Gospel Meeting with Ed Harrell (Spring, 2013)

Ed Harrell (Jacksonville, FL) taught Christians Simple Truths from the Bible. Here are the lessons for your benefit.

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There is Strength in Numbers

     The book of Ecclesiastes is believed to have been written by King Solomon, who was given exceptional wisdom by the Lord God. Because Solomon asked for wisdom and not great wealth, God allowed him to prosper and became one of the richest kings ever. The book of Ecclesiastes was written very late in his life. In this book he gives advice to the reader about many different aspects of life. He was uniquely qualified to do this because he had the money to buy any thing his heart desired, which he did. This book tells us what is important and what is not important in our travel through life.

     In Ecclesiastes 4: 9-12, we read the following:

     “Two are better than one, because they have good reward for their labor. For if they fall, one will lift up his companion, but woe to him who is alone when he falls, for he has no one to help him up. Again, if two lie down together, they will keep warm; but how can one be warm alone? Though one may be overpowered by another, two can withstand him. A threefold cord is not quickly broken.”

     There are many lessons that can be derived from these four verses. From a physical stand point, we can see the value of this advice. One of the greatest fears older people have is that they will fall and hurt themselves with no one to get help. I have known some to fall and lay in the floor for hours until someone comes to help them. I have been at hotels in large cities that have signs in the room that warns you not to go out at night alone, which indicates there is safety in numbers. I have also heard of people that got lost in the winter and survived because they used their companion’s body heat to survive.

     More important than the physical things, is to apply this same advice to our spiritual lives. God in his infinite wisdom knew Christians need other Christians to support them as they go through trials and tribulations of trying to serve Him and live a good Christian life.

     This reminds me of a story. There was an old elder, who on a cold winter day, went to visit a member of the congregation he shepherded. This member had not been in attendance for several weeks. During the visit the member said he could get more out of the Bible by studying it at home by himself. The old elder tried to explain to him by coming together we encourage and exhort one another. The member said he did not need that. The old elder thought for a minute, he took a poker and raked away a hot glowing coal from the fireplace. In a short time, the cherry red coal became cold and gray.  As long as this coal was with the other coals it stayed cherry red and hot, but when it was removed from the other coals it quickly became cold. When Christians remove themselves from their brothers and sisters in Christ they become cold spiritually. The importance of this concept is found in Hebrews 10: 24-25. “And let us consider one another in order to stir love and good works not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.”

     God knew that trying to live the Christian life would not be easy. He knew if we are to succeed, we will have to have the support and encouragement of our brothers and sisters.

     The book of Ecclesiastes is full of wonderful advice as to what is important in our life, and what is worthless. I encourage everyone to spend some time studying this wonderful book that God has given us.

–Don Adair

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Happiness Is …

In I Kings 3:5, God appeared to Solomon and said, “Ask what I shall give thee” (KJV).

In I Kings 3:9, Solomon answered God, “Give therefore thy servant an understanding heart to judge thy people, that I may discern between good and bad” (KJV).

God told Solomon He would grant him a wise and understanding heart and because of his wise choice God also promised Solomon great riches and honor, far above any that had come before him and any that would come after. And if Solomon would walk in God’s ways and keep His commandments He would lengthen his days.

What else could anyone want in order to be HAPPY?

In Ecclesiastes 1, the writer (attributed to Solomon) states that all is vanity and striving after the wind. Generations pass but the earth remains forever. The sun rises and the sun sets; life goes on. Man’s eyes are never satisfied, nor his ears full of hearing. There is no remembrance of the things that were before. In Ecclesiastes 1:14 Solomon says, “I have seen all the works under the sun and behold all is vanity and vexation of spirit.”

How could a man that had all wisdom and understanding and had been given great riches and honor above all his peers make such a statement that all is vanity?

In I Kings 11:1-4 we are told that Solomon loved many strange wives and they turned his heart after other gods and his heart was not true to God. Solomon sought happiness in the wrong places; he turned away from the promises of God.

Where are we seeking HAPPINESS today? If we are looking to a person, house, cars, occupation, riches, retirement, pleasures of sin to make us happy, we are falling into the same trap as Solomon. At the end of the book of Ecclesiastes Solomon came to this conclusion: “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man” (Ecclesiastes 12:13).

There is a song we sing that gives us a great definition of what True Happiness Is.

Happiness Is:

Knowing the Savior

Living a Life in His Favor

Change In My Behavior

New Creation

Relationship With Jesus

Having a Part in His Salvation

To Be Forgiven

Life That’s Worth The Living

Trip That Leads To Heaven

Happiness Is The Lord!

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