounter the Risen Christ and worship Him.
Let me take a moment to emphasize something that has already been announced ... Wednesday night ministries beginning on Aug 13th. Community will have classes for all ages - children, youth, adults. (The 4th Weds night of each month will be devoted to corporate prayer, led by our elders.) We are really structuring Weds night ministries around a single purpose ... spiritual development (sometimes called discipleship, spiritual growth, spiritual formation, etc.) We long to see God's people here at CPC strengthened and equipped for the very thing Solomon tells us is the sum and conclusion of his quest ... "to fear God and keep His commands." This is becoming increasingly difficult for God's people in a culture committed to self, comfort, pleasure, and entertainment. But yet we must ... we must dedicate ourselves to spiritual growth as the transforming grace of God leaves us with no other alternative. We must see to it that our children take the call to holiness seriously and, as parents, help them make decisions and build disciplines in their lives that allow them to constantly feed on God's amazing grace. So make plans to get involved in one of the Weds night classes starting up on Aug 13. Commit to spiritual growth; love your family enough to lead them in the path of spiritual growth; invest your time and energy in spiritual formation; get involved in the process of discipleship; enjoy the sanctifying work of God's Spirit as He continues the transforming work of the Gospel in your life! Please check the homepage for more info on class listings.