S-1143 10/18/09 20SAP/3B Hymns: (O) #10; (S) #376; (C) #437
Texts: Ecclesiastes 5:10-20; Hebrews 4:1-13; Mark 10:23-31
Theme: “Satisfaction Guaranteed” (Ecclesiastes 5:10, 19).
Question: “What Satisfies You?” SOLI DEO GLORIA, Armour, SD
Faithful followers of the Savior, Christ is Risen! He is Risen! Indeed! Alleluia! The text for our meditation this morning is the Old Testament lesson: “He who loves money will not be satisfied with money, nor he who loves wealth with his income; this also is vanity… Everyone also to whom God has given wealth and possessions and power to enjoy them, and to accept his lot and rejoice in his toil—this is the gift of God.” (Ecclesiastes 5:10, 19).
Saints in Christ, Solomon a rich-wise man who had everything at his disposal teaches us today that the love of money does not satisfy. Anytime we think that money or materials, toys or trinkets, power or possessions are going to make us happy we are mistaken. As sinful human beings we tend to think that if we have just a little bit more of this or that, our lives will be much better. How foolish we are. None of these items satisfy the soul.
The author of our text clearly states: “That the one who loves money will never be satisfied”. As a matter of fact, wealth can even harm its owner if we pursue it as the number one priority in life. The prophet Job declared when he lost everything, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return. The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD” (Job 1:21). We know that we cannot take money to the grave. Only a fool blindly pursues it. Happiness dear saints results when one enjoys such gifts of God without placing them at the center of life.
Many times as you listen to the commercials on TV or read ads in the paper we hear these words, “Satisfaction Guaranteed”. But we know from personal experience, that is not always the case. I am sure you have purchased something that stated satisfaction guaranteed. However, when you got it, it wasn’t what it clamed to be. And when you tried to return it, you got the run around because they forgot to tell you about the hidden “small print.” But not when it comes to God’s Holy and Inspired Word. When God gives us a guarantee He has no hidden print, no hidden agenda and no tricks up His sleeves. Instead, God gives us the certainty that satisfies. The satisfaction guaranteed is “the gift of God” v.19. Study, the living Word and you will see that precious and lovely gift. The Gift of God comes to us through His Word. His Word points us to His Son, who gave us the gift of salvation on the cross by which we get the forgiveness He offers. PAUSE.
As your Pastor, I must admit to you that I can never satisfy all of your needs and all of your wants. In my 16 years of serving as God’s under-shepherd in this part of His Vineyard, I have heard all of these statements: “The sermon is too long, it is too short. You are too loud, you are too soft. You are boring, you are exciting. You are compassionate, you don’t care. You are self-centered and selfish, you are considerate.” Etc.
Beloved in the Lord, when I was installed as your pastor, I took a vow to do the best that I can in serving you. Teaching the young and old and being faithful in my ministry. But I need you to know that you are looking at a sinner—a man with clay feet. Even though I attempt to do the best that I can, it is not good enough. Often times the devil reminds us—you and me of our failings and foibles. I know that I have not satisfied you always, and will not satisfy you in the future.
Faithful followers of Christ, anytime, any human hands are laid on an item or project that claims satisfactions guaranteed, know for certain, that that item or project begins to crumble and be destroyed. Man can’t satisfy our hungry and thirsty soul. There is only one who can, that One is none other than the Lord Almighty.
Our precious heaven-sent Savior comes to us and says, “My Satisfaction is guaranteed!” My Words and actions are timely, tested and true. With Me you can be sure that satisfaction is guaranteed. I offer you peace through My death on the cross of Calvary. And by My rising from the dark and dead grave, I guarantee your resurrection from the grave. I offer you My gifts of faith, forgiveness and forever living with Me in paradise. I Am Your perfect Savior. You may have failed miserably, but My message is satisfaction guaranteed. I don’t hold anything against you. PAUSE.
You and I should know for certain that we fail to “satisfy” or be “filled as a good meal will satisfy” with anything but the true meal that our perfect Savior has prepared for us. The true satisfaction – is found in the gift of Him who was Crucified, Risen, Ascended and Returning Lord. His gift at the table satisfies us completely and joyfully.
Solomon, the wise-rich man uses a Hebrew word Yishbah. That word means being filled, content, and satisfied as with a good meal. Week after week, we as God’s sons and daughter are so privileged to gather around the Lord’s Table and His finished work in the broken bread and shed cup. Yes, we cannot satisfy one another – our sin is that deep – ah, but He and He alone satisfies. And He does so even today.
Don’t forget that you are the beloved children of God. You are baptized, forgiven, redeemed, blood-bought and heaven-bound. Remember therefore, that Christ’s mission of coming to earth was to redeem you from the unholy trinity—sin, death and the grave. Therefore, He accepted the challenge of this lot, He accepted His lot and rejoiced in His toil (Hebrews 12:1-2) as the gift from the Father – and in that – enabled the joyous response in us to also accept our lot and rejoice in our toil = that is, to stand beneath the shadow of the Almighty (Psalm 91:1) to stand beneath the shadow of the Cross (Matthew 16:24-26).
Today, in your hearing Solomon speaks. He speaks from personal experience. He states in another chapter of this same book, that all our toil is vanity (chp. 2) – but our toil as the gift of God, our wealth provided by Christ, is the toil that indeed satisfies. And what is that toil? It may be different for each one of us in its particular expression, but it is summarized in Matthew 22:37, 39, “loving the Lord Your God with all your heart, soul, and mind… loving neighbor as self”. To do this is fulfilled in Christ. Only His perfect gift on the Cross “satisfies” the Father – so only as we are found in that Grace, does our “keeping of the law” find its fulfillment, its “satisfaction.” We can indeed love God with heart, mind, strength, for this is how He has first loved us – we reflect it as we stand beneath the cross. We can love neighbor as self – under the shadow of the Almighty, in His strength alone – this is the fulfillment of Ecclesiastes 5:19. PAUSE.
So are you satisfied with what you have? What will satisfy you dear children of God? What else do you need to make your life complete? Maybe these are not the right questions maybe they are. But in order for us to know if we are truly satisfied we need to remember few things. First, remember the words of Solomon: “That the one who loves money will never be satisfied”. Second, remember the warning that Paul gives to son Timothy saying. “But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs” (1 Timothy 6:9-10).
And Third, we ought to take inventory of all of God’s gifts to us in Christ the heaven-sent Savior. How should I go about taking this inventory? Where should I start but at the cross of Jesus? How could He love me so much to die for my sins? How can He keep on forgiving me so often? Let my neighbor worry about his sins. I have plenty of my own. But for each of them I have God’s forgiveness through Jesus’ blood. My forgiving God is also my providing God. He gives me what I need for body and life. I may not always recognize the form in which His blessings come, but that doesn’t stop them from being His good GIFTS to me.
Oh, my children, today, Jesus again assures YOU that He is the ONLY One who can satisfy you. You have Jesus, you lack nothing. But if you have everything and don’t have Jesus, you really have nothing. Give thanks therefore to the God of all Grace under whose watchful eyes of mercy, He gives us more than we need to satisfy our life not only here on earth but forever in heaven. Amen.
Now the peace of God…