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Wisdom for “The BETTER Life” Book of Ecclesiastes (Part 9 ) Text: Eccl 7 :1-10 2 observations from Eccl 7 onwards: Shift in his FOCUS 2 observations from Eccl 7 onwards: Shift in his FOCUS Shift in his WRITING STYLE What is a Proverb?

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wisdom for the better life
Wisdom for “The BETTER Life”

Book of Ecclesiastes (Part 9)

Text: Eccl 7:1-10

slide3

2 observations from Eccl 7 onwards:

  • Shift in his FOCUS
  • Shift in his WRITING STYLE
slide4

What is a Proverb?

 A short, wise, easy-to-learn saying that offers insightful principles for effective living.

slide6

If you don't go into the cave of the tiger, how are you going to get its cub? (Chinese)

Elephant tusks cannot grow out of a dog's mouth. (Chinese)

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If you don't go into the cave of the tiger, how are you going to get its cub? (Chinese)

Elephant tusks cannot grow out of a dog's mouth. (Chinese)

If you cut of someone’s nose, it is no point giving him a rose to smell. (Indian)

slide9

You can close the city gates, but you can’t close the people's mouths. (Iran)

Buy from people who are desperate, and sell to newlyweds. (Spain)

slide10

You can close the city gates, but you can’t close the people's mouths. (Iran)

Buy from people who are desperate, and sell to newlyweds. (Spain)

Every cow has a tail. (African)

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4 Keys to

“The Better Life”

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Authenticity is better than Appearance [Eccl 7:1a]

Eccl 7:1 – “A good name is better than fine perfume...”

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Charles Morrison:

“The crisis of Christianity is that the centre of gravity has shifted. In the past, the centre of gravity has always been the inner life, the inner character, the relationship with God within. But now the centre of gravity has shifted to the external and the outward. It is the image that is more important than the essence, the outward that is more important than the inward.”

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2. Sorrow is better than Laughter

[Eccl 7:1b-4]

Eccl 7:1b – “... the day of death better than the day of birth.”

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Eccl 7:2 – “It is better to go to a house of mourning than to go to a house of feasting, for death is the destiny of every man; the living should take this to heart.”

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Eccl 7:3-4 – “Sorrow is better than laughter, because a sad face is good for the heart. The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning, but the hearts of fools is in the house of pleasure.”

slide19

In the face of death…

Priceless things become worthless.

Worthless things become priceless.

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3. Sound Rebuke is better than Empty Praise [Eccl 7:5-6]

Eccl 7:5 – “It is better to heed a wise man’s rebuke than to listen to the song of fools.”

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Eccl 7:6 – “Like the crackling of thorns under the pot, so is the laughter of fools.

This too is meaningless.”

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Proverb 25:12 – “Like an earring of gold and an ornament of fine gold is a wise rebuker to an obedient ear.”

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Lev 19:16 – “Do not go about spreading slander among your people. Do not do anything that endangers your neighbor's life. I am the LORD. Do not hate your brother in your heart. Rebuke your neighbor frankly so you will not share in his guilt.”

slide25

Before you criticize, ask 3 questions:

Am I motivated by love or anger?

Am I seeking to build up or tear down?

Am I going to speak directly and honestly, but also gently?

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Phil 2:1 – “If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion…”

4. Finishing Well is better than Starting Well [Eccl 7:8-10]

Eccl 7:8a – “The end of a matter is better than it’s beginning...”

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Eccl 7:9 – “Do not be quickly provoked in your spirit, for anger resides in the lap of fools.”

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Eccl 7:10– Do not say, “Why were the old days better than these?” For it is not wise to ask such questions.

slide30

Phil 2:1 – “If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion…”

A wise person learns from the PAST but always lives for the FUTURE.

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WHAT’S THE MAIN LESSON?

True wisdom demands that we live with ETERNITY in mind.

slide32

Robert Ingersoll

D. L. Moody

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"Someday you will read in the papers that D. L. Moody is dead. Don't you believe a word of it. At that moment I shall be more alive than I am now. I was born of the flesh in 1837, I was born of the Spirit in 1855. That which is born of the flesh may die. But that which is born of the Spirit shall live forever.” – D. L. Moody