Alan Taylor at Ivy MCR on Ecclesiastes 2

Ecclesiastes 2:1-11

Haagan Daas ice cream advert – says it gives you the desires of your heart in a way that lasts and lasts.
Yeah, right.

Advertisers know we are wired for pleasure

What’s that got to do with God?
It has everything to do with him because you were made to be a worshipper

Where are your desires? Do you enjoy God? If you do, you can have everything else!

Solomon’s wealth has been estimated at $126 Billion!

We live in a hedonistic world. Check out the student lifestyle- sex and drugs and party to truly be ALIVE.

It promises life.
The bible warns of the evil desires of youth. Some never grow up!

Pleasure in anything else but God will not satisfy, neither will performance. How do we know? Solomon tested it. Other are testing it now and being broken in the tests.

Wine and folly:
33,000 deaths in UK every year through alcohol. Look at any casualty dept to see this incredible brokenness.
40% in casualty there through alcohol.
Do not be drunk with wine, be filled with the Spirit! Why? So I can be myself, not get drunk & pretend to be someone else.

He had 700 wives and 300 concubines! Go to freshers week and you’ll see how crazy this casual sex goes and how many abortions (106 a day) and the escalating number of STDs there are.

We are aiming natural desires at the wrong target.

Could be football, work, eating: promises Life; but deceives you- because only God can satisfy.

What do we abstain from – to gain Him? Choose something 40 days, no coffee: no football: because it may have a hook in my heart and I want God to have it all.

Are we interceding for our nation? Be a watchman on the Walls.

Performance can be an idol. Status.
We could love our to do list. This doesn’t mean we are passive! But Solomon built great buildings etc. Nothing satisfied him.

What are we going after? Is our first desire the Kingdom?

That’s not to say we get caught up in religious activity all the time if that’s for approval of others, or even God.

Antidote? Sabbath means stop, cease, be fully OFF. Get some worship music on, get into enjoying Gods presence!

Solomon outperformed & outachieved us all- there’s always going to be someone better!

Bs 11 & 12.
It’s vain!
Pleasure is not found in selfishness but in serving! Did you learn to love? Everything else is vanity!

Jesus said there will come a day when the ‘love of most will grow cold.’ We have to live as if Jesus could come back very soon. Are our hearts hot toward him? We are in a selfish & individualistic culture. Will we be different?
Love most. Sacrifice most.

The only real pleasure is in God , who is’ most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in him’ (Piper)

God is glorified by people who get satisfied in Him. Seek first the Kingdom. He can add the rest!

Satisfied doesn’t mean you have settled on a level. What’s your vision for your relationship with God?

Real life isn’t found on a pleasure ride, or religious performance – but receiving. Finding our true home. Entering into the divine life.
How to pray?
Please and thank you

Please Holy Spirit, fill me.
Thank-you that you do..!