Author: Rick Hanna

Fear God, Keep His Commandments

Ecclesiastes 12:9-14 What do you want on your tombstone? It was the catchphrase of a commercial a few years back for Tombstone Pizza.  It is also a phrase that we relate to what is the way someone wants to be remembered. It signifies a message that is to be communicated long after the person is gone, a message of great importance, or in some cases, of great humor. At the end of the fascinating book of Ecclesiastes, there is an epitaph of sorts written that brings the words of the Preacher, the Qoheleth to a close. The text indicates...

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The Futility of Life This Side of the Sun

Ecclesiastes 1:3-11 When I was younger, my mom used to tell my sisters and me that the kitchen was closed. This grand announcement would be made from time to time, but always in connection with a fully cleaned kitchen. All the dishes were washed and put away, and the kitchen looked nice, and mom was making it clear that she hoped it would stay that way. I used to think my mom was crazy for making these grand announcements. That is until I lived with my wife and six kids in a house that had no dishwasher. It was...

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The Goal of Ecclesiastes: An Introduction

Ecclesiastes 1:1-2 It is a strange joy to have the privilege of opening this joint study of the book of Ecclesiastes for Servants of Grace. It is a joy because this is the Word of God. It is a book of great wisdom, a wisdom born out of experiences most of the world will never have. As such, it is an invitation to learn at the feet of the wisest man who ever lived, learning lessons that due to our fruitless pursuits, we would never learn. We would be tempted to pursue things that we think would bring us...

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Festival of Faith

1 John 5:13-21 Recently my daughter and I were throwing around ideas for a possible mission statement for our church, one that would shortly and succinctly state what we, as a church, are purposed to do in our community. In a similar way, John gives us his purpose statement at the end of his letter, a trend that he also followed in his longer writing of the Gospel of John. John 20:30-31 give us the purpose of his gospel: “that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God and that by believing, you may have life...

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Light, Darkness, Commandments & Brothers

I will confess that as I began to look at writing this article, I read the paragraph in view in 1 John 2:7-11, then expanded to the context of chapter two, then expanded to the context of the whole letter, and kept on expanding further to 2 John, the Old Testament, the words of Jesus and began to wonder how to boil this down to focus on just this paragraph. There is a link that runs through John’s letter that connects light with truth, truth with love and love with obedience and obedience with fellowship with the One who...

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