Humanity’s One Duty

Ecclesiastes 12:13

The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.

The Book of Ecclesiastes was written by King Solomon near the end of his life. The book is an overview of his search for life’s meaning and purpose. Yes, the book was written some three thousand years ago. But his observations and conclusions are still practical today as they were back then.

He answers such questions as: What is there to gain in this lifetime? Where does one best invest their time and energy? How does one live a more productive life? Who are the most important people you need to listen too? When is the best time to pursue your goals? Why life matters?

One of the most important topics he discusses is God’s involvement in your life. He answers from a life time of living with God and also rebelling against HIM. He leaves you with a greater insight into your own story. He doesn’t mince words.

His views are like a scientist analyzing the results of a sixty-year study on human behavior. From birth to death, he sorts through God’s relationship with humanity and humanity’s relationship with God. His research takes him viewing how God and time and chance are both occurring throughout life. He views and explains the unfair outcome of people’s lives. From birth to the grave, he states his case and leaves the reader with the conclusion of the matter.

Man’s main responsibility to fulfill in this life is to fear God and observe HIS commandments. To fear God means to acknowledge HIS authority and final word on any matter. That our allegiance places HIM first on all matters. HE is King above Kings and rules everyone. HE deserves are utmost respect and worship.

Because of who HE is, we acknowledge HIS superior wisdom. Thus, we practice HIS decrees for how to best maintain relationships with each other. His ten commandments highlight the means to have a healthy relationship with HIM and others. A society that practices such behavior will only need a small governing structure to handle legal matters. There would be greater trust and security in the land.

Solomon’s final conclusion as king wasn’t for more government involvement to produce fear into the people. Instead, his recommendation is for each person accepted personal responsibility. To respect the authority of God Almighty and follow HIS teachings. When done, life for themselves and the society around them would flourish in freedom and prosperity. Along the way, you would also find meaning and fulfillment.  

Nothing has changed since then in regards to human behavior. But today, we have the knowledge and a greater relationship with God Almighty through Jesus Christ. We have the Holy Spirit residing in us. We have a greater understanding and insight of HIS Word along with historical lessons. How much greater is the time we live now than then? What happens when one combines the teaching of this book with Jesus’s gospel message and purpose? One gains a greater perspective of the physical and spiritual dynamics at work.

Fear God may be an old-fashion expression. But like many old-fashion disciplines, maybe it is time to be again reintroduce into the world.

Rooting For You in Christ!

Dr. Mike

Faith-Integrator, Encourager, Scribbler

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What Is Your Biggest Problem?

Romans 7:15-20

For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. Now if I do what I do not want, I agree with the law, that it is good. So now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me.”

What is the biggest problem you have to face each day?

I know mine.

Yes, I am about fifteen pounds overweight. My cholesterol is on the high side. My mental capacity not as sharp as in my mid-thirties. Arthritis is making its appearance in my big toe. The hearing from my one side is only about 50% normal. I have the tenancy to behave obnoxiously when tired. My house projects take three times longer and cost twice more than someone gifted with their hands. I’ve had more investment failures than the creative mind could list. More times than not, I say the wrong words at the most inappropriate moment. I could also continue about relationship issues, work tragedies, and financial failures. Also there are those mental gaps, recreational trauma, and social blunders. The list seems endless.

So what is the central core of all these problems? Would you believe “ME.”

Many of these problems are caused by my desires. Other issues are caused by outside forces which I did not properly respond too. But even these problems are the end result of misbeliefs, illusions, and self lies. All because of my adherence to be satisfied.

Whether the facts are true or not, whether someone gets hurt or not, whether there is a better way, doesn’t matter. At that moment, me, myself, and I need to please the inner desires of my flesh.

Yes, I am my biggest problem.

Yet my biggest problem always leads to the biggest solution. I am thankful for Jesus Christ, HIS work of salvation, and HIS mission of restoration.

It is not my responsibility to save the world. That is HIS job.

My responsibility is to serve him and allow the Holy Spirit to morph my heart, mind, and soul after HIS image.

Yes, there is a battle raging between my carnal desires and the divine nature. I now know the taste of each of their fruits.

Apostle Paul wrote Romans some twenty years after his conversion. He was still struggling with the deception of sin. The longer we live, the more we become aware of the ugliness of sin that resides in each of us. But at the same time, we are thankful for a Comforter and Healer of the Holy Spirit.

Yes, we battle every day between the forces of sinful desires and divine wants. As we mature, we realize the problem is not those around us, but ourselves. As we age, we learn to exercise more patience with others. We learn to love others as Christ loves us. We learn others will occasionally harm us as we have inadvertently harm them. Yet, as Christ sacrificed his life for us, HE also sacrificed himself for them.

Jesus is the answer to my biggest problem. I am so grateful for his intervention. Soon, more and more people will come to realize HE is also the solution to their biggest problem. Possibly even you if you have not already accepted HIM as your Lord and Savior.           

Rooting For You in Christ!

Dr. Mike

Faith-Integrator, Encourager, Scribbler

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Yet & But

1 Peter 3:14-15

“Have no fear of them, nor be troubled, but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect…”

Two words jumped out at me this past week while listening to a sermon message by our local minister. He is very Christ-centered in his messages and leaves you with more to chew on afterwards. This time the Holy Spirit nudged me to focus on the two words yet & but.

Two three letter words which we use often but the question arose in my mind how those words are used throughout Scripture and in what context. So, this week we started a new study.

What did I find?

“But” is a word that erases everything prior to it and “yet” is a word that adds something to the previous mention item.

For example, in the above Scripture “but” emphasizes being prepared rather than allowing fear or anxiety have a stronghold on you. And later “yet” reminds us to exercise an attitude of love upon the way we respond.

What does this mean when we read the Bible?

Simply this. When you read Scripture and come across either of these two words, stop. You may want to analyze what is being erased and what is being added to the topic at hand. Most of the time you will find nuggets of eternal value which you can imitate in your own life.

Just another way to make reading the Bible more interesting and practical for your everyday use.

Rooting For You in Christ!

Dr. Mike

Faith-Integrator, Encourager, Scribbler

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