Friday, October 29, 2010

Man's All

13 Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter:

Fear God and keep His commandments,
For this is man’s all.
14 For God will bring every work into judgment,
Including every secret thing,
Whether good or evil.
(Ecclesiastes 12:13-14, New King James Version)

Man's All

Ecclesiastes 12:13 has been a theme verse for my life for over 40 years. I like the rendition of this verse in the King James Version.

Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.

If you were going to sum up your whole duty (or your all) in this life, what would you say? What makes you uniquely different? What is your purpose in this life? Without thinking, I am sure we would include all of the things that are most important to us.

How about parenting? I am the only mother my children have, and it has literally consumed my life for almost 40 years. My first child was born in 1972, and my last child was born in 1993. I cannot truly define myself without including my husband and my children.

How about money? Oh, I know, money is not supposed to be everything, but how much of an importance do we place in its worth in our lives? Does the want or desire of great riches consume us? Do we think we would be most happy if we won the lottery?

What about the attitude of others toward you? How important is it to you that everyone likes you, or looks up to you? How willing are you to compromise your beliefs so that you will be liked by the world?

As you know, the list could go on and on. Is it important to be a good parent? Of course! Is it important that we provide financially for our families. Yes! Is it good for us to live peaceably with all men? Again, yes!

What is the real issue, then? What is at the root of our actions? What undergirds all that we think, say and do? Solomon states it quite simply,

Fear God and keep His commandments,
For this is man’s all.

It always comes back to our heart attitude, does it not? If we fear God and keep his commandments, we will not let the things of this world consume us so that our walk with the Lord is compromised.

Take some time to ponder that today! What is at the root of everything you think, say, and do? What is your all?

God Bless You,

Join me tomorrow as we begin a new series of devotions on Bible Characters from the New Testament. I am really looking forward to this study, as we ponder the lives of real people, and consider why God included their story in His Holy Word.

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