|Good morning everyone,|
Our theme for this month: “Personal Responsibility”
Our Bible verse for today: “Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.” Ecclesiastes 12:13 (NIV)
Our thought for today: “This is your primary responsibility”
Have you ever read the Old Testament book of Ecclesiastes? If not, you should. The entire book is one big powerful lesson. Solomon was the wisest and wealthiest man of his day. The King of Israel. Blessed by God with wisdom, position, power, and wealth. And … it wasn’t enough. For twelve chapters Solomon writes that despite all God had given him, he still wasted decades of his life chasing after sex, drugs, and rock and roll (or the Old Testament equivalent).
But he had started out so well. Like his father King David before him, Solomon was a man after God’s heart, and God was very pleased with him. But then he lost his way. He became bored with a godly lifestyle and began dabbling in the ways of the world. He married hundreds of wives and had a haram of hundreds more concubines. He indulged in every sensual pleasure from sex to alcohol to food to wild entertainment. He accumulated works of art, stables filled with horses, and all sorts of other toys and baubles. More was never enough. In fact, there didn’t seem to be any such thing as “enough” for Solomon.
Finally, he realized that it was all empty and meaningless, “a chasing after the wind” he said. And after all of those wasted decades, he ended up right back where he started – humble and submitted to God. That’s what he was writing about in 12:13 (above).
Pastor and author Eugene Peterson once described the Christian life as “a long obedience in the same direction.” What he meant is that day-in and day-out we are to simply apply ourselves to the basic disciplines of the practice of our faith. We are to live quiet, simple lives based in prayer, Bible study, worship, and service to others. We are to remain faithful to the Lord and just live life. That’s our primary personal responsibility.
Life isn’t supposed to be a constant pursuit of one fun moment after another, one party after another, or one sensual pleasure after another as Solomon did. Even for those who are living faithfully, life isn’t supposed to be one ecstatic spiritual epiphany after another. Instead, it’s a simple and quiet life of faithfulness, like Paul described in 1 Thessalonians 4:11-12, “Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business and to work with your hands, just as we told you, so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody.”
That’s it. Just live a faithful life that honors God and blesses others. As a Christian, this is your first and primary personal responsibility.
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