In Conclusion…

Ecclesiastes 12:13-14Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.”

There are many things on this earth for which we see the beginning and the end and can know assuredly what that end will be.

We see the sun rise in the east and know for a fact that it will set in the west. The waves upon the ocean continue to crash upon the shore; the high and low tide endlessly repeat. Just as the cold and snow of winter grips the soul, the spring and new life buds forth every year. Nations rise and fall. We witness the new life of a child and years pass when that life passes from us.

But in this life, we are given choices. Ultimately, there are only two: God’s way and any other way but God’s. If we see more than that, our vision is skewed and limited.

Solomon, the wisest man – ever, sought to know everything about anything and found:

Ecclesiastes 1:14I have seen all the works that are done under the sun; and, behold, all is vanity and vexation of spirit.”

Throughout the book of Ecclesiastes, he details this search and the wisdom found in each of those areas. Whether it was the getting of possessions, wealth, friends, or fame, and found it all to be vanity. From the rich to the poor, the hard working to the lazy, he studied it all. Every pleasure this life has to offer; Solomon sought the wisdom in all areas of life.

In his recording this search for us, he has an eternal vision or view in mind. He describes things as we might see them only to lay openly the folly of choosing such a thing or direction. Some of you reading this are wanting to know the end of the matter and read the end before reading through it all to capture the thought and spirit of what God gave me to write this morning.

Solomon sought to know every detail. The twists and turns; the ups and downs, the ins and outs. He looked for nuggets of wisdom; principles by which to guide his life and how to be a better ruler. In the twelveth chapter we see his summation.

Ecclesiastes 12:13-14Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.”

Fear God.

This fear is not what one might experience in a horror film, but seeing God for who He is and submitting to His majesty, His glory and His sovereignty. Knowing Him as our Creator, Savior and Lord is revealed in the humble submission to His bidding: the keeping of His commandments.

If we fear losing our job, we do what our employer asks us to do. If we fear losing someone in a relationship, we do that which pleases them with the hope that they will return the love and kindness. If we fear poverty, we work hard, scrimp and save.

If we fear God, we will do that which will put us in good standing; in His favor. When you and I can see the conclusion of a matter, and work it backwards, we can set realistic goals to reach that end.

Well done thou good and faithful servant” will not be heard by those who live wickedly and throw a few good deeds in the mix. Doing good is one thing. Being good is wholly another. A faithful servant is not the weekend warrior for Jesus. It is one who is a witness in their home as well as the workplace. In the store as well as the gas station.

Being a Christian only for others to see breeds hypocrisy. Being what God commands us whether others see us or not, reveals a heart of love for our Savior and will draw others to want the same.

You and I will have people and things that will capture our attention. The wisdom we apply to the decisions we make concerning those people and things will ultimately reveal who we are, the type of Christian we will become and the direction of our hearts.

In conclusion, I must ask:

“With all that you have done for Christ so far, how will the end look?”

Will it be seen as ‘good’ and ‘faithful’?

‘Sometimes good and sometimes faithful’? Or…

While you and I still have breath in our body, we can change what might be and make it different. Then the judgment of what we do; whether good or evil can be weighed in the balance knowing full well we prepared for that day.

“Only one life, so soon it will pass
Only what’s done for Christ will last
Only one chance to do His will
So give to Jesus all you days
It’s the only life that pays
When you recall you have but one life”

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