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Titus Chu
January 1, 2002
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Because Your Life Is Full of Vanity

The book of Ecclesiastes in the Old Testament was written by King Solomon, who had experienced all there is to experience of wealth, fame and wisdom in this life. He began the book with this verse, “Vanity of vanities, says the Preacher [Solomon]; Vanity of vanities; all is vanity” (Eccl. 1:2). This is your present life. Your present life is just vanity. It doesn’t matter what you try or how hard you try. It doesn’t matter what you want or what you have. All is vanity.

Basically, all human beings struggle for three things: money, power, or fame. If you want to be first in your class, that is fame. If you want to drive a Mercedes Benz, that is money. If you want to be president of a club, that is power. You may only care for your name, not power or money. Or you may care only for power. But most of us only care about money. After the recession of the 1990’s, medical school applications increased significantly because people figured out that doctors were the only ones who didn’t get laid off. Thirty years ago, biochemistry and nuclear physics were very popular majors. If you had one of these degrees you would get a lot of money and a good name. But as you try for money, power or fame, eventually you have to realize that not one of these has lasting value.

Suppose you compare a rich man and a poor man. They both can only eat so much food. They can only drive one car at a time and live in only one house. They both sleep in only one bed, and they can only wear one suit at a time. The only difference is the quality of their possessions. The rich man may drive a Saab and the poor man may drive a Buick. Whatever you have, according to Solomon, is vanity. A lot of money is vanity. Power is vanity. Fame is vanity. Everything is vanity.

Because Your Life Is Full of Limitations

These limitations include the power of sin, and the world. The Bible shows this in Romans 7:19: “For I do not do the good which I will; but the evil which I do not will, this I practice.” This shows us the power of sin. We have all been raised up to know that certain things are right and others are wrong. But it seems that no matter how hard we try, we are driven by a force to do what is wrong. For example, you may really like to go to movies. But you may have a big test in school the next day. You know you should stay home and study, but it seems that you can’t help but go to the movies instead. Even if you have already seen the movie and you only want to see a certain part and then leave, you will stay until the end. When you get home you may be very frustrated with yourself, and vow to never do that again. But the next chance you get, you will be back at the movies. This is true also for evil, damaging things. You know certain things can damage your body and shorten your life, but the power of Satan within drives you.

We also need to be saved from the world. The world is a system. Right now it may be popular to get an MBA. So everyone goes out and gets an MBA. Then, it becomes more profitable to be a computer engineer, so everyone tries to be a computer engineer. Then the trend changes to becoming a medical doctor, so everyone goes to medical school. Even the most popular specializations in medical school are constantly changing. Now, the whole world wants to buy stocks. And it is very popular to travel. If you don’t have the money to travel, you can always rent a travel video and pretend you are traveling. The world system has a way to catch people.

In the 1970’s, to be a hippie was to be a philosophical person. The hippies had the strength to tell their parents they didn’t agree. They wanted to mold their own generation. Then the hippies turned to the Jesus movement because they were so empty. But there were no churches to hold the Jesus movement, so they became yuppies, with lots of money and a cottage in the country. Now it is popular to be a “dink,” an acronym meaning: double income, no kids. It seems that when the world was a hippie world, you had to be a hippie. When the world was a yuppie world, you had to be a yuppie. Sometimes you just have to be a “dink” because the world is a “dink” world. Whether you like it or not, the world carries you.

Jesus Can Take Care of the Vanity and the Limitations

If you live on this earth, these things, the power of sin and the world system, will limit you. This is why the Bible tells us, “Because we have set our hope on the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of those who believe” (1 Tim. 4:10). If you are not a Christian, believe into Him. Repent and receive Jesus now. He is the Savior of all men. Even we who believe have to tell the Lord, “Lord, You are a marvelous Savior. Save me from the world system, and save me from the power of sin.” I can surely testify that Jesus is the real Savior. He has saved me from all these things. It seems that the power of sin and the drive of the world will never go away, but there is always a Savior to save us from all this unhealthiness.

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