Life is…well…not easy, to say the least. Knowing how to use correct discernment in order to live the lives that we have been given in a way that is pleasing to God in the utmost is even harder. It is not hard to live and fail. It really is not that hard live and succeed in the eyes of this world. However, it takes courage, strength, and wisdom to live a life that is pleasing in the sight of God. But it is not our courage, our strength, or our wisdom that we need. In order to live a life that is truly pleasing to Him, we need the courage, strength, and wisdom that God gives.
A few weeks ago, I spent a week reading through the book of Ecclesiastes. I would think that those who do not know the Lord would see the book of Ecclesiastes as being very depressing. After all, Solomon begins the book by saying, “Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher, vanity of vanities; all is vanity” (Ecclesiastes 1:2). In order to fully understand the book of Ecclesiastes, one must first understand the meaning of this word “vanity.” If you do not understand the meaning of that word, you will miss the whole point of the book of Ecclesiastes.
Often times people associate the word “vanity” with one’s outward appearance. We call someone vain when they are constantly looking in a mirror, worrying about the way that they look. However, that is not at all what Solomon meant when he said, “Vanity of vanities; all is vanity.” When used here in the book of Ecclesiastes, the word simply means “worthless,” or as Adrian Rogers put it, “Emptiness. Futility. Confusion. Nothing makes sense.” Remember this as you continue reading.
In Ecclesiastes 1:14, Solomon says, “I have seen all the works that are done under the sun; and indeed all is vanity and grasping for the wind.” This is a phrase that he repeats quite frequently. But why? Did Solomon just find it pleasurable to tell people that nothing they ever do will ever matter? That is indeed what he meant, right? Not at all. Take a look at the last two verses of the book of Ecclesiastes: “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” (Ecclesiastes 12:13-14, emphasis added).
I love that phrase, “For this is man’s all.” Do you know what that means? It means that we were created to fulfill the first part of that sentence: “Fear God and keep His commandments.” If at the end of our life we have fully obeyed that command, we will have lived a successful life in the sight of God.
There are many commandments given by God throughout the Bible; however, Jesus said that there are two that are greater than all others. “Jesus said to him, ‘You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.’” Jesus said that these are the two greatest commandments because, if we will obey them, we will automatically be obeying all of the others.
Adrian Rogers used to say, “You’ll see how rich you are when you add up everything you have that money can’t buy and death can’t take away.” Think about the story of Lazarus and the rich man for a moment. While on earth, the rich man was only concerned about himself and his earthly possessions. However, when he had died and gone to Hell, his only concern was for his family, that they might not end up there too. I also remember hearing Adrian Rogers say in one of his messages, “…but I’m going to take all four of my children to Heaven.”
I know the Bible makes mention of how beautiful and glorious Heaven is and of the rewards that we will be given—which none we will deserve. However, let me ask you this: How many people will you see in Heaven because you stepped out of your comfort zone and selflessly begged them to come to Jesus? Nothing matters but the truth of God’s Word. Do you love God enough to love people enough to share that truth with them?
God’s way is the only right way. There are many who have been deceived into thinking that they are living their lives for God; however, they are really just as lost as they can be. All is vanity if we know not the truth of God’s Word. All is vanity if we share not that truth with others.
Do you know Christ? I mean, do you know Him in a saving way today? If you do not know Jesus as Lord of your life today, please turn completely from all sin and trust in Jesus alone to save you. If you do that, He will save you today and keep you saved forever.